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Wednesday, June 20, 2007
20 million people can't go home
We're devoting tonight's program to a global crisis that demands attention and answers. Today is World Refugee Day, and this year there is new urgency because the number of refugees has surged by 14 percent since 2006. It's the first increase since 2000.

The U.N High Commissioner for Refugees says more than 20 million people can't go home.

14 million of them are displaced within their own countries. That's like having everyone here in New York suddenly homeless.

A lot of the increase is due to people fleeing the violence in Iraq.

Last year alone, more than one million people fled from Iraq. We're talking about numbers. But of course we are dealing with lives and families and children.

Joining us tonight will be Angelina Jolie. The Academy Award winning actress is a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador who spends much of her time trying to help refugees and raise awareness of their immense suffering.

Along with my in-depth interview with Jolie, we are going to bring you several special reports on the current refugee crisis. Our correspondents have been dispatched across the world with stories that humanize a tragedy that many feel is being ignored.

Also, we want to give you as many facts as possible. That's why we want you to check out these links:

The Global Medical Relief Fund

The List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies

State Department's FAQ for Iraqi Refugees

Crisis Guide: Darfur

Here's another site where you can donate online.

U.N High Commissioner on Refugees

See you tonight.

--By Anderson Cooper
Posted By CNN: 4:43 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
I think the bottom line is, we can talk about this until we are blue in the face, but until the WHOLE world embraces the refugee plight, nothing will change. How do you get a lazy world involved? That's the question that never gets answered. Can we really make anyone care? I hope for all our sakes, the light bulb moment of compassion will click on sooner rather than later. I really do want to have hope. Take Care
Posted By Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif : 5:23 PM ET
I think the tragic part of this is that there are 20 million people who are refugees, and yet we sit in our comfortable homes and drive our expensive cars and our lives go on as if nothing were happening. I think that if we were to try and put ourselves in the shoes of these refugees and imagine being displaced and without the everyday blessings that we have grown so accustomed to, we would begin to take more of an interest and do everything within our power to get involved and help those less fortunate than ourselves. Thanks for the reminder of how truly blessed we are. I hope that we can all work together to make a difference and help these 20 million people.
Posted By Jessica, Bourbonnais Illinois : 5:33 PM ET
Hello Anderson,
Wow, 20 million people can't go home! This headline is horrifying!
I was very impressed with the preview of your interview with Angelina Jolie. She has really earned my respect as a great humanitarian. The clip where she is holding and caressing the child who was tied up really touched and broke my heart.
We take so much for granted here in the U.S. We talk about the problems in our socitey such as immigration, gang violence, and obesity while millions of people in the world live in brutally deplorable conditions and go to bed hungry. We should be ashamed and embarrassed.
Thanks for the informative links. I am really looking forward to your interview tonight and also learning what I can do to help. Thanks for the eye~opener.
God's peace~
Posted By Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX : 5:42 PM ET
It's just plain sad that there is a rise in the # of refugees since last year, although not surprising with all of the conflict in the world today. We also should not forget about the animals, they get displaced too!

Looking forward to tonight's show!
Posted By Jolene, St. Joseph, MI : 5:43 PM ET

After all the Paris fluff I am glad we are getting back to stories that matter. I lay the increase in refugees at the door of the Iraq War. Besides the refugees directly caused by the war, the war indirectly can be blamed for refugees elsewhere as Iraq had distracted us and other world powers from taking care of business. What if the full force of global attention could be placed on Darfur? Would there be more action?

BTB, is this an "encore" of your original interview with Angelina or a new interview? I think the promos should clarify this. Looking forward to tonight's show.
Posted By Charlotte D, Stockton CA : 5:44 PM ET
I find it sad that people will turn off 360 tonight because of this interview. There are people who feel the need to judge Ms Jolie for her past and accuse her outspokenness as a cloak for needed attention. Others will say Ms Jolie shouldn't be interviewed, but instead the unsung volunteers.

I say what difference does it make who's talking as long as we listen and attempt to make changes. I applaud Ms Jolie for what she is doing. Her voice is one of many that is growing louder to the problems in Africa. I can't honestly say I have ever seen a movie of hers, and I probably won't rush out to rent them all, but I am in awe of her passion.

