You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2008.

Watch Michael Ignatieff talk to Jung Chang and Jon Halliday about their biography, Mao – The Unknown Story, in which they prove that Mao’s communist regime killed over 70 000 000 people in peace times, more than any other regime in history:

Harvard University, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy: Mao – The Unknown Story

There is only one major point where I slightly disagree with the authors. They claim that Mao never really believed in marxist ideology. I doubt it. But I can’t tell. But even if that’s the case, most of his supporters definitely did believe in communism and the dynamic of the regime can only be explained by this simple fact. This is important to point out, because many communists reacted to the book by saying: ‘Well, maybe he killed 70 million people. But he never was a real communist anyway.’ Let’s not allow them to get away with this!

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There are many ways to explain why socialism has never worked and will never work. Listen to a very convincing explanation by the Austrian philosopher Ludwig von Mises at the Mises Institute:

Economic Calculation In The Socialist Commonwealth – Read by Gennady Stolyarov II.

We can’t predict the future. But we can try. And if we try hard enough, we may be better prepared for it.

The National Intelligence Council’s report on “Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World” tries very hard to predict the major global trends for the next 15 – 20 years.  Watch Thomas Fingar, Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, discuss the report at the Atlantic Council.

It predicts the Economic Rise of the East and an unprecedented growth of the global middle class:

“Over the next several decades the number of people considered to be in the ‘global middle class’ is projected to swell from 440 million to 1.2 billion or from 7.6 percent of the world’s population to 16.1 percent.”

This is great news for many reasons. The further decline of hunger and poverty around the world is very likely to be accompanied by further liberalization and democratization in many countries. But, again, we can’t predict the future. So let’s try very hard to make it a better one!

Watch this new documentary on the struggle for an uncensored internet in Egypt.

Watch Benjamin Powell, Alvaro Vargas Llosa and George Ayittey talk about their book, Making Poor Nations Rich: Entrepreneurship and the Process of Economic Development, at the Independent Institute :

C-Span : Making Poor Nations Rich 

“Why do some nations become rich while others remain poor? Traditional mainstream economic growth theory has done little to answer this question—during most of the twentieth century the theory focused on models that assumed growth was a simple function of labor, capital, and technology. Through a collection of case studies from Asia and Africa to Latin America and Europe, Making Poor Nations Rich argues for examining the critical role entrepreneurs and the institutional environment of private property rights and economic freedom play in economic development.”

Watch or listen to the Cato Institute’s 26th Annual Monetary Conference:

Lessons from the Subprime Crisis

Watch this short documentary on slave labor, which is still widespread in rural Brazil, despite some government efforts to eradicate it:

The Hub – Bound by Promises: Contemporary Slavery in Rural Brazil

“Every year, more than 25,000 workers are enslaved by landowners in rural Brazil, mostly in the Amazon region. This video tells the story of men who set out in search of work and are taken to isolated ranches, only to find that they have been lured into debt bondage. Forced to do backbreaking work and to live in overcrowded shacks with no running water, they are treated like animals. ‘A bullet from my shotgun is what you have a right to here’, one worker was told. With no way out, they toil in the hope of buying back their freedom.”

Irshad Manji is a faithful muslim and a radical – a radical supporter of secularism, individualism, pluralism, reason, science, modernity, universalism, liberal democracy, private property… and mocca coffee!

Watch her speak her free mind at the GoogleTalks:

Authors@Google: Irshad Manji

God bless this brave woman!

Listen to Stanley Engerman, co-author of the classic “Time on the Cross”, talk about the history, politics and economics of slavery at EconTalk:

Engerman on SlaveryHosted by Russ Roberts

“Stanley Engerman of the University of Rochester talks about slavery throughout world history, the role it played (or didn’t play) in the Civil War and the incentives facing slaves and slave owners. Engerman knows as much as anyone alive about the despicable human arrangement called slavery and the vastness and precision of his knowledge is on display in this interview.”

Torture is not just a human rights violation. It is in many ways the human rights violation. If a government can torture its enemies and get away with it, it can get away with almost anything. So now that – thank heavens! – the end of U.S. torture is finally drawing close, let’s not just forget what neoconservative zealots did to our country, our values, our constitution! They are still around. And they will keep trying to sell their lies to the American people and to stigmatize their critics as “anti-american traitors” and “enemies of freedom”, as if there was anything more anti-american and less freedom-loving than torture.

