Today we traveled along the Syrian border to a security checkpoint with King Abdullah II and some of his military advisers. Jordan has many borders, all potentially porous: 365 kilometers (about 227 miles) facing Syria, 180 kilometers (about 110 miles) facing Iraq, and the rest facing Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Palestinian territories. Their vulnerabilities are clear and visible from the air. But the Jordanian military is vigilant, using very sophisticated surveillance equipment and poring over digital video feeds in real time to spot problems.
There are constantly, even now, people who make a break from Syria to the safety of Jordan only to find they are being shot at by their own troops.… Seguir leyendo »
I’ve recently returned from the Middle East and East Africa, where I visited a number of refugee camps — car parks of humanity. I went as an activist and as a European. Because Europeans have come to realize — quite painfully in the past year or two — that the mass exodus from collapsed countries like Syria is not just a Middle Eastern or African problem, it’s a European problem. It’s an American one, too. It affects us all.
My countryman Peter Sutherland, a senior United Nations official for international migration, has made clear that we’re living through the worst crisis of forced displacement since World War II.… Seguir leyendo »
I’ll tell you the worst part about it, for me.
It was the look in their eyes when the nurses gave them the diagnosis — H.I.V.-positive — then said there was no treatment. I saw no anger in their expression. No protest. If anything, just a sort of acquiescence.
The anger came from the nurses, who knew there really was a treatment — just not for poor people in poor countries. They saw the absurdity in the fact that an accident of geography would deny their patients the two little pills a day that could save their lives.
This was less than a decade ago.… Seguir leyendo »
I spent March with a delegation of activists, entrepreneurs and policy wonks roaming western, southern and eastern Africa trying very hard to listen — always hard for a big-mouthed Irishman. With duct tape over my gob, I was able to pick up some interesting melody lines everywhere from palace to pavement …
Despite the almost deafening roar of excitement about Africa’s hosting of soccer’s World Cup this summer, we managed to hear a surprising thing. Harmony … flowing from two sides that in the past have often been discordant: Africa’s emerging entrepreneurial class and its civil-society activists.
It’s no secret that lefty campaigners can be cranky about business elites.… Seguir leyendo »