You Cannot Kill An Idea

[This post has been updated as of 5:30 on Monday, November 3rd.  See the bottom of the article.] A week ago, on Tuesday, the Parliament of Burkina Faso announced it was going to discuss an amendment to the constitution to allow President Compaoré to run for a fifth term next year. This move met with major protests. On Thursday, before Parliament could even attempt to hold the vote, protesters stormed the Parliament building and the ruling party headquarters and set them both on fire. The President disappeared. On Friday, the military announced it was taking charge. Blaise Compaoré, 27 years … Continue reading You Cannot Kill An Idea

A (deeply unlikely) solution for Mali

Because I am not currently, and, if humanity is to survive, never will be, in a position of power and authority over others, perhaps I don’t understand the impulse for total domination and destruction which accompanies those lofty offices of state whose occupiers so frequently empower their enemies by attempting to thoroughly eliminate them.  This is an even more inane tactic considering that most modern enemies tend not to be concentrated in one easily-located area and try to keep their structures of power fluid and opaque (unless they’re other nations, of course).  One of the things which has made the … Continue reading A (deeply unlikely) solution for Mali

A Personal Absolution from Dictatorship

(Nota bene – some or all of this might have been written with the assistance of pain-killers) I am done with talking about Syria.  With the release of the Assad e-mails, the world is finally went mad.  After a year of the Syrian uprising gradually deviating from the narratives obligingly set out from it, from the unswift nature of the conflict to the protestors’ stubborn decision not to be CIA agents, the release of the e-mails is an attempt by the forces of liberal Orientalism (here represented by the Guardian) to cow Assad’s image towards proper tyranny and make him … Continue reading A Personal Absolution from Dictatorship

John Brennan: Sinister or cretinous (or both?)

Today, tomorrow, or possibly a little later – the Yemeni government has said that the votes might take some time to tabulate, as if we didn’t all already know the result! – for the first time in 33 years, Ali Abdullah Saleh will not be President of Yemen. American politicians and diplomats are already crowing about “democracy by the ballot box”, all the while ignoring that there is only a single candidate on the ballot paper and his rise to power is not really in doubt.  In fact, given that there is no minimum turnout specified for the results to … Continue reading John Brennan: Sinister or cretinous (or both?)

The Last Chance for a Syrian Syria

In the wake of Russia and China vetoing the most recent Security Council resolution dealing with Bashar, there seems to be a broad consensus in the media that events in Syria are shifting into a new gear.  As with so much of the trash that gets written about Syria, this would probably be the story no matter what the situation on the ground, but this time it happens to probably be true, but not in the way that’s generally meant.  The general view is that perhaps we can finally move from these boring and lengthy discussions about what to do … Continue reading The Last Chance for a Syrian Syria

Not Quite A Revolution

The major Middle Eastern news this week has clearly been the Arab League’s almost-suspension of Syria for the crackdown on protestors, along with every Western media outlet in the land trumpeting that Jordan’s monarch (one of the earlier targets of the Arab Spring and still on my personal list of tyrants) had called for Bashar to step down.  This, so we are told, was the final international humiliation for a regime now isolated by so many former friends. In reality, this is nearly all bollocks.  King Abdullah did not quite call for Bashar to step down: he said that if … Continue reading Not Quite A Revolution

The Pageant of Death

So Gaddafi is, apparently, dead, taking with him all the answers to the innumerable questions that we should have wanted to ask him.  I hardly think this bodes well for anyone.  Nevertheless, he was a malicious, violent, cruel despot whose people overwhelmingly deserve and demand far better.  After all, I felt nothing but glee when Mubarak and Ben Ali fell (although they were not murdered).  I even felt excited for the prospect of Gaddafi’s death back in April.  So, now that it’s happened, why the depression? Admittedly, it is somewhat hard to maintain the idea that Gaddafi’s death is exactly … Continue reading The Pageant of Death