Don’t believe their lies and petty excuses. Don’t fall for their rationalizations. They did not just use “enhanced interrogation techniques”. They did not “just” use psychological torture. Psychological torture is not a form of “mild” torture. And there is no such thing as “mild” torture. Torture was not only used against evil terrorists. And it was not only used by “a few bad apples”. It was no accident, no minor mistake, no just loosing patience every now and then under extreme stress conditions. And there never was any ticking bomb scenario.

It was torture. It was systemic. In some cases it was murder. And it must never happen again.

Watch this sober, well-researched, but deeply disturbing indictment of the Bush administration’s war on human rights:

Taxi to the Dark Side

Oh say, does that star-spangled banner still wave… ?

Watch Bukeni Waruzi from Witness talk about the ongoing crisis in the DRC and why he believes that the world can and should help bring peace to this war-torn nation.

Right wing ideologues know only three ways to fight terrorism: be quick, be tough, be strong! Left wing ideologues also know only three ways to fight terrorism: talk, concede, negotiate! What they have in common is that they don’t care very much about the unintended consequences of their policies, but stick to their preconceived ideas no matter what. So what’s the best way to fight terrorism? Well, one thing is for sure: there is no one way of doing it.

Seth Jones and Martin Libicki “compiled and analyzed a data set of all terrorist groups between 1968 and 2006” for a report published by the Rand Corporation :

How Terrorist Groups EndImplications for Countering al Qa’ida

Watch them talk about their findings at the Middle East Institute :

Seth Jones and Martin Libicki on Antiterrorism Strategies

figure11

Figure:

How 268 Terrorist Groups Worldwide Ended, 1968–2006, Rand Corporation

Of the 648 groups that were active at some point between 1968 and 2006, a total of 268 ended during that period. Another 136 groups splintered, and 244 remained active. The authors found that most ended for one of two reasons: They were penetrated and eliminated by local police and intelligence agencies (40 percent), or they reached a peaceful political accommodation with their government (43 percent). Most terrorist groups that ended because of politics sought narrow policy goals. The narrower the goals, the more likely the group was to achieve them through political accommodation — and thus the more likely the government and terrorists were to reach a negotiated settlement.

In 10 percent of cases, terrorist groups ended because they achieved victory. Military force led to the end of terrorist groups in 7 percent of cases. The authors found that militaries tended to be most effective when used against terrorist groups engaged in insurgencies in which the groups were large, well armed, and well organized. But against most terrorist groups, military force was usually too blunt an instrument.”

An estimated 5.4 million people have died in the Congo since 1998, making it the deadliest conflict since WWII. Watch this short, but impressive documentary by photojournalist Marcus Bleasdale:

Rape of a Nation

Green fundamentalism – just like any other kind – literally kills. It kills men, women and children in Africa, Latin America and Asia. So if you care about the environment – and who doesn’t? -, keep your mind open and think twice about the politics you support. It may be a matter of life and death to someone, somewhere in the underdeveloped world. The road to hell is paved with good intentions…

Watch Paul Driessen talk about his book, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death, at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He may change your view of the world.

Read a joint statement by ten human rights and humanitarian agencies, including Human Rights Watch, Oxfam and ENOUGH Project:

DR Congo: Civilians Under Attack Need Urgent ProtectionEU and Other UN Member States Should Send More Peacekeepers

“A quarter of a million people have been forced to flee their homes since late August 2008 as a result of intense fighting between the forces of rebel general Laurent Nkunda and Congolese army soldiers and their allied militia. People have dispersed over a vast, inhospitable area without access to shelter, water, food, and medicines. The fighting has severely hampered the ability of aid agencies to reach those in need. With renewed fighting in the last two days, many more have been forced to run again in search of safety.
‘The world cannot look away again as thousands suffer in eastern Congo. The people of Congo deserve more,’ said Juliette Prodhan, head of Oxfam in the Democratic Republic of Congo. ‘We have had fine words and important meetings but these must now be put into action by providing additional troops to safeguard the people. We need more urgency, more action and more commitment.’

Also watch John Prendergast of the ENOUGH Project discuss the crisis in eastern Congo, the use of rape as a weapon and the pressing need for negotiations:

Congo’s women mutilated, children sent into battle

Listen to ENOUGH Field Researcher Rebecca Feeley talk to Voice of America News about the situation.

