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Geography Archives: Rwanda

Colored Revolutions in Colored Lenses: A Comparative Analysis of U.S. and Russian Press Coverage of Political Movements in Ukraine, Belarus, and Uzbekistan

  This study compared The New York Times‘ and The Moscow Times‘ coverage of the political movements in three former Soviet republics.  Data analysis revealed a clear pro-movement pattern in The New York Times’ reporting.  The U.S. newspaper used more pro-movement sources than pro-incumbent sources.  Overall, The New York Times depicted the protesters favorably and […]

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Goldstonewalled! US Congress Endorses Israeli War Crimes

“It is part of morality not to be at home in one’s home.” — Edward Said On the afternoon of November 3, 2009, the United States House of Representatives voted in favor of House Resolution 867 (H.Res.867), an AIPAC-backed bill that urges both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to “oppose unequivocally […]

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Jewish Appeal to Support the Goldstone Report

The following open letter (Jewish Appeal to Support the Goldstone Report) was initiated by Jews Say No! and signed by hundreds of individuals and organizations worldwide.  The letter was also sent to Justice Goldstone.  Click here to sign onto the letter. Jewish Appeal to Support the Goldstone Report The primary author of the recently released […]

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The State in Africa

Vernacular Politics in Africa

  1 The republication of Jean-François Bayart’s classic book-length essay, The State in Africa: The Politics of the Belly, is an opportunity to reflect on the hypotheses he raises and their application to Sudan and especially Darfur.  Bayart’s book mentions Sudan only in passing but the scope of his ambition is certainly relevant to Sudan […]

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A Letter to The Economist

25 August 2009 To the Editor The Economist Dear Sir, This is with regard to the review of my book Listening to Grasshoppers that appeared in The Economist. If this letter is long, ironically it is because the factual errors in the review are so many. In an attempt to highlight my “flawed reporting and […]

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The Responsibility to Protect, the International Criminal Court, and Foreign Policy in Focus: Subverting the UN Charter in the Name of Human Rights

It was just a matter of time before members of the collapsing left enlisted in the imperial attack on the most fundamental principles of the UN Charter, and added their voices to the growing chorus of support for Western power-projection under the Responsibility to Protect doctrine (R2P) and the International Criminal Court (ICC).  But this […]

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Uneven Development Is the Root of Many Crimes

Address to the United Nations General Assembly Thematic Dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect, the United Nations, New York,  23 July 2009 The phrase, responsibility to protect, brings to my mind painful memories of lack of protection of many people who died of ethnic cleansing in Kenya earlier this year.  The incidents of ethnic cleansing […]

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Responsibility to Protect?

On July 23, a debate concerning the Responsibility to Protect took place in front of the General Assembly of the United Nations.  The responsibility to protect (R2P) is a notion agreed to by world leaders in 2005 that holds States responsible for shielding their own populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and related crimes […]

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The Original Seal of Massachusetts

“Come Over and Help Us”: A History of R2P

Address to the United Nations General Assembly Thematic Dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect, the United Nations, New York,  23 July 2009 The discussions about Responsibility to Protect (R2P), or its cousin “humanitarian intervention,” are regularly disturbed by the rattling of a skeleton in the closet: history, to the present moment. Throughout history, there have […]

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The Atrocity Exhibition

Some Brief Notes on Congolese History Since its inception the Congo has been raped.  Its origins as a state are unique within African history, initiated, as it was, not as a colony but as the personal property of King Leopold II of Belgium; an obscene figure whose 23-year reign was cloaked in the empty rhetoric […]

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The Many Faces of Humanitarianism

  Humanism and Human Rights Who or what is the ‘human’ of human rights and the ‘humanity’ of humanitarianism?  The question sounds naïve, silly even.  Yet, important philosophical and ontological questions are involved.  If rights are given to beings on account of their humanity, ‘human’ nature with its needs, characteristics and desires is the normative […]

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Africa: Tractored Out by “Land Grabs”?

JOHANNESBURG, 11 May 2009 (IRIN) — Rich countries and firms are leasing or buying massive tracts of land in developing nations for the production of food or biofuel.  An area equivalent to Germany’s farmed land is at stake, and tens of billions of dollars on offer.  On the plus side, agro-industrial production could develop underused […]

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Lessons from History: The Case against AFRICOM

  Africa has historically been less of a priority to U.S. foreign policy planners than other regions, such as the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.  This was certainly the case when George W. Bush took office in 2001.  But during the course of his tenure, “Africa’s position in the U.S. strategic spectrum . […]

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Humanitarian Blues

  Conor Foley, The Thin Blue Line: How Humanitarianism Went to War, Verso, 2008. All is not well within the world of humanitarian aid organisations.  In his new book, The Thin Blue Line, Conor Foley, an experienced aid worker, discusses many of the problems associated with the burgeoning relationship between contemporary aid organisations and recent […]

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Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror

Saviors and Survivors

Mahmood Mamdani’s Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror is the most ambitious book yet on the Darfur crisis.  Unlike the vast majority of other writing on the crisis, which is political science, human rights, or ethnographic narrative, specific to the Darfurian or the Sudanese situation, Mamdani places Darfur in deep and […]

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Label on the remains of a missile that killed three paramedics and a child, Gaza, January 2009

Lines in the Sand: The Mad Activist Writes Gaza

Dear People of Gaza, I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize for doing absolutely nothing in the last few months to stop your suffering. Although I cannot feel your pain, I have seen it on the news.  I’ve read that 1.5 million of you civilians endured weeks of being fired on and bombed with […]

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Zimbabwe Ten Years On: Results and Prospects

  After a decade of political polarization and international standoff, the debate on Zimbabwe has finally been opened up to a wider reading public, thanks to Mahmood Mamdani’s “Lessons of Zimbabwe,” appearing in the London Review of Books (04/12/2008).  Renowned scholars, within and without Africa, have broken their silence and have taken public positions.  The […]

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