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Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Inaction in Sudan

We have been there many times before. Perhaps, most famously, in 1994 when the world stood by as 800,000 died in Rwanda. Or back in the 1970's when Pol Pot's regime in Cambodia eliminated several millions of their citizens.

And now, a similar tragedy is occurring in Sudan. J. Russell Tyldesley describes numerous reasons for inaction there in his Baltimore Chronicle article. As Mr Tyldesley observes,
The UN Security Council resolution is being crafted carefully out of respect for Sudan's sovereignty, according to the US Representative to the United Nations, John Danforth. The US displayed much less concern for the sovereignty of Iraq, despite there being no declared genocide afoot in that unfortunate country. Now we are confronting a situation in Darfur, declared by the US House of Representatives, in a unanimous resolution, to be a genocide which compels us to act under our own laws and a 1948 UN treaty on genocide.
The reasons for inaction are many,- divisions between different forces in the world, economic reasons, etc. To top it all off, Mr Tyldesley makes writes,
Sudan alleges a conspiracy against it, citing the example of Iraq. Could it also be that in the wake of the dishonest invasion of Iraq by a fabricated "coalition of the willing," the world community of nations is now paralyzed to inaction for fear of being accused of nefarious motives? Add this to the mounting costs of the Iraq misadventure.
What the reasons for any and every such inaction are is a complex question, and there is likely no one answer to it. However, I believe such inaction in the face of such enormous tragedy is a crime, and we all stand responsible for it.

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