A Bed for the Night

Humanitarianism in Crisis

Author: David Rieff

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1439127271

Category: Political Science

Page: 400

View: 1684

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Timely and controversial, A Bed for the Night reveals how humanitarian organizations trying to bring relief in an ever more violent and dangerous world are often betrayed and misused, and have increasingly lost sight of their purpose. Humanitarian relief workers, writes David Rieff, are the last of the just. And in the Bosnias, the Rwandas, and the Afghanistans of this world, humanitarianism remains the vocation of helping people when they most desperately need help, when they have lost or stand at risk of losing everything they have, including their lives. Although humanitarianism's accomplishments have been tremendous, including saving countless lives, the lesson of the past ten years of civil wars and ethnic cleansing is that it can do only so much to alleviate suffering. Aid workers have discovered that while trying to do good, their efforts may also cause harm. Drawing on firsthand reporting from hot war zones around the world -- Bosnia, Rwanda, Congo, Kosovo, Sudan, and most recently Afghanistan -- Rieff describes how the International Committee of the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, the International Rescue Committee, CARE, Oxfam, and other humanitarian organizations have moved from their founding principle of political neutrality, which gave them access to victims of wars, to encouraging the international community to take action to stop civil wars and ethnic cleansing. This advocacy has come at a high price. By calling for intervention -- whether by the United Nations or by "coalitions of the willing" -- humanitarian organizations risk being seen as taking sides in a conflict and thus jeopardizing their access to victims. And by overreaching, the humanitarian movement has allowed itself to be hijacked by the major powers, at times becoming a fig leaf for actions those powers wish to take for their own interests, or for the major powers' inaction. Rieff concludes that if humanitarian organizations are to do what they do best -- alleviate suffering -- they must reclaim their independence. Except for relief workers themselves, no one has looked at humanitarian action as seriously or as unflinchingly, or has had such unparalleled access to its inner workings, as Rieff, who has traveled and lived with aid workers over many years and four continents. A cogent, hard-hitting report from the front lines, A Bed for the Night shows what international aid organizations must do if they are to continue to care for the victims of humanitarian disasters.

A Bed for the Night

Humanitarianism in Crisis

Author: David Rieff

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9780743252119

Category: Political Science

Page: 381

View: 5773

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Draws on first-hand accounts from war zones throughout the world to illustrate a growing gap between humanitarian ambition and capability, tracing the histories of major organizations while noting the impact of their advocacy beliefs. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.

A Bed for the Night

Humanitarianism in Crisis

Author: David Rieff

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0099597918

Category: Humanitarian assistance

Page: 367

View: 1922

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"Drawing on first hand reporting from hot war zones around the world - Bosnia, Rwanda, Congo, Kosovo, Sudan and most recently, Afghanistan - David Rieff shows us what humanitarian aid workers do in the field and the growing gap between their noble ambitions and their actual capabilities for alleviating suffering. Tracing the origins of major humanitarian organizatins such as the International Commitee of the Red Cross, Medecins San Frontieres, and CARE, he describes how many of them have moved from their founding principles of neutrality - which gave them access to victims - to encouraging the international community to take action to stop civil wars and ethnic cleansing. ieff demonstrates how this advocacy has come at a high price. By overreaching, the humanitarian movement has allowed itself to be hijacked by the major powers, sometimes to become a fig leaf for actions that major powers take in their own national interests, as in Afghanistan, sometimes for their inaction, as in Bosnia and Rwanda. With an exception of cases of genocide, where the moral imperative to act overrides all other considerations, Rieff contends that if humanitarian organizations are to continue doing

Condemned to Repeat?