If Audrey Hepburn can be remembered more for her work with UNICEF than as an actress, then why can't Ms Jolie be as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador?
Posted By Kelly - Cygnet, OH : 5:50 PM ET

Thank you to you, your staff, and CNN for bringing much deserved attention to this enormous issue that hardly anyone even knows about. I asked people in my classes today if they knew it was World Refugee Day and no one had any clue about it.

As a Vietnamese-American, the refugee crisis really hits home for me because I was a refugee myself. It's astonishing to me how unaware many of us are that this crisis is even going on. Everyone is so quick to gripe about the war and its effect but no one talks about its effect on the families being displaced with no where to go.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what Angelina Jolie has to say on the issue. I have so much respect for her and the work she's doing. Any problems we have here at home are pale in comparison to what these refugees are going through.

Kudos to you Anderson for shedding light on the crises in not only Sudan and Darfur, but also Iraq and many other locations around the globe.
Posted By Evelyn, Des Moines, IA : 6:19 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

Clearly your program tonight is much needed and much anticipated. I for one cannot wait to see what you bring to the table. Certainly it will be informative and valuable. Thank you again for continually covering what matters.

When one considers the scope of this issue, one becomes overwhelmed. We need to do something to help these dear folks and quickly. This horror has been allowed to continue for entirely too long; with limited help on the horizon it is as critical as ever. Sad.

Undoubtedly this affects millions and to me this fact makes the tragedy of it all deeply disturbing. I am grateful to you for posting the links that you have and will surely read them all. I plan to share this information with all who will listen. It needs to be said.

As you stated, numbers are just that; what we need to do is put faces to this issue and perhaps then people will sit up, take notice and ACT. Families and children are at risk, they are suffering - what more do we need to know?

I will be watching.

Thanks Anderson, sincerely. :)
Posted By Pati McMillan, Camp Hill, PA : 6:21 PM ET
I am really looking forward to the interview with Angelina Jolie tonight. The interview with Angelina last year was really eye opening and I am glad you are following up on these stories again for World Refugee Day!

Thank you for posting the links to the other websites.
Posted By Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada : 6:26 PM ET
I'm afraid we usually don't have much time to realize refugee problems.Learning them is hard but important.

Thanks Anderson and Angelina.
Posted By Yukako,Aichi,Japan : 7:08 PM ET
I live in NYC and actually having a home here is lucky and privileged in my view, particularly because real estate in NYC is so competitive and outrageously pricey. Yet I'm able to live where and pretty much how I want. I can only imagine what these refugees experience and even then I'm sure I cannot fully grasp the suffering of their loss even with my vivid imagination.

I admire Angelina because although breathtakingly beautiful, wealthy and successful both professionally and personally she is not full of herself. She really cares about the plight of others, particulary children. Very rare for someone in her position.

Looking forward to the show tonight. Thank you for bringing this issue to the world's attention. See you tonight, Anderson.
Posted By Mariela, New York, NY : 7:12 PM ET
What a coincident Angelina jolie was interviewed last week by Mr. Larry King and now by Mr. Anderson Cooper I hope they will not speak about her new movie. oh! before I forgot Angelina Jolie is also the cover of Esquire Magazine this month I think or next month whatever.

regards to all staff and crew of AC360.
Posted By Jemillex Bacerdo Chicago, IL. : 7:36 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

It's unfortunate that politics, power and greed can cause so much suffering to the innocent. Until people who cause and create the violence and instigate the political power play stop, we will always have a refugee problem.
Posted By Mandy, Los Angeles, CA : 7:44 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
We all could talk about this until we're blue in the face and nothing ever changes.
It seems to me, that until the WHOLE world embraces their role in helping the refugees little will change. How can we make a lazy world care? That's the question that never gets an answer. I hope we all get a light bulb moment of compassion, sooner rather than later. Who's accountable? We all are. No exceptions. Take Care
Posted By Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 7:47 PM ET
Anderson, thank you for covering this very important topic. I will be sure to visit the websites listed here and to learn more about this and how I can help. I will not, however, watch 360 this evening since just the thought of an interview with Angelina Jolie peddling her beautiful self is intolerable and inhumane to viewers. There are so many people who do great work who do not shove it in our faces.

You certainly came down a few notches by buying into this self serving woman.

