Friday, April 28, 2006

Should the US Intervene in Darfur?

As noted in this article, public pressure is mounting on the US to step upits efforts to aid the people of Darfur. However, as Lawrence Kaplan notes in the New Republic (rr):
the use of unilateral U.S. military power isn't the solution most Darfur activists have in mind. Even as western Sudan burns, Darfur advocates such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi argue that the United States must employ its military power only on behalf of--and, more important, in concert with--international organizations such as the United Nations. The Save Darfur Coalition, a leading umbrella group for organizations bent on action, intends to save Darfur not by urging the Bush administration to launch air strikes against Sudan's murderous militias but by petitioning the White House to bolster funding for African Union peacekeepers and to lobby the United Nations.

But will the African Union put a halt to the killings in Darfur? Absolutely not. Its Arab members have stymied the force at every turn. Will the United Nations solve the crisis? That seems extremely unlikely as well. The organization amounts first and foremost to a collection of sovereign states, many of them adamantly opposed to violating Sudan's own sovereignty. Can NATO save the day? Not really, given the fears of entanglement expressed by its European members. As in Bosnia before it, the victims of Darfur can be saved by one thing and one thing alone: American power.

Unfortunately for the victims of Darfur, too many of their advocates have come to view that power as tainted, marred by self-interest and by its misapplication in Iraq. Hence, the contradiction at the heart of the Darfur debate, which pits the imperative to halt the persecution of innocents (Darfur activists have enshrined as their motto the biblical admonition not to "stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor") against a reflexive opposition to the only power that can actually do so.

With the latter sentiment in vogue as a result of the Iraq war, it is as if nothing has been learned and nothing remembered from the decade that went before. Never mind Bosnia. Never mind Kosovo. And, as long as Darfur activists like number two Senate Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois cling to the mantra that the United States must be what he calls a "defensive nation," well, never mind Darfur either.
I couldn't agree more.


Anonymous said...

I agree completely with this article, but I have a few questions:
Should the US do more in the UN Security coucil to press for military action? What can they do? what are they doing now? Are there any other policies that the US should pursue?

Anonymous said...

the US has the power and resorses to stop the genocie.we could stop it in a month withe military force.
the genocide convention treaty should be enforced it stated that if you have the power to stop or pevent genocide the you have to,but if you chosses not to that ur just as guilty!

p.s. look up Genocide convention