45 comments on “Defending yarrrrr-self?

  1. Piracy or Terrorism, they are always wrong but we cannot expect to end either if we do not deal with the injustice that spawned them. By all means use military might but do not neglect to deal with injustice.

    Still, I think U.S. handled the current hostage taking well. Interesting thought provoking post as usual.

  2. Wow! Interesting point, sir. I never saw it from this perspective. Dark people have always been villified for standing up for themselves. Why should this be any different?

  3. No, absolutely not. The pirates, and they are just that, who held a US civilian hostage were not defending a thing. Other pirates who hijacked a French yacht, which subsequently resulted in the owner’s death, were not attempting @ making any political statement. Rather, the bottom line in both these events was $$$. While I can sympathize w/ the plight of the world’s poor, there is no defending what these people do.

    -n

  4. “Wow! Interesting point, sir. I never saw it from this perspective. Dark people have always been villified for standing up for themselves. Why should this be any different?

    Please tell me I am missing the sarcasm in this statement. Please please please….

  5. nic, I was not being sarcastic at all. I am pointing out the fact that black and brown people are often made to be villians without examining any historical context to their villany. The author of this blog used Black Hawk Down, but that is not the only case. Arabs are all quickly associated with the rare radical extremists, without contextualizing the peace advocating practices of the more secular version of Islam. This drug cartel issue has placed latinos, especially those illegally dwelling in America, in the same group without the U.S. thinking about how its immigration and drug policy may be complicit. The list goes on and on. Basically dark people are made to be the bad guys. I may be a middle aged, liberal white man from the South, but even I can see that.

  6. *Head-smack*

    The black & browned skin people hijacking ships off the coast of Yemen & Somalia *ARE* bad guys. I’m having trouble believing somebody actually wants to debate whether or not somebody who kills somebody else for NOT giving them money (or as has been the case several times, disappeared/killed even though the ransom was paid) is really fully of fuzzy kittens & rainbows inside.

    I’ve seen plenty of topics on this very blog bring up the race card when it had no business being there…but this…is appalling.

    -n

  7. Wow! I, a white, liberal Southern, am now playing the “race card”?! That’s a new one. I’ve never heard that one before. I’ve got to write this down. I take it you’re some white-haired Strom Thurmond supporter, drinking lemonade on your slave-employed plantation, no? I was trying to avoid the uncivil discussion, but you’ve clearly missed the part of the lecture that covers basic blog ettiquette.

    If you would take a second to read my comments, you would see the bottom line: things lead to other things. A long history of exploiting a people, jeopardizing their way of life, and destroying one of their primary methods of commerce is SURE to unleash the dragon, so to speak. In this case, it happens to be radical extremists doing the bidding. I’m suprised this all only started happening recently. Nowhere did I say they were not bad people for what they did. But failing to understand the “why” behind actions is why our country is so despised by the rest of the world. If your Lord and Savior George Bush would’ve known that, we would be in a better position with the world now.

  8. @ LGS: “By all means use military might but do not neglect to deal with injustice.

    I think the 70% of Somalians who agree with piracy as a defensive strategy would like to see some of that injustice elimated. Good point, my friend.

    Evan/Nic…OK kids, break this up.

    @ Evan: I assure you, Nic is as far from a conservative loon as east is to west. Strom Thurmond he is not.

    Your point does have lots of viability, in my opinion. I agree that people of color are often made to be bogeymen far more often than our white counterparts. I also agree that a part of their villiany stems from the fact that they are from a nation historically villified in the social and political psyche. No argument there. But, you can’t ignore the fact that these cats ARE bad people…and their actions go pretty far past simply making a political statement. But…

    @ Nic: You did fall in the same trap many loud-mouth conservatives typically do (I suspect this is why Evan assumed you to be conservative). You simply rested on the “badness” of the culprit without taking into account the events contributing to their destructive behavior. It is very hard to say how passionate you would be…or how driven to criminality you would be if you were in the position of Somalians. Their actions – while extreme to you and me – may have been seen as the only recourse to the destructive and inconsiderate actions of various European nations dumping waste in their waters. We see exploitation done all the time in the name of commerce, cost-cutting, and profit margins. Too much of it creates the monsters we are now villifying. This thing cuts both ways.

  9. “Basically dark people are made to be the bad guys.

