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Dr A A Agbormbai
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An irresponsible article.
Thanks, dt. I shall be following up on that, as I imagine they are condensed articles.
I'm sorry guys, I'm not a historian. I don't have time to be reading books that are meant for historians. I have my own professional books to grind (some of which are as long as 700 pages) as well as projects to complete. So citing extensive references on Cameroonian history covering that period is not going to help. What I need are condensed authoritative factual articles written by balanced intellectuals, not by those who have an emotional axe to grind. Thanks.
Absorbing! There seems to be a whole area of Cameroonian history that is never taught or recognised in Cameroon. This concerns the decade before independence (i.e. the 1950s), the role of the UPC, the fight for independence, how Ahidjo came to power, and why the UPC rebelled against him. In my mind, it seems that a great injustice was done here but I don't have the facts (as this period of Cameroonian history seems to be a black box for most Cameroonians). I would welcome more authoritative writing in this area. For instance, is it true that the UPC burned down whole villages in order to get their way? How would that then tie up with their claims for defending the people's rights.
Regarding the Dutch goalkeeper mentioned in my commentary above, his full name is Hans van Breukelen, not van Breuklyn. Job, Regarding... "Nobody in Cameroon wants to quit. Song is following in the foots steps of Milla, Paul Biya, and a host of other Ministers." You shouldn't be mentioning Milla in such circles. Milla got better and better as he grew older, and without his goals at age 38 Cameroon would not have reached the quarter finals of the 1990 World Cup. I like to see players go on if they are still performing, but not when it is clear for all to see that their time is up.
'shop-stopper' should be 'shot-stopper'
Kameni too needs to stop diving at the feet of strikers (especially when a defender is already tackling them). He makes it too easy for them, as they can easily get past him or he can give away a penalty. He's a fine shop-stopper, so why not simply advance to narrow the gap available to the striker and then wait for the striker to have to work out how to get past him. It's a bit of psychology here. Basically, he's making the striker to have to think or to work to get past him. Many strikers can't handle this situation, as the former Danish keeper Peter Schmeichel proved, time and time again, in his displays for Manchester United and Denmark. Or if he must tackle strikers why not learn how to do it without giving away a penalty by watching the videos of the former Dutch keeper van Breuklyn (he played in the 1980s and he is the best I've seen in a one-on-one situation with a striker). Basically, he never dived at the feet of a striker, but would harass him until he ran out of ideas. He kept his eye on the ball and battled with the striker without ever giving him a chance to go down. Most strikers simply ran out of ideas, and only the best strikers could get past him in this situation.
I think Bikey and Bassong should make a more than good enough central defence for Cameroon. I agree that it's time to leave Song out of the side completely. He's been a bit of a problem for Cameroon down the years.
Magnificent! A very enlightening piece.
There is certainly no doubt that Jacob Nguni is an exceptional guitarist. Even to the musical novice like me, it is easy to recognise that two things hit you most clearly when listening to Nico Mbarga's music: the singing and the guitar play. While listening to the music, a constant question that comes to mind is: Who is this genius guitarist who pulls the strings so emaculately? This was as true when I listened to the music in the seventies as it is now when I listen to it via YouTube.