And watch Daniel Kuhn of UN Watch talk about the UN’s failure in the Congo at the UN Human Rights Council back in June:

“Why did the UN Human Rights Council drop the country mandate for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where conflict over the last eight years has led to four million deaths?”

Watch a panel on economic development and poverty reduction in India at Columbia University, featuring Arvin Panagariya, author of India: The Emerging Giant, Jagdish Bhagwati, author of In Defense of Globalization, and Tunku Varadarajan, Professor at the New York University Stern School of Business:

A Panel on India: The Emerging Giant

Watch Steve Davies from the University of Manchester talk to African Liberty on the history of economic development in Africa:

Reflections on African History

“Ghosts of Rwanda” is a documentary about one of the worst crimes in all of history, a crime that should have been and could have been stopped. It is about the ghosts that will continue to haunt our world – until we learn from this terrible mistake.

jacqueline-11 Jacqueline Murekatete is an internationally-recognized human rights activist and genocide survivor, speaking out for victims and survivors of genocide around the world. Born in a small rural community in Rwanda in 1984, Jacqueline was not yet ten when she lost her entire immediate and extended family to the 1994 Rwandan Tutsi genocide.

(A shortened version of this interview was published by the Jüdische Allgemeine, the leading Jewish paper in Germany.)

Michael Holmes: You were only 9 years old when you survived the Genocide in your home country Rwanda. But you lost your entire family, many relatives and friends. How much do you remember? And how do you manage to cope with your memories?

Jacqueline Murekatete: Although I was still very young when the genocide began in my country, nine years old to be exact, the various horrors that I exprienced are still very vivid in my mind even today, 14 years after the genocide. I can still hear the announcements on Radio Rwanda, the national radio, saying that Tutsis, my ethnic group, were cockroaches deserving to die. And even though I did not understand the implications of this propogranda and hate speech until my Hutu neighbors no longer said hi to me and my hutu friends and classmates no longer played with me as we used to do every night. I can still see the fear that characterized my family and other Tutsis in my village in the periord shortly before the genocide began.
And when the genocide began, the memories of my fleeing with my grandmother from one place to the next, our many confrontations with death, and the many times I spend watching men, women, and children being dragged to their death, the nights that I spent terrified in hiding, not knowing whether or not I was going to live to see the next day, there are horrors, memories, that will remain with me for as long as I live.
When the genocide ended and I learned that while I had been one of the few survivors, my parents, all six siblings, and most of other relatives had been among the people murdered during the 100 days of killings, I refused to believe it. For a long time after the genocide I refused to believe that what had happened in Rwanda had actually happened. And many nights I went to bed hoping that the next morning when I woke up, somebody would wake me up and tell me that I had had a long nightmare. And then I would wake up from that nightmare and would be a child again, surrounded by my family and friends, with goals and deams like any other child. But like every other survivor, soon later, I had to acknoledge that what had happened in my native country was not a nightmare, but a reality in which it is now estimated that more than a million people were systematically murdered by their own government, simply becuase of their ethnicity. Yes it was hard to cope and the period after the genocide was difficult for all of us who survived. There are many occasions when many of us wished to have died instead of suffering as we did with no one to console us. But soon, I came to conclude that I had to go on, that I had to live, not only for myself, but for my family, and all the people whose lives were unjustly taken before their time. That is how I coped.

MH: How do you feel about the murderers of your family today?

JM: In the aftermath of the genocide, Rwanda became a place where survivors found themselves living next door to those who had killed their families. It was estimated that at least two million Hutus had participated in the murder of their Tutsi neighbors, and many of those who had not directly participated, had refused survivors safety, had pointed fingers at the hiding places of their now murdered relatives, and had engaged in other forms of indrect participation.So how does one cope in such environment, where justice has become elusive even today? Does one hate? Does he or she get angry? Does one spend the remainder of his or her life being hateful, angry and bitter?
Yes, I was angry and bitter after the genocide. I and other survivors wanted justice to be done and sometimes even wished those who have killed our families to be killed as well. But today, fourteen years after the genocide, I have chosen a different path for myself. While I still believe that those who participated in the genocide including those who murdered my family should be brought to some form of justice, I have chosen not to spend my entire life thinking about or hating the people who mudered my family or being bitter about what they took from me.
Not too long after the genocide, I made the decison that instead of spending my time and energies hating and being bitter, something that would in the end destroy me the most if anyone, I would instead focus my energies elsewhere. I decided to focus my time and energy in spreading awareness about what had happend in my country, about the unjust murder of my family and my people, in hopes that I might prevent any other human being from ever having to live through the horrors that I went through, or lose what I lost in 1994.

