More Human Than Human
Damn Darfur peace accord. Ruins everything, at least for now. Maybe soon it'll break apart (we're talking Africa here), the tribes and militias will renew the mutual slaughter, and the concept of sending US troops to Sudan will become a reality. Because only we Americans know how to settle complicated foreign matters like Darfur. Take a look at the Middle East if you have any doubts.
Whatever it is that Western Humanitarians ultimately desire, it's clear that the Bush admin has no stomach for military intervention in Sudan. Bush and Condi couldn't wait to announce their happiness with the recent accord, couched in peace & UN-lovespeak and the genuine hope that they won't have to revisit this hellhole anytime soon. No surprise there. But what I did find interesting was the cinematic language employed by Bush's man on the ground in Africa:
"As the midnight deadline approached last Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick finally lost patience. After three days of intensive talks, the leader of the largest Darfur rebel faction, Minni Minnawi, had earlier that evening privately pledged to Zoellick to support a peace agreement. Now he announced he opposed it, in full view of African leaders and international mediators at the presidential villa.
"'I'm disappointed in you. I expect people to keep their word,' Zoellick icily told Minnawi, according to observers. 'I can be a very good friend, but I am a fearsome enemy.'"
Somehow, "fearsome" doesn't come to mind when looking at Zoellick.
But then, back in my Hoosier youth, some of the toughest, craziest guys were skinny with wispy moustaches. They usually repaired cars and motorcycles, drank PBR, and had nothing to lose when fighting. Maybe Zoellick is of the same stock. On the other hand, he is speaking on behalf of a violent law-breaking superpower, so that probably lends more weight to his threat than just being a crazy white boy or may or may not be bluffing.
Recent discussion about Darfur and What To Do about the madness has pretty much followed the standard, self-serving script. The Save Darfur liberals invoke the Holocaust, which naturally requires that they highlight Elie Wiesel, one of the greatest living moral frauds, as he belts out his usual number: "How can I hope to move people from indifference if I remain indifferent to the plight of others? I cannot stand idly by or all my endeavors will be unworthy."
Of course, when over 17,000 Palestinians and Lebanese where being slaughtered by the Israeli military and its Phalangist clients in 1982, Wiesel stood idly by, telling the New York Times, "I don't think we should even comment." And he didn't, and hasn't since, unless the mass murder in question helped to keep his profile, and his books, well within mainstream public view. That the Save Darfur libs are "inspired" by this guy gives you a pretty good idea where they're coming from.
The other notable feature of the Save Darfur libs is their selective horror at what they claim is "genocide." Now, there is no doubt that Sudan has been a killing field of a serious order, and I'm certainly not saying that people shouldn't act to stop it. But where was all this public anguish when Indonesia, armed to the teeth by the US and given political/military cover, was wiping out a third of East Timor's population? If what is happening in Sudan can be labeled "genocide," then what happened in East Timor definitely rates as such. Yet I don't remember celebrity-studded rallies calling attention to this obscenity, which, as I've mentioned here before, continued for 24 years. And one key difference between Sudan and East Timor is that with the latter, you wouldn't need an invasion to stop the killing. Sustained public pressure on the US government to halt its financial support of the Indonesian aggressors would've done a lot to help the Timorese, which finally occurred in 1999, long after the worst massacres took place, when a reluctant Bill Clinton was forced to allow East Timor some room to breathe.
Again -- does this mean that concern over Darfur is manufactured or otherwise phony? Not necessarily. But it does remind us that some "genocides" are more fashionable than others, especially if said "genocide" is not heavily financed by those who are protesting it.
You'd think that given their fidelity to acceptable outrage, the Save Darfur libs would be embraced by other Western Humanitarians. Ah, but that would be naive, and there's nothing Real Humanitarians hate more than naiveté.
Mark Steyn, swivelchair commando fave, mocks "do-gooder" celebs like George Clooney, a Save Darfur lib, for not going the full nine and simply, flatly calling for direct US military intervention in Sudanese affairs. This is Steyn's shtick, and what derisive laughter he must elicit from his sedentary fans as he pokes libs for believing in the humanitarian Tooth Fairy. Only Real Humanitarians like Steyn know that it takes Daisy Cutters and white phosphorus to get the job done, and anything less than a full-fledged assault is a surrender to "thug regimes." The ethnic/tribal politics of a chosen region is pretty much an afterthought, if then. Only the "projection of American power" is seriously worth considering, but not for too long, as that would cut into the killing time.
And what is Steyn's model for US military strikes in Sudan? Let's just say that the letters "IQ" frame the word, which might be funny if, at this late bloody date, it weren't so fucking criminal.
Oh, the Humanity.