While a few examples can be quoted where dictatorship has worked, the fact remains that it is a very risky form of government to rely on for success. This is probably why South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore decided to move on to democracies. Democracy is safer and is more assured. The problem with dictatorships really comes from human nature. Human nature is intrinsically bad, and therefore the probability of the wrong person getting to the top of a dictatorship is extremely high. Put the wrong person at the top and you only get trouble for the country. Dictatorships are inherently failures - if not now then later. They may succeed at some stage in the life of a country, but if they are allowed to persist they will create problems. On the other hand, democracies are stable and create a WIN-WIN solution for all citizens when properly formulated. Their safety and reliability derives from their ability to cope with both good and bad leaders. Good leaders will produce the goods by harnessing the collective intelligence of the nation and channelling it into productive outcomes. Bad leaders will be quickly discovered (from their prevailing poor performance or conduct) and quickly sacked through a VOTE-OF-NO-CONFIDENCE procedure that is built into the constitution, or though IMPEACHMENT procedures. These procedures will be activated for serious cases of incompetence, misdeeds, etc. For mild cases, the leader will simply get one term of office and then be VOTED OUT by the people when he or she attempts to gain another term. So, a robust, well-thought-out, well-oiled democracy by far exceeds a dictatorship and produces harmonious outcomes for all citizens. If Cameroon were a well-founded democracy Paul Biya would have been forced out of the scene decades ago, and Cameroon would have been spared its humiliation. It is this ability of a democracy to correct itself, without needing the goodwill of a particular person, that makes it such a robust and productive system. This ability has been exploited several times (to stay on course) by the well-founded democracies of the world, a good example of which is the UK. On this note, I shall point out that I am not the greatest fan of the US democratic system. I don't think it is well-founded. When I spent 2 1/4 years in the US recently I had the occasion to experience its democratic system in action, as Obama overcame hurdles to become President. I even feel that the weaknesses that I found in the system are fundamental to the Presidential system of governance, and would be found in other countries that had such a system. I was very shocked by the low moral standards of the US when compared to the UK. Also, George Bush was an incompetent President who caused great damage to the country, yet the democratic system allowed him to rule for two terms! We all know what this caused for the US nation and the world. I personally believe that the uncritical, sales-promotion oriented nature of the US Press was responsible for the failure of the system. And believe me, I saw with my own eyes that, in spite of all the problems, the system would have failed again and brought another Republican (John McCain) to power. McCain's policies were only marginally different from Bush's. Do you know what this could have done to the US, a nation of hot heads? Possibly, civil war due to economic hardship! By the way... Note that taking draconian measures against an offender (as someone cited above with Singapore) does not make a nation a dictatorship. Draconian measures are EXAMPLE-SETTERS and are designed to SCARE people from an offence or to discourage repeat-offenders. Such measures can be effective attributes of a democracy. In fact, I prefer them because they change behaviour very quickly. On the other hand, they must be used sparingly and with considerable care and thought.
Toggle Commented Jan 3, 2010 on Paul Biya and 2010 at Up Station Mountain Club
While a few examples can be quoted where dictatorship has worked, the fact remains that it is a very risky form of government to rely on for success. This is probably why South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore decided to move on to democracies. Democracy is safer and is more assured. The problem with dictatorships really comes from human nature. Human nature is intrinsically bad, and therefore the probability of the wrong person getting to the top of a dictatorship is extremely high. Put the wrong person at the top and you only get trouble for the country. Dictatorships are inherently failures - if not now then later. They may succeed at some stage in the life of a country, but if they are allowed to persist they will create problems. On the other hand, democracies are stable and create a WIN-WIN solution for all citizens when properly formulated. Their safety and reliability derives from their ability to cope with both good and bad leaders. Good leaders will produce the goods by harnessing the collective intelligence of the nation and channelling it into productive outcomes. Bad leaders will be quickly discovered (from their prevailing poor performance or conduct) and quickly sacked through a VOTE-OF-NO-CONFIDENCE procedure that is built into the constitution, or though IMPEACHMENT procedures. These procedures will be activated for serious cases of incompetence, misdeeds, etc. For mild cases, the leader will simply get one term of office and then be VOTED OUT by the people when he or she attempts to gain another term. So, a robust, well-thought-out, well-oiled democracy by far exceeds a dictatorship and produces harmonious outcomes for all citizens. If Cameroon were a well-founded democracy Paul Biya would have been forced out of the scene decades ago, and Cameroon would have been spared its humiliation. It is this ability of a democracy to correct itself, without needing the goodwill of a particular person, that makes it such a robust and productive system. This ability has been exploited several times (to stay on course) by the well-founded democracies of the world, a good example of which is the UK. On this note, I shall point out that I am not the greatest fan of the US democratic system. I don't think it is well-founded. When I spent 2 1/4 years in the US recently I had the occasion to experience its democratic system in action, as Obama overcame hurdles to become President. I even feel that the weaknesses that I found in the system are fundamental to the Presidential system of governance, and would be found in other countries that had such a system. I was very shocked by the low moral standards of the US when compared to the UK. Also, George Bush was an incompetent President who caused great damage to the country, yet the democratic system allowed him to rule for two terms! We all know what this caused for the US nation and the world. I personally believe that the uncritical, sales-promotion oriented nature of the US Press was responsible for the failure of the system. And believe me, I saw with my own eyes that, in spite of all the problems, the system would have failed again and brought another Republican (John McCain) to power. McCain's policies were only marginally different from Bush's. Do you know what this could have done to the US, a nation of hot heads? Possibly, civil war due to economic hardship! By the way... Note that taking draconian measures against an offender (as someone cited above with Singapore) does not make a nation a dictatorship. Draconian measures are EXAMPLE-SETTERS and are designed to SCARE people from an offence or to discourage repeat-offenders. Such measures can be effective attributes of a democracy. In fact, I prefer them because they change behaviour very quickly. On the other hand, they must be used sparingly and with considerable care and thought.
