Monthly Archives: June 2009

How We Got Here #21

New history podcast is up–revisiting my radio story from 2003 about the British legacy in Iraq.  I won’t be blogging much about new episodes anymore because there’s now a page devoted to How We Got Here at The World’s revamped website at The site is experiencing a few growing pains so let us know if you find any broken links. Otherwise enjoy the cleaner, clearer, bloggier format over there. Cheers.

Conspiracy of Silence

UN meeting on tackling sexual violence in conflict–emphasizing importance of including women in peace deliberations.

Fresh Congo Horrors

Latest campaign against Rwandan Hutu rebels inside eastern Congo fuels fresh atrocities. This is from a Washington Post piece by Stephanie McCrummen:

The mission, backed logistically by U.N. peacekeepers and politically by the United States, aims to disband the remaining 7,000 or so Rwandan Hutu rebels who fled into eastern Congo after the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

But since the operation began in January, villagers have recounted nightmarish stories that raise questions about whether the military action will ultimately cause more destruction than it prevents.

At least half a million people have fled a rebel campaign of village burnings and retaliatory killings, including a massacre of more than 100 people in which several civilians were decapitated. At the same time, people are also fleeing the advance of their own predatory army — a toxic mishmash of mostly unpaid, underfed, ill-trained former militiamen churned into the military after various peace deals.

Read the whole thing.

UN human rights chief on U.S. detention policies

Navi Pillay: “People who order or inflict torture cannot be exonerated…”

Here’s the WPost piece by Colum Lynch.

“A Cultural Shift”

More on what McChrystal wants to achieve in Afghanistan.

Working for peace in Sudan

Here’s a WP report on the Obama Administration’s efforts to focus attention on salvaging the North-South Peace Process–it ends with this tidbit on US policy:

The Obama administration is finishing a lengthy policy review on Sudan that has been marked by disagreements over how many “carrots” it should offer to Bashir, who has been charged by the International Criminal Court with war crimes in Darfur. There also appears to be a rift in the administration over whether to characterize the violence in Darfur as an “ongoing genocide.”

Meanwhile Alex de Waal is blogging about the African Union Panel on Darfur and its work exploring the roots of the conflict in Darfur.

Britain and Iran’s fraught history

Here’s a BBC online piece tracing the history of bad blood between Britain and Iran–

More on yesterday’s apparent drone strike-NYT

It may have killed 60 people attending the funeral of a Taliban fighter in South Waziristan:

Details of the attack, which occurred in Makeen, remained unclear, but the reported death toll was exceptionally high. If the reports are indeed accurate and if the attack was carried out by a drone, the strike could be the deadliest since the United States began using the aircraft to fire remotely guided missiles at members of the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the tribal areas of Pakistan. The United States carried out 22 previous drone strikes this year, as the Obama administration has intensified a policy inherited from the Bush administration.

Here’s the link to the full piece.

Another drone attack in Pakistan

Here’s a BBC link.

Limiting Airstrikes

This seems significant; I wonder if there will be comparable revisions to the rules for drone strikes in Pakistan.