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December 13, 2005

Global Good News
Posted by Heather Hurlburt

Five beacons of hope from around the world, to put you in a holiday mood:

Democracy is on the march at ASEAN.  Famously non-interventionist East Asian leaders have had it with the Burmese junta, and are telling them so.

Peace Process in Aceh, Indonesia on track.  So says the International Crisis Group:

The Aceh peace process is working beyond all expectations. Guerrillas of the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, GAM) have turned in the required number of weapons. The Indonesian military (Tentara Nasional Indonesia, TNI) has withdrawn troops on schedule. The threat of militia violence has not materialised. Amnestied prisoners have returned home without incident. The international Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM), led by the European Union's Peter Feith, has quickly and professionally resolved the few violent incidents between GAM and the TNI.

Wheels of Justice, vol. 1:  Balkan war crime progress on multiple fronts.  Not only was number three most-wanted suspect (and Croatian general) Ante Gotovina caught last week and put on trial in the Hague this week (for atrocities committed against Croatia's Serb minority during the Balkans wars, but a court in Serbia convicted 14 former militiamen for their part in the infamous massacre of Croatian prisoners at Vukovar during that same conflict.  Seeing national trials produce conviction is key, many have argued, to national and regional coming-to-terms with what happened -- as much so, perhaps, as Hague trials of big shots like Gotovina.

South America's Switzerland.  Not much good news out of Latin America these days -- but check out Chile's presidential election, to be followed by a run-off between a woman ex-defense minister and Pinochet era torture victim, Michele Bachelet, and rightist millionaire businessman  Sebastian Pinera.  So routine it's gotten hardly any media coverage here -- as good as could have been hoped when Pinochet stepped down in 1990. 

Wheels of Justice, vol. 2:  Pinochet himself is facing new attempts to bring him to court, this time for tax evasion.)

Feel better now?


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Not really.

I'm waiting for someone to try to splash Santa, because that's the sort of year 2005 has been.:-/

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