<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d15474929\x26blogName\x3dTHE+DC+TEACHER\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttps://thedcteacher.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://thedcteacher.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d4389890532959782347', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Saturday, December 23, 2006

BLOOD DIAMONDS: Big on Carnage, Small on Insight

BLOOD DIAMONDS: Big on carnage, small on insight By Eugene Hawkins From Clarity Press Inc. Edward Zwick's film, Blood Diamonds, shocks the viewer with scenes of senseless carnage and violence, but it offers little insight into the sad and tragic civil war in Sierra Leone. The destitute West African country has endured centuries of enslavement and economic, social and political exploitation by European whites (the Portuguese, the Spanish,the British) and their corrupt local African cohorts in government.When insurrection finally broke out in 1991, the RevolutionaryUnited Front had a valid and just cause. The country's population was locked in poverty and underdevelopment while outsiders pillaged its rich natural resources, aided by the dominant local Lebanese trading community. While therevolutionary movement itself was ultimately corrupted by its ceaseless quest to control the diamond trade and its brutal tactics to achieve political power, the film's simplistic portrayal of the RUF as violent drug-crazed thugs and robot-like child soldiers discounts the legitimacy of the struggle and discredits its participants. Of equal importance and a central contradiction within the film itself is its duplicitous presentation of the so-called Kimberly Process, which seeks to trace raw diamonds from discovery down through the marketing process, in order to certify that they are not so-called "blood diamonds" -- those used to finance and fuel African insurrections. This just happens to correspond nicely to the diamond cartel's efforts to maintain high world prices by restricting supply. The Kimberly Process offers little to the poor and dispossessed majority of Sierra Leoneans and does nothing to respond to their developmental needs. Eugene Harkins is the author of Where Witch Birds Fly, a novel on the civil war in Sierra Leone _____________________________________________ Portside aims to provide material of interestto people on the left that will help them tointerpret the world and to change it.


Post a Comment

<< Home