Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Darfur, Sudan

Soccer Dad has some personal observations about the Sunday Darfur demonstrations in DC ( A skeptic goes to save darfur) and some comments about the Post coverage of same (Soccer Dad: The washington post on the darfur rally). I share his outrage at the star-like treatment afforded the Reverend Al Sharpton (Maryland Conservatarian: Dog-bites-man Iraq protests). He adds (among many) an excellent point:

“So perhaps these advocates of "doing something" have some intellectual honesty and object to the use of force now just as they did three years ago in Iraq. Of course that honesty would also mean that they have no idea how the world works and would perhaps would be better pursuing some other goals than world peace.”

Darfur is a mess but when you take military action off the table, you are left with…what? a group hug and more understanding?

Even just referring to “Darfur” tends to obscure the fact that this is Sudan – perhaps the most gawdawful nation on earth (BBC NEWS: Sudan tops 'failed states index' - but take this index with heavy dose of salt). Sudan – as in ongoing slavery (Chattel Slavery in Sudan); Sudan – as in already has UN peacekeeping forces elsewhere in the country because of previous civil problems (10,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission authorized for southern Sudan); Sudan – as in not up for any good neighbor award (Chad Breaks With Sudan After Rebel Attack - Yahoo! News).

No one can read about or see video of what is going on in Darfur and not feel an instinctive desire to do something. The UN has consistently shown it less than worthless when it comes to providing a positive and swift reaction to an ongoing crisis. This leaves it to either ad hoc international coalitions to respond or to another round of talks. The President has already broached the subject of NATO involvement - Bush Sees Need to Expand Role of NATO in Sudan - New York Times but is probably a little gun-shy about responding unilaterally. I have no idea what the “loyal opposition” thinks (Why won't liberals push for intervention in Darfur?) but some kind of elucidation of support for some action would probably go a long way to sharpening and quickening the US/international response to this situation.

For the record, I agree with the President and would like to see NATO involvement.

UPDATE: Pillage Idiot also has some cogent observations: http://pillageidiot.blogspot.com/2006/05/more-on-darfur.html

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