Ronald Suresh Roberts

Aids denialist Brink’s loony letter to Mbeki

Here is the previously unknown text of a loony letter that the Aids denialist Anthony Brink asked me to deliver to Thabo Mbeki a mere three days after he introduced himself to me in a Cape Town book shop. The letter is so very obviously bonkers that I, of course, never gave it to the…

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Aids, poverty and racism: A further complicity of opposites

As I pointed out in my last post, “Gevisser on Aids”, the Aids-drug lobby (which has long overstated the centrality of antiretroviral treatment in an effective Aids policy for Africa) join in a complicity of opposites with the Aids denialists (who deny that HIV causes Aids and that Aids exists) when it comes to President…

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Gevisser on Aids: A complicity of opposites

The Aids debate has entered a fascinating phase with Mark Gevisser’s nervous and hesitant — yet unmistakable — admission that President Thabo Mbeki is not now, nor has he ever been, an Aids denialist. Queried by the Sunday Times on Mbeki’s Aids stance, Gevisser replied: “He [Mbeki] doesn’t call it denialism, and I agree with…

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The colour of money

The great critic of bourgeois hypocrisy, HonorĂ© de Balzac, reminded us in Father Goriot that behind every great fortune is a forgotten crime, forgotten because it was done neatly. But what exactly does it mean to do a crime neatly? Balzac did not mean mere cat-burglar prowess at the drainpipe, nor the tricky finesse of…

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The chicken-hawks of the media wars

The most prominent chicken-hawks of recent times are those — such as United States Vice-President Dick Cheney — who, while pushing for war, also push with great finesse for personal exemption from its risks. Thus Cheney, the two-time warmonger of Iraq (1991 and 2003), famously dodged combat in Vietnam, pleading that he had “other priorities”;…

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