View Full Version : U.N. Plaza: Live From Khartoum

06-07-2008, 07:09 PM
We apologize for the abrupt ending of this diavlog, which was a Skype-related mishap. This illustrates the hazards of intercontinental diavlogging, which we encourage viewers not to try at home without first consulting a professional.

06-07-2008, 09:03 PM
This is the most noir bloggingheads yet.

06-07-2008, 09:39 PM
here's a really good doc on sudan and south sudan that allleges something i've never heard anywhere else besides this diavlog: that the government is killing and kicking out people wherever oil is discovered in sudan and it's been going on for 30 years and that this is the base reason for the fighting.
i've always heard this conflict described in racial terms (arab v black) and i'm glad matt touched on this. they also have other great movies including an undercover one on NoKo that is the best NoKo piece anywhere i've seen. weirdest. country. ever.

06-07-2008, 11:04 PM
This is exactly what bhTV needs to do more of, exactly what it can do better than many online outlets. Why do what all the other corporate media and think tanks do, when you can follow the UN to Sudan.

That VBS-TV was even more f@#*-ed than Matthew's Mad Max museum, but another backdrop for the same movie. Thanks for the link. (I would also recommend VBS in North Korea (http://www.vbs.tv/shows.php?show=1442318652&source=sc)). There's also The Economist on UNMIS (http://www.economist.com/world/africa/PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=11412571).

The UN Mission in Sudan, known as UNMIS, is feeble. Its diplomats call for calm, but their ability to do good on the ground is impeded by the government in Khartoum, which never wanted the mission there in the first place and limits its ability even to move around freely. The 10,000-strong mission, including some 7,000 soldiers and police, has a weak mandate; its mainly Zambian units did little more than protect a nearby UN base when the hostilities in Abyei broke out.

Since then, some 50,000 civilians have fled into the bush, leaving Abyei town virtually deserted, a stark reminder that some 2m were killed and 4m displaced during the long conflict that ended in 2005. Hectic talks between politicians of north and south are going on in Khartoum.

Yet the continuing horrors of Darfur, in western Sudan, attract more of the world's attention. Many foreign government agencies and charities have switched their focus to Darfur. For the UN, tackling southern Sudan still seems a challenge too far.

But, no one wants to do state-building, right? It's amazing how resolute governments are to keep warring provinces together when there's oil involved.

06-07-2008, 11:51 PM
Why are there three separate threads for the same diavlog?

06-07-2008, 11:58 PM

I know, it's confusing. It's as if "Afterthought" has become the default state of mind at bhTV. Lately, technical glitches are starting to blot out the discussions. I hope this means bhTV is going con gusto and we can expect some super-duper new level of technology soon.

I'm not joking-take the next few months until the conventions, cut out the horserace crap, and work out the kinks! Matthew and Mark deserve as good as the domestic 'heads!

06-08-2008, 12:07 AM
I think Eli Lake's were even more noir, but this time both 'heads are in shadows.

06-08-2008, 01:38 AM

I know, it's confusing. It's as if "Afterthought" has become the default state of mind at bhTV. Lately, technical glitches are starting to blot out the discussions.

What, specifically, would be your gripes? I think the site works quite well, especially considering it's not exactly rolling in VC dough. In fact, many of the problems that I used to remark upon seem to have gone away; e.g., streaming is much better now -- almost no stalls or dropouts. This instance of multiple threads for this one diavlog is about first real site glitch that I've seen in weeks, if not months.

I grant that the audio is less than perfect sometimes. I blame this more on Skype and various bits of crappy hardware (headsets, personal computers) than I do on BH.tv. And I could imagine a few tweaks that I'd like to see in the forum software if I really thought about it. But again, not really something in BH.tv's direct control.

So, what do you think needs to be cleaned up? (Besides cutting down on the horse race coverage, with which I agree.)

06-08-2008, 01:42 AM
I think Eli Lake's were even more noir, but this time both 'heads are in shadows.

