Recent Blog Posts
"We who did not go their way owe them this. We must make sure that their deaths have posthumous meaning. We must make sure that from now until the end of days all humankind stares this evil in the face...and only then can we be sure it will never arise again." -Former President Ronald Reagan, 1988 Holocaust Memorial Museum
As the above quote from President Reagan illustrates, the United States has felt a moral responsibility for decades to prevent genocide. Our words, however, have not done enough. Just six years after President Reagan's remarks the Rwandan genocide occurred. The world has struggled in its efforts to prevent genocide since the end of World War II, but President Obama is now making an impressive attempt at turning those struggles into an effective effort. President Obama today issued a Presidential Directive on genocide and mass atrocities. The White House released a statement about this directive and specified exactly why preventing mass atrocities benefits American national security:
Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi will not escape the consequences of justice...or will he? An article posted yesterday in The Guardian cites Great Britain's foreign secretary, William Hague, as being much more lenient with Gaddafi than many would hope. Although Secretary Hague is still demanding that Gaddafi relinquish power, he has stated that the Libyan people should have the ultimate decision on Gaddafi's fate because they have been most strongly affected by his actions. This however, undermines the purpose of the ICC, which is to hold criminals who commit crimes against humanity to justice. Olara Otunnu, a Lawyer and the President of the Uganda Peoples' Congress, has publically disagreed with the statements made by Mr. Hague. Mr. Otunnu described the ICC's arrest warrants as 'legal facts' which 'cannot go away.'
The Guardian article goes on to address why giving Gaddafi certain immunities would cause political uproar in Libya. So much damage has been done to Libyan society by Gaddafi that allowing him certain privileges would be a slap in the face to many who have had to deal with his brutality for far too long. One Libyan citizen was quoted in the Guardian expressing his feelings towards Gaddafi's future:
Born out of war; that has been the headline from so many journalists concerning South Sudan. The dire circumstances which led to South Sudan's independence, are now causing the international community to work diligently with the South Sudanese to prevent continued violence and tension in the region.
Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing titled "Two New Sudans: A Roadmap Forward." Princeton Lyman, the United States Special Envoy for Sudan, was the sole witness. Lyman began by announcing how successful the independence celebration was in Juba on the July 9th weekend. The celebration is of course now followed by an abundance of issues that must still be addressed.