Ian Birrell


In Defense of the UN’s Response in Haiti | 

Haitian boy with cholera
Haitian boy with cholera

The UN continues to refuse to take responsibility for the cholera outbreak in Haiti. It will not provide compensation to the victims, as some are calling for, claiming immunity against such claims.

Many are outraged at the UN’s stance but, beyond the recriminations, there is a legitimate debate over what the UN can and should do. Some say that the UN should claim responsibility and pay the victims. Others argue that the UN cannot do that without causing irreparable damage to its global work, and to other humanitarian endeavors. Continue reading

Rwanda Twitter fight: Journalist vs President | 

Ian Birrell

Paul Kagame

Conservative British journalist Ian Birrell, formerly Prime Minister David Cameron’s speechwriter, recently got into a Twtter argument with Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

If you are familiar with reading Twitter (and reading Tweets is something of an acquired skill), you can see the entire exchange at Tom Murphy’s A View from the Cave. It apparently started when Birrell Tweeted about an article on Kagame in the Financial Times.

Here’s a post on KigaliWire that tries to put this Tweet battle in context, noting that Kagame has frequently used social media tools like Twitter to get his views out there. Continue reading