    Reads like the race card to me, but meh.

    Anyhow, the historical context is rather irrelevant when it comes to attacks occurring on US ships, NOW. We attempted to “fix” Somalia in the past, w/ disastrous results, & I can guaran-FN-tee you we will not see US boots on Somalian soil again anytime soon. Yet, to address the root of the problem, somebody is going to have to. Drones & AF/Naval bombardment, possibly. A UN intervention is more likely, but even more probable than that is that the UN will continue operating w/ it’s proverbial head up it’s ass & mare the operation up. I’m getting ahead of myself, but the bottom line is that why these people are poor isn’t really of concern atm (I could write @ length how much of Africa is poor due to corruption & wasteful spending by -shocker!- African leaders…and this coming from a white, liberal, who abhors globalization). Furthermore, interject racial history into the mix where it doesn’t belong, & it only leads to a couple of douchebags knuckling it out on the interwebz.

    -n

    PS: I voted for Nader. TWICE. My liberal e-peen is bigger than yours. 😉

  10. It is very hard to say how passionate you would be…or how driven to criminality you would be if you were in the position of Somalians. Their actions – while extreme to you and me – may have been seen as the only recourse to the destructive and inconsiderate actions of various European nations dumping waste in their waters.

    This would be plausible if instead of demanding $$$, or hijacking a family on vacation, they were to instead…oh, i dunno…demand an end to the illegal dumping…or demand justice for the illegal dumping…or…even mention the illegal dumping. I’d likely even sympathize w/ them.

    But instead you get stuff like the NPR interview w/ a bunch of pirates that ran not too long ago (I can not for the life of me dig up a link) where they essentially took there multi-thousand $$$ cut each weekend & blew it on booze, drugs, & whores. Sympathy? Heh….no.

    Andre, didn’t you recently write an article about how the cop-killer, child-molesting pimp didn’t deserve sympathy? This is kinda like that. But w/ pirates.

    -n

  11. I don’t deny that piracy has evolved (or should I say devolved) from something once used to defend a way of life into a greedy, self enterprise. No arguement there, Nic my man. But I still believe that generations of neo-colonialism fed this monster as well. The Somalians who advocate piracy for defense probably don’t advocate it for personal (and abundant) gain. I don’t think too many oppresed, poor, or marginalized people want a handful of people enjoying the spoils while everybody else suffers (SEE: U.S. Economy).

    Issuing sympathy has never been the thing for me. I don’t sympathize with pirates, cop killers, people who go on homocidal/suicidal sprees because of the economy, etc. But – as I said before – examining the “why”; the circumstances contributing to those tragedies is just as important as casting blame and pointing fingers.

  12. Dre, As much as I’m in favor of examining things that go on “behind the scenes”, I find your argument disingenuous. I think we all agree that the Europeans are wrong for dumping and their complicity in the commercial consequences people in the Aden area are facing. But that doesn’t explain anything about the constant turmoil on the ground. The civil war, fueled by greed is what is motivating piracy now. I agree with Nic…to socially diagnose this let’s these monsters off the hook.

  13. I support the president’s call on this. Much love to the Navy SEALs for their work in rescuing the captain.

    I will never condone boarding a boat uninvited, threatening a crew, and taking a hostage. The four pirates that attacked the Alabama were between the ages of 17 and 19. Defense Secretary Robert Gates describes these young men as “untrained teenagers with heavy weapons.” In the face-off with the Navy SEAL snipers, these amateurs didn’t have a chance.

    Fred Ikle, scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, thinks it’s time to stop rewarding Somali pirates. He wrote a provocative op-ed piece in the Washington Post. I also heard him give an informative interview on National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation. I don’t agree with everything Ikle says, but he makes some valid points.

