Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Salon-Review, Scramble for Africa.. By Steven Fake and Kevin Funk

The Sunday

Yesterday my little Mystery slipped on some ice and injured her back leg. She's walking on it, but tentatively. I guess today it's off to the vet for an x-ray. She is a little greyhound and very brave, but I think it must be sprained. I spent most of my time this weekend with her. I am in the middle of reading Canvey Island for Library Thing, it finally arrived from the November picks. Up next on the nightstand is Mrs. Lincoln, and The Rose of Sebastopol.

The Scramble for Africa
Darfur-Intervention and the USA

By Steven Fake and Kevin Funk
Black Rose Books
301 pages, pb.

You may have seen the signs Save Darfur Now, and many other organizations all with good intentions aimed at helping to bring awareness, gain support in Washington, and raise money all to benefit the refugees of Darfur. In Steven Fake and Kevin Funk’s book The Scramble for Africa they will provide research and show why none of this money reaches the people of Darfur. They will show why the US government is more interested in their own self interests, the war on terrorism and oil than “humanitarian intervention.”

China is in this race to commercialize Africa and gain control of oil. So if the US doesn’t enter the race, some other country will. The US also has a stake in Africa since 911, and their interest in Africa is also in fighting terrorism.

The authors kindle many questions as you read the book as your mind becomes a muddled mass of gray matter. For example, Why aren’t we concerned about the Iraq war and the need for humanitarian intervention there. As of August 2007 they claim 1.2 million people have been killed, with several million refugees. The troubles in the Congo have taken more lives than any since WWII, more than 5 million people. Even more amazing is that since 2002 they are still loosing 45,000 people, mostly children each month, primarily from disease. So why are we not advocating action for humanitarian intervention there?

When you read The Scramble for Africa, there is a sense of foreboding and failure throughout, but we can’t keep hiding behind untruths. Can we? We can’t keep ignoring the newspapers and believe what editorial opinion offers. Can we? We can’t and shouldn’t keep throwing away money for causes we think are helping when they are creating more harm. Can we? Is the conflict and killing in Darfur defined as genocide in the global community? Is the discovery of oil truly driving the race?

Difficult questions have no affable answers as the authors offer convincing data, past historical events, professional articles, primary documents and a plethora of publications to support their arguments. Bold gutsy writing with a clear purpose this is an intellectually decisive work about Darfur and the US, missing from libraries until now.
What I found most amazing was their ability to clearly delineate these complex problems in a fascinating compelling style. A requisite read for anyone who wants a clearer understanding about Darfur, Intervention, and the US involvement in Africa. Make sure this is not left out of your TBR list this year.


Literary Feline said...

Oh no! I hope Mystery will be okay. My Riley seems to be straining one of his front legs frequently lately. I think he's getting too old to be trying to jump so high at the fence anymore.

The book you mention sounds interesting. I think that with any world situation like the one in Darfur, there is much more to it than meets the eye. I read a book last year about Lebanon and it was an eye opening experience for me.

The Bookworm said...

I hope Mystery is feeling better!

The Scramble for Africa does sound intense.

wisteria said...

Literary Feline & Naida

I took her to the Vet, because she was crying all night and this morning. He said it was a badly bruised patella(kneecap). On a fat it is very painful. He gave her anti-inflammatory and antibiotic. She is like a little baby because she is the smallest even though she is the ALPHA dog. Top Dog. LOL
Cute but tenacious.

LF....Would you let me know what the book on Lebanon was, I'm super interested in that area.
If you can remember....

Naida..It is intense but easy to get through and so much information we are not getting.