From Camels to Cavemen: Picks of the Week

14 Apr

Hollande Finds His Gift Camel Was Consumed

I gave a presentation on the Mali Conflict at an NYU conference on Friday, and would have dearly loved to include something about Hollande’s camel. Fifteen minutes just wasn’t long enough, however, to do justice to a topic of such import.

Something tells me Hollande wanted that camel out of his hair and into the tagine all along. An express-posted replacement camel probably wasn’t what he had in mind.

Narco War on TV Screens

I just read Ioan Grillo’s El Narco, a great insight into the rise of the Mexico’s militant drug cartels. In this piece for The Dissident Blog – an interesting project in its own right, and published by Swedish PEN – Grillo highlights the difficulties faced by Mexican journalists, pressured by both the government and the cartels (who are themselves in conflict and not a united entity) to pursue certain editorial lines. The piece is also a testament to the importance of critical, ethical journalism, which is never so obvious as when such journalism and journalists are under threat.

Red Cross chief blasts US for force-feeding Gitmo inmates

The detainee hunger strike at Guantánamo drags on: this article does a good job of highlighting not just the immediate cause of the huger strike, but also the sinister and completely misdirected approach by the US administration to breaking the strike.

Reckoning with Genocide

Yes I’m giving biased attention to Latin America. Expect this to continue indefinitely.

Interesting piece by the New York Review of Books on the slow road to accountability and justice in the aftermath of the mass killings – including a brief account of why these constitute a genocide – in Guatemala in the 80s.

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

NYU’s very own caveman, Slavoj Zizek, on the ethics of charitable giving. Zizek is far easier to understand in animated form.

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