MH: You are not only very succesfull, but you even seem to be a happy and positive person. Is this true? And how is this even possible after all you have been through?

JM: I try to live a positive and happy life everyday. I try to live in a way that my family would want me to live, and I try to live for my siblings and other young people whose lives were taken before their time. I know that my family can only live through me now, and thus I always try to live a life which reflects their love, goals, and dreams, which they shared with me in the short time that I had them. Spending my life in anger, hate, and bitterness is not an option for me. It is not the way my family would have wanted me to live.

MH: How have other people been a help here?

JM: In the aftermath of the genocide and after losing so much, I so needed to feel loved and cared for again. And today, I am here and have done what I’ve done because of the love and support of people that I have crossed paths with at one point or another in my post-genocide life. And whether it was the teachers who spend their time volunteering to teach me English after I arrived in U.S in 1995, or the friends who called me every night to see how I was and who would later become more like family to me, I know that I have been blessed in many ways. And while the loss of my family is something that will never be filled by anything or anyone, I thank God for the many special people that God has brought into my lfie. Without them, I do not know where I would be.

MH: When and why did you decide to take up the struggle against genocide and human rights abuses?

JM: The first time that I started sharing my experience was at age of 16, and in the aftermath of hearing a Holocaust survivor, and now a good friend of mine, David Gewirtzman. David came to speak to my 10th grade english class, after we had read the book, Night by Elie Wiesel, in which he too described his experience as a child during the Holocaust. As I sat litsening to David’s account of the Holocaust, I was horrified. But in addtion to being one of students who weeped as David described the horrors that he experenced during the genocide, I was also inspired to by David to start sharing my genocide experience as away to try and bring about a wold without genocide. So in 2001 I teamed up with David, and since then, David and I have delivered hundreds of presenations together in schools, churches, synagogues, and various conferences throughout U.S and Abroad. We both feel the responsibltiy to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, and if not for the sake of the victims, we know that we must speak for the sake of future generations. What we both experienced is something that we would not wish upon even our worst enemy.

MH: You have conducted hundreds of presentations in the U.S., Israel, Germany, Belgium, Bosnia and in front of the United Nations. How important is it for you to speak up and be heard? Do you believe in the power of words to overcome hatred?

JM: To date, I have delievered at least 300 presentations about the 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda as well as about the importance of tolerance in our world where hate, racism, Anti-Semitism, and the ideology of genocide still remain major threats that cannot be ignored. For me silence is not an option, I must speak and keep speaking. I know that there will be people who will hear and act, and those who will not hear or will hear and let the messages pass from one year to the next. But when I read the many letters that I recieve from the young people who I speak to throughout the year, telling me about the various tolerance programs they’ve started in their schools and communities as a result of hearing me speak, I know that my messages are being heard by someone. This always gives me hope and encourages me to continue to do the work that I do. I am convinced that education is the „ best weapon we have against hate“ as David often says, and I must continue to use this weapon for as long as there is need.

MH: The West didn’t even try to help Rwanda in its darkest hour. How do you feel about this fact?

JM: When the killings were happening in my Country, I and all of us believed that if an outside country knew what was happening in Rwanda, we would be saved. This Country or Countries would surely come to our rescue. After all, we were not criminals and were being murdered daily not because of what we had done, but simply because who we were. Because we had been born Tutsis in a country which believed that Tutsis did not deserve to exist. Whether it was because I was still young and naive or for other reasons, the idea that people, Powerful Countries could watch such injustice, and stand idly by as we were being murdered was something that I would not have believed in 1994. So when I came to U.S and learned that many countries knew about what was happening in Rwanda, and chose not to act, I was horrified! It was a new lesson for me in humanity. But I did not understand such silence, such indifference, and I swore that no matter what I ended up doing, I would try and fight this type of indiference by being the voice of the people who became victims when the international community refused to act. When I speak today therefore, whether it be to young people or old, I never close any presention without speaking about the sin, the crime of indifference amidst any injustice.