  14. Hey Dre,
    I read the entire articles by Johan Hari and the Huff Post and I would personally be embarassed if i gave you guys a story that relied so heavily on hear-say and used other bloggers as points of reference. (them, not you, since your only asking the question). The leap that they all took that it had to be the U.S. or Europe doing the dumping was just another case of pointing the finger where the finger likes to point. Why couldn’t it be China or Pakistan or how about the real problem children North Korea or Iran?? I read the U.N. report that you sited and the closest they came to any proof that it was Europe was this lone statement; “Reportedly, some European firms are known to be engaged in the business of dumping hazardous waste in Africa” It didn’t even offer where the “reports” came from. It’s interesting to me that these pirates never have as one of their demands, “Stop polluting our land!’ it’s always simply, “Give us money so we can buy more guns.” Seriously, to try to move these self-serving criminals into the realm of environmental advocates is quite a stretch. As far as them protecting their shoreline from exploiting fishermen, it’s interesting that they attack boats that are hundreds of miles off their coast instead of the 12 miles granted by international treaties. If they want to protect their boundries, I have no problem, but that has not been the case. The Maersk Alabama was bringing food and aid to Kenya…from the very nations they are vilifying. It was also hundreds of miles from their coast. If the U.N or any other world organization has absolute proof of the people commiting these crimes, let them bring it forward and let’s prosecute with my full support. However, using this issue as a justification for criminal acts against nations that may or may not even be involved is the kind of warped Liberal mentality I’ve come to expect from the Huffington Post and it’s ilk.

  15. @ Cyn/Deb/Hip Con: As I’ve stated before, I don’t think the issue is necessarily “rewarding” or “endorsing” piracy. This post certainly was not to heroize Somailan pirates who are in it for their own greedy purposes. I am simply attempting to get at subtextual themes that have not been as fully addressed when the stories of piracy surface in the media.

    For the sake of example, the piracy story falls in line (to a lesser extent) with the argument for reparations in America. If we were to start issuing checks in some misguided attempt to make up for the longstanding systemic effects of slavery, Jim Crowism, etc, invariably you’ll have your group of knuckleheads buying 24 inch rims and Blackberrys instead of using their gains in an effort to curb social and economic inequities. Those selfish exploits, however, will never dismiss the historic events necessitating a reparations program in the first place.

  16. Hey Dre,
    I wrote my Op. without reading any of the other comments, but reading the exchange between Nic and Evan had me rolling on the floor. “white-haired Strom Thurmond supporter, drinking lemonade on your slave-employed plantation” OMG! That is tooo funny. Evan, my friend, you could not have been more wrong if you tried. Here, I’ll help you. Nic, your probably some Steve Colbert watching, tattoo and pierce wearing, socialistic, Liberal who thinks that George Bush was the reincarnation of Genghis Khan. There, no need to thank me. LOL.

  17. “Black Hawk Down” turns out to be so much more appropriate than you may know. The story of it, the true story, stems from the search by the U.S. for a villain of Somalia. In their attempt to find him, through inappropriate intel, they had him surrounded in a house in the capitol city, Mogadishu. They bombed the building, killing everyone inside. After entering, the discovered that they had bombed the elderly tribal leaders who had gathered to discuss ways to end the violence in their country and to unite the tribes.

    This story was in only a few newspapers and appeared on the internet for a few days back then. Since then, I have only been able to find one story of the incident. It is verified by a U.S. General in an interview who was in charge of that very raid (spelled “massacre”). The only story heard round the world was “Black Hawk Down”.

    As for piracy, I liken the situation to “blood diamonds” of Africa. Diamonds were the chief source of revenue for many Africans, though they made no profit, just a minimal form of living (2, 3, 4 cents a day in the mines). When they decided to take action and use their commodities (diamonds) to finance their fight for freedom, those very diamonds were labeled as “blood diamonds” by De Beers and company (who are in charge of precious jewels that don’t even belong to them). Now, we have Somalis fighting for their very lives to regain what is rightfully theirs.

    There is almost always more than one side to any story, but, mainstream media has a way of nullifying that. This latest vessel that was overtaken had an American Captain on a ship bearing an Italian flag. Does that raise any other eyebrows than mine??!!

    Thanks for taking it in another direction. Peace.

  18. I like to write my opinions down first, then go back and read the other comments, so as not to be influenced. I did so just now.

    I cannot agree that the so-called pirates of Somalia are the “bad guys”. I can’t even agree that what they have done is a bad thing. Like it has been said so many times by so many people “By any means necessary!” Though those exact words belong to Malcolm, the sentiment has been expressed by even those who are considered “good”, as opposed to “bad” like Malcolm. When you are an oppressed people, sometimes extreme measure have to be taken. This very country prides itself on that very idea. Somalia currently finds itself in that same predicament.

