July 08, 2004

More Darfur

I talked below about the crisis in Sudan, when I gave Julia an anniversary present of aid to Darfur.

Now we find that France, like they did in Rwanda, opposes action to stop the genocide. How do they characterize the situation, which the UN calls "the world's worst humanitarian crisis"?

[French junior Foreign Minister Renaud] Muselier also dismissed claims of "ethnic cleansing" or genocide in Darfur.

"I firmly believe it is a civil war and as they are little villages of 30, 40, 50, there is nothing easier than for a few armed horsemen to burn things down, to kill the men and drive out the women," he said.

Yes, and those armed horsemen can take out thousands of "little villages" when backed by the Sudanese air force.

Rather than intervening, the French wish the Sudanese would just "get over the crisis so their country is pacified" – which would obviously be good for French oil interests in the country.

Granted the US could do more, but at least we're pushing hard (unilaterally?) for action. And at least Powell is warming up the label, citing "indicators and elements that would start to move you toward a genocidal conclusion."

Update: Instapundit links to a summary of a roundtable discussion on the situation.

Posted by richard at July 8, 2004 12:47 PM


Posted by: Mike F. at July 8, 2004 11:49 PM

So it's all right to sit idly by and allow the wholesale slaughter of innocents when the basis is "efficiency of warfare" and not "genocide."

That's the current state of international law for you, in a nutshell.

I hope we do something about this, and it would be to the Bush Administration's credit if it did. The clock is ticking.

Posted by: Brad A. at July 9, 2004 10:29 AM

No, it's never right to "sit idly by and allow the wholesale slaughter of innocents". Every effort should be made (even in war) to minimize civilian casualties. Yes, innocents die even with smart bombs and highly trained and restrained troops (and it doesn't help when the enemy uses them as human shields).

But to equate that kind of "slaughter" – unparalleled in human history for its restraint – with killing all the men, raping and branding the women, razing the villages, and "making a lighter baby".... that is morally bankrupt, but typical of the "we're just as bad" line of reasoning so popular these days.

And yes, I hope that Bush will say the word soon and make me proud.

Posted by: richard at July 9, 2004 11:12 AM

OK, so my Bunnies! comment seems really inappropriate now — thanks for making me feel insensitve.

Posted by: Mike F. at July 9, 2004 02:32 PM

No no no no no — I was caricaturing what the Frenchman said. Sorry: I should have been clearer.

Posted by: Brad A. at July 9, 2004 02:42 PM

Oh, then my apologies. I'm sorry that I assumed you would make the point I attributed to you.

Posted by: richard at July 9, 2004 03:17 PM