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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Why not act now?

Darfur continues to be a major humanitarian disaster. Despite international attention on the continuing massacres, little concrete action is occurring. The Americans are hesitating to get involved for reasons less than noble, the UN prevaricates, the EU is pre-occupied with (rightly) fighting American hegemony (though this is hardly an excuse not to act in circumstances like these) and the African Union is weak. The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof explains the background to Bush's inaction.

The Darfur Accountability Act, already passed by the US Senate, recommends "for such steps as freezing assets of the genocide's leaders and imposing an internationally backed no-fly zone to stop Sudan's Army from strafing villages." Bush is directing Congress not to take action. Why? Kristof explains three reasons. The third is the most disturbing:

"Sudan's leaders have increased their cooperation with the C.I.A. As The Los Angeles Times reported, the C.I.A. recently flew Sudan's intelligence chief to Washington for consultations about the war on terror, and the White House doesn't want to jeopardize that channel."

So there we have it. Collusion in the "War on Terror" takes precedence over saving millions of lives. Bush talks about spreading democracy and freedom around the world but the reality is much darker than he'd like people to know. Let us not forget that Sudan was a longtime supporter of al-Qaeda. It is now a "valuable ally" of the CIA.

As the LA Times reported on April 29: "Last month, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sent a letter to the Bashir government [in Khartoum] calling for steps to end the conflict in Darfur. But the letter, reviewed by The Times, also congratulated Sudan for increased cooperation with an African Union mission to Darfur. It also said the administration hoped to establish a "fruitful relationship" with Sudan and looked forward to continued "close cooperation" on terrorism."

When our mainstream media pleads for the US to take a more pro-active role in ending the genocide in Sudan, watch if they even mention the ongoing collusion between the murderous regime in Sudan and Washington.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darfur aside, and I generally find common ground with you here, I'm curious about your political system: you say the EU is rightly fighting American hegemony, but I wonder what you would prefer in its place?

If the EU were top dog, would that be alright with you (dominant member states, France and Germany specifically, have acted atrociously in the international sphere lately, with the former reasserting control all over Africa)? Would it then be noble for the US to "resist" this other power?

What about China?

Did you prefer the Cold War bi-polar arrangement because it provided balance, even as it kept hundreds of millions enslaved in gulags and collectivized farms and tractor factories?

I'm not trying to bait you, just am genuinely curious about what makes you tick.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 6:43:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

I would be uncomfortable with any power being 'top dog', the US, EU, China or anyone else. America's dominance is starting to fade, thankfully. As for what replaces it, that's a more complex issue. The world needs democratic counterweights to hyper-powers, and perhaps the EU is but one of these institutions, despite all its faults.
France and Germany acting terribly recently, you say? True enough (though not, I suspect, because of Iraq, rather in Africa.) Democratic blocs should be our ideal. I still do believe that the UN can be that institution, with heaps of reform and help.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 6:53:00 pm  

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