Several from the Eupan Global Initiative had the opportunity to meet today with Mr. Craig J. Smith, Field Representative for Senator Tom Coburn's office.Mr. Smith is one of six representatives who serves as the "eyes and ears" for Dr. Coburn, as both Coburn and Smith serve unique roles in representing the voice(s) of Oklahoman(s) in our U.S. Federal System of Government. Mr. Smith was kind and gracious and offered a clear and discerning perspective to Dr. Coburn's intentions and role as a policy-maker. Our conversation with Mr. Smith emerged specifically out of the work we have been doing for the past number of months since we agreed in 2009 to focus on issues of Genocide. Our work has been emboldened by our partnership role with GI-Net and the Carl Wilkens Fellowship. As we met, we pressed Mr. Smith to advise Dr. Coburn that we are concerned for the free and open elections forthcoming in Sudan (April 11.) While we are hopeful for the process that is underway, we expressed our concern that "the good is available to the all" as Sudan moves into the future. Sudan has been a troubled area and has had a history of recent violence, making it a flashpoint for future violence (see footnote in this entry). Our eupan hope includes President Obama's expressed action already underway. We specifically requested that Dr. Coburn will partner with Senate leadership before and after April 11 to work toward achieving peace and stability for the persons of Sudan, for the country of Sudan, and for the good enhanced for world diplomacy if the former can be achieved. Our thanks to Mr. Smith for his time today - and to Dr. Coburn's work.Included is a picture of those who were present, an small representation of the emerging and growing leadership in our EGI efforts toward eupan through the Eupan Global Initiative.
~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.
footnote: An excellent essay that explores the causes/theories of Genocide can be found at this link: Theories of Genocide: The Case of Rwanda. In the article, Howard Adelman challenges the positions of a scholar and friend I have worked with in the past, James Waller. While Dr. Waller is the person I have worked with personally, what is important for consideration here is how both scholars offer important practical and theoretical work that can serve as a foundation for better understanding "evil" so that we can better advance the good!