Bluff and Bluster on Darfur

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.

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3 Responses to “Bluff and Bluster on Darfur”

  1. Brian Says:

    We have not been attacked by the Sudanese government. This should be handled by the UN. We should exhaust all diplomatic solutions before threatening such drastic actions. What you are saying is that the U.S. has become as impotent as the U.N. That is truly a sad thing.

  2. Derek Staffanson Says:

    Remind me: When exactly were we attacked by Iraq? How many Afghans were on the planes on 9/11?

    The cowboy response of this administration to terrorism has been resoundingly successful in difusing the terrorist threat, hasn’t it?

    I am never in favor of John Wayne foreign policy. Diplomatic solutions are _always_ better than an itchy trigger finger. In particular, I have a firm conviction that when it concerns imaginary WMDs, we should undoubtedly exhaust all diplomatic solutions. I wish the conservatives had felt the same.

    On the other hand, when people are being massacred–when there is carnage going on RIGHT NOW–the diplomatic process and the escalation to action must be rapidly accelerated if we are going to succeed in stemming the bloodshed.

    I agree: the fact that this administration has rendered us impotent by their disastrous and amoral policies is truly sad.

  3. Derek Staffanson Says:

    Make that “Diplomatic ENGAGEMENT is always better than an itchy trigger finger.” Sometimes the use of force is the only solution, as was probably the case against Hitler. But it is always better to engage the foe diplomatically, to see if a peaceful resolution is possible, than to rush to action, half-cocked and with guns blazing.

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