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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Mediate, Not Participate

    The recent tragedy in Mumbai was foreseen by American military forces, who warned the Indian authorities. Sadly, the attack was not prevented and around 200 lives were lost. According to BBC News, India has alleged that the attackers had Pakistani links, a claim which is denied by Pakistani authorities.

    Clearly, India and Pakistan must work together to discover who the aggressors are and why they chose to take about 200 lives in the Mumbai attack. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is set to travel to Delhi to assist negotiations. It is of utmost importance that she, as well as any other U.S. representatives assigned to work with the two nations, play the role of an unbiased mediator.

    While it was appropriate for the U.S. government to alert the Indian authorities about a possible attack, this was certainly the furthest extent our nation should have acted. We should behave only as distributors of information and a possible channel for negotiations. At this point in our nation’s history, we cannot afford to become too deeply involved in the conflicts of others. Too often unnecessary involvement in foreign affairs becomes costly in terms of the dollar and American lives. While we shouldn’t prioritize and assign value to human life, we must not forget that it is the leaders of a nation who are ultimately responsible for the lives of their own citizens. As Americans, we should refrain from impressing our ideals upon others. Furthermore, our nation is currently at war and we can’t afford to be involved, militarily, in anywhere else right now. Our secretary of state should be free to maintain the quality of the state of our nation. With our attention divided, to the conflict between Pakistan and India, Iraq and Afghanistan, we will be hard pressed to finally resolve any of these decade-long conflicts. We must clean up the mess in our own back yard before we meddle in the affairs of others. Perhaps the United States will retain its role as mediator in this issue. Hopefully, as a nation, we will recognize that this is not our issue to resolve. Conflicts persist in every part of the world. As concerned citizens we must carefully consider the differences between those that the United States attempts to resolve and those that it does not.

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