Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Semantics


VOA
A senior U.S. diplomat says "ethnic cleansing" is underway in Kenya's Rift Valley in the aftermath of last month's disputed presidential election, but she says the violence does not rise to the level of genocide.

What exactly is the difference between 'ethnic cleansing' and 'genocide'? And, if there is a difference, what is the purpose of a 'senior U.S. diplomat' pointing out the difference in this particular case? Will it determine the appropriate response from the U.S.?
One is entitled to demand, that the origins of the violence be properly addressed, as well as the responsibilities of the democratically elected (?) government of Kenya, those of the political opposition and of the international community. But what am I complaining about?! As we can see above, serious talks are taking place while, to quote a phrase, the people suffer.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Suharto dies: we should cry?

DemocracyNow!
DemocracyNow! 12/11/1997
Allan Nairn


It turns out the uplifting feeling I experienced when the anti-(Irak)war, fluent-chinese-speaking, environmentally-friendly Kevin Rudd was elected in Australia may have been quite naive.

What a pity President Carter wasn't as aware, in the late Seventies, of the 'situation' in East Timor as he is today of the 'situation' the Palestinians are in. Does that mean, I wonder, that a president today ought to have more information than three decades ago? In that case, there is hope. Or does it mean, that a president has less information than the rest of us? In that case, we're f***ed.