danalwyn: (Default)
Transcript of the practice run for the press conference in commemoration of Thailand's twelfth coup.

Three Generals sit at a table in front of the cameras in pressed green uniforms. Respectively they are LEFT, RIGHT, and CENTER

Same old, same old )
danalwyn: (Default)
I should be doing a million things right now, but I can't seem to work on any of them. So, in lieu of all that, here's the roundup of everything that's gone wrong in the world while Sarkozy is busy pounding his chest and talking about intervention in Syria.

The Center May Not Hold, but the Wings are Falling Apart )

Mali Update

Apr. 2nd, 2012 09:31 pm
danalwyn: (Default)
So the coup in Mali is having some birthing problems. The whole point of the coup (ostensibly) is that the civilian government wasn't doing enough to fight against the Taureg rebels in the north of the country. The soldiers who overthrew the government swore that they would do everything the government was refusing to do and would supply the soldiers properly so that they could take the fight for the enemy.

They were dismissive of foreign protests. They were outright hostile to suggestions that civilian rule should be restored. When people questioned their methods, they claimed that foreigners had no place in Mali. When other countries complained, they were basically told to get out and stay out. And, when the leaders of several local countries proposed to lay out their terms in a visit to the capital of Bamako, the visit was canceled when armed coup supporters somehow managed to "evade" airport security and storm out onto the pavement - essentially threatening to assassinate several heads of state.

And the result of the coup? ECOWAS has embargoed the country, which is landlocked and depends on imports for almost anything. The Tuareg rebels first seized the city of Kidal, and now have seized the major city of Timbuktu.

And now, after having overthrown his government, deliberately threatened foreign heads of state, and demanded foreigners butt out, what is the new leader of Mali's strategy to defeat the Tuareg?
As the news was coming through, coup leader Capt Amadou Sanogo asked for foreign help to tackle the rebels.

Something tells me that this guy is not going to go down in history as one of the world's most brilliant leaders. Kicking people out and then begging them for help has never been a winning strategy.
danalwyn: (Default)
Not really making the headlines today, but it looks like there's another coup this year, this time in Mali. This is actually something that I think a lot of people saw coming, but that not a lot of people can do something about. As I understand it (and I'm by no means an expert), this is partially our fault, so maybe we should pay attention.

Aimless speculation )
danalwyn: (Default)
Coup count for 2010: -1

Coup successfully squashed. Probably. The situation is unclear, but it looks like the coup plotters are holed up in an army barracks near the airport, and are not in control. If, 24 hours into a coup, you aren't appointing a new minister of Finance and Looting, chances are your coup has failed. They're probably using their position near the airport to threaten to shut it down, giving them a bargaining chip to use in negotiations. Who knows how good it is? I can't guess, not being able to find the barracks accurately on a map, but maybe it's enough of a threat to keep them from getting lined up against a wall and shot (although the leaders will probably be quietly 'done away with', either physically or politically).

What's annoying to me is the lack of information. A rather serious attempt was made to overthrow the government of a country with twenty-one million people, which is already in a rather serious internal political struggle. This seems to rate about two news articles in each of the major news sources (one for the announcement, and one for the "looks like it's over" speech), which comes out to about 0.02 Kate Middletons. This left about a twelve hour gap where, for all we knew, zombie lemurs were overrunning Antananarivo and eating the populace. It's an interesting failure mode for media, which maybe needs to think about how to incorporate local journalism and cooperation in events in places where they don't have good sources.

Domino #2

Nov. 17th, 2010 08:33 am
danalwyn: (Default)
Coup count for 2010: +2

Well, we haven't had one since February, so I thought we might be safe, but there now appears to be a serious coup in progress in Madagascar. This should hardly be unexpected, since Madagascar has been in the throes of a political and economic mess for some time, and the referendum probably didn't help. Nobody knows whether the coup is successful or not; the military appears to have some disagreement as to whose side they're on. Possibly this will just blow over, which would make everyone happy (except for possibly the people in Madagascar, and Greenpeace, but really, who cares about them? We're only in this for the lemurs).

Well, we almost got through the year with only one. Maybe 2011 will go more smoothly.
danalwyn: (Default)
Coup count for 2010: +1

Since it overthrew a scummy regime, and since it happened in inaccessible Niger, don't expect anything serious anytime soon.

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