Eric Reeves has a new report on Darfur with a simple conclusion:
[T]here is no possible escape from the most basic truth in Darfur: Khartoum’s National Islamic Front, ever more dominant in the new “Government of National Unity,” is deliberately escalating the level of violence and insecurity as a form of “counter-insurgency” warfare, with the clear goal of accelerating human destruction among the African tribal populations of the region.
In failing to respond to this conspicuous and now fully articulated truth, the world is yet again knowingly acquiescing in genocide. But as the shadows of Auschwitz and Treblinka, Bosnia, Cambodia, and Rwanda fall more heavily over Darfur, we cannot evade this most shameful truth: we know—as events steadily, remorselessly unfold—more about the realities of ethnically-targeted human destruction in Darfur than on any other previous such occasion in history. So much the greater is our moral disgrace.
The international silence over Darfur isn’t restricted to any one particular country—Europe has always tolerated genocide, while China would rather do oil business in Sudan than worry about the killings; no one looks good here—but the United States’ role deserves a close look as well. In the New Republic today, Reeves has a piece on the Bush administration’s appeasement of the National Islamic Front genocidaires in Khartoum, especially its cooperation over counterterrorism issues. (Not to mention the fact that the State Department explicitly waived longstanding U.S. sanctions on Sudan to allow the NIF to hire an American public relations firm. Boost its image and all. Cute.) The closing grafs:
[T]his strategy of appeasement misunderstands the psychology of the NIF’s leaders. Their track record suggests that the more weakness they sense from the international community, the more emboldened they become–in both Dafur and southern Sudan. Hence, it is probably no coincidence that the Bush administration’s recent conciliatory gestures towards Khartoum have yielded such counterproductive results.
To America’s credit, it has made substantial contributions of aid to humanitarian efforts in Sudan; and there is no question that the U.S. has been the most generous donor nation, even as other wealthy countries such as France, Japan, and the oil-producing Arab countries have been disgracefully stingy. But charity alone will not produce peace in Sudan; force (diplomatic and perhaps military too) will be needed as well. As long as our appeasement of Khartoum continues, the genocide will go on. “Not on my watch”? Not even close.