MH: You have also been a loud voice against the ongoing genocide in Darfur. Do you believe we can stop the violence there? And if so, why don’t we?

JM: I have alway believed that my responsiblity involves not only speaking about the genocide which took place in my country in 1994, but the crime of genocide in general. And that wherever I see or hear about genocide taking place anywhere, I know that I must be at the fore front of trying to end it. So since the genocide in Darfur began, I have participated in various programs , conferences, and rallies with the intention to bring the ongoing genocide to an end.
I do believe that what’s happening in Darfur can be stopped, just as the genocide in my country could have been stopped and even prevented. I believe that the international community has the means, and it just have to have the will to act. I believe that the genocide in my country was not stoped because those countries who were in the position to stop it did not think that Rwanda was important, politically, economically, or other things which would be in their so called „national interest.“ But I always say that until we realize that preventing and ending mass murders of innocent human beings is a priority, that it should be the essential part of our national or human interest, until we come to realize that „we are our brothers keepers,“ as it is often said, then the cycle of genocide will continue. This is another message that I try to share with all the individuals, communities, and institutions, that I’ve had the chance of addressing.

MH: President Ahmadinejad of Iran again and again threatened to „wipe Israel off the map“. People have warned against not taking him seriously. Do you see a connection between people playing down this threat and how a lot of people played down the genocide in Rwanda by speaking of a ‚civil war‘?

JM: Today and in the presence of President Ahmadinejad’s threats, one becomes even more convinced that the ideology of genocide remains alive and well even in the 21st century. I belive that every hate speech, and destructive ideology should always been taken seriously and actions taken to deal with it. We have learned too many lessons from history that any of us should repeat the mistake of remaining silent and inactive until it is to late.

MH: If a common person anywhere reads your story, wants to be a help in the struggle to put an end to all genocides once and for all, but feels too small and powerless to do so, what do you tell this person?

JM: I believe that every person, no matter the age, social, or economic background can make a positve diference in the world. One does not need to have a lot of time and certainly a lot of money to make another human’s being life better in one way or another, or to make a positive and lasting positive impact our problem filled world today. What is needed on the part of all of us, however, is the realization of our common humanity, and our responsiblity to live a life that not only acknoledges our existence, but also the existence of our fellow human beings all over the world. In our world that is becoming more and more interdependent everyday, we must understand that every man’s tragedy is our tragedy, and that individual peace will always be limited in the absence of collective peace within the global community. It is critical then that each and every one of us be proactive in making our world more tolerant, more peaceful, in seeking to fight those radical ideologies that seek to exterminate an entire group of our felllow human beings.
The opportunities to partcipate in genocide prevention work exist in the the various genocide prevention programs and organizations. Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner, my own genocide prevention program in New York, is but one of these programs. All of us in the genocide prevention movement are always looking for individuals to take our educational programs and messages to different parts of the world, and our work is based on the premise that every person can truly make a difference if he or she tries.

Barack Obama has promised to make Darfur a day one priority of his presidency. Now is the time to remind him of his words.

Watch what he told the Save Darfur Coalition last year:

Barack Obama on Darfur

And – in case you missed it – watch this impressing and horrifying documentary on Darfur:

DARFUR – The Devil Came On Horseback

It will make you think. It will make you angry. It will make you sad. And it may even make you join the global movement to make genocide history once and for all.

What bothers me about most discussions on military interventions is that they focus far too much on our goals, when the means should matter just as much to us and maybe even more.

Two months ago, Human Rights Watch protested: “Civilian deaths in Afghanistan from US and NATO airstrikes nearly tripled from 2006 to 2007, with recent deadly airstrikes exacerbating the problem and fuelling a public backlash.”Afghanistan: Civilian Deaths From Airstrikes
Since then, many more civilians have lost their lives, because those responsible didn’t listen and didn’t care enough. And, today, just another tragedy underlined the necessity to reconsider current strategies: “An airstrike by United States-led forces killed 40 civilians and wounded 28 others at a wedding party in Kandahar Province in southern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said Wednesday. The casualties included women and children, the officials said”.

I am not a pacifist. And I am not naive. I know that there never was or will be a war without civilian casualties. But I don’t see that we care enough about minimizing them.