The Paradox of Humanitarian Action

Author: Fiona Terry

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801468647

Category: Political Science

Page: 298

View: 3338

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Humanitarian groups have failed, Fiona Terry believes, to face up to the core paradox of their activity: humanitarian action aims to alleviate suffering, but by inadvertently sustaining conflict it potentially prolongs suffering. In Condemned to Repeat?, Terry examines the side-effects of intervention by aid organizations and points out the need to acknowledge the political consequences of the choice to give aid. The author makes the controversial claim that aid agencies act as though the initial decision to supply aid satisfies any need for ethical discussion and are often blind to the moral quandaries of aid. Terry focuses on four historically relevant cases: Rwandan camps in Zaire, Afghan camps in Pakistan, Salvadoran and Nicaraguan camps in Honduras, and Cambodian camps in Thailand. Terry was the head of the French section of Medecins sans frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) when it withdrew from the Rwandan refugee camps in Zaire because aid intended for refugees actually strengthened those responsible for perpetrating genocide. This book contains documents from the former Rwandan army and government that were found in the refugee camps after they were attacked in late 1996. This material illustrates how combatants manipulate humanitarian action to their benefit. Condemned to Repeat? makes clear that the paradox of aid demands immediate attention by organizations and governments around the world. The author stresses that, if international agencies are to meet the needs of populations in crisis, their organizational behavior must adjust to the wider political and socioeconomic contexts in which aid occurs.

At the Point of a Gun

Democratic Dreams and Armed Intervention

Author: David Rieff

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476737487

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 1667

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Veteran journalist David Rieff’s essays draw a searing portrait of what happens when the grandiose schemes of policymakers and human rights activists go horribly wrong in the field. Writing for publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal to The Nation to France’s Le Monde, David Rieff witnessed firsthand most of the armed interventions since the Cold War waged by the West or the United Nations in the name of human rights and democratization. In this timely collection of his most illuminating articles, Rieff, one of our leading experts on the subject, reassesses some of his own judgments about the use of military might to solve the world’s most pressing humanitarian problems. At the Point of a Gun raises critical questions we cannot ignore in this era of gunboat democracy. When, if ever, is it appropriate to intervene militarily in the domestic affairs of other nations? Are human rights and humanitarian concerns legitimate reasons for intervening, or is the assault on sovereignty a flag of convenience for the recolonization of part of the world? And, above all, can democracy be imposed through the barrel of an M16? This is not an optimistic report, but the questions Rieff raises are of the essence as the United States grapples with the harsh consequences of what it has wrought on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Against Remembrance

Author: David Rieff

Publisher: Melbourne Univ. Publishing

ISBN: 0522860249

Category: Social Science

Page: 192

View: 7856

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In Against Remembrance, David Rieff provocatively argues that the business of remembrance, particularly of the great tragedies of the past, are policitised events of highly selective memory. Rather than ending injustices, as we expect it to, collective memory in so many cases dooms us to an endless cycle of vengeance. Humanity, he says, simply cannot cope with the true ambivalence of historical events. And if we remember only partially, how can our memories serve us, or our society, as well as we hope?

Complex Emergencies

Author: David Keen

Publisher: Polity

ISBN: 9780745640198

Category: Political Science

Page: 293

View: 1898

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If you thought the point of war was to win, this book will make you think again. David Keen questions the model of war as a contest between two sides aiming at political and military victory, and he also rejects the contrasting view that war represents a collapse into anarchy, mindless violence and ethnic hatred. Rather than a contest or a collapse, war is analysed as a system that has significant functions and that yields complex economic, political and psychological benefits. Some may be more interested in prolonging a war than in ending it. War may help elites to derail democracy and suppress dissent; it may be profitable for government and rebel actors; and it may allow armed groups to enjoy a sense of power over unarmed civilians. This book argues that understanding the complex functions of wars alongside other forms of human disaster, such as famine and ethnic strife, is essential if we are to reduce suffering and move towards lasting peace agreements. Complex Emergencies will be essential reading for students of development, political economy, political science and international relations.

