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In every state and region, the introduction of Democratic institutions will inevitably produce varied and unexpected outcomes.
Further, there always exists the possibility of “Democratic Paradox” — when democratic institutions and traditions choose to freely embrace something less than, or other than, democracy.
We Africans have unfortunately seen this scenario before — various nation states increasingly viewing our continent as an area of major geopolitical importance and contention. China, India, Europe, and others are aware of this and are all competing with each other and the United States for access to Africa’s abundant oil, natural gas, and other natural resources. More recently, terrorist organizations are said to have established footholds in West Africa’s Sahel region.
By the end of the decade, for example, sub-Saharan Africa is likely to become as important a source of U. The world’s major powers are also becoming more active in seeking out investments, winning commercial contracts and markets, and building political support on the continent. For example, China has combined its large investment in Sudan’s oil industry with protection of the government of Sudan from UN sanctions for the ongoing attacks in Darfur. Africans, we are told, have also been recruited for terrorism in Iraq and implicated in the Subway bombings in London.
Although the stated intention of political leaders and economic policymakers is to stabilize the system by inhibiting fluctuations, the result tends to be the opposite.
These artificially constrained systems become prone to ‘Black Swans’ -- that is, they become extremely vulnerable to large-scale events that lie far from the statistical norm and were largely unpredictable to a given set of observers.” “Such environments” he continues, “eventually experience massive blowups, catching everyone off-guard and undoing years of stability or, in some cases, ending up far worse than they were in their initial volatile state.
The Times quotes Stephen Mc Inerney of the Project on Middle East Democracy explaining, “We didn’t fund them to start protests, but we did help support their development of skills and networking.”Clearly, the recent onset of anti-government demonstrations against US client states, across Africa and the Middle East, has brought the blatant hypocrisy of U. foreign policy into uncomplimentary and certainly undesired focus and Washington’s foreign policy inconsistencies, in Africa and the Middle East most prominently, stand exposed.
These artificially created structures, surrounding and concentrating large numbers of dissimilar cultural groups (tribes), have tended to breed and exacerbate inter-group tensions and rivalries, and larger inter-country conflicts — Sierra Leone, Sudan, Angola, Dem. of the Congo, and Rwanda being contemporary examples of this dynamic.
Taleb explains that virtually all complex systems - social, economic and otherwise - that have artificially suppressed volatility tend to become extremely fragile, while at the same time exhibiting no visible risks.
“In fact”, says Taleb, “they tend to be too calm and exhibit minimal variability as silent risks accumulate beneath the surface.
US: While the end result of the dramatic political transitions presently underway in the Middle East and Africa remains unclear, it is crucial to understand that these events have not occurred in a vacuum, and contrary to the belief of many, history did not begin yesterday.
All these occurrences, to one degree or another, are the result (intended or otherwise) of the convergent and cumulative manipulations of myriad domestic and extra-regional players, in frequently brutal pursuit of their individually perceived regional (and personal) interests.