What about Darfur?
Let's be honest, the Western World has been silent on the genocide in Darfur.
If it were not for the efforts of a few brave journalists and humanitarian workers, and at least one American soldier attached to the African Union "peacekeepers" who went public in disgust at what he had seen, the Sudanese government might have gotten away with the whole thing. But we have more than enough filmed and photographic evidence of Sudanese planes and helicopters, flying close support to janjaweed operations, to say with certainty that the relationship between the two is the same as between the Rwandan authorities and the "Hutu Power" mobs who destroyed the Tutsi population. In other words, a Rwanda in slow motion, and in front of the cameras and the diplomats. What was all that garbage about "never again"? What was the meaning of Clinton's apology to the Rwandans? What did Colin Powell mean when he finally used the word "genocide" to describe the events in Darfur, just before resigning as secretary of state and becoming an advocate for more realism all round?Please read the whole thing....Hitchens at his best!
And what on earth was I thinking when I employed that "carrot and stick" cliché a couple of paragraphs above? Carrots there have been. Only the other day, according to the New York Times, the Bush administration granted a waiver to the sanctions ostensibly in place against the Khartoum government in order to allow it to spend $530,000 on a lobbyist in Washington. Well, one would not want to deny a government indicted for genocide the right to make its case. That would hardly be fair. Meanwhile, the State Department has upgraded Sudan's status on the chart that shows "cooperation" in the matter of slave-trafficking. Apparently, you can be on this list and still be awarded points for good behavior. A hundred-plus congressmen recently signed a statement accusing the administration of "appeasement," which seems the only appropriate word for it.
But that's about the extent of the protest. How can this be? Surely the administration did everything that could have been asked of it. Abandoning any sort of "unilateralism," it pedantically followed the Kofi Annan script of multiparty negotiations and patient diplomacy. It allowed the inspectors more time. It exhausted all avenues short of war and never even threatened the use of force. By the use of sanctions, it kept Sudan "in its box." And it has got exactly what anyone might have predicted for such a strategy. Perhaps that's why there is so little protest. After all, we know that "war is not the answer." And now Sudan has Darfur province in its box. It has taken the land and gotten rid of the people.