The Worlds Largest Sandbox –

Learning about UNASOG and the Aouzou Strip–and a UN success story that you have likely never heard about:

For no more than the top prize in a 1950s game show, UNASOG ended the Chadian-Libyan War, which ran between 1973 and 1989. This low-intensity conflict was fought over the Aouzou Strip, about as remote and empty a piece of real estate as you’re likely to find on Earth. As border lore goes, it is a fascinating example of what could be called transitional zones: disputed territories situated between competing powers, whose unique borders facilitate their slow, often contested detachment from one country to the other [2].

The Aouzou Strip — its name sounds like a turpentine-based cocktail drink, or a particularly painful bikini waxing method — is a giant slice of Sahara, named after a locality in its northwestern half. An elongated trapezoid on the map, as poorly demarcated as it is sparsely populated, you could call this 44,000 square-mile piece of desert the world’s largest sandbox. Its most remarkable feature is that it was deemed worthy to be fought over at all.

via The Worlds Largest Sandbox –


2 thoughts on “The Worlds Largest Sandbox –”

  1. This article and, ironically, Stephen Colbert’s segment on Occupy Wall Street have begun to change my view of this protest to some degree. I like many others was satisfied with simply writing off the occupy protesters as weirdies without a real cause or organization or perhaps even significant intelligence. However here Rushkoff makes the interesting comparison between internet and social media trends and the way the protest works. Although the protests may seem to have no clearly cut objective, the same could be argued about internet staples such as facebook, twitter, blogging etc. They are both simply a constant conversation that some may argue has no clearly directed end in mind other than the continuance of the conversation itself, and look how they are literally changing the world. Also Stephen Colbert’s interview although extremely comical and mocking of the movement actually did show them in a somewhat different light than many of the other popular media interviews have done (which simply adds to Colbert’s comedic genius in my opinion). Although Colbert certainly dominated the direction of the interview, through the occupiers statements, regardless of their odd quirks at times, showed that these people were not mindless followers of a pointless movement. Their comments were not just coherent but showed significant thought on the subjects. I agree with Rushkoff in his view that although the occupy movement is certainly different, we cannot so quickly discount it as significant or pertinent. In another article by Rushkoff to CNN he expands on his views of the Occupy Wall Street movement and although I think he is somewhat generous in his near praise, he does look at it from a different perspective than most journalists have up to this point.

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