Facilitating a Discussion on World Intervention

Last week I was asked to co-facilitate a discussion section at my school on world intervention during world crises – specifically, the Rwanda genocide and how the international community let that happen. A faculty member got a Fulbright-Hays grant last summer to travel to Rwanda and study the culture. This discussion was modeled around what is called “popular education” – where the people have both the questions and answers.

When thinking about world intervention, there are some obvious questions that are hard to answer. Does the United States have a moral or economic obligation to step in and help resolve international crises? If so, how do we decide where to lend aid? Should we only be focusing our efforts at those areas from which we have some gain ourselves (e.g. Iraq and oil)?

After the Holocaust we said “never again.” After Rwanda we said “never again.” Now, as Darfur is exploding, we are saying “never again.” I sense a pattern that I don’t like.

One Response to Facilitating a Discussion on World Intervention

  1. Elena Butler says:

    In the discussion group I led, Jon Reider raised an interesting point: if we had given aid to certain nations during the Cold War (I believe his example was Hungary?) we might not be here today. In that case, would we have a moral obligation to avoid giving aid? It’s all very confusing.

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