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.

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.

In his 2004 book, Colossus, Niall Ferguson argues the United States is an empire and should assume its rightful place as the inheritor of Britain’s 19th century ‘White Man’s Burden’.  He decries the American schizophrenia of being an empire in denial, sending troops abroad without the intention of staying and being squeamish when GIs die.  Ferguson says we should go, stay and impose our will for world order and to prevent chaos. 

This may seem easy to say for a man comfortable in the Ivory Towers of Oxford and Harvard who never did military service, much less saw the harsh realities of war but he does have a point.  Americans need to back their wars or not fight them and that is why I say we need to bring back the draft.

Ndjamena: Dec. 6 – 12, 2009:  Lake Chad is drying up faster then feared and water reserves are dwindling with famine predicted in the north in 2010 due to a short rainy season and over grazing; the 2009 census shows that the population of Chad has doubled in just 15 years although it was widely criticized when the authorities rigged the figures to favor the Muslims of the north to the detriment of the Christians in the south; 80% of the population is illiterate; the war in the east continues — but hey, lets hold elections!

Moundou, Chad, June 7 – 12: A Chadian was stopped by a corrupt Ivorian policeman who told him « I’m going to give you problems. » The Chadian responded “and I will give you solutions.”

When President Idriss Deby in January told his security forces to impose a draconian ban on the use of charcoal in Chad in a bid to fight desertification, he did nothing to help people find alternative means for cooking. Deby responded to his critics by saying Chadians are people who find solutions to everything. He insisted nobody is starving in the country.

Today French President Nicolas Sarkozy told us in a speech for the 89th anniversary of Armistice Day that ‘war is Hell‘.  This man, who did no military service, dared to speak of the horror and the suffering of a generation sent to the slaughter by politicians like him, in the interests of wealthy friends like his.