Friday, December 01, 2006

FROM THE PUBLISHER >>It's cold, but Africa is too hot just now

The cold weather blew in from the southwest, but we escaped an ice storm, which is not uncommon around here in early December.

Grocers may have run out of bread and cheese dip, but it’s warm enough now for folks to restock their pantry for the next six weeks or so, or until Ground Hog Day, when we’ll know for sure when spring is on its way. We’ve had fine weather this fall as temperatures often climbed into the 70s, although it hasn’t been as warm as it is in Africa, where our friend Tommy Robinson is thinking about doing some business.

We’ve found out the former congressman will not go to the Democratic Republic of Congo for a while, even though he says he has a $12,000 a month lobbying contract with the newly elected president, Joseph Kabila.

“It’s dangerous for Americans over there,” Robinson told us.

It’s dangerous not only for Americans, but for the Congolese, too.

The DRC is in the midst of a civil war that so far has killed four million people. I wouldn’t be looking for a job there, but Robinson thinks he can advise the government on how to land business deals here.

A lot of people will say Tommy is a great talker and as a businessman he’s had more flops than an old Broadway producer looking for his first hit.

Robinson is trying to dig himself out of bankruptcy and hopes to get a fat check from the president of the DRC, a country in dire straits like much of Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East, where conflicts are raging and millions are dying.
Nations are at war with themselves from Baghdad to Beirut, from Sri Lanka to Afghanistan, from Sudan to Ivory Coast, from Colombia to Chechniya.

I should have asked the former congressman (and former Pulaski County sheriff and Jacksonville police chief), when he thought it might be safe to travel to Africa, but I don’t think any sensible American should go abroad anywhere anytime soon.

I don’t think we can be much help to foreigners right now. The civil war in Iraq gets much worse, and there’s no end in sight to the fighting, despite recommendations from the Baker Commission that the U.S. should hand over more security to the Iraqis themselves.

Well, good luck on that. Come to think of it, that may be a job for Tommy Robinson, who could tie up all the bad guys in Iraq around the palm trees and let the improvised explosive devices take care of the rest.
But I don’t think the Baker Commission will accept that as a viable solution, but Tommy might.