Sunday, March 27, 2005

How about being "Pro-Life" for Darfur too? Thanks to the Washington Post

While the "Pro-Life" Movement has been focused upon my little metropolitan area and ignoring Matthew 25, unless it is for the cameras in Pinellas Park, many people without hundreds of media outlets dedicated to their causes have been caught in the trap of untimely death due to the same forces of starvation as Terri Schiavo (as well as to beatings, shootings, hackings, etc.).

However, they are half a world away and the Christian media in America has little time to worry about these dark people with funny names (some who are even Animistic or Muslim- however, many of which whom are Christian). Luckily, even though the "Pro-lifers" such as Baptist Press, the Limbaugh Brothers, the Fox News personalities, the SBC power brokers (such as Richard land, Al Mohler), Focus on the Family and the ilk are ignoring the suffering across the world, the ultra-Liberal (at least to the supposed Pro-Life movement) Washington Post is attempting to let us know a little more about the need to support intervention in Darfur.

The following article comes from the Post, not a Christian outlet. But, Christians need to be thankful for the so-called Liberal Media (if we bother to read it) for bringing the darkness to light. So, while eating your dinner tonight (after you pray for Terri Schiavo), take a moment to remember the people of Darfur. Read on (by the way, you can expect me in the next few days to take the supposed "Pro-Life" movement to task for a number of its hypocrisies. I was fine until they started using Matthew 25 after ignoring it when it relates to illegal immigrants, prisoners of war killed and tortured by the US government, the invisible poor and the underserved).

Don't Move On

Sunday, March 27, 200
DARFUR'S GENOCIDE has been in the news for about a year now. There's a temptation to say, okay, we failed on that, but that was last year's failure; move on. But Darfur will be this year's story even more than last year's. The number of deaths will likely be more appalling, not less so. Yet the diplomacy on Darfur spins pointlessly around irrelevant side questions. Within the Bush administration, panic is nowhere.

The latest diplomatic diversion is a French-backed United Nations resolution that would hand responsibility for trying Darfur's war crimes to the International Criminal Court. If this resolution passes, Sudanese officials and warlords responsible for the killings will face a permanent threat of indictment and, if authorities can get hold of them, trial. This will remove their incentive to halt the genocide in the hope of gaining international acceptance; it will undermine the strategy of sanctions and diplomatic pressure. True, indictments would set a precedent that might deter future potential war criminals in other countries. But that won't help Darfur.

The Bush administration opposes this French resolution but for the wrong reasons. It believes that a referral to the international court would legitimize a posse of politically unaccountable prosecutors, even though in this instance the prosecutors would be acting under the authority of the Security Council. If it refuses to support the French resolution, especially on this flimsy basis, the administration will undermine its wider push for action. The French, Russians and Chinese will feel free to drag their feet on meaningful resolutions -- including ones that impose sanctions on Sudan's officials. The best course for the Bush administration is therefore to back the French resolution despite its drawbacks. Then, accepting that a further push for sanctions may be pointless, it should focus all its efforts on expanding the small peacekeeping force in Darfur.

This option is especially urgent given the projected death rate in the region. In recent months a huge relief effort has reduced mortality in accessible camps for displaced people, but fighting makes many supply roads unusable and puts much territory beyond the reach of aid workers. In western Darfur, humanitarian groups have been unable to venture outside the main town recently; in southern Darfur, a U.S. aid convoy was attacked on Tuesday, probably by the Janjaweed militia backed by Sudan's government. More such attacks could force aid organizations to withdraw from Darfur altogether. And yet the need is greater than it was a year ago. More villages have been razed; more coping mechanisms have been exhausted; displaced farmers won't be able to plant food this spring. Last month a U.N. official estimated that the number of relief-dependent civilians could grow to 4 million, roughly double the number reported last summer.

The best shot at breaking this cycle of violence and hunger is to put a serious peacekeeping force into Darfur. But all sides are engaged in an outrageous pretense of seriousness. The African Union, which has provided about 2,000 peacekeepers when 25,000-plus are necessary, is infatuated with rhetoric about "African solutions for African problems"; the United States and its powerful allies defer to this slogan, partly out of a virtuous desire to see Africa develop its own capacity to manage crises but mostly out of a base desire to pass the buck. The Bush administration's policy is to draft U.N. resolutions and dispatch humanitarian assistance. But it refuses to spend real military or diplomatic capital to stop killings that, by its own admission, amount to genocide.

1 comment:

Steve K. said...

Hey Rick,

Thanks for the article info, and for raising your voice on behalf of the people of Sudan.

Steve K.