Sunday, November 07, 2004

Deep Trouble in the Ivory Coast

Unfortunately, I haven't seen this discussed at any length within the blogosphere, but the cease fire in the Ivory Coast has been broken and fighting has begun anew. What makes this different is that the Ivorian Government has debilrately struck against French forces in the capital of Abidjan. This in addtion to the Ivory Coast's claim to recovering the rebel-held north. This all started yesterday morning, when suddenly the government's warplanes bombed a French position which killed 9 French soliders and an American consultant. The French responded by destroying the entire Ivory Coast air force, two Russian-made Sukhoi jet fighters and at least three helicopter gunships. This sudden and devastating esclation in violence lead the Security Council to call for an end to the fighting, which was echoed by the US Ambassador John Danforth as well. The French also seized both of the main airports in the capital.

Then today, angry government mobs in Abidjan, armed with machetes and machine guns, went house to house to search out and kill foreigners (14,000 French citizens live in the Ivory Coast) in retaliation for the French destruction of their airforce. This act was followed by Paris deploying about 600 troops, armored vehicles, helicopter gunships, as well as ammunition, into the capital, by landing them at the French controlled airport. Now comes word that Paris plans to roll out overwhelming miltary force against the government forces.

There is a 10,000-man peacekeeping force in the Ivory Coast, 4,000 French troops and 6,000 under UN control.

Yahoo and The Washington Post have more.

I'm Back!!!

Yes, dear readers, the rumors are true, The Urban Empire has returned from haitus. School was taking a huge bite out of my time and I couldn't sustain constant blogging during that time, but that heavy load is over so I can devote much more time to this blog. I'll make it bigger and better than before. I have a lot to say regarding several important events around the world and here in this country.

I did want to touch on the election just a bit. Throughout the day on Wednesday, there was this feeling of shock and depression in the city. I live in Milwaukee, a city which went 73% for Kerry and it was just like no one could believe it. My one Republican friend was all smiles, of course. My other friends almost immediately started distancing themselves from Kerry saying how much of a horrible candidate he was (even though they vehemently defended him whenever I made such a claim about him). Then suddenly, the blame shifted. As the fact that Bush won the popular vote by over 3.6 million votes sunk in, many (excluding myself) Kerry supporters started to blame the voters themselves. Comments such as "This is why democracies really suck" or "Stupid dumb hicks shouldn't be allowed to vote" were frequent. Then they see figures like this and the absoluteness of Bush's margin is solidifed.
3,141 counties, boroughs, and parishes in the United States
2,544 counties carried by Bush (81% of total)
597 counties carried by Kerry (19% of total) [via The Glittering Eye]
I don't want to be one of those bloggers who devotes paragraphs and paragrphs to why the Democrats lost so huge or who they can run in 2008 to win back the White House, Although the favorite seems to be Hilary Clinton (and I've speculated for the past 6 months that if Kerry lost they'd try to run here). The New York Times had an short column a few days ago about the prospect of her running. One of the main points that they said you had to take into account is if she has already become the de facto nominee only a couple days after the 2004 election, the Republicans have a full 4 years to try and take her down.