Tuesday, January 24, 2006

On Darfur :: Kristof

normblog quoting Kristof:
it's appalling that the publishing industry manages to respond more quickly to genocide than the UN and world leaders do.
normblog on the UN:
what legitimacy can be retained by a set of international institutions that, time and again, stands inert and ineffective while entire communities are violated, massacred, destroyed?
Too often, for whatever reason, the US goes it alone. In Darfur, for whatever reason, the US has not intervened. The door stands open for the UN to prove that it is more than a talking shop. By its inaction the UN proves it is merely a talking shop.

3 Comments:

Anonymous mohamed Elzubeir said...

The US has successfully killed the already impotent UN. The US has not intervened in Darfur yet because Darfur is a good problem. It is the kind of problem that allows the US to have the upper-hand. It is also a very complicated problem.

Simply put, the situation in Darfur is out of control and it isn't really the government that is continuing to be the problem. The Sudanese government's actions are undoubtedly the root cause of the situation in Darfur, very much as the US governments actions during the cold war in Afghanistan are a direct cause of Bin Laden and company.

In other words, they were actions to solve a given problem, but with severely bad and unexpected results.

I personally, as a Sudanese, would welcome American intervention any day -- as long as there is a mutual interest (our oil for peace sounds like a good deal to me). However, I doubt the US alone would be able to pull off such a settlement.

4:19 PM  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Mohamed,

Thank you. Your insights are appreciated.

I have to agree with many of your points. Darfur is a very complicated problem, and intervention by the US would be of no use, if not counterproductive. So it is appropriate that the US not intervene. If all that is true, does it matter if the US finds it useful to point to Darfur as an example of the UN's impotence and incompetence?

11:17 PM  
Anonymous mohamed Elzubeir said...

Actually, Darfur is not a problem the US uses to point out the UN's impotence. It is used as a bargaining chip with the Sudanese government on several fronts.

Now that oil is actually pumping out of oil fields, the US has renewed its interest in the country -- and has had a rather big impact on the peace deal between South and North. I don't think such a deal would have been possible without American intervention -- and for that I am definitely thankful. Of course it would be foolish to think it is because the US loves peace alone ;)

Darfur's issue became an immediate sensation following the peace deal between north and south, which makes conspiracy theorists jump at the opportunity to point fingers at the usual suspects. However, the problem is not new but has only become more severe and dramatized by the media. Most of what is reported as new has been going on for a long time now.

The UN can do very little to help Darfur, without American support. The AU are trying to flex their muscles as an effective organization, but I am not so sure they can put anything back in order.

The problem goes back to economics, as usual. Only through good relationships with the US and the West in general, can the government bring in enough income to support the financial growth of the country, as opposed to concentrating all the revenues into the capital city. And that's not likely to happen as long as they maintain this pseudo-theocracy thing going.

12:19 PM  

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