The scene is by all accounts horrific and tragic in Darfur, Sudan. This is an issue that I would think all Democrats and Republicans could agree on. Something must be done to end the genocide in Sudan. The issue is making strange bedfellows. Conservative Republican Senator Sam Brownback, Democrat Senator Barack Obama and George Clooney were all at a news conference on thursday to highlight the crisis. And some of them were at the Protest Rally today against the Darfur Genocide. President Bush supported the Week of Prayer and Action for Darfur.
What exactly is taking place in Darfur?
I am ashamed to admit that I didn't know much about this crisis until seeing an ER episode. And even though I will praise ER for highlighting this important issue I resented the fact that they used it as a PC moment to bash Bush and our country. They could've easily highlighted the tragedy without using it as a platform to push their pc propaganda.
On the ER episodes you see the massive amounts of refugees and the murder and rape. The crisis started in early 2003 and continues to get worse. According to a Reuter's article this is what is happening:
"Arab militia, backed by the Sudanese government, have terrorized non-Arab tribes in the region over the past three years, murdering and raping tens of thousands, burning villages and driving more than 2 million people into squalid camps in Darfur and neighboring Chad."
These are the numbers from Save Darfur:
"According to reports by the World Food Program, the United Nations and the Coalition for International Justice, 3.5 million people are now hungry, 2.5 million have been displaced due to violence, and 400,000 people have died in Darfur thus far. The international community is failing to protect civilians or to influence the Sudanese government to do so."
What was the rally about today?
According to a Fox News article:
"Thousands of people joined celebrities and lawmakers at a rally Sunday urging the Bush administration and Congress to help end genocide in Sudan's Darfur region."
"The organizers' permit anticipated 10,000 to 15,000 people would rally, one of several in U.S. cities this weekend against what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian disaster."
"Bush met with Darfur advocates at the White House on Friday and lent his support to the weekend rallies. "For those of you who are going out to march for justice, you represent the best of our country," Bush said."
Credit: Chuck Asay
What can we do to stop it?
Unfortunately although this cartoon makes a point its really not funny. I think the United Nations probably started out as a noble organization. But it has now become so corrupt and ineffective that it is almost worthless. They did nothing about Rwanda in 1994 and they stand by now watching thousands of sudanese be tortured, raped and murdered. How does an international, humanitarian organization sit back and do nothing except pass worthless resolutions?
The Wall Street Journal has written an excellent editorial about Darfur. In it they point out that the U.N. and the French should be able to intervene but...:
"To his credit, Kofi Annan started shouting about the problem two years ago, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell labeled it "genocide" not long after that. The U.N.'s mighty peace-making machinery then started to roll and . . . nothing. The Chinese (who have close commercial ties to Khartoum) and Russians have blocked any serious intervention. Arab members of the Security Council have also opposed any attempt to single out Khartoum."
"As for Europe, France would be ideal to lead an intervention force. The French have military bases in neighboring Chad and could establish a no-fly zone to stop Janjaweed bombing. However, Paris is already occupied with another intervention in the Ivory Coast, and with its own business interests in Sudan isn't volunteering in any case."
I applaud Democrats and even George Clooney for highlighting this problem. But I find it a little hypocritical that they want us to intervene in Sudan and actually blame us for not doing more. When all the while they are screaming about our interventions in other countries. How many thousands did Saddam massacre and yet we weren't supposed to interfere in Iraq's perfect little dictatorship. With that said something does need to be done. Since the U.N. and France refuse to intervene it will once again be left to the U.S. Here is the conclusion of the Walstreet Journal column:
"So that leaves . . . guess who? The cowboy President, the American unilateralists, the Yankee imperialists--or, to put it another way, the only nation with the will and wallet to provide order in an otherwise Hobbesian world. However, that will and wallet are being stretched today in Iraq and elsewhere, and Mr. Bush is rightly wary of committing more American blood and treasure to a conflict in Sudan that the rest of the world doesn't seem serious about ending in any event. One lesson of Darfur is that there really are limits to American power, and in its absence the world's savages have freer reign."
In conclusion I would highly recommend everyone check out the Save Darfur website. They have tons of research, history and actions that can be taken to try and make a difference.
Hobbes in Sudan--Walstreet Journal
Protesters Rally Against Darfur Genocide--Fox News
Bush raises pressure as Darfur deadline nears
Bloodshed in Sudan--Crazy Politico