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5 Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

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5 Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

Posted by Laura Heaton on April 23, 2010

5 Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

Here at Enough, we often swap emails with interesting articles and feature stories that we come across in our favorite publications and on our favorite websites. We wanted to share some of these stories with you as part of our effort to keep you up to date on what you need to know in the world of anti-genocide and crimes against humanity work.

The Boston Globe published a large and impressive collection of recent photos from Sudan. Many of the images relate to the country’s recent election; some feature daily life in Sudan. Taken together, the photos certainly underscore the diversity of the vast country.

In his weekly online column for Foreign Policy, James Traub took a measured look at the Obama administration’s strategy of trying to appease the world’s most brutal dictators, focusing on Omar al-Bashir, who recently secured himself a new term as Sudan’s president (to tack onto his previous 21 years in office). The piece takes a look at why nuance – and an appreciation for the ruling party’s long history of manipulating diplomats – is so important in the U.S.’s dealings with Sudan. Here’s an interesting excerpt:

Engagement does not work because dictators want to be treated respectfully, or respond more readily to the carrot than the stick. Petty tyrants like Bashir treat concessions as a sign of weakness. This is why the Obama administration’s besetting problem has not been "expediency," but naivete. Engagement only works when it helps bring dictators to do what is in their own interest.

Marking the debut of “Earth Made of Glass,” a film about the Rwandan genocide, at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, the blog indieWIRE published a Q&A with filmmaker Deborah Scranton about her inspiration for this documentary. The film – certain to be controversial for its knightly portrayal of current Rwandan President Paul Kagame – addresses the role of the France in the 1994 genocide.

In an impassioned post on Making Sense of Sudan, Sudanese blogger Abd al-Wahab Abdalla expressed disgust with what he deemed an “ugly election.” But his frustration was not just directed at the predictable culprit, Sudan’s longtime ruling party, which, in Abdalla’s summation, behaved just as everyone expected it to behave. Instead, his dismay stems from the disappointing show by opposition groups (whose platforms amount to “a beauty contest of oaths of allegiance to our president and his debased slogans”) and apathetic voters. (HT: Mahid of Global Voices)

In a post on AidWatch, Laura Freschi highlighted the finalists in a contest to design public service announcements about why donating cash is best in the aftermath of a humanitarian disaster. The irony, as Freschi points out, is that the U.S. has one of the worst records when it comes to tying aid to the purchase of U.S.-made goods and services. The posters are very creative, Freschi’s insights valuable, and the host of anecdotes and reactions in the comment section are worth a read.