Point of View – Rony Brauman

My new life has so far not afforded me quality time for thinking/blogging – I need to refocus my energy! I’ve been reading a lot though, and feel constantly inspired to share thoughts with all (2 or 3) of you – after blogging about the ICC and Bashir’s indictment last week, I read this great piece written by Rony Brauman, who was the head of Doctors Without Borders (as you might know, one of my all time favorite NGOs).

He also happens to be a former professor of mine, whose analysis and vision of the world had a profound impact on me. He is one of those disheveled guys that you would probably not think much of at first glance – but he is an amazing thinker (dare I say philosopher??), and is held in the highest regard by field practicioners who have worked with him.

This piece definitely characterizes his controversial take on most issues – his views are almost always counter-intuitive, but he is extremely convincing. His views on genocide are absolutely worth reading about – if this piece piques your interest, I strongly encourage you to look further into his work (drop me an email if you’d like some recommendations)

Apart from the judicial inflation to which it gives rise, the major problem with this perception of armed conflicts as “genocides” (the former Yugoslavia, Sudan, and undoubtedly more to come) is that it removes them from history and politics, in order to subject them instead to a purely moral judgment. To qualify a war as genocidal is to leave the terrain of politics, of its relations of force, of its compromises and contingencies, in order to situate oneself in some metaphysical beyond in which the only conflict is between Good and Evil: fanatics versus moderates, blood-thirsty hordes versus innocent civilians….

Read the full piece here.

Meanwhile, African Union soldiers are wearing blue plastic bags on their helmets to indicate they now operate under the UN… Boy, do we care about the situation in Darfur or what?? Very unsatisfactory state of affairs – as much as I am a huge supporter of strengthening international law, I am even more a believer in putting your $$ where your mouth is… Which, quite unfortunately, most countries, most leaders fail to do, time and time again.

4 thoughts on “Point of View – Rony Brauman

  1. There is also a documentary film “Truth”, here it is in Russian: http://video.mail.ru/mail/nashkonek/186/514.html – but I couldn’t find it anywhere in English. Information about Albanian crimes in Serbia is scarce, even there in Russia, but in English you will hardly find anything at all. But from what I hear there, Albanians killed the peaceful population, what Serbians did in response was by comparison very tame.
    There is a bit more information about churches: http://www.rastko.org.yu/kosovo/crucified/default.htm http://emperors-clothes.com/list.htm – etc.
    Some NATO bombings are known, but I saw reports of other peaceful targets being hit (for example, in one documentary film there shown a father whose family was killed by a hit into their house). I’m not researching this, just hearing bits, and in Russia there seem to be more of these bits on TV than you can found in Internet. I think maybe its cultural, Serbs aren’t accustomed to advertize those things (from what I gathered).

    (So, I appreciate your professor and thinker but I think the mere facts would’ve spoke for themself if things in your Tribunals were a little less biased).

  2. You should understand that the Serbia is maybe the last truly Eastern Orthodox Christian country (the idea is clearly obvious from the letters which where written during a visit of Indian delegation to Serbia in 1950, published in this book). Destruction of these churches for Serbs is like bringing down the White House in USA. Serbs were under Muslib and, in particular, Turkish oppression for a long time, and these actions by Albanian Muslims has a long cultural roots. Of course, Albanians did much more than bringing down churches, (e.g. massacring whole village, etc) but the methodic destruction of churches is very descriptive of the intent behind the Albanians so-called separatists.

  3. Stupid to say but I didn’t find you e-mail on the blog, could you post here some books of M. Brauman? I would be very interested in reading hier history, what he thinks of the world he is living here.. Bonus il est médecin, c’est ce que j’aimerais faire (en plus de travailler avec MSF ^^)

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