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Gaddafi: Deluded Until the End

Deposed Col. Muammar Gaddafi. Photo:Mr_CRO/flickr

The Rebels are almost victorious, but Darth Gaddafi has missed his chance at a final-scene reconciliation

The world media is abuzz: the Libyan conflict is almost over.   And the international community hasn’t been so united behind a ‘rebel’ victory since the fall of the Galactic Empire in Return of the Jedi.  Nevertheless, while fireworks will surely rain over Tripoli this week, much like the final scenes of the classic 1980 film, Libyan citizens are unlikely to receive the same sense of closure as Han, Luke and Leia.

As the conclusion to the ordeal plays itself out, Darth Gaddafi has failed to demonstrate to the audience that there was a little ‘good’ in him after all. It appears that there will be no final conciliation scene where he poetically realizes the error of his ways and cleanses his tortured soul. Faced with defeat and presumably hidden somewhere in Tripoli, he has remained  defiant. He has refused to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, and their arrest warrant against him for crimes against humanity. He has continued to categorically deny the atrocities committed by the armed forces under his command.  And he has consistently remained deluded as to the will of the Libyan people.

Rather than admit the evil of his ways, he has retained an Idi Amin-like stubbornness to the bitter end – announcing once again last night that he will fight until ‘martyrdom or victory’. While he remains hidden, he remains free. And therefore closure will not be possible for the Libyan people just yet – at least not until he is captured and forced to accept the consequences of his crimes.

World Water Week 2011

Queuing for water. Photo: Oxfam International/flickr

For many of us, water is such a fixture of everyday life that we take it for granted and even waste it — forgetting that more than 1 billion people in the developing world do not have access to it at all. Today, clean, safe drinking water is scarce. Though a basic human need, so many people around the world spend much of their time searching for it and, too often, failing to find it.

The 2011 World Water Week lasts from 21 to 27 August in Stockholm, Sweden– hosted and organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute. » More

This Week at the ISN…

It's week 34 on the ISN's 2011 editorial calendar, Photo: castle79/flickr

This week we’re highlighting the following topics — and so much more:

  • Tuesday’s ISN Special Feature highlights some astonishing facts about water — in the first of a two part series this week on the topic.
  • In Wednesday’s ISN Insights feature, Professor Derek Catsam takes a closer look at South African President Jacob Zuma’s chances for re-election or betrayal  — and what his precarious position says more generally about the state of South African politics.
  • Wrapping up our two part series on water, Thursday’s ISN Special Feature offers up an interactive map on environmental security, with water being a case in point.
  • And Friday’s ISN Podcast tackles the heady topic of energy security and the exploration of fusion energy as an alternative.

And you can catch up on last week’s features here on: Macedonian nation building; drones and international law; South America’s security dilemma; water, conflict and gender; and one year after the Pakistani floods.

<a rel=”attachment wp-att-20458″ href=”http://isnblog.ethz.ch/?attachment_id=20458″><img class=”size-medium wp-image-20458″ title=”34″ src=”http://isnblog.ethz.ch/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/34-450×358.jpg” alt=”” width=”450″ height=”358″ /></a>

It&#39;s week 34 on the ISN&#39;s 2011 editorial calendar, Photo: castle79/flickr

<strong>This week we’re highlighting the following topics — and so much more: </strong>
<ul>
<li>In <a href=”http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Current-Affairs/ISN-Insights”><em><span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>ISN Insights</span></em></a> on Monday, co-Director of the <a href=”http://www.cepr.net/”>Center for Economic and Policy Research</a> Dr Dean Baker opines about the failures of European Central Bank policy that have contributed to — and perpetuated — the European debt crisis.</li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li>Tuesday’s<em><span style=”text-decoration: underline;”> ISN Special Feature</span></em> highlights some astonishing facts about water — in the first of a two part series this week on the topic.</li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li>In Wednesday’s<a href=”http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Current-Affairs/ISN-Insights”><span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><em> </em></span></a><a href=”http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Current-Affairs/ISN-Insights”><span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><em>ISN Insight</em></span>s</a> feature, Professor Derek Catsam takes a closer look at South African President Jacob Zuma’s chances for re-election or betrayal  — and what his precarious position says more generally about the state of South African politics.</li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li>Wrapping up our two part series on water, Thursday’s <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><em>ISN Special Feature</em></span> offers up an interactive map on water security along the cooperation-conflict spectrum.</li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li>And Friday’s <a href=”http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Current-Affairs/Podcasts”><span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><em>ISN Podcast</em></span></a> tackles the heady topic of fusion energy.</li>
</ul>
<em><strong>And you can catch up on last week’s features here on:</strong> <a href=”http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Current-Affairs/ISN-Insights/Detail?lng=en&amp;ots627=fce62fe0-528d-4884-9cdf-283c282cf0b2&amp;id=131925&amp;contextid734=131925&amp;contextid735=131924&amp;tabid=131924&amp;dynrel=4888caa0-b3db-1461-98b9-e20e7b9c13d4,0c54e3b3-1e9c-be1e-2c24-a6a8c7060233″>Macedonian nation building</a>; <a href=”http://isnblog.ethz.ch/security/international-law-and-the-use-of-drones”>drones and international law</a>; South America’s <a href=”http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Current-Affairs/ISN-Insights/Detail?lng=en&amp;ots627=fce62fe0-528d-4884-9cdf-283c282cf0b2&amp;id=132085&amp;contextid734=132085&amp;contextid735=132070&amp;tabid=132070&amp;dynrel=0c54e3b3-1e9c-be1e-2c24-a6a8c7060233,4888caa0-b3db-1461-98b9-e20e7b9c13d4,40db1b50-7439-887d-706e-8ec00590bdb9″>security dilemma</a>; <a href=”http://isnblog.ethz.ch/calendar/water-conflict-and-female-vulnerability”>water, conflict and gender</a>; and one year after the <a href=”http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Current-Affairs/Podcasts/Detail/?ots591=40db1b50-7439-887d-706e-8ec00590bdb9&amp;lng=en&amp;id=132164″>Pakistani floods</a>.</em>

Water, Conflict and Female Vulnerability

Woman with water vessel. Source: waterdotorg/flickr

On Monday, August 29th, the Environmental Change and Security Progam (ECSP), part of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, will host a free afternoon event exploring the linkages between water access, gender, and conflict. “Digging Deeper: Water, Women, and Conflict” will be a panel discussion under the auspices of a fledgling ECSP research project examining how these dynamics interact and contribute to human insecurity. If you are unable to attend the event in person, it will also be transmitted live via webcast. » More

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Towards a Marxist Geopolitics?

Mineral deposits

“The meek shall inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights” Photo: theKerb/flickr

If it is true that Marxists “are people whose insides are torn up day after day because they want to rule the world and no one will even publish their letter to the editor,” and also that “few modern ideologies are … as likely to start a third world war as the theory of ‘geopolitics,'” then we may one day look back on the February 2011 forum of the journal Geopolitics — “Towards a Marxist Geopolitics” — as the publisher of those dead letters that would ultimately set the world ablaze. » More

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