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Fwd: From Madagascar

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  • Daniel Dudley
    I found this interesting. ... _________________________________________________________________ Join the world’s largest e-mail service with MSN Hotmail.
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 9, 2002
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      I found this interesting.

      >From: "Charles Wood Jewett__Las Vegas" <greymatter2@...>
      >To: EWeiis@..., rpcvm10@..., jcperkins@...,
      >papadud@..., fso.msw@..., safs@...,
      >hmonteil@..., Endymion@..., rcherry@...,
      >shilburger@...
      >CC: greymatter2@...
      >Subject: Fwd: From Madagascar
      >Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 21:14:44 -0700
      >
      >
      >a searing report from an American in Madagascar, forwarded by an old PC
      >buddy Anna Prow who worked with me at PC on the South Africa, Zimbabwe
      >Desk. She was a PCV in Madgas. So as the US govt is so preoccupied with
      >Terror and now the Moiddle East, petty and murderous tyrants get to do what
      >they wish. CWJ
      >
      >>From: "A. D. Prow" <tavydog@...>
      >
      >>
      >>This is rather long, but for anyone who knows and
      >>loves Madagascar, I found it a pretty powerful read.
      >>
      >>This piece is thought provoking in many ways, even for
      >>non-Mad'scarites, for it presents some evidence of the
      >>reach and effect of politics and policy. I worried
      >>when she first mentions carrying an American flag, but
      >>now I see the value of symbolic action.
      >>
      >>Anna
      >>
      >> > A first-person account by an American in Madagascar:
      >> >
      >> > ************************
      >> >
      >> > "MY TURN"
      >> >
      >> > >Madagascar? Isnt That the Land of Lemurs and
      >> > Vanilla?
      >> > >
      >> > >A Plea from Friends: Ignored!
      >> > >
      >> > >In the United States, my daughter tells me, Nobody
      >> > cares. Madagascar is
      >> > >too far away. Afghanistan and the Middle East are
      >> > consuming all the
      >> > >attention.
      >> > >
      >> > >I have lived and worked in Madagascar for the past
      >> > 9 years. I am a public
      >> > >health specialist, not a political activist, but I
      >> > had to see for myself
      >> > >what was happening in the Umbrella Revolution,
      >> > the non-violent movement
      >> > >of the people of Madagascar to assure the respect
      >> > of their vote for
      >> > >democratic change. I went to sit-ins and marches
      >> > and spent a night at the
      >> > >neighborhood barricades. I carried a small American
      >> > flag with me as
      >> > >identification. With tears in their eyes,
      >> > strangers came up to thank me
      >> > >for being there, saying they thought all
      >> > Americans had abandoned them. All they ask is verbal
      >> > support: public
      >> > recognition for their chosen government, public
      >> > condemnation for the acts of
      >> > their former dictator.
      >> > >
      >> > >The The War on Terror will not be won only by
      >> > U.S. military support to
      >> > >overthrow unpopular and hostile governments through
      >> > violent means. More
      >> > >important, in the long run, will be our non-violent
      >> > support for those
      >> > >working to install democratic governments through
      >> > peaceful and democratic
      >> > >means. We need to win, and keep, the hearts and
      >> > minds of our friends as
      >> > >much as we need to destroy our enemies. We, the
      >> > people of the United States
      >> > >of America, are ignoring the gentle revolution in
      >> > Madagascar, in contrast
      >> > >to our avid attention to more bloody and colorful
      >> > wars, at our own risk.
      >> > >
      >> > >Shortly after the September 11 bombings in the
      >> > U.S., the then President of
      >> > >Madagascar, self declared Admiral Didier Ratsiraka,
      >> > broadcast a televised
      >> > >speech denouncing the United States and Israel for
      >> > having planned and
      >> > >executed these tragedies to create an international
      >> > incident. For the next
      >> > >many days, resident Americans were deluged with
      >> > phone calls and e-mails
      >> > >from Malagasy citizens begging our forgiveness and
      >> > offering their
      >> > >condolences. Complete strangers stopped us in the
      >> > street to express their
      >> > >sorrow and to transmit their solidarity with the
      >> > people of the United
      >> > >States at this terrible time. Most touching for me
      >> > was a phone call from a
      >> > >young girl. I did not know her, she said, but was
      >> > I, by any chance, an
      >> > >American? Could I lend her church an American flag
      >> > for their Sunday prayer
