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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Darfur...still a Genocide

Don Cheadle and John Predergast write in the OpinionJournal:

As we sat in a refugee camp in Chad listening to Fatima describe how most of her family was killed by Sudanese government-sponsored Janjaweed militias, we found it incomprehensible that the world could not muster the political will necessary to protect her surviving family members or to hold the killers accountable. Since returning from our visit to Chad and Darfur in late January, we have pored over the rationales the U.S. government has used for its tepid response, and have found no fewer than 10 lame excuses. First, when former Secretary of State Colin Powell famously called what was happening in Darfur 'genocide,' he said we were already doing all we could to counter it. In the six months since he and President Bush used the term, however, not one punitive measure has been imposed on the orchestrator of the atrocities--the Sudanese regime. And as the African Union (AU) struggles to deploy 2,000 troops to Darfur, a region the size of France, the French government recently announced that it will deploy 41,000 police in Paris if it is chosen as the Olympics site for 2012. Doing all we can? ... So what is the real reason why the U.S. has not responded as it should have? The truth is that combating crimes against humanity is simply not considered a national security issue. We don't want to burn our leverage on Sudan in the face of issues such as Iraq, Iran and Syria. The only antidote to this searing truth--the only way the U.S. will take the kind of leadership necessary to end the horrors for Fatima and her people--is for there to be a political cost to inaction. As American citizens increasingly raise their voices and write their letters about Darfur, the temperature has indeed risen. But not enough. We need to make it a little warmer, a little more uncomfortable for those politicians who would look away. Just a few more degrees. Just a few more thousand letters. It is, frankly, that simple.
I have been blogging on this for a long time now. Sadly, there have been no real improvements in Darfur since, although there have been a few hopeful signs that failed to make any difference. There is no excuse for letting this situation continue. (via Vodkapundit)


Blogger honestpartisan said...

What's your preferred solution? Unilateral U.S. intervention seems unfeasible for a lot of reasons that I suspect you may agree with. If you think that multilateral action action is necessary, do you think the U.N. should do something? NATO? I'm not trying to be funny, because I agree that the Darfur situation demands a solution, but I find it hard to formulate a response that is likely to actually work.

3/24/2005 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew Watkins said...

I don't think the UN is so laughable that it cannot be used as a funnel for US intervention. There is no reason, with strong US backing, that a UN (read, mostly American) force could not attempt to stage a military presence in Darfur and keep the peace.

Oh, wait, we're pretty busy right now, aren't we?

3/24/2005 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

I have mentioned this difficulty at other times.

First off though, I think that the U.N. could, and should, impose sanctions as long as this continues. Unfortunately, China won't go along with this because of Sudanese Oil. Our Politicians and Diplomats should be pressing the issue though. Probably we are not to keep China on board in dealing with North Korea, I think that if that is the case it is probably a short sighted betrayal of our principles. We have other levers to use on China in regards to NK.

Limited Unilateral U.S. intervention does seem possible though. We could, with relative ease and without causing military overstretch establish a no-fly zone over Darfur. This probably wouldn't completely stop the Janjaweed Militia but would stop the air support they are getting as well as the putting pressure and focusing attention on the situation.

In a similar vein, we could dispatch, and publically announce that we are doing so, predator drones designed to capture surveilance of any attacks. The mere pressence of these flying cameras could prevent or at least slow the attacks.

This wouldn't be a job for NATO, although it would be nice if all of the individual NATO nations (and others) signed on to help and support the effort.

The African Nations have also been working on deploying some peace-keepers (a problematic solution given the behavior of many peace-keepers) and we can (and I believe have agreed to) supply some logistical support to them.

The most important thing is for our citizens and politicians to make it clear that we will not tolerate this sort of behavior. That for once we meant it when we said 'never again.'

If we have the will, we can certainly find a way.

3/24/2005 02:50:00 PM  

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