Sudan Update

I haven’t written much about the genocide in Sudan lately, except for a brief rant during my Budapest dispatches. Partly that’s because there’s been so much (belated) coverage by the world media. Also, it’s because Passion of the Present has been doing such a great job of coverage. I sorta figure my interested readers will click the Sudan Crisis link on the top of the Blogroll (left side of the page). If you are interested in learning more about what’s going on there, and what you can do to help save the lives of these people, check out that site first.

The news isn’t particularly heartening. The African Union has committed 2,000 troops to monitor the ceasefire and provide security for refugees, but Sudan is balking at their entry. There was a mass protest of the UN’s authority in the capital, Khartoum. Given the toothlessness of the UN resolution (“Think about stopping or we’ll start having cluster-fuck conversations about sanctions”), I guess this is more a way of protesting the possibility of U.S./UK military intervention.

Stanley Crouch wrote pretty disingenuously about the genocide in the Daily News this week. I don’t mean to say that his desire to see an end to the genocide in Darfur isn’t as strong as mine. But when he called for the U.S. to get involved, he wrote

The Bush administration is also punking out. It is going along with the cowardice and immorality of the world at large because those advising it fail to understand that this is the time to take chances. Had President Bush gone into Sudan with the Army’s new OTW (Operations Other Than War) unit last month, the world would have been caught off guard – and the Democratic convention would have been overshadowed.

There would, of course, be those screaming about infringing on Sudan’s sovereignty. They would make it a matter of pride and unity for Muslims to stand behind that racist regime. That would be to the good, because it might push Muslims into reconsidering the shortcomings of Islamic tradition.

I think his disingenuousness is revealed in the part about “overshadowing the DNC.” He seems to be glossing over the fact that we live in a country so polarized that major media sources snigger about the out-of-date nature of terror warnings and imply that they’re politically motivated, months after complaining that the government didn’t pay attention to years-old info that would’ve “connected the dots” about 9/11. So to imply that the President is simply “punking out” on Sudan is pretty bullshit.

American politics has made this situation far more complicated than it should be. I’m pretty convinced that a mission into Sudan (even one limited to providing humanitarian aid) would be contorted by the left-wing of our media into another example of Bush’s American Empire or somesuch. American deaths in Sudan would somehow be tied into that country’s oil reserves, and at least one Halliburton subsidiary would get involved in construction or logistics of military facilities, bringing the rage of Michael Moore down on the Administration.

(I’m only hoping, in the event that Bush loses the election in November, that he doesn’t follow his dad’s example and commit troops to Sudan after being voted out of office. Sure, Clinton allowed ‘scope creep’ to set in with the Somalia mission, but it was pretty bullshit of Bush Sr. to send armed forces to a third world African country on a vaguely defined humanitarian mission less than a month before Clinton was to be sworn in.)

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve been calling for a military force to invade Sudan since I first learned the details of what’s going on. Sudan’s a failed state, it harbored the biggest name in international terrorism, and it’s supporting a program to kill off a million of its own inhabitants. Sure, we need to force immediate aid and security into the Darfur region, as well as the refugee camps in Chad (and our new non-enemy Libya might be able to help provide a base to do that), but I don’t know where that leaves us in the long term.

I suppose Stanley’s right in that we need to build a situation where the Muslim world can stop supporting this regime as a sign of protest against “American hegemony,” which my leftist friends tell me is the biggest threat to world security.

(As opposed to, say, the government of a totalitarian state of more than a billion people trying to suppress information about a wildly virulent, fatal respiratory disorder. I am, of course, just venting over here. Don’t mind me.)

I’m gonna get me some coffee, and maybe I can clean up this rant a little so it actually makes some sense.

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