NEWS

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May 8, 2006

Darfur might unite, but what good is that?

While genocide seems to be something that everyone can get together on (for discussions on this check out here and here) what good is diverse groups uniting?I have read countless words telling me why I should care about Sudan, but next to none dealing with the next logical step: What should we call for to stop the Darfur genocide?College divestment boycotts, and diplomatic "pressure" are all warm fuzzy things to call for (and they surely succeed in uniting disparate ideological groups), but let’s get real, they aren't going to accomplish anything. And it is not like people are uninterested in discussing strategic up's and down's, you only have to read anything on Iran right now to see a lengthy discussion on either why military action is or isn't an option for these reasons. Channeling this same argument, with much more eloquence, the New Republic reams everyone in an editorial calling for military action:

Never again? What nonsense. Again and again is more like it. In Darfur, we are witnessing a genocide again, and again we are witnessing ourselves witnessing it and doing nothing to stop it. Even people who wish to know about the problem do not wish to know about the solution. They prefer the raising of consciousnesses to the raising of troops. Just as Rwanda made a bleak mockery of the lessons of Bosnia, Darfur is making a bleak mockery of the lessons of Rwanda. Some lessons, it seems, are gladly and regularly unlearned. Except, of course, by the perpetrators of this evil, who learn the only really enduring lessons about genocide in our time: that the Western response to it is late in coming, or is not coming at all....To be sure, there is no silence about Darfur. Quite the contrary. The lamentations about Darfur are everywhere now. There is eloquence, there is protest. Unlikely coalitions are being formed. Movie stars are refusing to be muzzled, and they are standing up and being counted. Even officials and politicians feel that they must have something pained and wrathful to say. These latecomers include the president of the United States. All of this is to the good, of course. In a democratic and media-maddened society, this right-thinking din is one of the conditions of political action, as domestic pressures are increasingly significant factors in the formulation of U.S. foreign policy. But it makes no sense--and, in this instance, it is a sophisticated form of indecency--to care about a problem without caring about its solution....The discussion of Darfur, even by many people whose outrage is sincere, has become a festival of bad faith. Everybody wants to do everything but what must be done. It is the season of heartless bleeding hearts.[Emphasis added]
It is about time someone brought this up. It is easy to unite people under the banner of anti-genocide, but that is only going to get the people of Darfur so far (actually it will get them nowhere). I have yet to hear anyone tell me why the situation isn't abysmal and doesn't warrant some sort of action. I just have yet to hear anyone actually tell me what the next step ought to be.People need to either put up or shut up on Darfur. I'm willing to put up. Are you?