Jodi, Fairfield, CT
Posted By Jodi, Fairfield, CT : 8:24 PM ET
Looking forward to the program tonight. It's hard to wrap my head around the numbers of people who are displaced from their homes. It's a real crisis. Thanks for continuing to bring attention to this issue.
Posted By Pamina, Pittsford, New York : 8:41 PM ET
Whether or not you like Angelina Jolie, and honestly, I am not a huge fan of hers---no one can argue against the fact that the woman has done remarkable things with her money and time. Just the amount of money she donates to the causes she believes in is beyond impressive to me. But she takes it so much further with her dedication and passion. Whatever her motives might be, ( and I believe they're pure) she is simply doing astounding things in the world.
I think it's also important for us all to think about how our very powerful country has contributed to this colossal humanitarian problem with our involvement in this unjustified war. As we begin to think about the next presidential election, this should factor into our decision about who we want navigating our foreign policy in the future. I for one don't want a blithering idiot again.
And now a bit of "Anderadmiration": why haven't you won a Pulitzer??? Sorry-I had to put it out there. You would certainly be deserving of it.
Posted By Debbie, Denham Springs, LA : 8:42 PM ET
Dear Anderson,
We can seldom hear about World Refugee Day in Japan. Of course some of us know, but not so many people have interest in it. It's really sad and we need to know more. I'm so glad that you always make us awake to those kinds of problems, and this is really effective for us, International viewers. Thanks a lot!
Posted By Hiroko, Mie, Japan : 9:19 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

Once again you have opened my eyes for me and directed my attention to something that I knew very little about. I was looking forward to this interview with Ms. Jolie but was totally taken aback at how extraordinary she is. The depth of her compassion is stunning, if we all could have just a fraction of the empathy and drive that she possesses the world would be the kind of place we would be proud to leave to the next generation. I truly did not realize how truly cruel human beings can be when tempted by power and greed, it's sickening to me and hurts me deep inside my soul. What happened to "No Child Left Behind", doesn't that apply to every child or just American children? Why are the world's leaders in such a hurry to destroy the only thing that sustains us? Our Earth and it's beautiful people.
Posted By Amanda from Northborough, Massachusetts : 12:06 AM ET

Thank you to you, your staff, and CNN for bringing this issue to the forefront. Many of us are aware of the war in Iraq, but we are not intouch with the human cost to the families and to our society at large. Often we critize the war but I am one that believes it is not enough to critize--we must provide answers and solutions. The answer to the refugee problem begins with a solution to restore peace in the Middle-east and to restore peace, we must admit that increased security is not the answer, security is never the answer. Gen. Chiarelli's , in his Time Magazine article, eloquently says, "To think the security line alone is going to bring peace to Iraq, and solve the problems you see manifested in the streets of Iraq today, is absolutely foolhardy. One of the reasons they are fighting and leaving is because they don't have economic opportunities and there is a total economic collapse in Iraq. We need to create those opportunities, to stop the bloodshed." In a May article of Military Officer, a military engineer wrote, “the most striking thing in Iraq is the extreme poverty. I’ve been to the Philippines and saw poverty. But at least they could eat. Here there is sewage and trash on the ground. Shepherds take their sheep to eat from the trash.”
The answer is clear that we must create a cause to live for that is greater than the insurgent's cause to die for. That cause in my opinion as a military officer and a soldier who has been there is to borrow a chapter from our history when our economy had all but collapsed. The government of Iraq must offer real jobs, economic opportunities for any male who wants honest work rebuilding their country. The strategy must provide an opportunity for employment to hundreds of thousands of unemployed Iraqi citizens, especially to the young men who are doubling as insurgents. The Iraqi men must volunteer for a one year commitment, with compensation, to be enrolled and to live on a reconstruction focused camp within their local area. Living on the camp is a key strategy for success in that it takes enrollees out of their usual surroundings, and negative distractions, to provide income producing jobs, to develop trust in the new government, and to offer on camp education and skills training for the future.

America must (in conjunction with the Iraqi government,) “Stand-up Iraq” by creating secure employment camps on a gradual basis using an “Ink Blot” methodology to rally the Iraqi people to a common cause (rebuilding their country brick by brick and in restoring HOPE). And, Iraq government legitimacy should come easy—it comes with the first pay check to the reconstruction workers. It is government reconstruction at its most basic level. Once a work program is implemented and the people of Iraq have hope, I am certain that the refugees will return in groves. But they cannot and will not return if there is no economic opportunity.

