- Gebundene Ausgabe: 384 Seiten
- Verlag: Simon & Schuster; Auflage: First Printing (1. Oktober 2002)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 068480977X
- ISBN-13: 978-0684809779
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,7 x 2,7 x 24,2 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 542.066 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 1. Oktober 2002
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Aryeh Neier president, Open Society Institute, and author of "War Crimes" Nearly every sentence provokes an argument. Agree or disagree with Rieff, anyone seriously concerned with the armed conflicts of our time, from Bosnia and Kosovo to Rwanda and Afghanistan, should grapple with the difficult issues he raises. A book with moral gravitas.
A powerful and engaging book that asks the fundamental question: Is humanitarianism a waste of hope? -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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The West/America/Europe in recent decades, primarily through the mechanism of the UN, has made a great show of doing everything possible right up to but excluding actually doing anything. Compassion on the cheap. 'We're doing everything possible, the UN is on the job, and as long as all parties agree and have invited them, will show up and defend only themselves rudely in front of people desperately needing defense. The NGOs are on site. We're handing out the blankets and the coffee and the bandaids to rapist and victim alike, so nothing more can be done, and we can all go back to reading our papers and tsk-tsk-tsking and sipping our Capuccinos, comfortable in the knowledge that everything that can be done, is being done, short of actually doing soemthing.'
Find out why that's a fig leaf on the UN seal, not an olive branch. We are all the problem; we don't have the good sense our daddies taught us about when to and when not to lift a hand. Read this book.
David Rieff admits he wrote this book in the shadows of the destruction of the World Trade Center. Having covered some of the world's greatest humanitarian disasters, featuring ethnic cleansing and genocide, it should be acknowledged that Mr. Rieff is an impressive character. On balance, however, this book can leave a reader thinking it may not be such a good idea to let people like Mr. Rieff write books until they've unwound a bit in some nice little corner of the world.
Nevertheless, this is a good book for people interested in humanitarianism and peace operations in general. Many people in those fields probably will not like the book all that much, but it is a good thing to read books that annoy you--they make you think. This book is successful at both tasks. The concerns with this book should stem from what seem to be passionately held but nonetheless shaky arguments and logic. All too often, Mr. Rieff arrives at conclusions that mystify, often in the midst of otherwise thoughtful discussion.
One of Mr. Rieff's main contentions is that humanitarianism has made a mistake by seeking to support solutions to the crises that afflict humanity. In others words, Mr. Rieff seems to think it is a bad idea to try working within the reality of any given situation. Humanitarian organizations should instead presumably go on working to help the victims, but should not worry about trying to find solutions to the problems that created the victims. A reasonable person might quibble with that. Has it not always been the human endeavor to work to better our conditions?
A reader will no doubt ask what kind of sense does it make to avoid solutions? Humanitarians have done a grievous harm to their cause by abandoning their neutrality, Mr. Rieff says. In truth, though, neutrality is pretty useless in conflict resolution, and I am not sure it has much more use in humanitarian relief. Impartiality is probably a better choice-avoid taking sides, but uphold the rules of the game. And there should be rules. It may be that we as a global community (a concept Mr. Rieff seems quite skeptical of) are moving only fitfully toward rules on a global basis. So what? Does that mean we should not try? And if trying is the right thing to do, than humanitarian organizations are doing the right thing. They may not be doing it well, but far better to look for a permanent solution than to keep putting band-aids on wounds.
Rieff has experienced many of the bad things humans do to one another. That's a powerful thing, but it is also a bias. A better book would have made points without resorting to emotional arguments and logic malformed by perhaps excessive passion.
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