Blog - Pagina 12 van 27 - Mark Blaisse
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Geen categorie / 27.12.2012

The Obama II government has quite a lot of dishes on its Middle East menu these days. After the wars in Irak and Afghanistan, it is certainly not eager to start a new one (with Iran or Syria). Concerning Syria, president Obama has resisted to all pressure, not wanting to intervene, unless chemical weapons get involved. Concerning the Israeli-Palestinian dossier, it is waiting, watching from the shadow as it were. The only very urgent case for Mr. Obama is the one of Iran. The US has tried all...

Geen categorie / 19.12.2012

This week, judges of the International Criminal Court in The Hague have acquitted the Congolese rebel leader Mathieu Ngudjolo because the testimony against him was too 'hazy'. The judges said that, although the atrocities suffered by the villagers in Bogoro (Eastern Congo)in February 2003 were real, the evidence against Mr. Ngudjolo was not sufficient. He has been acquitted of all charges, including murder, rape and use of child soldiers. He will go home a free man, leaving the relatives of the many victims in total disarray. Mr. Ngudjolo,...

Geen categorie / 17.12.2012

The island of Islay is the place to go when you are trying to measure the temperature concerning the independency aspirations of Scotland as a whole. People here are used to hard work, under difficult conditions, being helped by no one, including their fellow Scotsmen on the mainland. Here you find the proud and independent men and women for whom London is as far away as, say, New York. Farmers and fishermen who have fought for their existence, adding a few pounds to their tiny income by distilling...

Geen categorie / 06.12.2012

The change is for today, but not in this country! This could be the motto of the Qatari emir, with his good principles about freedom which he has been exporting ever since the start of the Arab Spring. Last Thursday, November 29th, a court in Doha has put a poet behind bars for life. His work is supposed to contain remarks that do not please the emir. The bold writer's name is Mohamad Al-Ajami, a.k.a. Ibn Al-Dhib. He has already been in prison for a year, despite protests...

Geen categorie / 02.12.2012

Je moet oppassen met het gebruik van woorden. Zeg communisme, democratie, vrijheid, vriendschap of liberalisme en je weet bijna zeker dat je een discussie krijgt over de exacte betekenis die jij eraan geeft. De interpretatie van een woord kan zorgen voor spraakverwarring en zelfs voor oorlog. Een woord is dus niet zomaar een woord. Dat is althans de mening van de Franse filosoof Alain Badiou, die met zijn boek over het beladen woord ‘Jood’ (Het woord Jood, Kampen, 2008) al veel aandacht trok, maar ook van wanten weet...

Geen categorie / 30.11.2012

Last Wednesday, the International Press Institute issued a report saying that 119 journalists have been killed this year, the highest total since it started keeping track in 1997. Government officials are suspected by the Committee to Protect Journalists of being responsible for more than one third of these killings, more than criminal groups or terrorists are. In Gaza, last week, three media representatives were killed by an Israeli missile. Rather then suggesting their deaths have been a mistake, an Israeli Defense Forces spokesmwoman, lt. col. Avital Leibovich,...

Geen categorie / 30.11.2012

While many Europeans are wondering how they will financially survive the coming decade, the clever ones are focusing on Africa. They invest in funds that help modernize the continent (logistics, energy, medicine, education etc.) AND EXPECT DOUBLE DIGIT RETURNS. The continent is the world's next great growth engine, but it is not only optimism that leads the way: hundreds of millions are at risk of being left behind, corrupt leaders will keep on filling their own pockets, citizens filled with anger and frustration will go to the streets...

Geen categorie / 23.11.2012

68 countries will focus on this question as from Sunday. During a week public broadcasters will try to inform around 500 million people around the globe about poverty, sometimes around unexpected corners (Amsterdam, Zuerich, Paris, New York), sometimes in the usually suspect countries. It is not about money. It is not about donations. The organizers want to start discussions animated by documentaries, films and even cartoons (Ben Lewis' 'Poor Us. An animated history of poverty.' In theory, there is enough food for all of us, we just can't...

Geen categorie / 16.11.2012

Rockets on Tel Aviv. Bomb alarm even in Jerusalem. The provocations of Hamas are meant to draw Israel into a war nobody should want. For Israel the world has dramaticaly changed since the Muslim Brotherhood rules Egypt and the US is too preoccupied with itself to consider armed support. The Arab Spring has changed the game. The overt support by Qatar for the Palestinians, a few weeks ago, was just the first sign of the growing confidence one can see comimng from the occupied terroitories. Who is going...

Geen categorie / 16.11.2012

De jongste crisis bij de BBC heeft alom twijfel gezaaid over de journalistieke kwaliteit in het algemeen. Dat is geen goed nieuws aangezien deze tijd juist doortastende, goed onderbouwde en moedige journalistiek nodig heeft. Corruptie en vals spelen in de politiek (VVD in Limburg), het justitieel apparaat (rechters, hoge ambtenaren, advocaten), de wetenschap (teveel om op te noemen) en de sport (gaan we nog fietsen? Effe wedden op een voetbalwedstrijd?) nemen hand over hand toe, zonder dat de kans op geheimhouding daarmee overigens groeit. De moderne communicatietechnieken hebben...