G Edward Paulus Mesa, Arizona
Posted By G Edward Paulus : 12:27 AM ET
Dear mr. Cooper
I agree with Angeica Jolie that in our world there is no accountablity and justice or fairness. There is no world autority or governonce that realy has the power to inforce the human rights or bring the criminals to justice. All we see more diasters of the same every day caused by powerful states, dictators, and totalarian regims, hate groups, bullies of resistances.
If we agree in our world we have a major problem. UN is not working. Its effectivness is like a bandade for a major throma. We need to understand every governoment, leader and individul of power should agree in new aproch to deal with world problems.
Create powerful UN with powerful army, faire and equal powerfull parlimant assembly, no veto power to anyone, Justice and faireness and peace for all. We should put stop to devistating reality of crimes, bullies, rapes, gensides, murders. We must do alot to give hope and basic righs of leaving to world citizens. We must support briliant and brave humans like Joli Bono doctors without borders and many more involved by what ever couts.
Posted By Reza Norozy Montreal,QC : 12:45 AM ET
Dear Anderson,

Unfortunately I don't have cable TV but heard about tonight's interview with Ms. Jolie and watched the exerpts posted on the web with great interest. I've just become aware of, and have purchased a book she published a few years back of her journals as she visited refugee camps and it is not only very sincere and real but educational. I truly admire what she does with her fame and money and the attention she has brought to such a crucial situation that often goes overlooked as just another segment of the evening news.

As a woman of the same age expecting my first child, she has inspired me to change careers in order to help in a way that is far more meaningful than having been in sales and marketing all these years. To critics of Ms. Jolie I challenge them to take a hard look at themselves and see if they can honestly say that they are accomplishing something more worthy or meaningful with their own lives, careers or celebrity despite their misgivings and if not they should shut up already.

As a side note, I happened to notice that most or all of the comments posted on this topic were by women ... interesting.

Posted By Samantha, Quebec, Canada : 2:31 AM ET
Wow! Not a fan of hollywood personalities, but what a fantastic person Angelina is. I can see why Brad loves her, what a passion she has for the little ones around the world, and for all persons who are suffering. Unbelievable the suffering. I felt so bad seeing what is going on. Can you please provide info, links etc as to what Americans can do to help? I wrote my congressman during your show!
Posted By Aundrea Nampa Idaho : 2:58 AM ET
Hello Anderson,
CNN is doing a good job covering some parts of the refugee crisis. As a grandson of a refugee (I guess that makes me a refugee too), I find it appalling that I never read or heard the P word...that is Palestinian refugees. One thing for sure, even if CNN forgets to mention our struggle as refugees, I will never forget my grandmother's stories (she is 90 now) of how happy they were back home, and how terrible their experience was as refugees.
Palestine lives in our souls.
Thanks Anderson,
Sam, Chicago
Posted By Sam, Chicago : 6:06 AM ET
Hi Anderson, first of all, thank you for publishing the links on the blog. It gives us instant access to receive more information and donate or contribute in whatever way we could. We should think about helping the refugees not just on World Refugee Day, but everyday. Thanks again and kudos to Ms. Jolie for her leadership, courage, and vision.

