Friday, March 25, 2005

Rwanda…and Sudan
(Some conscience questions)

Last night The Man and I watched a movie that I can't stop thinking about. Sometimes in April, playing now on HBO, follows two brothers during the horrific genocide in Rwanda. I didn't know much about what went on in Rwanda ---truthfully I barely remember hearing much about it as it unfolded. I was 23 years old, and like most kids in their early 20's was pretty oblivious to anything that wasn't directly affecting my life. I felt such guilt for that as the movie ended. (Timeline of Events).

The parts of the movie dealing with U.S. involvement (or un-involvement) were the most disconcerting. 800 people pulled from their houses and slaughtered on the first day alone and our government did nothing because of a policy that stated no US intervention when there was no US interest at stake (The UN also failed to intervene and refused to use the word 'genocide' in it's resolution). This was not a rich power killing a weaker people --this was killing because of ethnicity...doctors, lawyers, teachers, and babies pulled from their homes and their cribs and hacked up with machetes. This was a Holocaust with automatic rifles and machetes instead of gas chambers.

This isn't meant to be a movie review (though I strongly recommend you see this movie)-- this has only strengthened my disgust about the fact that we have yet to intervene in Sudan. It would seem that Kofi Anon is as worthless to his own country as he is to the rest of the world. There was a line in the movie that stuck with me..."It's a shame the CNN factor didn't kick in sooner". The American people were against intervention because they were unaware of actual events...and I believe the same thing is true again. This should be on the news and this should be a part of American discussion. (Info & Action)

Here is the part that I struggle with... Who/What is worth the death of an American? Is it fair for me to say 'we should be there' when I have no father, brother, husband or son in the military? If you listen to people like Howard Dean and his ilk, you get the feeling Iraq lives were not worth the American military lives lost. Most of us realize that Iraq is part of a greater picture --a piece of a Democracy puzzle --and we rest assured that not one life was lost in vain. Sudan is a different story. That would be purely a humanitarian mission. American lives could (would) be lost to save Sudanese lives with no other long reaching purpose. This was the struggle Clinton's administration faced in 1994. How do you tell American families that their son will die so someone else's son can live? What is the military position on this? Is their oath only to defend this country --and is it a breech of this oath to put them in harms' way to protect others on foreign soil? (These questions are as much for me as they are for you)

After watching this movie, it is gut instinct to say 'go!' can we as the Superpower sit and watch this happen? Can we even imagine someone ripping our child from our hands and killing them brutally in front of us? BUT, would I be so quick to say this if it was MY son that would be going? Whose life is worth more?
My dilemma over this only makes my hatred of the UN (and even NATO to an extent) grow. Truthfully the US is not the world police...this is (supposedly) the reason we have these international bodies. Their failures are blinding. The Sudanese aren't calling for the UN or NATO...they want our military. They want the best --and who can blame them.

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