Friday, April 28, 2006

*Conflict Stirs Up Confusion On Border of Chad, Sudan et al

Conflict Stirs Up Confusion On Border of Chad, Sudan - Washington Post
5 Truths About Darfur - Washington Post
Darfur rebels downbeat as push for peace intensifies - Washington Post
Sudanese government accepts Darfur peace deal - Washington Post
A Loss of Hope Inside Darfur Refugee Camps - Washington Post
Groups Plan Rally on Mall To Protest Darfur Violence - Washington Post
Thousands Gather in D.C. at Rally for Darfur - Washington Post
Sudanese Rebels Reject Peace Offer - Washington Post
Out of Diversity, a Unanimous Demand - Washington Post
In 'Darfur Is Dying,' The Game That's Anything But - Washington Post
New First Lady Captivates Chad - Washington Post
Sudan, Main Rebel Group Sign Peace Deal - Washington Post
Peace in Darfur? - Washington Post

Bush Pledges Aid for Darfur - Washington Post

Riot by Darfur Refugees Forces U.N. Official to Flee; One Killed - Washington Post

Being Secretary of State of the United States has to be the toughest job on the planet. The complexities of if, how, and when to intervene, in the affairs of other countries, is overwhelming. If you are ‘lead-dog’ of the free world, the calls for action, including ‘doing nothing’, come uninterrupted and from every global direction.

So what makes it so hard to do the right thing? It boils down to two issues. Each country is at a relatively unique stage in its societal development, which separates its problem set from the solutions of those countries that could help. Secondly, each country has its own selfish agenda, which it can only pretend to ignore, as a part of its own thinking and behavior.

The world-wide AIDS crisis has shown us how hard it is to influence behaviors that would stem the spread of the virus. However, when it comes to sovereignty, as we are seeing in Iraq, or Haiti, or Chad/Sudan, it is nearly impossible to accelerate people beyond their evolved state of advancement. After all, the US evolved to our own place over hundreds of years and bloody struggle, as well. It is, in part, our arrogance that makes us believe that others will simply follow our expert directives.

There is no clear-cut formula that tells us when we should intervene and when we should stay away. The pain and suffering of others, and our own national interest are both legitimate concerns for taking an active role in what goes on in the world. But we must weigh both of these interests, against our needs to advance our society, with limited resources.

Expending lives, our most precious resource, must be more tightly measured against that which is possible, probable, and necessary to pursue our course as a nation, given global disparities.

James C. Collier


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