40 people were just killed by bombs dropped from U.S. planes! Why is there no outcry? Why isn’t it on top of the agenda? Why aren’t our politicians flying to Afghanistan to voice their concerns and regrets? Why don’t our flags fly on half mast? Why don’t we ever stand in silence for just a minute to remember the people who were accidentally killed in our wars?

People in the West need to show their compassion for the people they are trying to help. If we don’t win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people, we will never win the war against the Taliban or Al Qaida. And this should not even be the No.1 reason why we have to try even harder!

Three years ago, Barack Obama spoke at the funeral of a woman that we should honor as an American founding mother. He said: “When the history of this country is written, when the final accounting is done, it is this small, quiet woman, whose name will be remembered, long after the names of senators and presidents have been forgotten…”. And he acknowledged: “I would not be here today, were it not for this small woman”.

In December 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. This singular act of courage sparked the modern Civil Rights Movement, which brought an end to the U.S. apartheid system.

53 years later, Barack Obama is decisively elected America’s first black president. This huge achievement should be respected and honored by all Americans, whether they voted for him or not. So let me quote last night’s loser, who brought a tear to my eye when he told his fellow Republicans:

“A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.

In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.

This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.

I’ve always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too. But we both recognize that though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation’s reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.

A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt’s invitation of Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters. America today is a world away from the cruel and prideful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African American to the presidency of the United States. Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.”

And here is what the NAACP has to say about This Moment:

“Yesterday, we ushered in a new era. Yesterday, we destroyed the remnants of Jim Crow, abolished a one-color-fits-all definition of leadership, and declared that our nation would rise above the politics of the past. Yesterday, we witnessed the most inclusive election enjoyed by the largest best- informed, motivated electorate in our nation’s history. Yesterday, we elected an African-American man to President of the United States of America.

We congratulate President-elect Barak Obama and his wife Michelle on their historic win. In this moment, 232 years in the making, we are witness to the most inclusive election enjoyed by the largest best- informed, motivated electorate in our nation’s history. In this moment — from the end of chattel slavery to today – we honor the memory of freedom fighters like Dr. Martin Luther King, Ida B. Wells, Medgar Evers, Rosa Parks, and so many others who gave their lives so that the promise of America can be real for all people. It is their sacrifice made this moment possible.

“Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was killed on Monday, 27 October, by a group of 50 men who stoned her to death in a stadium in the southern port of Kismayu, in front of around 1,000 spectators”, Amnesty International reports.

Listen to the BBC’s Jon Manel and Amnesty director Kate Allen discuss the case and muslim extremism in Somalia:

Somali girl ‘was stoned to death’

Once again Eastern Congo is at the center of violent conflict in the region. Tens of thousands have already been replaced and there is no end in sight so far.

Listen to Anthony W. Gambino, author of a special report on the Congo: Securing Peace, Sustaining Progress for the Council on Foreign Relations, talk about how the West can help stabilize the Congo’s lawless east:

Assessing the Way Forward in Eastern Congo

Human Rights Watch also calls for more international engagement:

DR Congo: International Leaders Should Act Now to Protect Civilians
Intensify Diplomacy and Bolster UN Peacekeeping Force to Save Lives

America’s No.1 problem? That’s easy: The highest prison population rate on this fxxx planet! That’s right. And there are many reasons for it. But the No.1 reason, I believe, is this insane and immoral War on Drugs. Just think about the name for a second: How are you going to wage a war against substances? You can’t. You are going to wage a war against people – poor people, desperate people, party people, irresponsible people, mentaly ill people, young people, addicted people, but… people! And it is a war you will never win!

If you don’t trust hippies or liberal intellectuals on this issue, you may trust those who fought this war for you and know what they are talking about. They don’t romanticise drug addiction. They don’t romanticise the drug mafia. They care about your kids. They care about your safety. They care about the rule of law. They care about America’s future.

Watch these cops and former cops and let them explain to you why we should end this war now:

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

“Many police officers are asking the question: if prohibition didn’t work for alcohol, why are we in denial about it working for other things?”

Cops say legalize drugs part 1 / part 2

Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, author of Breaking Rank: A Top Cop’s Expose of the Dark Side of American Policing, on the High Costs of the Drug War

Watch David Bandurski, a scholar at Hong Kong University’s China Media Project, discuss his article “China’s Guerrilla War for the Web” for the Far Eastern Economic Review :

David Bandurski Interview