Monthly Archives: October 2006

Darfur

It escapes me how anyone expects the “Rock for Darfur” campaign to do any good. The conflict in Darfur is an ethnic and territorial war that isn’t based on any sort of historical misunderstanding or trivial difference. It’s also true that anything the US or any major power would do would wind up looking like Iraq. The duke of Wellington’s adage “For a great power there are no small wars” is being proven true everywhere.

So then what? Another adage “If a problem seems insolvable, enlarge it”. In this case, don’t act as a great power, or more specifically, use small powers, like private military companies, like Blackwater et. al. The money could be raised privately, they’re relatively cheap by military standards, and it wouldn’t require a massive US commitment.

There are massive legal and oversight problems involved with using PMCs, but using private means for what are essentially humanitarian efforts seems far better in every way than making a national commitment.

Semantics

I’ve always rejected the notion of Iraq being in a civil war due to the notion that a civil war requires two clearly defined sides and usually territories, be it Davis and Lincoln or Lenin and Kerensky.

While the two defining concepts in Iraq, Sunni and Shia, are clear, the fighting seems to be split up into 14-20 (from what I’ve read) different parties. Also, the fighting does not seem to be for control over the country, but rather ethnic cleansing of the classic variety, that is removing one group from a particular chunk of land.

What do you call that? It’s not quite anarchy, malignant diversity? Failure of integration? What?

Happiness and the devil….

Are both in the details. I was tidying up around the office and came across my original Logitech trackball mouse. I’d always meant to mess with it a bit to see if I can get it working, no other mouse has even come close. I did get it working, and I’m happier now that I’ve been in several days. I’m not even a bit peeved that I’m working at 1:20 in the morning, with several hours left to go. That’s odd when you think about it.