Edmonds, Washington
Posted By Lilibeth, Edmonds, WA : 8:52 AM ET
Leaders and countries have got to step up. Act now. People first always.
Angelina Jolie - one heck of a woman. It's no wonder I like her.
Good program. Well done.
Posted By Lai Peng Foong, Penang, Malaysia : 9:14 AM ET
hey Anderson can you stop the the world for a moment there are some people I want to throw off-- the selfish, the greedy ,the heartless, some governments, some dictators, some warlords, some rich that just dont care, some unaware rich young royals from all parts of the world, paris, linsey lohan etc. etc you get the point. I may be wrong but I just have so little patience for elected officials, appointed officials and the endless agencies that keep playing at attempting to fix the problems of the poor and less fortunate of our world that Angeline Jolie had the guts to point out and speak to-- hey are you people listening-- UN,World Bank,IMF,USAID, AUSAID, CARE etc. There are so many of us that care but we cant effect change even in our own country to turn all this around-- it seems a small order for such a great country--the endless and pointless in-fighting between Democrats and Republicans seems unbearable. There is so much sorrow in the world and in so many places -- Darfur,Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierre Leione,Congo,Rawanda,Zimbabwee,Burma, Cambodia, Nepal,Jaffna 5000 years not Sri Lankan and don't forget Tibet-- 5000 years and it still won't be Chinese and a few I may have temporarily forgotten -- can't we come together as a global family or was that just a John Lennon dream! What happened to "We are the world"? And that climate thing that Mr Gore keeps focusing us on -- if we don't get that right we are all going together as a world whether we like it or not-- or do the politicians have another plan -- they're going to hop off to Mars or a Space Station! What will it take for us to work together as a humanity -- could we invite/sponsor or go to one family each, from some other less fortunate part of the world this Christmas or why wait maybe now -- can such a hands-on massive "we care" program work -- not from any group or agency but from each of us as individuals taking charge --would anyone help organise such a reach out? We have spent the last 10 years of our lives helping rebuild after war and we have experienced first hand what Angeline eludes to-- we talk a good game and may be the good intentions are there but some how we drop the ball everytime-- it isn't helping us secure the world as a better place so people want to stay and build their own country.
Posted By Mary Washington DC : 10:43 AM ET
I would like to second Lai's comment about Angelina. She is one heck of a woman--compassionate and smart. I was impressed with her after your first interview and am even more impressed now. Time was when she was with Billy I thought she was looney, but no more. She sure did get over that phase of her life and has morfed into a real diplomat and ambassador for human kind. Brad is smart and lucky to have her as his partner (not his wife as she pointed out :)). Thank you for interview and show. It was awesome.
Posted By Charlotte D, Stockton CA : 11:31 AM ET
Thank you for this amazing and eloquent show. It was truly inspiring and at the same time sad as you looked into the eyes of each refugee, especially the children. Ms. Jolie was especially eloquent in her passion as she described her work with the refugees and some of their needs and very moving. All the reporters that filed reports for the show did amazing jobs and I appreciate the truly outstanding work done on a show that keeps this problem in the public's eye. Truly one of AC360's best specials to date.

I also want to thank CNN for their charity outreach program that gives us each an avenue to donate to whatever cause that touches us. An effort like this should not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

Thank you for all you do.
Posted By Annie Kate, Birmingham AL : 12:31 PM ET
Hey Anderson,

What David has done to the land in Myanmar is beautiful.

This country, along with the rest of the world needs good shelters. Hotel style shelters.

The song that comes to mind when I think about the world is, World On Fire by Sarah McLachlan.

