The Myanmar junta’s shameful cyclone response illustrates some global truths we must face, writes Madeleine Albright in the New York Times. Among them: President Bush's ill-advised attack of Iraq has made it all the more difficult for the international community to intervene in the world's trouble spots. Instead, the principle of national sovereignty now rules the day, even when people are suffering.
"The global conscience is not asleep, but after the turbulence of recent years, it is profoundly confused," the former secretary of state writes. "At the heart of the debate is the question of what the international system is. Is it just a collection of legal nuts and bolts cobbled together by governments to protect governments? Or is it a living framework of rules intended to make the world a more humane place?"