Disturbing reads, disturbing thoughts

What I’ve been reading lately:

  • Erik Prince the humanitarian? Um, no. The founder and owner of Blackwater Worldwide, the private security contractor (PSC) of Nisour Square infamy, should have no involvement with aid organizations and decision-makers in aid organizations should have the good sense to stay well away from Prince and his ilk.
  • The CIA is handing out viagra to tribal leaders in Afghanistan in exchange for information and safe access. This strikes me as a Very Bad Idea, and I agree with Cara at Feministe that it smacks of misogyny and recklessness, and, I would add, cynicism –it’s not “thinking out of the box,” or any such nonsense. Let’s get over that.  It’s old-school sex-for-information bribery, only with a pharmaceutical twist. Just check out this quote from the article.

“You didn’t hand it out to younger guys, but it could be a silver bullet to make connections to the older ones,” said one retired operative familiar with the drug’s use in Afghanistan. Afghan tribal leaders often had four wives — the maximum number allowed by the Koran — and aging village patriarchs were easily sold on the utility of a pill that could “put them back in an authoritative position,” the official said.

Moving on.

  • Russia is forcing the OSCE Mission in Georgia to close down.  This is terrible for Georgia and terrible for the OSCE. Crap.
  • Joe Arpaio, one of contemporary America’s notable homegrown human rights violators, is getting his own reality TV show. I’ll get back to this after I stop retching.
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