Mike Cohen raises a valid point in response to my last post on the Darfur conflict.
So.. the deaths of 50,000-300,000 Africans are less important than the death of one brain-dead American woman. I don’t see any of the “culture of life” people getting their knickers in a twist about this.
Mike compares the lack of attention to the Darfur conflict with the media circus surrounding the Terri Schiavo case. Terri’s feeding tube had been removed more than once, but it was only the last time that received much attention, primarily because of the blogosphere. I am hoping we can do the same to raise the public’s awareness of Darfur (and this time, not have the subject die in the process).
So why is so little said about Darfur? At first glance, it would seem the current administration would be falling all over itself to publicize it.
- First, it is a humanitarian crisis of incredible proportions. Tens of thousands dead. Many more having all they owned destroyed and forced to flee for their lives. Do we really want to sit on our hands and watch another Rwanda?
- Second, it can be positioned as Muslims slaughtering Christians. Certainly, that could play well with the President’s constituency.
- Third, the Sudan has oil. Why not attempt to lower prices by stabilizing the Sudan?
On second glance, maybe those same factors are reasons why the U.S. is not pressing the issue.
- If it’s a humanitarian crisis (and it is), why doesn’t the U.N. prove its value (if it has any) and take a leading role in actually getting something done in Darfur. The U.S. is vilified for acting like the world’s policeman. Now when it doesn’t — Damned if we do and damned if we don’t. More seriously, what is the exit strategy? Can we afford the troops when some (many?) say we need more in Iraq and Afghanistan?
- If the President positioned entering the Darfur conflict as defending Christians against Muslims, it could provide a basis for the Islamic world to believe the U.S. is anti-Muslim. Probably not a good idea when trying to work with Muslims in building democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is purely a political consideration, but when you’re a politician, politics are reality.
- Finally, what about “no blood for oil”? Would the MSM media argue that Bush was interested in Darfur only because it had oil? Is it even enough oil to make a difference?
Damn the politics; it’s time to end this conflict because it’s the right thing to do. We have a name for those who target noncombatant civilians. Let’s not give the terrorists in Darfur a pass because of political “difficulties.”
While I type and while you read, people are starving. It’s a painful, ugly death, with no dignity involved. We can help by donating dollars to aid organizations. I bet your favorite international charity is working to alleviate suffering in Darfur. If you need help finding a charity, use the resources available here.
Oh, and Mike…I’m one “culture of life” person trying to make a difference in Darfur. I hope you join me.