Humanitarian Intervention

Author: Thomas G. Weiss

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1509507353

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 8129

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A singular development in the post-Cold War era is the use of military force to protect human beings. From Rwanda to Kosovo, Sierra Leone to East Timor, and Libya to Cï¿1⁄2te dï¿1⁄2Ivoire, soldiers have rescued civilians in some of the world's most notorious war zones. But what about Syria? Why have we observed the Syrian slaughter and done nothing? Is humanitarian intervention in crisis? Is the so-called responsibility to protect dead or alive? In this fully revised and expanded third edition of his highly accessible and popular text, Thomas Weiss explores these compelling questions. Drawing on a wide range of case studies and providing a persuasive overview of the theory and practice of humanitarian intervention in the modern world, he examines its political, ethical, legal, strategic, economic, and operational dimensions to highlight key debates and controversies. Neither celebratory nor complacent, his analysis is an engaging exploration of the current quandaries and future challenges for robust international humanitarian action in the twenty-first century.

Slaughterhouse

Bosnia and the Failure of the West

Author: David Rieff

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476737886

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 4211

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In a shocking and deeply disturbing tour de force, David Rieff, reporting from the Bosnia war zone and from Western capitals and United Nations headquarters, indicts the West and the United Nations for standing by and doing nothing to stop the genocide of the Bosnian Muslims. Slaughterhouse is the definitive explanation of a war that will be remembered as the greatest failure of Western diplomacy since the 1930s. Bosnia was more than a human tragedy. It was the emblem of the international community's failure and confusion in the post-Cold War era. In Bosnia, genocide and ethnic fascism reappeared in Europe for the first time in fifty years. But there was no will to confront them, either on the part of the United States, Western Europe, or the United Nations, for which the Bosnian experience was as catastrophic and demoralizing as Vietnam was for the United States. It is the failure and its implications that Rieff anatomizes in this unforgiving account of a war that might have been prevented and could have been stopped.

The Pulse of Humanitarian Assistance

Author: Kevin M. Cahill

Publisher: Fordham Univ Press

ISBN: 0823227162

Category: Political Science

Page: 314

View: 1123

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The complex nature of international humanitarian action-- particularly following natural disasters or armed conflicts-- has been considered in seven previous volumes in this series. This text explores some of the cutting edge concerns and observations, both positive and negative, that will affect how assistance is offered in the future. Military/civilian cooperation, for example, has been long recognized as essential in large scale disasters and much effort has been devoted to improved training for professionals in both disciplines. Innovative approaches fostering effective cooperation worked in the catastrophic 2005 Pakistan earthquake and those lessons are presented here. The growth of private armies is, however, an example of the changing world where delivery of essential aid will undoubtedly be affected for both military and civilian workers in humanitarian crises. How traditional non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and particularly faith based agencies will adapt to new challenges while retaining the value system that is their raison d'etre is explored in this text. The philosophic and realistic bases for security for humanitarian workers, refugees and internally displaced persons, or those in societies in transition after wars are but some of the issues presented by internationally respected authors.

The Turbulent Decade

Confronting the Refugee Crises of the 1990s

Author: Sadako N. Ogata

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393057737

Category: Political Science

Page: 402

View: 1709

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The United Nations high commissioner for refugees during the 1990s traces her career experiences and the lessons she learned during one of the twentieth century's greatest refugee crises, discussing issues related to protection and humanitarian assistance and the global and political climate in which humanitarian organizations operate. 15,000 first printing.

The Reproach of Hunger

Food, Justice, and Money in the Twenty-First Century

Author: David Rieff

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1439148597

Category: Political Science

Page: 432

View: 4183

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Hailed as “invaluable…a substantial work of political thought,” (New Statesman) in a groundbreaking report, based on years of reporting, David Rieff assesses whether ending extreme poverty and widespread hunger is truly within our reach, as is increasingly promised. Can we provide enough food for nine billion people in 2050, especially the bottom poorest in the Global South? Some of the most brilliant scientists, world politicians, and aid and development experts forecast an end to the crisis of massive malnutrition in the next decades. The World Bank, IMF, and Western governments look to public-private partnerships to solve the problems of access and the cost of food. “Philanthrocapitalists” Bill Gates and Warren Buffett spend billions to solve the problem, relying on technology. And the international development “Establishment” gets publicity from stars Bob Geldorf, George Clooney, and Bono. “Hunger, [David Rieff] writes, is a political problem, and fighting it means rejecting the fashionable consensus that only the private sector can act efficiently” (The New Yorker). Rieff, who has been studying and reporting on humanitarian aid and development for thirty years, takes a careful look. He cites climate change, unstable governments that receive aid, the cozy relationship between the philanthropic sector and giants like Monsanto, that are often glossed over in the race to solve the crisis. “This is a stellar addition to the canon of development policy literature” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). The Reproach of Hunger is the most complete and informed description of the world’s most fundamental question: Can we feed the world’s population? Rieff answers a careful “Yes” and charts the path by showing how it will take seizing all opportunities; technological, cultural, and political to wipe out famine and malnutrition.