    I realize that this post, as stated, was not meant to “heroize” Somalian pirates, but, I will go on record as saying that I applaud them for taking matters in their own hands. If they waited for U.S. or UN support, Somalia would cease to be. Take a look at the Sudan region. No one is lifting a finger to stop the brutalization of that country. The oil there is on Black African soil and the Arab African leaders are determined that the Black African people will not see a cent of its profit.

    Fire away, folks, as I have no qualms about holding a dissident views. We need to take a close look at news items and get more info before we decide that what we read was the true situation. Peace.

  19. Andre, I’ve been following the discussion related to this post. You’ve done a great job of facilitating the discussion, bringing compelling thought to the table, and identifying persistent historical issues. Two thumps up!

  20. @freedom
    “By any means necessary!” and
    “Peace” are opposite philosophies. People prone to ‘by any means necessary” seldom are looking for peace. They thirst for confrontation. Oppressed people like those in South Africa or India or even America win because they have the higher moral ground. Reducing yourself to that level only makes it easier for them to justify oppressing you. The easiest person to defend…is an innocent man. Ask Ghandi or MLK.

  21. @thehc

    They can be one in the same: freedom by way of “any means necessary” leads to peace. People are not prone to “by any means necessary”, they are pushed to that point, without any “thirst for confrontation”. When people are continually oppressed, there comes a point where they can no longer just stand by and be persecuted. The fact is that they rarely choose “by any means . . .” – it usually comes about when their backs are up against a wall.

    What people in South Africa “took the higher ground” (and by that I suppose you mean “peaceful means”)? Liberation from apartheid came about by way of hundreds of thousands of lost lives. There was nothing peaceful about it. However, the result of “any means . . . ” brought about peace to a divided nation.

    Being of that “persuasion”, I resent being labeled as being “prone to” a thing normally looked upon (without rationality) as an evil.

    Lastly, the “higher ground” of Ghandi and MLK would never have made it in South Africa. Peace.

  22. “I cannot agree that the so-called pirates of Somalia are the “bad guys”. I can’t even agree that what they have done is a bad thing.”

    It’s statements like this that make my liberal-ass float a bit more to the right.

    “I realize that this post, as stated, was not meant to “heroize” Somalian pirates, but, I will go on record as saying that I applaud them for taking matters in their own hands”.

    You’re condoning the murders of innocent people, as well as theft, & who knows what else? Wow. Your genes are awesome. Please reconsider before donating any lil’ soldiers. Please & thank you.

    -n

  23. @nic – Float, my friend, float on. I’m not condoning the murder of anyone, but that comes with the territory when you are fighting for your very life. It’s no different that the Catholic-Protestant wars in the UK, nor the fight to end the genocide between the Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda, nor any different than the struggle for independence in South Africa. With practically any usurping of a government, there is bloodshed. Again, when one’s back is against the wall, nothing is sacred. I suppose that it all comes down to a matter of semantics – you say murder, I say survival.

    And thanks . . . my genes ARE awesome! Peace.

  24. My apologies – the link didn’t load properly, but, please click and go to “Black Hawk Down”, May 2, 2007. Peace.

  25. @Freedom,
    I understand your position, but here’s my problem with “by any means necessary.” It has as it’s central justification that the people who are using that philosophy are the “oppressed”-usually by their own definition. Take for instance the Palestinian/Israel confrontation. Both people argue that they are the true oppressed. Palestinians usually only want to go back to 1948, Isrealites go back much further. Since they would both argue that their “backs are against the wall”, they would both argue that they are entitled to “by any means necessary”. Does that mean they can both use any means to completely destroy each other? That’s hardly a path to “Peace”. Kashmir, Ireland, Isreal,-the list goes on. By your philosophy who decides who is the truly “oppressed” and who is justified in “by any means necessary”? Both sides would argue it is they who are oppressed. What you are advocating can lead to mutual destruction.

  26. Pingback: Pirates In The House Of Somalia « the realm of darkness

  27. @thehc – That war is an entirely different situation. That concerns two nations who both believe that they are right. Although I have my thoughts on that subject, it strays from the point that I make. I would agree that would lead to mutual destruction, but that is another debate.

    My examples are of an oppressed people, ruled or governed by another who feel that their rights are violated, that they are desperately in need of liberation, not two nations out to destroy one another. It is that type of situation that I feel that “by any mean . . . ” is a legitimate stance to take.

