A few days ago, Secretary Rice had some stern words for Sudan regarding the Darfur crisis. Demanding an immediate cease-fire in the region, Rice warned that if Sudan did not begin the process of ending the violence, they (the Sudanese government) “and they alone” would be held responsible. She also gave an ultimatum: accept a U.N. mission intent upon acting as peacekeepers, or risk confrontation with the international community.
I’m glad the administration is beginning to take steps to help end the slaughter in Darfur. A pity that this pressure is coming three years into the butchery. Better late than never, I suppose.
I can’t help but wonder how effective this tough talk is going to be. The Sudanese government is surely aware of current events in the world. What is it that they see? Do they have any real cause for concern? The U.S. is embroiled in the the occupation of two nations, both of which continue to harbor a healthy insurgency. There are no apparent prospects for withdrawal. Military forces are stretched thin. Alarmed by the seemingly interminable nature of the occupations and their ever escalating costs, domestic support for the war is waning. The international community has been alienated. Not content with the fiasco already on its hands, the administration had already turned its bluster on North Korea and Iran.
Why then should Sudan worry? What reason do they have to be troubled about the posturing of a nation with so much already on their plate?
If there is an international event in which intervention is morally imperative, this is it. In Darfur, genocide is occurring now—not years ago while the Reagan administration looked away. There are no spurious WMDs, yellow-cake shipments, centrifuges, enriched uranium, or defective rockets. Instead, real men, women, and children are being murdered by the tens of thousands.
Thanks to their ill-conceived “War on Terror,” this administration seems to have made it virtually impossible to do anything about it.