It is amazing to see how those in the mainstream press simply ignore anybody who leaves the ‘official frame’ set by the ‘respected authorities’. The limits of debate are narrow and ‘official speak’ is full of new euphemisms and phraseology with meaningless content destined to join ‘collateral damage’ in the dustbin of used spin. Let us look at some examples.

The first lie is “pro-Ouatara forces captured Gbagbo”. Lets look at the events. On Saturday night and all day Sunday, French attack helicopters fired rockets at the Presidential compound in direct violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1975 which gave a mandate for protecting civilians and not taking sides. Then on Monday morning, as reported by al Jazzeera, a column of thirty French armored vehicles and French special forces moved in on the residence. Fighting lasted the whole day. Now they tell us the Ivorians took Gbagbo.

To further underscore the lie, the video of Gbagbo’s arrest was released by the French! Maybe once the French took the compound they let Ouattara’s thugs in for the camera. Lets not forget that up until Saturday, Ouattara’s troops were being pushed back all over the city. A clear sign of the support Gbagbo has.

Laurent Gbagbo must understand violence will get him nowhere,” said French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet while French attack helicopters and troops attacked Abidjan.

There is a new Euphemism: “protecting civilians”. This is the catch word used to provide air to ground support to rebels in the Libyan desert and it now used to justify France’s destruction of the Ivorian Army while pro-Ouattara rebels conduct the ground offensive.

Monday, Bus 47, between Censier and Gobelins: The woman in the wheel chair. Her left leg was amputated above the knee, her old clothes much too big and the beige woolen bonnet meant I could not tell her age. Her worldly belongings were in three plastic bags hanging off the the back of the wheel chair. Two of the bags caught my eye because of the bright blue and the bright yellow which clashed with the Gray of an early Spring day. The homeless woman used her two hands and one foot to try to advance but was making little headway. Pedestrians passed by without notice. Where was this homeless amputee going? Where did she come from?

First I want to make it clear: Qaddafi does not like me and I don’t like him. He refused me a visa to report there more than once.

But I have to voice my opinion against this war on Libya because it is wrong and risks creating a disaster and turmoil which will last for years.

I have deicded to post again on the crisis in the Cote d’Ivoire.  I removed my previous post after having it called ill advised (by a friend) or rubbish (by a pro-Ouattara) because it was not substantiated enough.  Althoug this post has more f*** references, I don’t think right now Africans need intellectual masterbation on the intricasies of international law.  What they need is Justice!

Dear Friends,

Although I maintain my position on the idea there has been an international effort to get rid of Gbagbo and that double standards have been applied to the country since the 2002 failed coup and French military intervention, it has been pointed out to me by several sources (some hostile, some friendly) that my arguments were not sufficiently researched and I was undermining my position.  I am sure we will see in the weeks to come that the International Community misjudged their hand.  If I have the time (I am no academic or State Deparmment official with lots of access and aid) I will try to develop my arguments further.  But I cannot promise I will find the time.

In the meantime, to get a balanced approach to the Ivory Coast, which you are not getting in most of the Western Press, check out what those African politicians and academics who back Gbagbo are saying.

I am enclosing below a statement from former Ghanaen President Jerry J. Rawlings which I feel strongly reflects the position of many Africans.

I was standing outside the metro station when I heard a loud bang and a scraping roar. Another bang and the medium sized black-lacquered guitar came scraping out onto the sidewalk and banged into the foot of a Bangali-looking man waiting there.

Without any apology, without even looking at the man, the nine-year-old Gypsy kid runs up to his guitar, tosses it and gives it another kick. He is followed by his father in blue jeans, a denim jacket and a military cap. Both have short black hair and the dark Eastern European Gypsy complexion.

The boy takes another kick, misses and his foot lands on top of the guitar. So the father gives it a kick – bang, roar – showing his son how to have fun destroying a work of art made to create beauty.

I wonder what this kid will be doing for fun in five years? But above all, I understand French anger.

The Christmas underwear bombing attempt by a Nigerian Islamic Fundamentalist on a plane to Detroit has given Americans a chance to play their favorite game: scare themselves to death with practically non-existent threats to their lives.