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View Diary: Gambia: President plans to kill all homosexuals (395 comments)

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  •  Where Does One Begin? (5+ / 0-)

    The Gambia is one messed up place, for all its natural beauty.

    A nutcase at the top doesn't help.  But the nation's problems run deep.  The current President took power in a coup ratified by civilian elections since then.  

    But even a compentent government would have a hard time addressing the enormous problems the nation faces.  This is a society with few easily exploited natural resources, where half of the population is under the age of eighteen, the average woman has five children in a lifetime, three-quarters of the population are subsistence farmers, and only about half of men and a third of women can read and write.

    It isn't a matter of vast natural resources being diverted for military ends, as it is in North Korea, despite the military roots of its leader.  The Gambia's military budget is about $7 million -- less than the U.S. spends on two platoons of soldiers.

    There is no significant oil or mineral wealth to fuel the kleptocracies found in much of the third world.

    I very much doubt that there are any out gays or lesbians in the country.  His call for a pogrom is likely a frustrated response for international attention (fulled by mainstream for Gambia Islamist hate of gays), as part of a larger effort to try to create some sense of order and discipline in a disfunctional society.  Some hapless scape goat will probably end up dead as a result.

    Revolution is forestalled mostly, one suspects, by the knowledge of just how much of an orgy of violence, horror and misery emerged from civil wars in nearby Sierra Leone (The Gambia is home to about six thousand refugees from that conflict) and Liberia.

    Tourism in the region is already in the shitter.  For example, a major international sports even in neighboring Senegal was recently called off in the wake of Islamic terrorist threats.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" -- Voltaire

    by ohwilleke on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:09:47 PM PDT

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