By any other name

Marc Lacey at the Times interviewed Colin Powell about Sudan recently. Here’s a snippet:

MR. LACEY: Okay. Now, some have used the term “ethnic cleansing” to describe this situation and others outside of the government are even using the term “genocide.” Now, the Government of Sudan calls these terms inflammatory, inaccurate. What’s the right term here? Is this ethnic cleansing? Does this reach the level of genocide?

SECRETARY POWELL: You know, these turn out to be almost legal matters of definition and I’m not prepared to say what is the correct legal term for what’s happening. All I know is that there are at least a million people who are desperately in need, and many of them will die if we can’t get the international community mobilized and if we can’t get the Sudanese to cooperate with the international community. And it won’t make a whole lot of difference after the fact what you’ve called it.

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