The Internet is one of the most powerful and efficient means of
Despite the downturn in so-called "e-content" sector businesses, the
Web will become the prime way of delivering news and information
This may already be true in the U.S. for text-only data. In the next 10
years it will be true for video and audio information as well.
The revolutionary power of this new medium is already being felt.
We felt it here in the U.S. with the election of George Bush. I doubt
that Bush would have won against a near-incumbent like Al Gore
with a brimming economy.
The Washington Post reported that in a post-election showdown
with Clinton, Gore blamed Clinton for his loss, reportedly citing his
Of course, it wasn't on the major networks that talk of the Clinton
scandals spread like wildfire. It was on the Internet.
The revolutionary impulse of the Web is now being felt worldwide.
I strongly believe that Communist China is ratcheting up tensions
with the U.S. over surveillance planes and Taiwan to stir nationalist
The Chinese leadership knows that powerful forces have been
unleashed in China - propelled by the Internet - that could well
break the lock-grip of the Central Committee of the Communist
The Internet is revolutionary and a force for good, because
information and truth can spread quickly.
The Internet exposes lies and deceit, as the Communist Chinese
are finding out.
Let me give you an example of the power of the Web to unmask
wrongdoing by government.
The new South African government has been engaging in a not so
quiet censorship program.
In fact, things are far worse for press freedom than they were during
the days of apartheid.
A Web site called censorbugbear.com has become South Africa's
Democracy Wall - exposing government corruption, soaring crime
rates, murder campaigns against white farmers and the exploding
The site is run by Dutch-born journalist Adriana Stuijt and draws
from independent journalists.
Stuijt, who was a bureau for a major South African newspaper, has
retired back to Holland in the wake of the new press repression, but
still maintains an active interest in things South African.
An independent journalist, Stuijt actively exposed government
crimes during what she calls the "dark, evil days of apartheid."
She was the lead investigator of South Africa's crime wave against
blacks by so-called "white wolf murderers," young white males who
were used by the apartheid government as extra-governmental
No doubt, Stuijt was part of a free press that helped make South
Africa a democracy.
Apparently the government, now controlled by the ANC, is not such a
big fan of democracy or a free press.
According to Stuijt and others, the worsening corruption of the South
African government and the collapse of an independent press have
now led to disaster for South Africans and for people in Europe and
across the globe.
I am referring to the spread of the dreaded foot-and-mouth disease.
FMD didn't start in South Africa, but it did spread from there.
I recall getting several e-mails from Stuijt many months ago
explaining that South Africa had an outbreak of foot-and-mouth
She wrote in the e-mails that it was a local story so I might not be
interested, but the story showed how the government was ignoring
or hiding problems from its citizens and other governments.
At that time I had heard nothing of FMD, and don't remember even
responding to her e-mails.
But when the disease made major headlines in Britain, I
remembered those e-mails.
Today, a growing number of people are aware of South Africa's
complicity in the spread of FMD.
In a recent edition of Britain's Spectator, Frederick Forsyth, the
famous author, writes:
The key is that there are seven variants of the FMD virus and
[Britain's] is a particularly rare strain in the West: the Pan Asian
Strain. I understand it has never appeared before now west of the
Twentieth Meridian. Last September an oriental freighter docked
near Durban [South Africa] and offloaded buckets of kitchen scraps.
The infected meat was used as pig swill locally, and the virus began
to rage across South Africa, a major exporter of cheap meat to
Stuijt gives more details. She has written a three-part series for
NewsMax.com on South Africa's role in FMD, as well as a growing
anthrax problem there and the continuing nasty issue of white
farmers being massacred.
What is happening in South Africa is important to America and the
rest of the world.
Economically speaking, South Africa is the most important African
It is integrated into the fabric of the world economy. A tear there has
a ripping effect elsewhere.
FMD proves the point.
The Internet has helped catch the South African government
red-handed. We can only hope that a free and vibrant press, with the
help of the Internet, can bring real reform to South Africa.
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