Friday, May 05, 2006

Who's Job Is It?

+Some thoughts I posted at Reach Upward Blog+

I'd like to chime in a bit, simply because this runs parallel to some thinking and discussions I've been having lately, and I would appreciate fresh voices.

Last week there were a rash of news articles on the web remembering the atrocities of the Rwandan genocide a decade ago. I was in high school at that time and paid it no real attention. However, I watched "Hotel Rwanda" a couple of years ago and was horrified. I was physically ill. How could people, human beings!, do this? And then, how could the rest of the world let it happen? It seemed to me that that was the point of the movie. How dare the UN and US allow these horrific acts to take place. I don't know of too many people that after watching that movie or others of its ilk would not affirm that it is our duty to help. We should not have let it happen. I am one of those.

I just feel that everyone has wiped their tears and gone on and forgotten. Again. The same atrocities are happening NOW. Sudan, Iran, North Korea, and others are committing atrocities against their own people. Sometimes it seems as though the entire continent of Africa is one large refugee camp. Rwanda is allowed to happen over and over again.

So who's job is it to intervene? The United States? We certainly have the military strength and funding. The United Nations? That seems a logical choice. They certainly have the resources of the world and would presumably be a joint, world effort. Ok then good, the UN should intervene in these nations.

But then I think of what happened in Rwanda. The UN cut and run at the first sign of danger. They left a million people to die.

Then I think of Iraq. The UN spent a decade dancing around with Saddam Hussein, taking bribes, issuing meaningless resolutions, etc. He played them for the fools they were, and he killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. He butchered them just as horribly as anything done in Rwanda. And again the UN did nothing. So finally the US did. And now everyone hates us for it. Some of us even hate ourselves for it. What gives? The US is damned if we do, damned if we don't. We can't go invade and "liberate" every nation bent on killing themselves, can we? But we certainly can't sit idly by and let it happen. Of that I am certain.
So again I ask, what gives?

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