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What informs the decision to intervene in one situation and leave out another? How is Syria for example different from Libya? What informed America ... for instance to intervene in the Balkans or lead a NATO assault of Belgrade to avoid genocide in Kosovo whilst ignoring similar atrocities or even worse ones in Rwanda? Could it be political, geo-political, strategic, economic or racial?
How does one situate the U.S. marines' firefight with Saddam's troops in Iraq to save people, who would have otherwise been massacred with impunity, ... with the Syrian crisis, especially when the diplomatic effort truncated by the presence of UN special envoy Kofi Annan has not stopped the violence?
In this column, duly entitled, The dogs, the poles, the thieves and their detractors: why is establishing the Arctic as common heritage so important? ... Sarah Bracking delves into the dangers of market capitalism and the push for new oil frontiers in the Arctic. She points out that under the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea Treaty in force from 1994, all mineral and exploration rights extend 200 nautical miles off a coastline, or more if it is continental shelf, and if this were applied the status of ownership in the Arctic is in question. So why is this important to readers in Africa?