Thanx for everything and take care.
Posted By Karen, Boston, MA : 2:35 PM ET
I was not impressed. Not with hype of an exclusive interview with AJ, less so with her rhetoric chatter. Take a previously ultra skanky celeb, a now somewhat skanky celeb at center stage, as Anderson rides the impressed train while sporting a furrowed brow. Angelina corrects Anderson; she's no wife, when he mistakingly refers to her as one. Such a charming example of a lady -sure. The planets' epitome of humanitarian efforts, motherhood and perfection, packed tightly in her own special brand of family, but not to be confused with such a silly concept as marriage. There are many young adults and teens so over AJ's "how do you do it all?!" long before she stepped foot on the stage. You know, back in the day when we were in diapers. There are many genuine role models, many of whom are neither overpaid, overindulged or overhyped celebs.
Anderson/CNN had all the smarts, insights and interests to do the show last night on their own. You didn't need Angelina to present anything we didn't already know, couldn't read online or that which Anderson Cooper couldn't better present himself.
Posted By Rebecca, Chicago, IL : 3:14 PM ET
I find it distateful that Ms Jolie timed the interview around promoting a movie, and that she prohibited certain media outlets from talking to her. So people dying is secondary to her personal issues. Did she take ads on cnn and in xchange for the interview? Im sorry, we should all be giving of our money and time to our brothers and sisters in Africa but because it's the right thing to do, not because some Hollywood actress on a power trip tells us to.
Posted By xtina - chicago IL : 3:56 PM ET
Like some of the other viewers, I had to turn off the show last night too. I've decided I'll be getting my facts on the refugee crisis in Sudan from my neighbor's sister, who is due to get off the plane tomorrow night after two years of working ministering to the refugees in that country. This remarkable woman continued her work even after contracting malaria and losing 60 pounds of her bodyweight. Now she is coming home stateside to help her sister with 2 a.m. feedings for the newest member of our neighborhood, a little baby boy that is due to arrive any day.
Taking a field trip a couple of times a year to have a photo-op with desperate people in crisis and timing your interviews to coincide with the release of your latest movie doesn't impress me, Miss Jolie.
Here's what would be more impressive: if every celebrity that has an opinion on the humanitarian issues that plague our world would roll up their sleeves and dig wells, build schools, give shots to innoculate children, teach families to plant crops, etc. - we'd see that you have real convictions. Talk is cheap. Action that requires sacrifice beyond making a short-term visit, doing an interview, or writing a check is what the world needs to see. Anything else is just a cheap imitation.
And please, no comparisons between Audrey Hepburn and Miss Jolie. Audrey Hepburn spent her childhood in Nazi-occupied Holland where this fragile-looking woman developed nerves of steel after witnessing her uncle and cousin being shot for resisting the Nazis. She nearly starved to death, resorting to eating tulip bulbs to survive until United Nations food shipments began arriving at the end of the war. Even as a small child, she made a meaningful contribution to the war effort, dancing to raise funds for the resistance and honing her acting skills by bravely walking past Nazi soldiers to casually pick flowers in the woods - an act that was a cover for her true mission of delivering vital information via notes to Allied soldiers stranded in the forest.
Audrey Hepburn was the epitome of graciousness. She never resorted to a photo-op dressed in Manhattan Basic Black, heavy eyeliner, and coordinating black headscarf resembling a teenage "Goth Virgin Mary" wanna-be.
She deeply understood her role as Goodwill Ambassador, knowing her goal was to be a respectible, informed spokesperson for some of the most desperate people on the planet. She took an interest in Sudan when most people couldn't place it on the African continent.
And she deeply understood the need for timely relief efforts - nearly starving to death and being saved by UN food packets will do that for you.
She performed her role selflessly. It was never about her, it was about educating the public, and little talk about her personal life or career ever took place.
So I accept that my viewpoint may be unpopular, but when you know people who are out there doing real missionary work - "walking the walk" instead of just "talking the talk" - it makes seeing another interview of the "The Media Monster That Is Angelina Jolie" too infuriating to sit through.
Posted By Julie San Diego, CA : 4:46 PM ET
Hi AC! I do agree with Angelina on accountability. Our leaders should be held responsible for those refugees from Iraq. Didn't they think of this situation when they started sending in troops. The crimes in Darfur, especially those she spoke of involving children are horrific. These men should be hunted down and punished. If we don't stop the violence, we will never be able to start to solve the problems of the refugees. Maybe Mr Bush and Mr Chaney could visit the camps. Thanks to all of you for your stories and interviews. P.S. I liked David also. I hope he stays safe. He is such an asset to that camp and the world!
Posted By Kathy Chicago, Il : 4:57 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

Thank you for the report on World Refugee Day. I have learned so much and continue to learn from shows like yours. To all the people that continue to critize Ms. Jolie for her work and efforts, YOU JUST DON'T GET IT. I can honestly say that if it wasn't for Ms. Jolie I would not have paid attention to the plight of refugees around the world. I know that there are million of ordinary people that volunteer their time and give money to organizations around the world, but lets be honest, If Anderson had them on the Show how many people would REALLY tune in and pay attention?
Like Colin Powell said, "Angelina Jolie doesn't need this, This needs her."
I thank you Anderson Cooper and I thank you Angelina Jolie for opening my eyes. I am now informed and aware. THAT IS THE POINT.
Posted By Sharon, Parlin, NJ : 10:36 AM ET
See, I totally disagree with commmentors who look to the government for everything. Why don't you get up a group of citizens, Ms. Jolie, instead of looking to the government for eveything?

Aren't citizens more effective, more efficient, more generous? Why take the tax money filtered throught Washington and Congress' pockets, when a grass roots effort always beats "turning it over to the government."

