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Gerry Caplan's blog

Gerald Caplan has an MA in Canadian history and a Ph.D. in African history from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He is an author, teacher, media commentator, and social and political activist with a lifelong commitment to African development. He is preoccupied with genocide and genocide prevention, particularly the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, about which he has frequently written. He has been a consultant on African development issues to many United Nations agencies as well as to the African Union. His latest book is called The Betrayal of Africa. He writes a weekly online column for the Globe and Mail.

Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog December 3
Photo: AraiyaBomazi/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | The Canadian government had the opportunity last week to help hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of AIDS sufferers in poor countries and deliberately chose not to do so.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog November 26
Gerry Caplan | Private member's bill C-398, introduced by NDP MP Hélène Laverdière and backed by tens of thousands of Canadians, will be voted upon in Parliament November 28.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog November 19
Peacekeeping monument in Ottawa. Photo: Tjololo Photo/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | When it comes to our vets, Harper government rhetoric and policies are in a virtual war, with pro-vet policies being the big loser.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog November 12
House Republican Leader John Boehner. Photo: republicanconference/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | Obama faces a second term in a country where almost half of the people not only oppose him but often fear and loathe him, while his political adversaries are determined to undermine his every move.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog November 5
Photo: Truthout.org/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | Whatever the outcome of Tuesday's American election, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and his policies are the certain winners.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog October 29
Cobalt and copper in the Congo. Photo: FairPhone/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | If unregulated Canadian mining companies have been involved in illicit activities in the Congo, the Canadian government is complicit.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog October 22
Photo: Neal Jennings/Flickr
Gerald Caplan | The clash of cultures has come to Canada. Some might call it a clash of civilizations. The battle everywhere is between extremists of all kinds and more levelheaded people.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog October 15
Gerry Caplan | Although it's not often acknowledged within the party, many New Democrats are worried sick about Justin Trudeau. They should be.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog October 8
Canada signs United Nations Charter. Photo: United Nations Photo/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | The UN is an almost impossible institution and needs many things. But the very last thing it needs was a petulant lecture on behalf of Stephen Harper's Canada.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog October 1
Photo: Jean-Marc Carisse/Trudeau pour Papineau/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | Is Justin Trudeau running for leadership of the Liberal Party because he couldn't resist the relentless pressure or because he has something important to say to his fellow citizens?
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog September 24
Image: Cain and Todd Benson/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | The American presidential election is playing itself out pretty well as the two parties' conventions indicated they would. Democracy-wise, it leaves something to be desired.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog September 17
ETFO rally at Queen's Park. Photo: andres musta/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | How can punishing students for Dalton McGuinty's transgressions hurt Dalton McGuinty? Who do teachers think will be blamed for such behaviour?
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog September 10
Photo: e_monk/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | Together, rich people and vulnerable people are enabling an ever-accelerating race to the bottom for the vast majority.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog September 6
UNAMID Officers on Patrol in Sudan. Photo: UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran/Flick
Gerry Caplan and Amanda Grzyb | One year ago, we published a commentary piece predicting grave consequences if the international community did not intervene to stop the violence against civilians in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog August 27
Photo: Matt Jiggins/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | He's a legend now, enshrined in the pantheon of great Canadians, admired by all, a man who transcends partisanship, whose glorious last plea for love and hope touched a nation.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog August 20
Photo: IntangibleArts/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | Mr. Harper and his government have demonstrated a mystifying ambivalence in responding to a challenge that has cost the lives of many millions and, despite dramatic progress, threatens millions more.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog August 13
Photo: Stefan Gara/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | I don't know about you but I can no longer read reports, books or news stories about the devastation being wrought by global warming.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog August 6
MONUC peacekeepers in shooting exercise. Photo: Martine Perret
Gerry Caplan | What do we do when those we entrust with our greatest hopes betray that trust? If the betrayers are United Nations peacekeepers, the answer seem to be nothing at all.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog July 23
Photo: University of Saskatchewan/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | The Harperites have been smugly confident they can repeat 2011's majority against the even more vulnerable "socialists" of Thomas Mulcair. Or were so until last week's huge setbacks.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog July 16
Image: Jared Rodriguez /Truthout/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | According to the American Civil Liberties Union, an estimated 4,000 people have been killed in U.S. drone strikes since 2002 in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog July 9
Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos, Quebec. Photo: Axel Drainville/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | I am now proposing The Godfrey Test for asbestos. It will apply to all those Canadians who have promoted the continuing mining and exporting of asbestos from Quebec to poorer countries.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog July 2
Photo: I am I.A.M./Flickr
Gerry Caplan | Another Canada Day makes me recognize once again my gratitude to my family for choosing Canada while yet wondering why my country never lives up to its promise.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog June 25
Photo: Dave Cournoyer/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | Over the next three years, the NDP has a rare opportunity to focus on the multitude of areas that must be firmed up if it's to be taken seriously as a government-in-waiting.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog June 18
Photo: Tigana/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | For 2,500 years, political thinkers warned against the danger in a democracy of the tyranny of the majority, where the rights of the minority count for nothing.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog June 11
Photo: Lance Page /t r u t h o u t; Adapted: alifaan/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | Many of the strategies and most of the belligerent rhetoric aimed at stopping Iran's potential nuclear weapons program, not to say dislodging its rulers, is dangerously counter-reproductive.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog June 4
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon. Photo: Connect 2 Canada/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | Despite slurs to the contrary, the welfare state is alive and well and living in Harperland. Appropriately enough, its benefits are available largely to those who have earned them.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog May 27
Gerry Caplan | The truth has now been exposed: the Koch brothers have long and deep investments in the Alberta tar sands.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog May 21
Official portrait of President-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 13, 2009. Photo: Pete Souza
Gerry Caplan | That a black man could win the presidency was literally a dream come true. But no one knew exactly what that was, and almost four years later, it's still hard to know, harder than anyone expected.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog May 14
Occupy Wall St. Photo: Rob Sheridan/Flickr
Gerry Caplan | If the 1 per cent are still winning the brutal class war, the 99 per cent are not yet surrendering. Portents of hope are everywhere.
Blog - Gerry Caplan's blog May 7
James Shaver Woodsworth, Methodist minister and politician. Photo courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-55449.
Gerry Caplan | Stephen Harper has celebrated the first anniversary of his majority by reminding Canadians of the moral tone he offers his country.