Good Reads: Ahmadinejad and the UN theater, Hollywood's machine gun preacher
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech sends a third of the UN to the exits, while Hollywood introduces us to a 'Machine Gun Preacher' on the hunt for an African warlord.
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The reality of having a gun-toting preacher-vigilante chasing a warlord through the jungles of Uganda and South Sudan is bad enough, says Mr. Keller. But having a movie out about this man’s exploits will compound the danger that many honest, hard-working aid workers face out in the field.Skip to next paragraph
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… by conflating humanitarian work with Wild West-style vigilantism, Childers makes the world more dangerous for the many aid workers risking their lives to do good in places like South Sudan. The anonymous aid worker who writes the widely read blog Tales from the Hood makes this point: "We [aid workers] very often go into insecure places where our presence and the associated suspicion that we may have ulterior motives puts not only us, but our local colleagues and those we're trying to help at greater risk, too.... Every time [Childers] puts up another video of himself jumping into his white SUV with an AK47 across his lap, he increases the likelihood that I or someone I care about is going to get shot."
(Amen, Brother Keller.)
In the Monitor, read David Francis’s piece on Nigeria's Islamist militant group Boko Haram. Quoting heavily from Nigerian civic activist Shehu Sani, who attempted to bring about a negotiated settlement between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government, Mr. Francis’s piece shows that the link between Boko Haram and Al Qaeda is dubious, and that the military approach to dealing with them only seems to be pushing Boko Haram into ever more extremist behavior, including plans to attack Nigeria’s oil-production facilities.
“In Jonathan’s opinion, the government’s best option is to continue to confront the militants,” Sani says. “Associating them with Al Qaeda is an easy excuse, but these confrontations have been happening for years and lives have continually been lost. The use of force has not been able to address the problem.”