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April 06, 2007


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It's rarely as simple as the good hearted would like.

in the spirit of your recent blog, "Now that We've Got Your Attention," I hope that others, indeed, pay attention. Also, I looked at this blog and see no one has commented on his posts. Yet, you have 2 already for yours.

Start Loving

Dear Dixie,

Beautifully captured brother. God bless you and I thank you.

Dear Scruggs,

You are incorrect. The issue is with what part of your nervous system one looks at the problem. In this culture we are taught to look at foreign issues like this with our "head." Yes, to the "head" this is insolvable. If we look with our Heart, the seat of wisdom, insight, inpiration, brilliance... the solution is extremely clear. Please look at this essay by Nhat Hanh for some insight into this. If your dearst loved on were in the Chad camps and the only way you could save their live was to stop the genocide, wouldn't that simplify things? Start

Albert Ruesga

I agree it would be foolish to reduce the situation in Darfur to a bumper sticker. Perhaps people of good will can disagree about how to characterize the conflict -- I haven't followed it closely enough to say.

When armed conflict leads to the displacement of hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of people, and when military tactics regularly include rape and the killing and dismemberment of non-combatants, then it seems reasonable, if diplomacy fails, for the international community to consider some kind of intervention. What does it matter that there's no "genocidal intent" (as the U.N. concluded) if there's clearly genocidal effect?


The idea of armed intervention does have a certain reptilian romance. What part of the nervous system would that correspond to?

The odds are that all the love envisioned coming from the barrels of benevolent guns will take a bad situation and make it worse.

Albert Ruesga

I didn't presume the international community's response would involve gun barrels. We can take greater diplomatic risks, impose sanctions, cut off transport lines and funding, airlift civilians out of the region, establish and defend safe camps, etc. Armed interventions don't have a good track record -- you have my "Amen" on that. But neither does a complete unwillingness to act.


These genocides don't come out of thin air. There's always meddling, really, and it's always part of a great power game. Exerting pressure on the crackpot realpolitick aficianados is one thing. Punishing their victims is unconscionable.


Scruggs correctly points to the heart of the matter. As long as a game is being played with these lives in private boardrooms, the best that can be done is to ameliorate some of the damage, or better work to expose more of the lies told to cover up all these games.


I'm coming off like an ex-smoker on this, for which I apologize.

There are things that can be done, however even getting to the launch of the bigger ones is going to require considerable house cleaning right here. At this time, I can't imagine any of our political leaders mandating and enforcing ethical investment, supporting sustainable infrastructure development in areas getting by on subsistence farming, cutting ties with corrupt local elites or holding themselves and their counterparts in the other powerful countries to a benevolent hands-off policy.

The local autonomy projects of people like Ted Ernst, however, are a positive step and can be done now. It may be that a sufficient number of successes along those lines will strengthen the societies enough to resist external and internal opportunistic militarism and mercantile exploitation. They're also morally sound in their own right. Their existence pushes the window of what's acceptable and what is not further towards a general good.


It appears you can now peek in on the genocide from the privacy of your own browser.


Also, Start Loving is profiled in this Washington Post article. Sounds like an interesting man.

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