Just quickly

March 10, 2005 by  
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I ordered the movie The Mission online and the DVD came in the mail today. Just popped it in to check it worked and watched the first few minutes… It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it, but I literally CAN NOT WAIT to watch it with Kate.

Also received my $75 rebate cheque from Micro$oft for the student version of Office2003. Would it be wrong to put that money towards an iBook? No. How can it be wrong when it feels so right? Now I have to rush off to try and learn some French at university…. no, I won’t embarrass myself by trying to say something in French.

The sanctity of woman

March 9, 2005 by  
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I was going through a couple of video tapes the other day to see what I had recorded and came across an episode of Dateline or Foreign Correspondent where they showed a story on Iraq. Instead of just ejecting it again and writing “Iraq” on it I became engrossed and ended up watching about 20 minutes. The focus was around Fallujah and the initial US occupation of the city, and described one particular incident where the wife of a suspected insurgent had been arrested because he wasn’t there. One of the most influential imams of Fallujah was interviewed and described this as one of the worst things the Americans could have done, because “the sanctity of a woman in Islam is higher than anything else. It is higher than religion itself.” Peaceful (but vocally angry) street demonstrations followed, naive and frightened 18-year-old GIs shot unarmed civilians – a general mess.

Based on other things I’ve read I find that ‘sanctity of woman’ deal incredibly difficult to believe anyway, but particularly so when reading a story like this from Pakistan:

The 30-year-old was raped for more than an hour in the village of Meerwala in Punjab province in June 2002, as punishment for her brother’s alleged affair with a woman of a powerful rival clan.

The gang rape was allegedly ordered by the village council.

She was then forced to walk home naked before her father was finally able to cover her with a blanket.

How’s that for sanctity and respect?

Shiny and New

March 4, 2005 by  
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Messed around with new template. Finally found the font I had craved for so long. Simple white is kind of nice, but I’m also messing around with some other backgrounds.

Check out:

BG04 and


If you care, let me know what you like. I’ll stick with straight white for now.

UN getting tough?

March 4, 2005 by  
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I agonised over which international relations subjects to do this semester, and finally settled on International Institutions and Political Cooperation and Globalisation and International Political Economy. One of the ones I had been quite keen on was Peace, Morality and Justice in International Peacekeeping, as it was called last year. Unfortunately the slight course name change this year put me off just enough to decide not to do it – peacekeeping was changed to politics. While the second half of the semester would still focus on peacekeeping, I was finding it hard not to think cynically about the peace, morality OR justice in international politics.

Events in the last 24 hours however have, I think, guaranteed that course just got a little more interesting. And yes, I have just thought of the lack of sensitivity involved in reducing an entire conflict in Africa, and it’s most recent ‘newsworthy’ event, to the amount of interest that one event will generate in a single, relatively insignificant course in a single, relatively insignificant university in the grand scheme of things. I digress.

If you hadn’t heard, nine Bangladeshi UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo were killed in an ambush on their patrol, more injured. What’s amazing is that the UN seems to have finally had enough. Although perhaps not sanctioned from on high – it’s very easy to urge calm from New York when the other half of your office hasn’t just been murdered – the chief of staff of the country’s UN mission said, “If these armed groups continue to attack us, we will respond.”

As the opening par of that first link says, “In a significant change in policy, UN peacekeeping troops have killed at least 50 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a military offensive launched in response to a deadly ambush last week.” (Emphasis added)

Yeah, launching military offensives would certainly be a little out of character for UN peacekeeping missions, to say the least. The BBC has a great page, as always, where you can find out more information on the conflict in DRC.


March 4, 2005 by  
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There was a brief kerfuffle in the hallway and muffled shouts of, “Fight! Fight!” But as soon as I got home the troublemakers had apparently scattered. Trying to sign-in to blogger at uni today was very strange.

Using my own username and password to sign in did not take me to my own ‘dashboard’, but rather to that of ’10pokermission’. Who? I don’t know either. Trying to click on anything then changed the signed-in username to ‘Geoff Reeks’. Again, I don’t get it. My name’s not Geoff, and I only reek occassionally! Anyway, since arriving home I seem to be back into my own account when signing on, although that reminds me, CHANGE FRICKIN’ PASSWORD!

Back to business.

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