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Things Are Good: Burning in the Sun: The Small Solar Industry in Africa

A few years ago in Mali some filmmakers went to chronicle what’s going on in the country and ended up making a documentary about solar energy. Daniel Dembele is an entrepreneur who brought solar power to the people by starting a company and bringing photovoltaic panels to rural Mali. This looks like a good doc!

Founding a small business is something that is deeply embedded in American and European culture. But most have never seen this universal kind of effort take place in Africa, traditionally portrayed by mainstream media as a land of the starving and war ravaged. In our

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Paul S. Graham: Behind the invasion of Mali

Roger Annis at the Feb. 24, 2013 annual meeting of Peace Alliance Winnipeg. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Is the military intervention in Mali by France, with the assistance of the United States, Canada and others an example of a humanitarian intervention launched to protect a fragile democracy from the incursion of Muslim terrorists? Or is France meddling in the affairs of its former colony to protect its business interests and further the political and economic interests of its NATO partners?

Roger Annis, coordinator of the Canada-Haiti Action Network and longtime political activist, explored these questions at the Annual General Meeting

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The Disaffected Lib: Canadian Trained Troops Fight American Trained Troops In Mali Again

Canadian-trained Malian paratroopers loyal to democratically-elected but deposed president Amadou Tourre are fighting again with the American-trained forces of our new ally and coup leader, butcher and probable mass murderer and war criminal,  Captain Amadou Sanog.

Now, of course, the paratroopers fighting to restore the legitimate government are referred to, in our media, as “mutineers”.    Then again we are essentially backing the thug in this one.  The clashes illustrate how fragile the situation remains in Bamako, where an interim government has been unable to stamp its authority because of the power that remained with the coup leaders. While

The Disaffected Lib: Is North Africa the West’s First Climate War?

We’ve witnessed unrest and uprisings in one form or another from Egypt to Morocco over the past two years.   We, the West, intervened directly in two – Libya and Mali.   We’ve been quick to label each of these conflicts as uprisings to break the shackles of tyranny or Islamist terrorism.   Yet that is much too simplistic no matter how convenient to our purposes.  In Tunisia and Egypt, for example, an instrumental element was a disaffected youth movement, educated, tech savvy and yet denied opportunity in a society plagued with nepotism.   They allied with those fighting

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Peace, order and good government, eh?: So where was the debate?

MPs debate Canada’s role in Mali

Members of Parliament took part in a four-hour ‘take-note’ debate on the conflict in Mali and Canada’s contribution to the mission Tuesday night.

To date, the federal government has contributed one C-17 military transport plane to help support the French military intervention in Mali at a cost of roughly $18.6 million to Canadian taxpayers.

The massive cargo-lifter was dispatched roughly three weeks ago and has completed 13 airlift missions to Bamako, the capital of Mali. Its mission is due to end Feb. 15.

I think that last sentence should have read: Its mission

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The Disaffected Lib: Mali, Chuck Hagel’s Cautionary Tale

If Chuck Hagel does become America’s next Defense Secretary he plans to steer clear of entanglement in the war against Islamist insurgents in the Sahara.

In prepared questions to the Senate Armed Services Committee ahead of his Thursday morning confirmation hearing, the former Nebraska Republican senator said he’d back the French campaign against Islamist forces in the Malian north “without deploying U.S. combat forces on the ground.” Hagel backs training a United Nations-authorized African force to take over from the French, but the U.S. military is staying out of that effort, currently overseen by the State Department.

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The Disaffected Lib: When American-Trained Soldiers Butchered Canadian-Trained Soldiers

Dateline Mali.

If you want to know how screwed up the civil war in Mali truly is look no further than the cast of characters.   Everything began falling apart when the popularly-elected president was ousted by a military coup.

“In years past, U.S. Special Operations Command frequently sent commandos to the West African country in order to train Malian troops. But the U.S. government announced that relationship ended in March of last year, after the very Malian army officers the U.S. trained toppled the democratically elected government, which began a chain of woes that led to

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Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- Dennis Gruending writes about the importance of Edgar Schmidt’s whistleblowing against unconstitutional legislation: Schmidt says that he has over a period of years raised concerns about what he considers the department’s flawed practices. He has done that through various official channels, up to the deputy minister level — in both Liberal and Conservative governments. He says he has never received a satisfactory response and that he has gone to court as a matter of last resort.

Schmidt says the consequences of the department’s failure to act appropriately are serious. The state should be

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