Wednesday, September 29, 2004

foreign policy

not much going on in the life of holly. thought i'd share to you some interesting stuff i learned in amer. for. policy this week:

swaziland--bus drivers are taking to raping women on the bus that wear miniskirts. 3 men have been convicted for the gangrape of one woman, and three other women have come foward. many other women have had their skirts ripped off in the bus depot by these busdrivers. the bus drivers say that miniskirts cause lustful thoughts. furthermore, women who wear miniskirts want to be raped, so they're just giving them what they want. it is interesting to note the women of swaziland for all intensive purposes wear the clothes of women in the west. miniskirts were introduced to swaziland in the 1960s, thus the miniskirt isn't a new fad. side note: swaziland is the last absolute monarchy in sub-saharan africa.**

england--blair does not apologize in the least for ousting saddam hussein. however he does state that the intelligiance proving that he housed WMD was not correct. i know this is common knowledge, but i just found it interesting, as blair has thus far been bush's best supporter. while i suppose he still is, it surprises me that he would come out with this statement when bush has not made a similar statement. it was discussed in class that he merely pushes away the question or outright defends his position when asked, and thus far hasn't quasi-apologized to the american people.

jordan--king abdullah states that he does not think the upcoming elections in iraq will be fair. he does not think that iraq is ready for such elections, and any outcomes will be incorrect in some manner. as one of bush's closest ally's in the region, this is not good for bush. sidenote: king abdullah is meeting with jacques chirac this week in france.

so that's just a couple of things that interested me this tuesday in american foreign policy. surely not the most interesting occurences over the last few days, but noteworthy nonetheless.

**realize this has nothing to do with US foreign policy, it was just an interesting (but nonetheless horrifying) story

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Sunday, September 26, 2004

the leader of the free world

kids, it's pictures like this that let me know that deep down, we're all safe:


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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

sub-saharan africa

so i was rather excited when i found out my region to discuss in american foreign policy was sub-saharan africa. it was a region i was vaguely familiar with, but could easily learn a lot about. discussed this with phil d'agati, and it seemed like it'd be full of topics. plenty of stuff (most of it very unfortunate) happens in this region: border disputes, emerging democracies, genocide. yet nothing i've brought up so far has been really very relevant. i thought that the new national government in somalia (which i read in the article was the last country in the world to have a nat'l gov't) was relevant, but apparently it wasn't...

while lots of stuff happens in this region, very little of it actually affects our national security. honestly. i've been doing the required reading of the NYTimes and the CSMonitor, as well as doing google news searches, and the best i've been able to come up with is locusts, locusts, locusts....

furthermore, dunn gave the sudan to the middle east group (aka we don't get to discuss darfur), though on every list i've pulled up on the internet the sudan is considered sub-saharan africa...

so seriously here's my report for this week (forgive the inarticulateness of the writing, as these are just notes to jumpstart my brain):

1. Chad (9/17/2004)
—US Marines have been training Chadian soldiers for approximately 6 weeks in counterterrorism basics. US has also been training soldiers in Nigeria, Kenya, Somalia, Niger, Mauritania, Mali, Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. All part of a plan to cut down on the number of terrorists that get their training in Africa. Part of Bush’s greater War on Terror.

2. Uganda/Sudan (9/19/2004)—Ugandan troops kill 25 fighters of the Lord’s Resistance Army in southern Sudan while pursuing the LRA’s leader, Joseph Kony. The LRA has been attacking civilians in Uganda for 18 years. The 25 fighters were part of a group of 50 around Kony; this information was given by a deserter from the LRA.

3. Chad (9/20/2004)
—Frenchmen Alain Gachet has perfected a method of finding water deposits below the Sahara. Gachet has yet to dig a dry well. This new technology is saving millions of dollars in aid to sub-Saharan African nations and making it possible to build cities farther into the desert.

4. Rwanda (9/21/2004)—a RC priest, Athanase Seromba, went on trial today for the genocide of 2000 Tutsis. These Tutsis were members of his own congregation. He ordered Hutu collaborators to bulldoze a church that they were hiding in. Has pleaded not guilty to genocide and crimes against humanity to the UN war crimes tribunal in Tanzania that is prosecuting him.

so what does all of this have to do w/ US national security? absolutely nothing. 'cept that maybe we can build bases in the sahara now b/c there's a better way of finding water and that Uganda finally seems to be honestly attempting to stop the LRA, which is good if they ever want to stop killing Ugandans and start killing us. training the chadians and all those other africans helps us stop overextending ourselves militarily, so that's good. and finally, the rwandan priest thing just pisses me off more than anything, as honestly folks, any priest that can do that to his own congregation is disgusting.

so yeah, that's sub-saharan africa from 9/14/2004 to 9/21/2004. if we had darfur, it'd be a hell of a lot longer... sorry for the rant, but honestly...:(

oh, and there are still locusts in western africa. how could i forget??

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