Blog - Pagina 18 van 27 - Mark Blaisse
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Geen categorie / 15.01.2012

Travelling through Tunisia one is tempted to be optimistic: agressive media, lively talkshows on radio and TV, wild scenario's discussed in the many coffee houses and even women are talking politics. Fresh air all over the place, after the heavy years under president Ben Ali. But as in most revolutions, the real work still has to be done. While the heroes are either dead or resting, licking their wounds, the people seem to thgink that paradise will come overnight. Demands after demands are piling the shelves of the...

Geen categorie / 31.12.2011

Great news: Time Magazine has chosen the man/woman of the year. Guess what: it's not Obama and it's not Bono or Soros. It's the protester. As in freedom, occupyer, revolution, courage, spring, never give up and belief. The PROTESTER deserves it. He and she are still on the squares of Moscow to Cairo. He and she are still camping for freedom and attracting the attention of the global-social media....

Geen categorie / 30.12.2011

The Turkish army has -by mistake-  killed almost 40 Kurdish villagers in the South of the country instaed of members of the forbidden PKK. It comes as no surprise that the Kurds in Turkey are planning violent responses. They see the mistake as a provocation and take the opportunity to tell the world how badly they are being treated by the authorities in Ankara. Turkey is quickly irritated as soon as others criticize the way it handles its history: don't talk about the Kurdish question or, even worse, the Armenian...

Geen categorie / 18.12.2011

Christopher Hitchens was my hero. He died of cancer, aged 62, after a life of smoking, drinking, partying but above all writing and thinking. He was the kind of anarchist you could not fail to love: left in the morning, conservative at night. Protest marches and champagne; trotskyite and saloon socialist, travelling all over the world and especially to dictatorships. Christopher hated authorities of all kind, but sadistic rulers were his favourites. He also disliked hypocrisy, in politics as well as in religion. How his writings killed Henry Kissinger...

Geen categorie / 02.12.2011

The nomination of Mrs. Fatou Bensouda as the new Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague is very good news indeed. Where her predecessor, Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo, has been irritating especially African countries by his insistence on focusing on African corruption and violence, one can expect a more balanced approach from this Gambian born lawyer. Mrs. Bensouda has been vice Chief Prosecutor of the iCC for years and knows how the institution functions (and how it does not). She has been Attorney General and...

Geen categorie / 16.11.2011

 Speaking to Africans about the death of Colonel Qaddafi one does get the impression that this continent is in no way on the same line as Europe or the US. Africa is still in shock about the way NATO intervened and especially about the pictures that appeared of a weak and then dead Libyan leader. Countries like Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, not to speak of God knows what terrorist organizations, will miss Libya’s millions. The average Libyan citizen is worried about his job , house, heath care and education, all provided for him by...

Geen categorie / 26.10.2011

Last year I have spent almost three weeks on Greenland. Talking to local officials and even more local Inuit fishermen and hunters it became clear that Greenland faces a huge dilemma: to become definitively independent from Mother Denmark it needs to be able to take care of itself. We are talking serious money. That money is to be found under the Arctic ice and sea. I mean oil and gas. But if Greenland allows the oil drillers into the territory, its splendid nature wil suffer beyond repair. So this is their...

Geen categorie / 20.10.2011

The Swiss expert on the world's food situation, Jean Ziegler, has written a ferocious speech that was NOT held during the Salzburger Festspiele. A frontal attack on hypocrisy and the failure to cope with the unnecessary famine in large parts of the world. While the rich listen to Mozart, the poor are dying of hunger in a world where there should be enough foor for all. One can complain about the political obstructions (Horn of Africa) or the failing NGO's, or the outsourcing of empathy to the West by most...

Geen categorie / 17.10.2011

Het begon al in de taxi. De chauffeur had keihard iets van Wagner op staan en wees ons op de schoonheid van het licht in combinatie met  de skyline van Frankfurt. Toen ik uitstapte vroeg hij of ik Leon de Winter was die naar de Buchmesse kwam. Er zijn weinig Nederlandse schrijvers die mij zo irriteren als Leon de Winter, maar dat zei ik niet tegen de chauffeur. Daarentegen vertelde ik hem dat ik ook schrijver ben en dat ik kwam om voor te lezen uit eigen werk....

Geen categorie / 10.10.2011

Three African women won the Peace Nobel Prize 2011 for their achievements in the field of human rights for their sisters on the continent. At last a peace prize that is deserved. A very symbolic gesture from the Nobel comittee with a very clear message: even today the rights of women are not guaranteed at the level men's are. I am of course not saying that men are safe in a world where 90% of all countries (including Europe and the US) believe human rights are a question...