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    Former ambassadors discuss genocide, war
    September 7th, 2007 under Institute Programs, Darfur, Fall 2007. [ Comments: 3 ]

    WATCH PROGRAM VIDEO HERE 

    Opinions differ on ethnic cleansing, not on finding solutions for world issues

    By Sarah Neff - The University Daily Kansan

    darfur.JPGTwo former U.S. ambassadors speaking at the Rober J. Dole Institute of Politics Thursday night had different definitions for genocide, but they agreed that one step in the solution to the problem was for students to form discussion groups to talk about the situation.

    Former Ambassadors Robert Beecroft and Edward Brynn answered questions from students and the Lawrence community last night during a moderated discussion in front of a nearly packed audience.

    Beecroft served as ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2001 to 2006. Brynn served as ambassador to Burkino Faso in western Africa from 1990 to 1993 and Ghana from 1995 to 1998.

    Beecroft suggested that what he called the “CNN Factor” had played a significant role to increase the sensitivity of the international community to genocide.

    “One of the things that can really have an impact is to shed the light of the anger of the people at the top to the instigators of genocide,” Beecroft said. 

    Beecroft said there were two kinds of war: wars of choice and wars of necessity. He said the only war of necessity during the past hundred years was World War II. He said people had to choose their wars carefully and think about the entry strategy as well as the exit strategy. He said there were other ways to end genocide that don’t involve war.

    “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail,” Beecroft said.

    Both Brynn and Beecroft said that they were impressed with the number of students in attendance, and that they were accustomed to speaking in front of older audiences.

    Brynn and Beecroft agreed that nongovernment organizations such as churches and citizen groups played an influential role in changing the conditions. Beecroft said that those groups were more flexible, adaptive and responsive than government groups. Brynn said the high level of attention to Darfur was due mostly to citizen groups that have forced outside governments to take action. But he said the genocide in the Congo was just as bad if not worse than the genocide in Darfur. He said people paid less attention to the Congo because America doesn’t have the same connections there that it does in Darfur.

    Brynn said the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots played a significant role in the continuing existence of genocide. He said that genocide would continue until there was a redistribution of the world’s resources.

    — Edited by Tara Smithdarfur2a.jpg


     


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    The Dole Institute of Politics is a bipartisan facility. Our mission; to encourage political and civic involvement, especially among young people; to encourage civil discussion on important issues; to emphasize that politics is an honorable profession; and to provide opportunities for all to interact with political leaders, practitioners and writers.
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    A Summary of the 2006 Blogger-Reader Survey

    Fall 2006 Blogger/Reader Survey Details and Research Reports
    ******
    In December of 2006 Dr. Dhavan Shah of the University of Wisconsin and his “Blogclub” of graduate students and Dr. David D. Perlmutterof the University of Kansas conducted a survey of major political blogs and their readers. The project was partially sponsored by a grant from the Knight/Carnegie Foundation’s Future of Journalism initiative. The summary of the results are posted here--please fully cite us if you refer to the findings.

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