Africa, the Iraq war, and conservatism

From Dissent, after genocide: An article on memory and reconciliation in Rwanda. From Slate, a look at how Liberia recovers from war: A boy soldier grows up. Liberia is a country mired in its past. But, as Zadie Smith discovers when she meets its traumatised boy soldiers, struggling rubber workers and children desperate to learn, it is taking its first tentative steps to a better future; and on why we have fallen for Africa's lost boys: Are Africans telling their own stories, or are these merely signs of our appetite for tales of "savagery"? The perfect weapon for the meanest wars: The charade of ideology is over. All over the world children are used to fight for greed and power.

President of Liberia Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on the chance for an arms treaty. Every year in the Sahel region of West Africa, hundreds of thousands of children die, and malnutrition means millions of others will live on with permanent mental disability and physical stunting. The wages of punditry: The partnership between policy-makers and development specialists can endanger the latter's intellectual independence and increase the risk of bad outcomes. A review of The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World by Vijay Prashad.

From The Globalist, an article on coming to grip with the Iraq War's refugees. Northern exposure: American soldiers are fleeing the Iraq war for Canada, and US officials may be on their trail. North of the border is no longer the safe haven it was during the Vietnam era. George W. Bush’s infatuation with the kitsch landscape of the American west lit the path to Abu Ghraib, says Sidney Blumenthal.

From The Atlantic Monthly, statecraft and stagecraft: David Samuels interviews former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, and George Schultz. From The Politico, Reagan advisers weigh in on Republican candidates. Marc Ambinder on The Perils of Reagan Republicanism: Candidates who invoke the spirit of Reagan may live to regret it. Glenn Greenwald on Harvey Mansfield and the right's explicit and candid rejection of "the rule of law".