Toggle Commented Jan 3, 2010 on Paul Biya and 2010 at Up Station Mountain Club
Mr Biya, For Cameroon to enter the league of successful nations it must EMULATE the actions, methods, and thinking of these nations. Cameroon is currently too steeped in the brutal methods and thinking of the early post-independence period. This was a period of instability and divergent views... inter-tribal suspicion and great political differences. Out of this confusion it was necessary to carve out a nation. Hence Ahidjo opted for the simplistic dictatorial politics of one-man rule allied with ruthless repression, intimidation, and political assasination, to stun the nation into order. Basically, Ahidjo faced the amazing complexity of governing heterogeneous groups of people and employed methods that his limited academic and practical education opened up to him. His goal was peace and stability, regardless of the cost in human lives. You took over from Ahidjo and essentially you carried on with his goal of peace and stability regardless of the cost. You are more flexible than Ahidjo was, but the dictatorial essence and repression of Ahidjo has remained. While Ahidjo was direct in his intimidation you've employed manipulation and cunning, allied with a culture of corruption, fraud, and deceit. In your Cameroon, moral standards are at an all time low and laziness is at an all time high. The democratic process in Cameroon is constantly manipulated by you so that you alone can end up winner. You use the dictatorial powers given to you by the Constitution to intimidate Parliament and the Supreme Court to do as you say. This arrangement is at the heart of why Cameroon cannot really progress today. And is why I am fully committed to destroying this arrangement, so that Cameroon can be re-established on a solid democratic footprint with a strong independent Parliament and a strong independent Judiciary. Parliament must learn that it is there to serve Cameroon and not the President. Similarly, the Judiciary must learn that it is there to serve Cameroon and not the President. Returning to the building of the Cameroon nation, it must be noted sadly that the preoccupation with keeping heterogeneous groups together (as the sole objective of the country) has dominated Cameroonian politics since Independence. Fifty years is too long a time to maintain this status quo. For instance, you and other past and current leaders of Cameroon consider the country successful merely because it has been able to keep itself together for 50 years... there is peace, there is stability, therefore the nation is successful. WRONG! As noted earlier, for Cameroon to enter the league of successful nations it must EMULATE the actions, methods, and thinking of these nations. Cameroon cannot be a progressive nation with its current political and administrative structure. You have explained brilliantly why this cumbersome, negative, brutal, and repressive system was necessary. Your explanation is embodied in this extract: "Let us however remember that before independence came, some had been dreaming about it, had fought to obtain it and had sacrificed their lives for it. Our people shall forever be grateful to them. What were we to do with the legacy inherited from them? Build a Nation from groups whose differences outnumbered their commonalities and whom the colonizers had lumped together within arbitrary boundaries. Building a Nation means forging the desire to live together as well as the desire to continue to assert the legacy received. This is a daunting challenge which fifty years have not been too much to meet." 50 years on, CAMEROON MUST BE REDEFINED on a new pedestal that emulates the actions, methods, and thinking of successful nations. The cumbersome, negative, brutal, and repressive current system must be replaced by a positive, well-oiled, and robust democratic system that encourages achievement and progress while discouraging individual manipulation (especially by the President). The President must have NO POWERS OVER Parliament or the Judiciary.
Very interesting!
Toggle Commented Dec 26, 2009 on Entering Fortress Europe at Up Station Mountain Club
Brilliant article!