Saturday, January 01, 2005

New Year's Day

I had my, by now, customary crappy New Year's Eve night out. I'm being unfair on the two old school friends who rescued it from being a complete write-off, but still. I took a notion to head to a bar in my home town's Dock area, which has a reputation for great live music and an easy going atmosphere. So, of course, there was two hours of drum 'n bass through the speakers in the run up to midnight. *sigh*. Had to walk 3 miles home as well at 4am for the second time in a week.

A Michael Kavanagh has an article in Slate about my own particular pet global issue - the Congo...

In order to succeed in Congo, the United Nations needs a robust troop presence to disarm the militias, secure Congo's borders and natural resources, and keep the peace. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has requested 23,900 troops. So far, he's received 16,700. It's not clear if the international community (particularly the United States) is still blinded by its guilt and sympathy for the Tutsis of Rwanda, if it can't deal with complexity, or if it just doesn't want to deal with Africa. Congo is a nation-building commitment extraordinaire, one that will take sustained efforts on all sides and one where success could go some small way toward redressing the mistakes of Rwanda. If the United Nations and the international community don't step up to the plate, Rwanda has shown time and again that it will fight the battle on its own.

Will European nations ever stand-up and actually try to make a real difference for good on the world stage? The bloody Belgians caused the mess in the first place.

"Nothing changes on New Year's Day".
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