Category Archives: Africa

SCORECARD

MONDAY’S GAMES AND FROLICS

Boston Massacre 3 dead.
Kabul, Afghanistan – 24 dead.
Mogadishu, Somalia – 38 dead.
Combined all-star team in Iraq – 61 dead, 271 wounded.

The major leagues are tough and the Boston Marathon just doesn’t have what it takes to make the Big Time. However, our prayers and well-wishing thoughts go out to all the victims and their families and especially to Michelle Obama and her two kids, Sasha and Malia, as they busy themselves grieving as proxies for all America.
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OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO [BLAH, BLAH, BLAH]

Very shortly after the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers, aggressive comedians started to tell jokes about what had just happened. Their detractors groaned and and objected: “Too soon, too soon.” But was it too soon? Did we have to have a period of healing? I’m on the side of the comedians. It is never too soon. Nothing is better proof to the enemy of our so-called resilience than that we meet them so quickly and that we can stun them with our tough-minded responses.

Resilience can be shown in lots of ways. In my own feeble way it is via my strong objection to the saccharine sweetness of the Kenyan’s reassurance that we will get the evils-doers, make no mistake about that. In the meanwhile, he solemnly declared, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.

HOGWASH! Sickening hogwash. The word “will” can mean “resolve” or it can be used as a prediction. The president is either ignorant of the difference or chose to run roughshod over it. At best, he could have meant “We are resolved as a people to catch the freaks who blasted away at the Boston Marathon.” He did not have the guts to say that. No, indeed, he preferred “We WILL get the bad guys,” in the strongest sense of the term “will.” I coulld tolerate this standard obfuscation by the president had he not tagged on “…our prayers go out to all….” MINE DON’T. Millions of others join me. We don’t pray to a false SKYKING. We think that does more harm than good. Right or wrong, we deserve not to be ignored. When he is not mawkishly on parade, the president likes to proclaim there is plenty of room in a democracy for pluralistic values that include atheism. Every previous president was equally hypocritical. They are all false dogs.

The post-blast parade of VIPs straining to show they are the VIPS assaulted our intelligence and patience. Amazing to me is that Charles Schumer, the senator most passionate about being included in every photo shoot, was not there. Even he, for once, knew when to back off. A ton of others took their turns at the microphones to invoke God’s goodness. Other senators, other senators’ ex-sisters-in-law’s cousins, governors, et al, took a shot at the camera. Or course, forewarned is forearmed , so you can bet those cousins informed their ex-sisters-in-law that they were scheduled to have their three minutes of fame at whatever time they did manage to grab.
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TO THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI

As the Libyan civil war enters its seventh month, a tipping point leading to the eventual collapse of Muammar Qaddafi’s embattled regime looks near. On August 16th a NATO spokesman declared that the colonel no longer had “an effective operational capability”. [The rebels] took control of most of Zawiya, a strategically vital port that is home to the last oil refinery still in the regime’s hands and straddles the road between Tripoli, the capital (30 miles away), and the Tunisian border. The rebels also seized Gharyan, a mainly Berber town 50 miles south of Tripoli that sits on the road to Algeria, a big source of arms for Colonel Qaddafi’s militias. Heavy fighting continued around Zlitan, where rebels advancing from Misrata had less success in breaking the resistance of loyalist forces.

One thing is certain: the rebels are getting stronger, while Colonel Qaddafi’s position is crumbling. It may be too soon to talk of an endgame. But the overthrow of the colonel’s 42-year-old regime is getting closer. It could happen quite quickly if the defection of his security chief, Nassr al-Mabrouk Abdullah, who arrived in Cairo on a private plane from Tunisia with nine family members on August 15th, is anything to go by.
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Beautiful downtown Ethiopia

Ethiopian authorities are trying to warn the 50,000 or so impoverished residents of the Afar region in the remote northeast of impending and very serious earthquakes. The trouble seems to be how to get the word out because the Bose radios of these Afar-based folks are not all they’re cracked up to be…Meanwhile, Ethiopia and Eritrea are again readying for mayhem along their border. The U.N. Security Council unanimously said “Cut it out” but Eritrea won’t let helicopters manned by U.N. peacekeepers invade their airspace. The dispute is over control of the the 621 miles of border. You might well wonder why. Recall the old joke? 2nd prize – one week in Philadelphia. 1st prize – one day.