Archive for January, 2010
New York- While I am in total go mode getting ready to launch my new publication, Militant Leadership Monitor, from the Jamestown Foundation, I want to quickly plug a couple of friend’s projects. Jen Marlowe is still hard at work traipsing around South Sudan, first on the Huffington Post, and now on PBS’s World Focus site with a story titled “In South Sudan, schools still function under trees” about the difficulties of building a basic school facility (I suppose as ostensibly simple task in other places) in Warrap State, a previously non-existent political entity that was created under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement where the GoSS is to build it’s first oil refinery.
New York- My friend Jen Marlowe heads a grass roots development project in South Sudan called Rebuilding Hope that seeks to bring education, health care, and wells for clean, safe drinking water to remote villages in the region. Jen also had a post on the Huffington Post last week entitled “South Sudan: Progress and Pessimism” which details both change brought by the relative calm of the North-South Comprehensive Peace Agreement which has just passed the five year mark, and fear on the horizon in regard to the upcoming elections in April and the 2011 referendum that could lead to southern secession and further instability.
Jen’s film Rebuilding Hope: Sudan’s Lost Boys Return Home can be bought from Cinema Libre Studios for $19.95 plus $5 shipping. Order your copy.
New York- My former editor and colleague at Asia Times Online, Charles McDermid, has an article today with local Suleimani-based reporter Rebaz Mahmood on the fourth and perhaps ultimate death sentence for “Chemical” Ali Hassan al-Majid, the most brutal enforcer of the al-Anfal campaign in northern Iraq in 1988. Charles is now working in Iraqi Kurdistan for the Institute for War & Peace Reporting and is gearing up for coverage of the Iraqi general elections to be held on March 7th by the Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq (which is meant to coincide with the “Status of Forces Agreement” referendum on the future of U.S. troops in the Republic of Iraq). Almost seven years after the United States military and its allies tried to erase the legacy of Saddam Hussein by destroying Iraq in order to try and save it, or remake it into a pro-Israel, emasculated Arab client state of neoconservative folly, the legacy of Ba’athism and Halabja continue to haunt the politics of this shattered post-Ottoman successor state.
New York- The Jamestown Foundation is selling a jam-packed DVD of its third annual terrorism conference entitled “The Changing Strategic Gravity of al-Qaeda” that was held on December 9th at the National Press Club. This extensive series of presentations covers everything from more mainstream topics like counterinsurgency, de-radicalization and AfPak to far lesser understood topics ranging from Mindanao to the Houthi war in northern Yemen. Jamestown is providing some of the most extensive coverage on all subjects terror related and this DVD is a must for anyone looking to get (way) beyond today’s headlines.
Jamestown brings together indigenous experts and former government officials from the troubled states in question along with top Western area experts in an attempt to present the widest picture of the global threat spectrum as possible. From ideology to insurgent logistics, this DVD has it all. No one who seeks to truly understand the dangers posed to the global community by non-state actors can settle for thinking they have a handle on all the necessary knowledge by focusing on one area such as the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater when the next attack is conceived in, and launched out of, Yemen or Somalia. The insight provided therein constantly seeks to enhance the intellectual agility of those trying to grapple with a globalized insurgency.