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  #1  
Old 03-13-2010, 07:32 PM
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Default UN Plaza: Peacekeeping in Sudan and Congo (Mark Goldberg & Erin Weir)

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  #2  
Old 03-15-2010, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: UN Plaza: Peacekeeping in Sudan and Congo (Mark Goldberg & Erin Weir)

Interesting diavlog on a topic that I know nothing about. I was somewhat puzzled when Mark asked Erin's opinion on why poorer countries don't send more peacekeeping troops since they are paid reasonably well (U$ 1,100 per soldier per month).
It sounds like countries would take it as normal to have mercenary armies. Erin was gracious in her response, but only tangential and didn't address directly the question about poorer countries sending their soldiers.
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  #3  
Old 03-15-2010, 06:56 PM
Lyle
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Default Sudan, Congo and Beckham

Forget Sudan and the DR Congo, lets all cry a river that Becks won't be playing in the first ever World Cup in Africa. Massive, massive tragedy.
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  #4  
Old 03-15-2010, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Sudan, Congo and Beckham

I don't know what to say about your comment, but thank you for coming here to keep me company. It was kind of lonely...
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  #5  
Old 03-15-2010, 09:30 PM
Lyle
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Default David Beckham's Injury

David Beckham's achilles tendon tear during a Italian Serie A game keeps him out of the first ever World Cup in Africa. That's what happened.

David Beckham is from England, plays for the LA Galaxy and A.C. Milan. Huge, international icon. Bigger story than the Sudan and the Congo in the newspapers.

Last edited by Lyle; 03-15-2010 at 09:37 PM..
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  #6  
Old 03-15-2010, 09:34 PM
Lyle
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Default Re: UN Plaza: Peacekeeping in Sudan and Congo (Mark Goldberg & Erin Weir)

Nation state soldiers serving on UN missions isn't "mercenary". The UN doesn't have a standing army and requires member states to send soldiers to provide manpower for UN missions. It's a great way for countries to keep their own armies paid for, but it's also good for getting a country's military some experience. Pakistan is well known for doing this.
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  #7  
Old 03-15-2010, 09:43 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: UN Plaza: Peacekeeping in Sudan and Congo (Mark Goldberg & Erin Weir)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
Nation state soldiers serving on UN missions isn't "mercenary". The UN doesn't have a standing army and requires member states to send soldiers to provide manpower for UN missions. It's a great way for countries to keep their own armies paid for, but it's also good for getting a country's military some experience.
Yes, I know that much. As a matter of fact I knew a physician who went to the Sinai Peninsula as part of the Uruguayan military that was sent there by the UN peace keeping mission. He died by accidentally stepping on an unexploded grenade.

I mentioned mercenary because it seems that sending troops is voluntary, and Mark's statement implied that it would be "profitable". But I may have misunderstood the statement. That's why I was surprised to hear it.

Thank you, Lyle.
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  #8  
Old 03-16-2010, 12:41 AM
Lyle
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Default Re: UN Plaza: Peacekeeping in Sudan and Congo (Mark Goldberg & Erin Weir)

It's both voluntary and potentially profitable. If they're getting paid more than what it cost them to send their soldiers wherever, then they make a profit. That's just how it works.

Maybe it's not as profitable as Mark thinks though, and perhaps that's a reason why the smaller countries don't do it more often.
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  #9  
Old 03-16-2010, 08:30 AM
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Default Re: UN Plaza: Peacekeeping in Sudan and Congo (Mark Goldberg & Erin Weir)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
It's both voluntary and potentially profitable. If they're getting paid more than what it cost them to send their soldiers wherever, then they make a profit. That's just how it works.

Maybe it's not as profitable as Mark thinks though, and perhaps that's a reason why the smaller countries don't do it more often.
I tend to think that there may be more noble reasons as well. Erin somewhat referred to them, but she only mentioned developed, richer countries instead. She talked about countries being more likely to send the military following some humanitarian goal. She mentioned Haiti and Palestine.

Lyle, you have to give some credit to Humanity's noble deeds.
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  #10  
Old 03-16-2010, 08:56 PM
Lyle
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Default Re: UN Plaza: Peacekeeping in Sudan and Congo (Mark Goldberg & Erin Weir)

Oh, I do... like helping rid the world of Saddam Hussein and feed Somalia children. Go world, go!

... but if the poor countries won't do it for the money, why aren't they doing it for the noble purpose, hmm?
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  #11  
Old 03-17-2010, 12:09 AM
Lyle
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Default Goldberg... Interview This Guy About Sudan

Darfur: every celeb’s favourite African war

Rob Crilly... I think he's talking about you man.

Quote:
Of course, complexity does not always go down well with newspapers eager for attention-grabbing headlines (Crilly wrote for The Times and the Daily Mail, among others). ‘Hmm, it’s a bit “Inside Baseball” isn’t it?’ was the response of editors who thought his attempts to present a more nuanced picture were too laden with esoteric detail. Sometimes they would even insert terms such as ‘black’ and ‘African’ into his articles in order to make them conform to the clear but misleading narrative that dominated news coverage. ‘[I]t was only after a couple of years covering the conflict that I began to object,’ he recalls, ‘pointing out that everyone in Darfur was black and African.’ While candid about his own mistakes, Crilly is highly critical of Western media coverage of Darfur – especially the simple-minded moralism of crusading journalists such as Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times.

The main focus of criticism, though, is the celebrity campaigners and human rights activists of the Save Darfur lobby – the target of the book’s ironic title. He pokes fun at some of their media-friendly stunts, such as the 2008 ‘Day for Darfur’ when celebrities smashed up toys to symbolise the suffering of Darfuri children – ‘Matt Damon took a baseball bat to a dolls’ house… Thandie Newton blowtorched a Barbie.’ But his criticism is deadly serious. It was the campaigners and ‘celebrity diplomats’ who did most to ‘[turn] Sudan’s desert conflict into the world’s favourite African war’, yet they did so only by simplifying and distorting it. In the process, Crilly concludes, far from ‘saving Darfur’ the campaigners have actually made things worse.

By exaggerating death tolls and depicting this ‘messy war’ as the ‘first genocide of the twenty-first century’, he argues, the activists and celebrities bear much of the responsibility for framing Darfur as a problem demanding drastic solutions – not quiet diplomacy but UN troops, not patient mediation but arrest warrants from the International Criminal Court (ICC). It is a timely point. The book’s publication this month coincides with the ICC’s decision – welcomed by the Save Darfur Coalition – to re-examine the possibility of adding the charge of genocide to its indictment against President Bashir. Coming just ahead of elections in Sudan scheduled for this spring, the court’s move to further criminalise the country’s president is unlikely to improve the chances of a negotiated peace settlement.

Last edited by Lyle; 03-17-2010 at 12:12 AM..
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