If four years of following the unchanging situation in Darfur are not enough to make one pessimistic,Times Online ought to do it.
The reasons for the inertia on the part of those who talk the talk are outlined succinctly. Heads of state of the G8 have unanimously ruled out a military solution — our first mistake. Any multilateral solution would be contingent on the cooperation of parties who have it in their interest to oppose intervention, such as the Chinese who profit from sales of arms to Sudan. And for everyone else, the Bugblatter Approach™ is working all too well, is it not?
I’m on the Save Darfur Coalition mailing list, which regularly alerts members of letters and petitions they can send to local leaders. One of the most recent alerts was a pre-written email addressed to Secretary Rice urging diplomacy between the US, France, and China to end the crisis. When I read this one part I laughed out loud:
It is clear that influential nations such as the U.S., France, and China could accomplish more working together than they have thus far by working separately. It is also clear that it is in each country’s best interest to help end the conflict, build a lasting peace, and help bring stability to Sudan.
In the interest of China? Haha! Very funny, Dr. Jones.
Of course I submitted the letter anyway, as I submit all letters and petitions Save Darfur points me to, in the vain hope that it will do something to make a difference. But at this rate we can expect history to chronicle the event in more or less the same fashion as it did Rwanda.
Is the life of an American (or a Frenchman, or a Brit, etc) worth more than the life of an African? Actually, yes.
To our credit we have not yet abandoned Iraq nor Afghanistan, where humanitarian concerns are coupled with national interests (I dare anybody to tell me they aren’t). But the forces at work home and abroad beating a drum of surrender are strong. Where national interests are absent or unacknowledged, the picture from Somalia 93, in which the deaths of a dozen American soldiers was all it took to make us turn tail and run, is a closer match to reality. I’m not in a position to predict what manpower and resources would be required to put an end to the crisis in Darfur, but it must be safe to assume that the number of American dead when all is done would be considerably fewer than the number of African dead stacked up pretty darn high already (in the hundreds of thousands by credible estimates) and climbing with each day.
How much more is the life of an American worth than the life of an African? A lot more, I guess. After the Holocaust our motto was supposed to be “Never again.” Shouldn’t we change it to “Live and let die” or something?