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Stuff That Happened While I Was Away


Back from vacation and back on the grid. Hmm, what have I missed in the last couple of weeks?

1) Ooh, looks like the BP oil spill is capped for now. At FP, Joshua Keating provides a sobering look of the world’s other worst festering environmental catastrophes, reminding us not to go and start feeling complacent. He’s right.

2) The fifteenth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre passed while I was away. On the eve of this event, the ICTY formally recognized the role of propaganda in the event. Mike Kearney’s book on the broader subject is worth noting. So is this NPR analysis of calls for a “ban on war propaganda.”

3) To ban war propaganda you have to define “war.” At the Kampala conference, ICC States Parties finally agreed to a definition of the crime of aggression. Oh, except the new definition is still as ambiguous as any renegade superpower rogue state could hope. Plus check out the loopholes. Coupled with the imminent release of accused war criminal Thomas Lubanga Dyilo due to irreconcilable procedural differences between the Prosecutor and the judges, many commentators are interpreting this as a bad sign for the court’s credibility. Meanwhile, the ICC has gone ahead and added genocide to the charges against President Bashir of Sudan.

4) In other news, Fareed Zakaria is taking on FP’s “failed states” discourse in a new WAPO op-ed. Glad to see he revives Bronwyn Bruton’s CFR report on Somalia, which I blogged heads about awhile back – some of the most commonsense analysis I’ve seen about what the phenomena of “state failure” means for US foreign policy.

5) Oh yes, and according to Wired: DARPA is giving US troops super-strength.

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