      >> > >service for the victims of the September 11
      >> > attacks?
      >> > >
      >> > >Now, in their time of need, the Malagasy people
      >> > find themselves abandoned
      >> > >by the government and people of the United States.
      >> > Since the December 16,
      >> > >2001 presidential elections, won overwhelming by
      >> > opposition candidate, Marc
      >> > >Ravalomanana, despite massive election fraud by the
      >> > Ratsiraka government,
      >> > >the people of Madagascar have, non-violently and
      >> > inexorably, refused to
      >> > >allow Ratsiraka and his cronies to return to power.
      >> > In January and
      >> > >February, every day, the Umbrella
      >> > Revolutionaries, up to a million
      >> > >ordinary citizens, men, women, children, protested
      >> > under the burning sun
      >> > >and pouring rain, protected only by their
      >> > umbrellas. They modeled their
      >> > >revolution in part on the example of Martin Luther
      >> > King Jr. Their
      >> > >democratically elected new President, Marc,
      >> > walked with them through the
      >> > >streets, talked to them in the square, led them in
      >> > prayer. They sang We
      >> > >Shall Overcome and God Bless America with
      >> > Malagasy words. They shared
      >> > >their eyewitness accounts of the abuses of the
      >> > Ratsiraka government and
      >> > >manned protective barricades in their neighborhoods
      >> > to foil attacks by
      >> > >pro-Ratsiraka gangs and armed forces. Similar
      >> > demonstrations occurred
      >> > >throughout the country.
      >> > >
      >> > >As support for Ravalomanana became increasingly
      >> > widespread, Ratsiraka
      >> > >countered with increasingly violent,
      >> > unconstitutional and illegal acts. He
      >> > >illegally declared Martial Law. He cut off access
      >> > to fuel and vital
      >> > >resources in Antananarivo, the capital city, by
      >> > constructing economic
      >> > >barricades manned by paid hooligans on all access
      >> > roads and by dismantling
      >> > >and blowing up bridges. (This, incidentally, has
      >> > spawned a vibrant and
      >> > >immensely lucrative black market run by his family
      >> > and friends). He burned
      >> > >opposition radio stations, stopped newspaper
      >> > circulation in the provinces,
      >> > >arrested, killed and tortured prominent
      >> > pro-Ravalomanana politicians and
      >> > >clerics; and tried to incite the people of the
      >> > provinces to racial
      >> > >violence. As the majority throughout the country
      >> > refused to cooperate, he
      >> > >hired and armed militias to sow terror and still
      >> > the voices of protest. He
      >> > >has turned a deaf ear to every national and
      >> > international appeal for
      >> > >compromise.
      >> > >
      >> > >I watched with growing dismay as our U. S.
      >> > Government, following the
      >> > >leadership of France, objected to the supposedly
      >> > illegal actions of
      >> > >Ravalomanana and as the international press
      >> > distorted what was happening
      >> > >here to fit more neatly into the worlds
      >> > preconceived notions of African
      >> > >countries. Concerning the activities of Ratsirakas
      >> > regime, the
      >> > >international community voiced no condemnation.
      >> > >
      >> > >I dont know why President Bush apparently
      >> > continues to support the
      >> > >historically corrupt and murderous government of
      >> > Ratsiraka. Possibly, we
      >> > >have made a deal with France (whose president is
      >> > reported to have extensive
      >> > >personal and financial ties with Ratsiraka), Well
      >> > let you handle
      >> > >Madagascar, if youll support our war on terror.
      >> > What I do know is that my
      >> > >countrymen have abandoned a nation of peaceful
      >> > people who have supported
      >> > >them and counted on their support in return.
      >> > >
      >> > >The United States is widely admired by my Malagasy
      >> > friends as a bastion of
      >> > >democracy, individual rights, freedom, free speech
      >> > and justice. I am proud
      >> > >to be an American here. But I am ashamed of our
      >> > indifference to the plight
      >> > >of our friends. To kill the hope of a people
      >> > through indifference is
      >> > >perhaps the worst crime against humanity.
      >> > >
      >> > >Agma Prins is an American health and development
      >> > expert with more than 30
      >> > >years experience in Africa.
      >> >
      >> >
      >>_________________________________________________________________
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      >>
      >>
      >>__________________________________________________
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      >
      >
      >




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