The Free State
"Man, in a word, has no nature. What he has is - history."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Books, articles, woops

Term's starting again. We're getting reading lists of books and articles and it's time to delve into them to try to relive events past. I'm doing some research on French decolonization at the moment, and I stumbled on this rather disturbing passage describing the French Politicians attitudes towards the reconquest of Indochina by the French Army in 1949:

"Communists, democrats and reactionaries alike mounted to the tribune to pay homage to the French soldier. There was no more certain way to draw applause from all sectors of the Chamber [Parliament] than to pay lavish compliment to the Army. No surer means of curtailing an embarrassing debate than to invoke the need for supporting military moral. [Member of Parliament] Laniel warned the Chamber: "If imprudent words come to be pronounced, the government is perfectly conscious of the damage which might be caused to our troops who are fighting over there so valiantly and to whom I want, in my turn, to pay homage."

- George Kelly in Lost Soldiers (1965)

They talk about "partisanship" in the US, as if there is a gaping chasm between American "Liberalism" and "Conservatism". In postwar France Communists, Democrats, Gaullists and semi-authoritarian Conservatives all agreed on the need to "support the troops".

The Indochinese disaster was the first step in the extremely painful dismantlement of the French Empire. I don't want to make this bad analogy hour so I'll point out America doesn't have an Algeria.. (unless you believe Pat Buchanan)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Myriam Aché

Meanwhile a person claiming to be none other than Miss Chad (Myriam Aché) posted correcting me. She says she's a typical Arabic girl from Djadda and native Chadian parents.

I'm sorry for any offense I caused in implying Miss Myriam Aché was not "proper" Chadian. Goes to show even if you think you're well-read/informed, you can still chat shit.

"Any question buddy?"
If you're still reading, I have a couple:
- Is Djadda(a) in the BET region?
- Did you go to an International/American school (or equivalent)?
- How did you find my blog?

In fact, I'm happily stunned someone would even find my blog and take the time to correct me. I'm bound to make more Chad posts, so any corrections in the future from locals are welcome.

In Liverpool

After two weeks in Liverpool of being more or less cut off from internet, I have finally got a connection into my room again. All is well but my room is still filled with crap.

The room (including bed) used to be COMPLETELY covered in people's stuff because we used it as storage during the summer. I've now got enough space to sleep and use my laptop. Stuff is still blocking the sink because IPANA is not back yet.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Comments and Mark Steyn 1

(Shadow) Uncle Jon - "Actually, I want his job (whatever it is"

Ever since all the tourists left the region last Monday I've been out of might waiting job. If anyone has any ideas for a job after I graduate that would be gravy.

"computer" has left a comment with a Mark Steyn quote! -
"You know, basically, if you want to find an exit strategy for Iraq, then pretty soon, you're going be — have to be finding an exit strategy for a lot of other places because those jihadists, they're not like the gooks in Vietnam."

Conservative reporter Mark Steyn spoke those words as he guest hosted the Rush Limbaugh show a few days ago. I don't know if "computer" is endorsing the quote or showing it as an example of neo-dominoes/Big Green Blob. Steyn's assertion is of course ridiculous. Most of the "jihadists" in Iraq are local Iraqis. They weren't fighting the US until the target came to them. Mark Steyn's assertions about Iraq are the same as the ones other warmongers made about Vietnam:

"Let no one think for a moment that retreat from Vietnam would bring an end to conflict. The battle would be renewed in one country and then another. The central lesson of our time is that the appetite of aggression is never satisfied. To withdraw from one battlefield means only to prepare for the next." - Lyndon B. Johnson April 7 1965

It was all BS: as soon as the Americans left, the common enemy was gone, and Cambodian, Chinese and Vietnamese Commies viciously turned on one another. Of course, the large southeast Asian states, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, were completely safe.

It's funny he brought Steyn up as I watched him speak yesterday on C-span (yes I know I watch it too much, its the only American TV show I get here) and he really peeved me off. I'll write on Mark Steyn's other assertions on multiculturalism and Eurabia later.