    I offered up Ireland, South Africa, and Rwanda, but, you seem to bypass the valid examples that I cite. In the UK, people were denied their right to choose a religion of their own and practice it without fear. Laws prevented them from doing so. Their backs were up against a wall. They fought back, blood flowed, peace was the result. The Tutsis were slaughtered wholesale in Rwanda while the world sat back and watched. They found the courage to fight back. Bloodshed ensued, and peace was the prize. Black South Africans were denied their basic human rights, in a country that was theirs. Years of protests were in vain. With their backs against the wall, blood was shed. The result was peace.

    We may not agree on the philosophy, and may never come to terms, but, I think that we should be able to understand that sometimes, “a look at the ‘why’ ” is worth the time. Please remember that “by any means necessary” was spewed and brought into play many times before Malcolm, by many nations – they used different words, but the meaning was always the same. Peace.

  28. @freedom,
    You want it to be clear and easy to decide who is the “oppressed”, and while I would agree with you on some of your examples, that’s doesn’t give me or you the right to decide who is right and who is wrong in every instance. That’s the crux of my argument. It’s very empowering to be the one who decides who is the “oppressed” what is “hate speech”, what words or actions are oppressive. If I were the “Supreme Decider” of what words or actions you could use in this debate, (suppose I could just edit them out) It’s very unlikely you could win the debate. Once I win public opinion, no matter how I got there, do I now have the right to use “any means necessary”? There is so much more to consider-the history of the issue (all of it, not just one side), the way each side has acted (with equal standards of morality applied to both, not just excuses for one and condemnation for the other.) How has the media or the government played into it, and our natural tendancies to side with the underdog, just to name a few. I find it to be a rare instance where one side is absolutely evil . Take for instance our view in America of the evil of the German Empire during WW2. How often is the view of the pre-war starving Germans taken into account? (not that I would justify the “by any means necessary” actions of the Nazis) Too often I find it’s the easiest position for people to take that one side is “evil” and the other “good”. After all, only against “evil ” is “by any means” justified. While I certainly agree that there are absolute wrongs such as slavery, child rape or genocide, I would caution against giving anyone the right to decide for themselves when “any means” is justified. You would find it used a lot.
    As far as Ireland, South Africa, and Rwanda. I simply didn’t want to distract from the philosophical debate by debating the history of all those regions. I will say that I doubt very much that the issues surrounding those regions is over simply because one side has now beaten the other into submission. Rwanda in particular is not a place of lasting peace.

  29. in the interest of playing a good host, just wanted to let you know ive been following the discussion. will respond when i get home sunday (texting this from my phone…)

  30. thehc, I don’t think you’re seeing the big picture that freedom is trying to suggest here. This isn’t the age old battles between liberals and conservatives, Israel and Palestine, or one of any other conflicts. This is an instance of European exploitation and plundering and the consequencial response from the fed up victim. Of course – and as Andre suggested – with every revolt and social opposition, you have your fair share of people trying to personally gain. But this is ALL a bi-product of bad commercial policy from Europeans. Without the irresponsible waste dumping in the Gulf of Aden, the Somalians would NEVER have the justification necessary to do what they’re doing now. Make no mistake about it, blame can be placed everywhere. But it is important to examine who started this and who plans to finish it.

  31. Nazis? This your comparison or example? I admit defeat, yield to the better voice, and bow out gracefully. Peace.

  32. Hi Megan,
    No, I believe I do understand what freedom is saying, it’s just that I disagree with the philosophy that one wrong act justifies another. If a man rapes my sister, you could say that I’m justified to rape his sister. But we’re still both rapists and we are both diminished. Also, I’ve yet to see any evidence that it was Europeons that did the dumping. I checked out all the sources sited and there is zero real evidence sited by the U.N. or anyone else except for the term “reportedly” in the U.N. assessment that Andre sited. You can’t just assume someone is guilty because you don’t trust them due to their bad past behavior. If a man moves into my neighborhood after doing time for breaking and entering and then shortly afterward my house gets broken into, it doesn’t give me the right to go assualt him because it seems likely that he did it. There are a lot of things wrong (IMO) with justifying the actions of the pirates. Including that they are attacking a lot of people who may not even be involved in any oppression. You can’t just randomly attack people because you’ve been wronged. I stand by my belief that you have the right to defend yourself against people who are harmimg you, but you don’t have justification to do any act against anyone. Remember, the Maersk Alabama was bringing Aid for people in Kenya, not dumping, or illegal fishing, or oppressing anyone.

