Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Somebody (else) should do something!

Suddenly everyone cares about Darfur! And by cares about it, I mean are willing to pay it lip service. Not, you know, do anything about it. The U.S. has been pressuring the U.N. to take more action and encouraging increased NATO involvement. This all sounds very good, unless you listen close enough to understand that nobody is talking about a serious military commitment that could actually stop the genocide.

The French, predictably, have been urging caution in using NATO troops outside Europe. French Defense Minister Michelle Alliot-Marie said recently, "Let us make sure we do not spread ourselves too much in areas where the competence of other organizations is more obvious" (for those of you that don't speak French, that roughly translates as, "why should France care if black people are being murdered?"). Exactly which organization has obvious competence in this situation -- in which the world's incompentence is second only to its lack of concern -- I am not sure. As tempting as it is to point fingers at France, none of NATO's other member states (including Canada) seem desperate to help either.

I applaud the Americans for using their presidency of the Security Council to bring attention to the situation in Darfur. But it is too little too late. NATO providing increased support to the African Union is not going to help Darfur. This conversation should have occurred three years ago, before tens of thousands of people were killed and millions left homeless. If we are not going to act seriously, there is no point in spending any more money supporting African Union forces that don't have the power to improve the situation.

No comments: