Kony 2012 and the Case of the Invisible Media

March 25, 2012 by

Much has been said about Invisible Children’s video campaign to rally awareness towards the atrocities of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony. But more important is what Kony 2012 means in our ongoing relationship with viral news events. It’s time to uncloak the “invisible” social media.

Why Kony 2012 Fails

March 22, 2012 by

From Twitter trending to the front page of The New York Times to public statements by the White House and the Pentagon, the Kony 2012 campaign has shown the power of social media to affect U.S. public debate. But it has also demonstrated the dangers posed by oversimplification in an age when policy is made in the 24-hour news cycle. This has proven especially so on issues concerning Africa where, lacking historical context, over-simplistic media framing can quickly take root and lead to problematic policy “solutions.”

Polling Shows Little Support for Syrian Intervention

March 20, 2012 by

Despite strenuous efforts by prominent neo-conservatives and other hawks, a war-weary U.S. public is clearly very leery of any armed intervention in what many experts believe is rapidly becoming a civil war in Syria, according to recent polls. In a survey released last week, the Pew Research Center found that only 25 percent of respondents said they believed the U.S. has a “responsibility to do something” about the year-old violence in Syria.

In defence of the bandwagon: Kony 2012 makers should check their facts, but so should critics

March 8, 2012 by

“Kony2012” is trending worldwide on Twitter. Really, people? Why couldn’t we just stick to making tweets about the Kardashians, Justin Bieber, Angelina Jolie’s leg and sexist hashtags? Snark aside, I knew who Joseph Kony was before this week, but then again I’m not the target market of the Kony 2012 campaign.

Amid Escalating Israel-Iran Tensions, a Glimmer of Hope?

February 19, 2012 by

After weeks of rapidly escalating tensions, particularly between Israel and Iran, signs emerged this week both here and in Tehran that serious negotiations over Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme may soon get underway. The most concrete step was a long-awaited positive RSVP from Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalali, to an invitation extended last October by European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to meet with the P5+1 (the U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia, and Germany) for a new round of talks.

When is an ‘NGO’ not an NGO? Twists and Turns Beneath the Cairo Skies

February 15, 2012 by

A confusing controversy between the United States and Egypt is unfolding. It has already raised tensions in the relationship between the two countries to a level that has not existed for decades. It results from moves by the military government in Cairo to go forward with the criminal prosecution of 43 foreigners, including 19 Americans, for unlawfully carrying on the work of unlicensed public interest organizations that improperly, according to Egyptian law, depend for their budget on foreign funding.

A New Cold War

December 18, 2011 by

There was something odd about the “final pullout” of United States troops from Iraq as the last military convoy crossed the border into Kuwait. Addressing a group of returning soldiers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, a few days before, President Obama hailed it as an “historic” moment after nine years of conflict, proclaiming it a “success.” He said, “We are leaving a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq.”

Mission accomplished? America withdraws from Iraq

December 15, 2011 by

Former US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, is reported to have advised President Bush concerning his planned invasion of Iraq that, “you break it, it’s yours.” The implication was that America would be responsible for restoring Iraq to political, social and economic health following the invasion.

Gingrich, The Times & Doomsday

December 13, 2011 by

In a recent New York Times article the newspaper’s senior science writer, William J. Broad, takes a dig at Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s obsession with the possibility of a “nightmarish of doomsday scenarios: a nuclear blast high above the United States that would instantly throw the United States in a dark age.”

New Republican Front-runner Roils Mideast Waters

December 13, 2011 by

Newt Gingrich has a well-documented reputation for bomb throwing, but his latest assertions about Palestinians threaten to blow at least two decades of U.S. Middle East diplomacy to pieces. In a pre-recorded interview with the Jewish Channel made public Friday, the former speaker of the House of Representatives and the latest front-runner in the race for the 2012 Republican nomination called the Palestinians an “invented…people”.

As the U.S. military leaves Iraq, Renewed emphasis on protecting Iraq’s sovereignty

December 12, 2011 by

President Obama, while meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Monday in Washington, reiterated U.S. support for Iraq ahead of the U.S. pullout scheduled for the end of the month. Obama expressed the U.S. position that Iraqi sovereignty must be observed and in particular, Iran and other states have an obligation not to meddle in Iraq’s internal affairs.

Obama polls high on Foreign Affairs, but struggles domestically

November 10, 2011 by

Current GOP presidential candidates are fond of criticizing President Obama’s handling of foreign policy, but few offer policy alternatives of their own. Obama could very well attribute his election in 2008 to his opposition to the Iraq War. His opponent for the Democratic party nomination, Hillary Clinton, the current Secretary of State, could not offer a reasonable explanation to validate her vote for the Iraq War in 2003.

Obama helps Uganda, does what’s morally right

October 23, 2011 by

The tentacles of the United States of America’s military extend to all corners of the world. On 14 October, United States President Barack Obama informed Congress that he dispatched about 100 US military advisers — mostly special operations forces — to Uganda to assist in the fight against a local militant group.

U.S. to remove all troops from Iraq by year-end

October 21, 2011 by

The administration announced Friday that all U.S. combat forces will be out of Iraq by year-end, leaving in place a security contingent of several hundred troops to protect U.S. embassy personal. “As promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over,” President Obama announced.

Obama Claims Vindication

October 21, 2011 by

The death of former Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi was hailed here Thursday by both the administration of President Barack Obama and some of his Republican foes as the latest in a series of victories for U.S. foreign policy. In a brief televised appearance in the White House Rose Garden, Obama himself called Gaddafi’s demise “a momentous day in the history of Libya” and, somewhat uncharacteristically, extolled U.S. leadership in the multinational effort to oust him.

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