Saturday, June 09, 2007

What If There Was a Genocide And No One Came?

Long time reader Nat The Dem has brought to Catholicgauze's attention Eyes on Darfur website by Amnesty International. The Washington Post has even done a write up on the website. The site is much like Google Earth's Darfur layer in that it is a great educational tool.

However, what "Eyes on Darfur" claims to be, a tool to stop the genocide, is insulting. Users can "join the global neighborhood watch" and "act to prevent further attacks by monitoring villages with high risk." One can use their neighborhood watch position to write a strongly worded letter to the president of Sudan and its ambassador. If one is feeling especially activist they can buy a music CD too!

Unfortunately singing Kumbaya will not end the mass killings in Darfur or elsewhere. Sudan already has its trading partner with China and both of them do not care if they receive a strongly worded form letter. The sad truth is sometimes violence must be used against those who commit the violence. So far the only presidential candidate who has called for ending the Darfur genocide and has put forward a plan to stop it is Joe Biden. Others have said they would enforce a no-fly which would have no affect on militias who use trucks and horses to raid the countryside.

The lack of action on genocide is nothing new. In Rwanda the French and the United Nations tried to cover up reports of Hutus killing Tutsis. The French only sent in their armed forces once the Tutsis managed to overthrow the Hutus. Darfur is the newest example. No one is willing to actually send in armed forces. Groups like Blackwater have offered yet all the players just sit and watch. Now with countries like Iran threatening to do genocide on Israel will the world interfere or let it occur again?

3 comments:

cokaygne said...

Agreed that only force or the credible threat of force will stop crimes such as genocide - even San Francisco has a police department! Are you suggesting that the US should step in to stop the genocide in Darfur? One of the second-order reasons for invading Iraq was that Saddam was acting in a genocidal way against Kurds and Shia Moslems, but now no major politician including Biden, except McCain, will say that the US made the right decision. A lot of people say that if the US leaves Iraq, a genocidal free-for-all between Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds would ensue, but major politicians, including Biden but not McCain, are trying to outbid each other with schemes for early withdrawl. These politcians, indlucing Biden but not McCain, are accurately reading the sentiments of American voters. As leaders, however, they fail, especially Biden.

Once we get out of Iraq there will be sentiment to get out of Afghanistan and let the Taliban win. That is already happening in Canada and amongst our NATO "allies". Unfortunately, one of the consequences of Iraq is that there is no one left to confront the barbarians. They will have their way for a couple of decades or so.

Catholicgauze said...

"Are you suggesting that the US should step in to stop the genocide in Darfur?"

Yes.

natthedem said...

"Eyes on Darfur" is a tool to stop the genocide, if only because it brings the issue to light to people who may not have known about it before--can't do anything about a genocide you know nothing about. Moreover, it allows people to put pressure on public officials. The website also allows you to send your thoughts to the President, by signing their petition.

Buying the CD supports Amnesty International's work, which whether you agree with the content of their website or not, you have to acknowledge is laudable. It's a support that'll likely extend beyond just one CD purchase (see Hollywood Stars from today's Post). I'll be purchasing a copy (John Lennon, ftw!) and I've featured the first single from Green Day on my blog.

Are you suggesting that the US should step in to stop the genocide in Darfur?

Yes, me too.

Genocide is unacceptable. Period.

If Sudan was selling their oil to the US, instead of China, we'd be in there right now. And hell, let's face it, if this was happening in Europe and not Africa, the discussion would be much different.