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Bolton, Krueger Square Off

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One man emphasized the agonizing complexities inherent in any decision about intervening in genocides. The other spoke with emotion about the horrific scenes he witnessed while serving as ambassador in a developing African country racked by widespread ethnic killing.

When John Bolton and Robert Krueger finished their conversation with the Lewis & Clark community at the 46th annual International Affairs Symposium, the several hundred students who attended the event had much to ponder.

Bolton, the controversial Bush administration appointee as U.S. representative to the United Nations, and Krueger, a former U.S. senator and ambassador to Burundi, aired their sharply contrasting views during the opening night of the symposium, April 7. Listeners packed the Council Chamber as well as Stamm Dining Room, where a simulcast was shown for the overflow crowd.

Bolton, now a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, spoke of the myriad factors that must be considered when U.S. decision makers contemplate a humanitarian intervention–including, he stressed, American interests and the potential loss of American lives.

Krueger described his frustration as the world failed to respond to the massive killings that were taking place while he was serving in Burundi in the mid-1990s. At its height, he noted, the violence was raging at the rate of approximately 100 deaths each day in the country of 6 million.

Bob Mandel, chair of the international affairs department and advisor to the symposium organizers, praised the students for creating an event that highlighted Lewis & Clark “as a place that presents opposing views, even those that contrast with the prevailing views of many students and faculty.”

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