Swimming in a Sea of Death

A Son's Memoir

Author: David Rieff

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1416554289

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 364

View: 2517

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Both a memoir and an investigation, Swimming in a Sea of Death is David Rieff's loving tribute to his mother, the writer Susan Sontag, and her final battle with cancer. Rieff's brave, passionate, and unsparing witness of the last nine months of her life, from her initial diagnosis to her death, is both an intensely personal portrait of the relationship between a mother and a son, and a reflection on what it is like to try to help someone gravely ill in her fight to go on living and, when the time comes, to die with dignity. Rieff offers no easy answers. Instead, his intensely personal book is a meditation on what it means to confront death in our culture. In his most profound work, this brilliant writer confronts the blunt feelings of the survivor -- the guilt, the self-questioning, the sense of not having done enough. And he tries to understand what it means to desire so desperately, as his mother did to the end of her life, to try almost anything in order to go on living. Drawing on his mother's heroic struggle, paying tribute to her doctors' ingenuity and faithfulness, and determined to tell what happened to them all, Swimming in a Sea of Death subtly draws wider lessons that will be of value to others when they find themselves in the same situation.

A Bed For The Night

Humanitarianism in an Age of Genocide

Author: David Rieff

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1446499529

Category: Law

Page: 384

View: 951

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Timely and controversial, A Bed for the Night reveals how humanitarian organizations trying to bring relief in an ever more violent and dangerous world are often betrayed and misused, and have increasingly lost sight of their purpose. Drawing on first-hand reporting from hot war zones around the world - Bosnia, Rwanda, Congo, Kosovo, Sudan and, most recently, Afghanistan - David Rieff shows us what humanitarian aid workers do in the field and the growing gap between their noble ambitions and their actual capabilities for alleviating suffering. Tracing the origins of major humanitarian organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and CARE, he describes how many of them have moved from their founding principle of neutrality, which gave them access to victims, to encouraging the international community to take action to stop civil wars and ethnic cleansing. Rieff demonstrates how this advocacy has come at a high price. By overreaching, the humanitarian movement has allowed itself to be hijacked by the major powers, sometimes to become a fig leaf for actions that major powers take in their own national interests, as in Afghanistan, sometimes for their inaction, as in Bosnia and Rwanda. With the exception of cases of genocide, where the moral imperative to act overrides all other considerations, Rieff contends that if humanitarian organisations are to continue doing what they do best - alleviating suffering - they must remain independent.

Chasing Chaos

My Decade in and Out of Humanitarian Aid

Author: Jessica Alexander

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 0770436919

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 386

View: 9653

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An experienced humanitarian worker who has helped the refugees in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Darfur and Haiti gives an insider's view of the chaos and danger involved in such a pursuit, as well as the often-wild social lives that some workers lead to deal with the stress. Original.

