[OPE-L] Elite debating skills: Bernard Henri-Levy attacks Sarkozy's "Eurafrique" speech

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Sat Oct 13 2007 - 06:58:48 EDT

9 October 2007 PARIS (AFP) - A star French philosopher on Tuesday attacked
President Nicolas Sarkozy's speechwriter as a "racist" over an address
suggesting Africans were to blame for their continent's problems. Speaking
on France Inter radio, Bernard-Henri Levy [BHL is not known for leftist
sympathies - JB] attacked presidential advisor Henri Guiano over the
contents of a speech delivered by Sarkozy in the Senegalese capital Dakar in
July, which sparked an uproar on the continent.

"Guaino, he's a racist.... He's the one who wrote this vile speech... saying
that if Africa wasn't developed it was because Africans were not part of
history," Henri-Levy charged. The writer stressed that Sarkozy, who "himself
is not a racist", must have "discovered the speech on the plane".

"To say such a thing, completely forgetting colonisation, the destruction of
the country by this shameful period of colonialism, that is pure Guaino, and
it is racism," he said.

In the Dakar speech, Sarkozy argued that "colonisation is not responsible
for all of Africa's current troubles", saying: "The African peasant only
knows the eternal renewal of time, rhythmed by the endless repetition of the
same gestures and the same words. "In this imaginary world where everything
starts over and over again, there is no place for human adventure or for the
idea of progress." "Never does man reach out towards the future. Never does
it occur to him to end the cycle of repetition and invent a destiny for
himself," he said.

Complete article:
http://www.expatica.com/actual/article.asp?subchannel_id=25&story_id=44758The actual full text of the speech:

(PS - earlier, back in Switzerland,

Tuesday, October 9, 2007; ZURICH -- At 1:30 a.m., Antonio da Costa heard a
knock at the back entrance of the McDonald's restaurant where he worked as a
janitor after-hours. He opened the door, he recalled in an interview. There
stood two men, each gripping a chain saw. One yanked the cord on his saw,
stepped toward da Costa and shouted above the roaring machine: "We don't
need Africans in our country. We're here to kill you!" The two masked
assailants cornered da Costa and began raking him with the whirring
chain-saw blades. They slashed one arm to the bone, nearly sliced off his
left thumb and hacked his face, neck and chest, the 37-year-old Angolan
said, his voice quavering as he recounted the May 1 attack. (...) Da Costa,
who came to Switzerland 11 years ago as an Angolan war refugee, said he had
grown accustomed to the racial slurs and looks of suspicion from white Swiss
over the years. But he said nothing prepared him for the two men and their
chain saws. "We know Switzerland is a nice country, there's security
everywhere," said da Costa, who speaks three languages but has worked most
of his time in Switzerland as a janitor. "You never think something like
this can happen. "I couldn't defend myself against two chain saws," he said.
As they slashed at him with the buzzing blades, da Costa said, he tried in
vain to protect his face with his arms. "I couldn't feel my fingers. I was
on my knees. I tried to tell them I didn't want trouble, I just came here to
work. They were treating me like I was an animal." "One put the chain saw on
top of my head and said, 'We're going to cut you in half.' " He closed his
eyes at the memory. "I tried to hide my eyes. I didn't want to see the way
they were going to kill me," he continued, in French. "I was praying. In my
head I'd already died. I'd lost all hope of living. "Then it was a miracle.
He saved me," da Costa said, referring to God. "I found the courage inside.
I got up and pushed open the door with my chest because I couldn't use my
arms, and ran." He fell, breaking his teeth; the men stood over him and
tried to restart the saws, but could not, he said. He sprang up and jumped a
fence, eluding them. That night he underwent six hours of surgery to stitch
the cuts on his face, chest and arms and reattach his left thumb. Five
months after the attack, half of his face is slathered in a white salve, his
left arm remains in a red cast, 16 purple slashes are outlined on his right
arm and damaged teeth continue to fall out. "My own children are afraid of
me -- my own children," said da Costa, his eyes welling with tears. "They
want to know, 'Why did somebody cut up my daddy?' " Complete article:

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