Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Saving Darfur from "Save Darfur"

I am still working on a piece on Nick's trip to Oxfam, which I think is quite important in the overall development of Decency. In the meantime, via Lenin's Tomb, this excellent piece from the New York Times, detailing things from the other side, and giving some flavour of the exasperation felt in the aid community when self-appointed advocacy groups start sticking their great big Decent boots in. I'm going to sit down and eat a nice nourishing bowl of solidarity, as they don't say in the IDP camps.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a weird 80s flashback reading Nick's Oxfam piece. I rattled a bucket on the street in 1984 or 85 (I know it was in the middle of the miners' strike, because at least one donor thought that was what we were collecting for). We had just the same arguments against relying on a quietist, government-friendly agency like Oxfam to get the aid where it was needed - at that point, Eritrea. What was different was the solution, which was to use international left networking to go around the Ethiopian Stalinists[1] and get the aid to the Eritrean Stalinists[2] who were running things on the ground. The idea of going through the Ethiopian Stalinists, by means of humanitarian gunboating, probably didn't occur to anyone in the world. Mind you, the Ethiopian Stalinists (unlike the Eritrean ditto) did have some powerful friends.

[1] School of Brezhnev. Gone. Not missed.
[2] School of Hoxha. Still there. Not that great now, but they did some good work back then.

6/05/2007 03:10:00 PM  

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