08 February 2007

Why I didn't get to see Nicholas Kristof...

Nicholas Kristof, who easily earns awesome status in my book, came to speak on the Darfur crisis in Raleigh last Tuesday. And I missed it, because I was too busy working on a time-consuming but otherwise worthless assignment for physical chemistry lab. Just like I missed getting to meet Valentino Achak Deng when he came to a bookstore just minutes off of campus, because I had to sort out a ridiculous debacle with ordering books for classes.

I hate missing great opportunities because of stupid responsibilities. I think I need to do some re-working of my priorities.

We spoke about the possibility and practicality of U.S. intervention in Darfur today in my human rights class. What terribly vexed me, though, was that so many of my fellow classmates thought that intervention was impossible because the U.S. doesn't have the resources to commit to something that may very well turn into a long-term ordeal in ensuring stability in the region (if stability is at all a feasible goal). And as a result of incomplete intervention, the region will only descend into further chaos. This is a very valid point. But there is a very valid counterpoint as well: if we are going to be 100% certain that we have the resources to ensure the success of every one of our actions (which certainly wasn't something we considered with Iraq...) then we'll never be able to do anything.

This is a bad analogy for many reasons, but let's say you wake up tomorrow and decide to be 100% certain you won't fail before you do anything. Can you even get out of bed safely without rolling off, snagging yourself on your blanket, or bruising your knee on the corner of your bed frame?

There is such a huge difference between the students in my history of genocide class last semester and my current political science class. I'm a little disappointed, because the latter will probably end up continuing our history of hesitant policy-making in the near future. I realize there is a large difference between discussion of genocide and implementation into viable policy, but I wish it wasn't so.


At February 11, 2007 7:57 AM, Blogger alisa said...

Yeah, US govt. doesn't get involved in crisis like Darfur b/c its not in our own self-interest. Its only when we want resources, like oil, or prestige or something like that that we intervene.
sad, but reality.


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