One cannot help but be a bit proud of French President Sarkozy for standing firmly upon the principles of democracy. Not shaking the hands of dictator Mugabe is indeed one of the mildest signs of disrespect. In fact, if one should comment upon the lack of common human rights one could use far STRONGER language, and still be well within the bounds of common decency.
Let’s face it. There are big challenges ahead of us in trying to ingrain a certain sense of common decency and human rights into many of the countries in Africa. None of these countries have the kind of democratic tradition that we have developed…. But have you ever thought about how Europe came about?
European history is filled with breaches of human rights. Before the Reformation there was even, in some areas, a religious intolerance towards those who thought differently from the ruling elite. Royal mismanagement of funds has also played a part in revolutions etc.
Therefore, a realization of our own background doesn’t deny where we were here in Europe only a few centuries back, but it recognizes the need for us all to help teach sibling nations some of the many lessons we should have learned long ago. That would bring tolerance and freedom of speech to nations that truly need this to enter the 21st century.
That would also bring peace to the planet, and would that be such a bad thing? I think not…. 🙂