Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Mythmakers

The EU has commissioned a number of comic books that are supposed to laud their humanity. The theory, is suppose, is that it's supposed to make up for their incapacity to do any of the things that they're congratulating themselves about.

The book stars Zana, a field expert for the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid department (more commonly known as "ECHO") as she attempts to bring relief to the flood-stricken people of "Borduvia". Though the latter looks suspiciously like Af-Pak, the disclaimer assures us it is "a wholly fictitious story" in which "[a]ny resemblance to real people is entirely coincidental". Good to know.
That's right: this is supposed to be lauding some sort of extraordinary involvement in Afghanistan, where their MO for the past decade was to be passive-aggressive to the US.

The serious-seeming goes on, reflecting the reality that the only people they can send without howls of objection at home are NGO staffers for hire.
Integrated into this, mostly seamlessly, are explanations of how ECHO and the Commission more generally work: ECHO's division into regional "operational desks", Zana's drafting of situational reports for headquarters ("sitreps") and even the outsourcing of the EU's humanitarian work to NGOs (eg: the Red Cross or Oxfam getting money from the Commission for a specific EU project). The latter point is fairly important for understanding in general what the Commission does and does not do.
Sit-rep... gosh, you sound so BUTCH!

How's this for a winner?

"Adventures of Euro-Clooney and the Innovation Crystal Ball"
This weird self-importance can be easily explained. Paranoid delusions to follow.