In the summer of 2004, I traveled to Sudan with Kofi Annan, the secretary general of the United Nations. Mr. Annan, who died Saturday at age 80, was hoping to put an end to the genocidal violence that the Sudanese president, Omar Bashir, had launched against the people of Darfur. I watched Mr. Annan sit quietly in a blazing hot shed while a local government official blamed the violence on the Darfuris themselves, handing the secretary general a list of alleged rebel atrocities and complaining bitterly about the role of the United Nations in taking their side. Only when he had finished did Mr.… Seguir leyendo »
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The Swedes have a word, “asikstkorridor,” which translates as “opinion corridor” and describes all those things considered incorrect not only to say but to think. One of those taboos, as I discovered when I visited Sweden at the height of the refugee crisis in the fall of 2015, is the idea that refugees from conservative Muslim countries, especially poorly educated young men, may not integrate into Swedish society as well as, say, relatively secular and prosperous Iranians or Bosnians.
President Trump’s offhand comment last month about how dreadful things are in Sweden provoked an outraged reaction from Swedes rightly proud of the country’s longstanding commitment to accepting refugees from all over the world.… Seguir leyendo »
At this moment, at least 60,000 civilians trapped in a tiny strip of land along the northern coast of Sri Lanka are being deployed as human shields by the insurgent force known as the Tamil Tigers — while artillery shells fired by the Sri Lankan army land indiscriminately among rebels and noncombatants alike. The United Nations asserts that at least 4,500 civilians have been killed since January as the government has sought to decisively end a bloody rebellion that has lasted for a quarter-century. The army is said to be preparing a final assault that, according to U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes, could produce a “bloodbath.” Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has spoken of “tens of thousands” of lives at risk.… Seguir leyendo »