A World Turned Upside Down

Social Ecological Approaches to Children in War Zones

Author: Neil Boothby,Alison Strang,Michael G. Wessells

Publisher: Kumarian Press

ISBN: 1565492250

Category: Psychology

Page: 260

View: 8856

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When wars are fought in the midst of civilian activity, as they so often are in poorer countries, the effects on children are devastating. They may grow up separated from their families, without adequate health care, or resources, learn to take up a weapon and kill without thought, or may simply never have the feeling of safety. A World Turned Upside Down looks at the experiences of children in war from a psychological perspective, specifically from a social ecologist's view, offering thoughtful observations and dispelling myths about what results from growing up in conflict situations. In contrast to individualized approaches, the volume offers a deeper conceptualization that shows the impacts of war as socially mediated. In this view, it is expected that two children exposed to the same traumatic experience (e.g., attack) may have different reactions and needs for psychosocial support. If, for example, a child were attacked but remained in the care of a mother who provided emotional support and protection, the impacts might be less than what would have occurred had the child been separated from parents and not had the mother's support. Further, psychosocial assistance to war-affected children often occurs not through the provision of therapy by outsiders but via support from insiders. Each contributor has worked extensively with children in war zones in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia. They step back from viewing these children as victims of trauma, soldiers, or refugees, and reveal a holistic understanding of their experiences within their families and communities. Knowing these social connections, they argue, helps pinpoint ways of fostering well-being and even reducing further violence.

One-hundred Days of Silence

America and the Rwanda Genocide

Author: Jared Cohen

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9780742552371

Category: History

Page: 230

View: 6324

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In the spring of 1994, eight-hundred thousand Rwandan Tutsis and Moderate Hutus were killed in a horrific genocide. One Hundred Days of Silence is a scathing look at the challenges of humanitarian intervention, the history of U.S. policy toward the 1994 Rwanda genocide, and the role of genocide in the larger context of strategic studies. It looks at the principal questions of what the U.S. knew, and why it didn't intervene, and how non-intervention was justified within the American bureaucracy.

Humanitarian Negotiations Revealed

The MSF Experience

Author: Claire Magone,Michael Neuman,Fabrice Weissman

Publisher: Hurst

ISBN: 1849045267

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 6932

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From international NGOs to UN agencies, from donors to observers of humanitarianism, opinion is unanimous: in a context of the alleged "clash of civilizations", our "humanitarian space" is shrinking. Put another way, the freedom of action and of speech of humanitarians is being eroded due to the radicalisation of conflicts and the reaffirmation of state sovereignty over aid actors and policies. The purpose of this book is to challenge this assumption through an analysis of the events that have marked MSF's history since 2003 (when MSF published its first general work on humanitarian action and its relationships with governments). It addresses the evolution of humanitarian goals, the resistance to these goals and the political arrangements that overcame this resistance (or that failed to do so). The contributors seek to analyse the political transactions and balances of power and interests that allow aid activities to move forward, but that are usually masked by the lofty rhetoric of "humanitarian principles". They focus on one key question: what is an acceptable compromise for MSF? This book seeks to puncture a number of the myths that have grown up over the forty years since MSF was founded and describes in detail how the ideals of humanitarian principles and "humanitarian space" operating in conflict zones are in reality illusory. How, in fact, it is the grubby negotiations with varying parties, each of whom have their own vested interests, that may allow organisations such as MSF to operate in a given crisis situation - or not.

A Generation at Risk

The Global Impact of HIV/AIDS on Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Author: Geoff Foster,Carol Levine,John Williamson

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521652643

Category: Medical

Page: 312

View: 8856

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With a Foreword by Desmond Tutu, Generation at Risk brings insightful perspectives from experienced practitioners and researchers on how a better future can be secured for the millions of children who are being orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS. The current situation of these children is grim, and while there has been significant action by governments, international organizations, religious bodies, and non-governmental organizations, the vast majority of children made vulnerable by AIDS have not benefited from any assistance beyond their own extended family and community. A Generation at Risk explains in straightforward terms what is required to fill this gap. The book addresses what needs to be done in the areas of education, community mobilization and capacity building, economic strengthening at household and community levels, psychosocial support, and the protection of children and the fulfilment of their rights.

Anthropologists in Arms

The Ethics of Military Anthropology

Author: George R. Lucas, Jr.

Publisher: Rowman Altamira

ISBN: 0759119198

Category: Social Science

Page: 246

View: 5659

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Anthropologists in Arms traces the troubled history of social scientists' collaboration with national military, security, and intelligence organizations and analyzes the moral and ethical debates provoked by the rise of 'military anthropology'—particularly the practice of embedding anthropologists with combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.