  33. This conversation has drastically veered of course, so I’ll leave my input @ this…Supporting, or otherwise applauding the actions of these pirates is akin to supporting or applauding the acts of gang-bangers. It can be argued that both parties have been oppressed, while also raised in squalor w/ little or no access to any means of escape. Both parties also commit criminal acts, sometimes resulting in the deaths/harm of innocent people, & neither side is working toward any established political/humanitarian goal. Instead, as I’ve already stated, it’s all about $$$. Supporting, or even applauding either party is absolutely ridiculous, as regardless of how much one may deny it, doing such does condone the often violent result to their criminal actions.

    Call me crazy, but I’m of the mindset that if somebody causes intentional harm to innocent people, then that somebody is, in fact, a horrible human being, regardless of whatever combination of historical events may or may not have led to their shit life. It’s both astonishing, & unfortunate that some see it any different.

    -n

  34. thehc: The reason why I stated that you’re not understanding where freedom is coming from is because each of your responses are made with the idea that we’re saying piracy is OK. We’re not. Time after time in this post, people have decried the practice. But what’s not being understood here is the difference between endorsing/supporting a practice and understanding the causes of it. Nobody is “applauding” what they’re doing. Nobody is trying to give these murderous crooks a medal, membership fees, or a scholarship in their honor. We are simply saying that years of exploitation are providing them (some of them with greedy intentions) the very motivation they need to engage in this horrendous and shameful practice.

    When you back a boxer into a corner, don’t be suprised if they come out swinging hard.

  35. “It’s both astonishing, & unfortunate that some see it any different.”

    It’s just as astonishing and unfortunate that some CAN’T see it any different.

  36. Hi Megan,
    If you re-read my comments you’ll find I never used the word “applauding” that you quoted me. If fact, the word I used the most to describe what i felt was being done here was “justifying”. Just because “you back a boxer into a corner” doesn’t give them the right to engege in any behavior they then decide for themselves is justified. Rape, Racism, Genocide, just to name a few, can never be justified IMO by my economic situation.

  37. Hey Freedom,
    It’s only a debate. The purpose is to hear each others opinion, not necessarily to win. I enjoyed our conversation and found you to be intelligent and respectful. Please don’t confuse my disagreement with you to mean I don’t respect you or your POV. Peace.

  38. Hi thehc,

    After going back to the comments, you’re correct: I misquoted you. I got your responses and “nic’s” mixed up. nic was the one who suggested we were “applauding” Somalian pirates. Please accept my apology for that.

    But I still noticed that you are bunching people who get where the pirates are coming from into a group who are – as you put it – “justifying” their behavior. We are not. I don’t want to speak for anybody else on this board, but not once did I recall anybody saying they are OK with this behavior or that they justify it. Understanding why people do what they do and excusing those people are different, IMO.

  39. Pirates. Yeah, right. I don’t see these dudes with parrots, eye patches, and wooden legs.

  40. I was initally going to sit on this discussion and let your liberal audience duke it out. But this conversation is getting too carried away. People keep talking about how commerical exploitation led to this proliferation of piracy. That claim could not be FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH! Plain and simple, Somalia has a failed government which has succumb to anarchy. The internal conflicts facing this nation are directly attributable to the political instability that consumed them as far as back in the 60’s, when Siad Barre was placed in power.

    This victimization noise is getting old.

  41. Piracy, tea parties, threats of succession. History has a way of repeating itself, no?

  42. LOL @ Fugi.

    I agree with most of the room. These so-called pirates should never be seen as heroes in this story. But making them out to be self-created villians is not the way to go either. True, they made a conscious effort to engage in their villianious behavior, but you also have to pay attention to the events which legitmize (at least in the pirates’ eyes) that villiany.

    • Hello Juwan. Welcome to the discussion.

      I wouldn’t call the single kidnapping “insignificant”, as I tend to view all life as precious. But I understand your point. Certainly, the anger and moral outrage generated from a few greedy, villianous pirates has concealed the reality that villains are all around us. When it comes to relationships with Africa, no one is clean…especially the West.

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