I think Eli is the unquestioned gold standard for the video aspect of BH.tv. Not only the noir lighting, but how about the ominous lighting of, uh, cigarettes? And the reflections on his glasses give him that sinister opacity (although Ruy Teixeira (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/8120) competes here).

06-08-2008, 02:25 AM
1. Streaming is something bhTv cannot really control. Here in Busan, I always have streaming problems, with VBS, Slingbox, and even downloads if I don't disconnect from the ISP.

2. What about Klein-Drezner (6-3)? in addition, the volume equalization on many diavlogs is still a work in progress.

3. Off the technical side (or maybe it's included), watching VBS-TV again, I was struck by how conventional bhTV has become. Matthew Lee or Eli Lake reporting from the field is cool, Lithwick and Wittes, or Yglesias and McArdle, from the same building or room just seems contrived. I wonder if there's a way to upload by wireless from a live location (like say the party conventions????). It just seems bhTv is trying to be mainstream when it should be taking more risks. There's too many inside-the-beltway types.

It's supposed to be BLOGGINGheads. There's how many bloggers in the world? In the States? Just searching the blogging awards every year will net superb blogs with wide following. I can rattle off wonderful blogs in Northeast Asia by English-speaking natives and expats who work in government or have real newspaper gigs. Instead, we get Bob in Arabia, Meghan in Thailand, and Lithwick/Wittes in a room like they were playing a joint video game! And, we get days of American politics, when there's no dearth of coverage. There's people analyzing out there, not just hanging on to news like it were gossip.

And, what about non-politics, non-science topics. How about, I don't know, a weird America diavlog, or a how-to diavlog, a home medicine, etc.? I love outer space stuff, so what about a NASA official? The blogosphere is mainly a male-driven hormone storm, but including just women isn't enough. The format and topics should suit a wide demographic.

At least Kaus blogs from CA!

06-08-2008, 03:34 AM

Re: #2: Does this (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=79842&postcount=53) help?

Re: bloggers you'd like to see -- maybe add names here (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=77103#poststop)?

Sounds like you don't actually have many tech-related complaints.

I agree with you that a broader array of topics would be better. I don't agree that the diavloggers have to be bloggers -- as long as they're smart and interesting, I'm happy.

06-08-2008, 06:03 AM
1. Political Risk (http://risk.typepad.com/about.html)
2. Tobias Harris (http://www.observingjapan.com/)
3. Trans-Pacific Radio (http://www.transpacificradio.com/)
4 Manuel L. Quezon III (http://www.quezon.ph/resume-for-manuel-l-quezon-iii/)
5. Michael Turton (http://michaelturton.blogspot.com/)
6. Robert Koehler (http://www.rjkoehler.com/about/)
7. Brendan Carr (http://www.korealawblog.com/)
8. Joshua Foust (http://www.conjecturer.com/weblog/?page_id=2589)
9 International Crisis Group (http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm)
10. John Robb (http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/about.html)

That's just my Top 10, and only halfway around the globe. Most of these guys have day jobs, but deserve a break. Most 'heads already had one, and many don't deserve any more breaks. A few, like TPR, might even contribute to bhTV's technical side, or even bring an audience.

I'll try the volume settings next time I watch a diavlog. Thanx!

06-08-2008, 07:10 AM
I'm surprised conservatives have not jumped on Lee's transcript, that the UN is seemingly placating Khartoum and is unable to show anything for UNMIS' efforts. Lee wants teeth for the ICC and consensus among the powers, like Beijing and Moscow supporting sovereignty conveniently. The Chinese and Indians have moved into territory where American oil companies broke ground first, but all the UNSC powers own the problems, like glue-sniffing orphans and camps. Either junk the legislation that inhibits investment in Sudan and let American companies muscle the Chinese and Indians out, thereby allowing corporations to extend humanitarian help. Or, back the UN with funds and dare the Russians and Chinese to veto weightier resolutions.

But, the lack of American support for the ICC obviously is hurting this cause.

06-08-2008, 07:43 AM
I always enjoy this DV and especially Matthew Lee.