Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Are there two Mr. Platitudes in the house?

I am having a hard time keeping up with the blog while in Burkina Faso... too many meetings and places to be. Plus playing tennis with my Burkinabè tennis buddy! But there's always time for some gentle poking fun at Alex de Waal, whose latest blog entry over at Making Sense of Darfur is a recap of a "press conference" with Thabo Mbeki who is leading a panel of AU eminient persons, writing a report on Darfur after their listening tour... the summary statement is almost as interesting as a Scott Gration press conference. Are they trying to outdo each other with the platitudes? Come on... this is hardly worth posting on a blog. It's like the fawning sycophantic stuff on official state television... the dueling gilded armchairs... that leads people to tell each other the obscene jokes that Achille Mbembe writes about... the banality of power. One example paragraph:
General elections are scheduled for April 2010. The position of the Panel is that in any national elections, such as those of next year, the population of Darfur should be able to participate. The elections must be free and fair. So the necessary conditions will need to be created for that to be achieved.
Gosh I'm glad that is clarified. For a nanosecond I thought he might have read Paul Collier's new book and was going to say it would be better to have a quick fradulent election victory of al-Bashir which would be more conducive to political stability... President Mbeki's STRAIGHT TALK EXPRESS BRINGS GET OVER IT TO DARFUR. Would be more interesting.

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