If all the Hollywood and media types are so keen on helping, why not start your own effort instead of trusting the government with tax money for Africa? I think people doing the right thing will beat out getting Congress involved any day.
Posted By xtina - chicago IL : 12:38 PM ET
Hey Sharon,

Glad you "paid attention to the plight of refugees around the world". If you need Miss Jolie to make the show entertaining enough for you to pay attention, well then that is the way that it needs to be for you.

Seeking to become "informed and aware" is not "THE POINT". Knowledge is useless unless it leads to a decision to take action.

So now that you've been entertained and have "paid attention", put your time and money where your mouth is and do something about it. This is the real world and people are dying.

If, like most people, you have limited time and resources, I suggest a small contribution to Doctors Without Borders, an organization that is on the ground and running in Sudan. Even $5 will help. That's a latte and a scone at Starbucks so it shouldn't put you out too much.

They make it easy for you, you can even donate online.

Just because we oppose your viewpoint doesn't mean you need to start throwing insults. Some of us "GET IT" on a level far higher than you would ever realize; that's why we show restraint and don't verbally slam dunk you in this public forum.

Anderson, Sanjay, and company are all I need to make the show compelling enough to watch. If people need drama to pay attention to this problem, then they need to question their soul. We as human beings should be able to relate to the suffering of another human being without having to package that suffering as entertainment served to us by a tabloid queen who seems to enjoy the drama that surrounds her.

So Sharon, can I count on you to do more than just "pay attention"? Can you take some action? Will you write your Congressperson? Will you make a contribution? Will you find perhaps some other way to connect with these desperate people and make a difference in their lives?

For me, I'll be writing a check - the same check that I send out every month with the house payment and the utility bills. I can afford to take the occasional weekend to do charity work in nearby Tijuana but my financial and personal situation doesn't allow me to travel to Sudan.

Show me some faith, Sharon. Show me that you "GET IT". It's as easy as writing a letter to your Congressperson. It's as easy as foregoing that latte and scone and logging in and making a contribution.
Posted By Julie San Diego, CA : 4:36 PM ET
A behind the scenes look at "Anderson Cooper 360°" and the stories it covers, written by Anderson Cooper and the show's correspondents and producers.

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• 07/30/2006 - 08/06/2006
• 08/06/2006 - 08/13/2006
• 08/13/2006 - 08/20/2006
• 08/20/2006 - 08/27/2006
• 08/27/2006 - 09/03/2006
• 09/03/2006 - 09/10/2006
• 09/10/2006 - 09/17/2006
• 09/17/2006 - 09/24/2006
• 09/24/2006 - 10/01/2006
• 10/01/2006 - 10/08/2006
• 10/08/2006 - 10/15/2006
• 10/15/2006 - 10/22/2006
• 10/22/2006 - 10/29/2006
• 10/29/2006 - 11/05/2006
• 11/05/2006 - 11/12/2006
• 11/12/2006 - 11/19/2006
• 11/19/2006 - 11/26/2006
• 11/26/2006 - 12/03/2006
• 12/03/2006 - 12/10/2006
• 12/10/2006 - 12/17/2006
• 12/17/2006 - 12/24/2006
• 12/24/2006 - 12/31/2006
• 12/31/2006 - 01/07/2007
• 01/07/2007 - 01/14/2007
• 01/14/2007 - 01/21/2007
• 01/21/2007 - 01/28/2007
• 01/28/2007 - 02/04/2007
• 02/04/2007 - 02/11/2007
• 02/11/2007 - 02/18/2007
• 02/18/2007 - 02/25/2007
• 02/25/2007 - 03/04/2007
• 03/04/2007 - 03/11/2007
• 03/11/2007 - 03/18/2007
• 03/18/2007 - 03/25/2007
• 03/25/2007 - 04/01/2007
• 04/01/2007 - 04/08/2007
• 04/08/2007 - 04/15/2007
• 04/15/2007 - 04/22/2007
• 04/22/2007 - 04/29/2007
• 04/29/2007 - 05/06/2007
• 05/06/2007 - 05/13/2007
• 05/13/2007 - 05/20/2007
• 05/20/2007 - 05/27/2007
• 05/27/2007 - 06/03/2007
• 06/03/2007 - 06/10/2007
• 06/10/2007 - 06/17/2007
• 06/17/2007 - 06/24/2007
• 06/24/2007 - 07/01/2007

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