Ioannis Gatsiounis

Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

Setting the Stage for a Deadly Sequel in Palestine

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2011 at 7:21 am

March 28, 2011

A bomb goes off in Jerusalem, the first fatal attack in the city in several years. Israel retaliates with airstrikes on Gaza militants. Hamas shoots rockets and mortars at civilian targets inside Israel.

Why, it’s starting to feel like 2009 all over again. That was the year Israel flattened Gaza in retribution for the thousands of rockets Hamas launched into Israel. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Media’s Vested Interest in Hyping China (and the Hidden Costs)

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2011 at 1:54 am

March 25, 2011

KAMPALA – The Chinese government and western media painted the evacuation of 29,000 Chinese nationals from Libya last month the same way – as a reflection of China’s swift inroads into yet another resource-rich country at the expense of the West.

Western media reports showed a sea of monotonously stoic faces disembarking from a ship and spoke of “China’s growing economic clout,” while China’s state press called it “a massive operations overseas.” The Financial Times used the occasion to point out that two-way trade between China and Libya stands at $6.6 billion, most of it in oil. Read the rest of this entry »

Seeing Progress through the Lens of Disempowerment

In Uncategorized on March 21, 2011 at 11:40 pm

March 21, 2011

When I first arrived in Uganda last year a friend was fond of reminding me, “You should have seen this place 25 years ago.” That is when the current president and former rebel fighter Yoweri Museveni seized power, and this was my friend’s way of praising the old man’s performance.

I was grateful for his detailings of an era I did not know first-hand, a prolonged sinister stretch marked by curfews, interrogations, disappearances, torture and economic stagnation. Read the rest of this entry »

Blame the Jews *

In Uncategorized on March 9, 2011 at 1:33 am

March 9, 2011

It could be when you’re pulled over for drunk driving (Mel Gibson); your economy slumps (Mahathir Mohamad); Hollywood spurns you (Marlon Brando); someone calls you ugly (John Galliano); or your website intended to expose a superpower’s evil intentions has convinced few of any such thing (Julian Assange) – when the going gets tough, the roughed up can be counted on to blame the Jews. Read the rest of this entry »

In Women We Trust (?)

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2011 at 7:29 am

March 8, 2011

In covering politics, one thing that continues to intrigue me is the extent to which man, in his pursuit of greatness and posterity, succumbs to the trappings of greed and corruption and recedes into the annals of history indistinguishable from his average countryman (other than that he often screwed his average countryman to lead the lifestyle he did).

This tendency is particularly conspicuous in Africa, though it’s also been the case on just about every other continent for time immemorial.

And it begs the question: how great is man, really? Read the rest of this entry »

Mayoral Hopeful Defends Practice of Vote-Rigging in Uganda

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2011 at 5:29 am

March 7, 2011

This Youtube clip contains highlights from an interview with Kampala mayoral candidate Peter Sematimba.*

On polling day a few days prior, ballots pre-ticked in the businessman/pastor’s favor had been discovered, leading to violence and rescheduling of the election (now set for March 14).

Our interview also ended in bitter dispute (starting at around the six-and-a-half-minute mark of the link above), with Sematimba following up his almost plausible-sounding claim that he was not guilty of cheating by passionately defending Uganda’s destructive habit of vote-rigging.

He did so on the grounds that Uganda is only 49 years old.

I have always found apologists for mediocrity troubling, especially when they are leaders or aspiring leaders.
Read the rest of this entry »