‘A failure by the international community’

Expat Yank writes about A Line In The Shifting Sands concerning the Sudan, quoting this bit:

Susan Rice, who was Clinton’s assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said the Bush administration’s approach to Darfur showed that it had not learned from Rwanda. “They have repeated that error, with the added moral burden of instead of failing to act in a three-month period to halt a lightning-fast genocide, they failed to act effectively in a three-year period,” said Rice, who is now at the Brookings Institution think tank

And later adds himself:

Good. Now we are clear on matters. According to Newsday, Iraq is pretty much the only place that the U.S. should not endeavor to assist in the struggle for democracy and/or be a military mediator in a civil war.

For the record, I remain in favor of using US troops to do something about this. Better late than never, and so on. I also recognize that it would be very tough for a number of reasons.

Sen. Joseph Biden agrees with Murdoc:

Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a Democratic presidential candidate, called Wednesday for the use of military force to end the suffering in Darfur.

”I would use American force now,” Biden said at a hearing before his committee. ”I think it’s not only time not to take force off the table. I think it’s time to put force on the table and use it.”

This from Biden makes Murdoc second-guess his opinion.

Still, I wrote in December, 2004 (No kidding):

UN plan for Darfur ‘not working’


The UN Security Council warned on Tuesday that it would consider a “full range of options” if the deteriorating security situation continues.

There are two existing UN resolutions threatening possible sanctions against the Sudanese authorities.

A “full range of options”. Hmm. Probably something along the lines of “Straighten up or we’ll draft a THIRD resolution that threatens possible sanctions”.

The old “three strikes and we’ll threaten to call you very close to ‘out'” strategy. Kofi’s a clever old devil, isn’t he. Don’t mess with him. He’s all over this.

Speaking of sanctions, they were mentioned in the NYT piece on Biden’s position:

Andrew Natsios, the special U.S. envoy to Sudan, said the U.S. has agreed to a request by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for a two- to four-week delay in imposing unilateral sanctions against Sudan so negotiations can take place on whether Sudan will accept deployment of international peacekeepers for Darfur. [emphasis Murdoc’s]

Meanwhile, don’t forget that Blackwater says it can quickly assemble a brigade-sized force for this sort of situation. No one seems eager to send troops, a common problem with any UN strategy, so why not consider hiring troops?

Greyhawk (via Instapundit) writes:

The harsh reality is that once we abandon Iraq we’re going to have to put all the newly available troops in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda certainly will, and their recruiting is going to soar. Ultimately we’ll lose that one, too, because they won’t quit knowing full well that we will.

Then we can go to Darfur.

Behind much of the absurd talk of the impact of Iraq on military “readiness” there’s a Democratic talking point: “Because we are in Iraq, we aren’t capable of waging a war somewhere else.” That’s valid to an extent (but absurd to a greater one), but a more complete translation is that “because we are in Iraq we aren’t capable of executing a war that Democrats could hypothetically support, because Democrats are tough on national defense, by golly, and there are plenty of wars in places other than Iraq we’d prosecute to prove it”.

That’s disturbing, I’m concerned they would do so a bit too eagerly given the opportunity. Biden seems to be going that route – but he could just be paying lip sevice to it to earn the “hawk” (or “tough guy realist”) appellation the media bestows on guys like Murtha. (The actual “go to guy” for Dems when it’s time to cut-and-run. See Somalia, for example.)

Honestly, I have trouble imagining a real use of military force anywhere if we withdraw from Iraq before the job is done. Whenever someone suggests it, I gotta believe that the first thing said will be “No way, Jose! Look what happened in Iraq!” And it will be said by someone who demanded that we give up in Iraq in the first place, probably after voting to authorize the invasion to begin with.

The demand for an arbitrary withdrawal come hell or high water deadine in Iraq has nothing to do with needing those troops for something else. If it did, I’d be willing to listen to arguments for it. But since nothing anyone has said or done suggests that’s the case, it’s basically a surrender.

Finally, here’s another blast from Murdoc’s past:

Whew! For a second I though this was about the Sudan: African Town killed

Thankfully, it’s just about a proposed section of Detroit not getting approval.

I should have known since the UN is still around making sure everything is okay in the Sudan and the rest of the world.


  1. My understanding is that Blackwater has a plan all set for Darfur, but no ruling body (U.N. or congress) will take them up on it. From what I read, they are ready willing and able, we just balk because they are ‘mercerenaries’. I say hire them, and let it get done. The U.N. should pay for it. They’re the ones that are supposed to take care of this kind of thing.

  2. The way the Former Administration handled both Rwanda as well as Somalia are the two biggest reasons why I switched from voting one way to another in the Presidential elections. I am disgusted that it has taken us this long to do something about Darfur. Oh that’s right, we still haven’t!

  3. Has there ever been a success of the ‘International Community’? Desert Storm maybe a half success since Saddam remained in power – same with Korea.

  4. By default I am an anti-interventionist and would not support this mission. I would only support a military involvement where clear US interests are defined, we have a national consensus, and the rest of what comprises the Colin Powell doctrine. However, I believe all the baiting by the media and celebrities will cause us to go in whether or not it meets the Powell criteria. This is the same thing that happened in Kosovo after Christiana Amanpour bombarded us for days on end on CNN. Anyway, if we go in at least let’s get something in return. First, all these America bashing nations that are trying to keep us mired in Iraq to bleed us white should be forced to send significant numbers of troops to Anbar and Baghdad. I want to see French, German, Canadian Chinese, Russian and a host of Pakistanis doing peace keeping patrols. Once that occurs then I might listen to their requests.

  5. After the rape scandals with the UN peace keeping troops? After the rampant corruption with the UN? I wouldn’t trust them to walk my dog. I do agree though, either we do it right, for our own good, or we leave it the hell alone if there is nothing in it for us. The rest of the world says they hate us, so lets see how they like it when we don’t back them up for a few years…

  6. I’m not saying the U.N. should manage it, I’m saying they should PAY Blackwater’s fees and let them run with it. It’s really very interesting that a PMC has the ability and will to take on something like this, and has a reasonable plan to prevent a human disaster.

  7. I would very much like to see what Blackwater (in particular) could do here. I also understand the hesitancy. Hiring them would be a watershed moment, and especially if they succeeded it would Change Things Forever. I wouldn’t mind this, particularly. The private sector is obviously already off and running, but this would move things to the next level by adding a ton of ‘legitimacy’ to utilizing that avenue. I think it’s going to happen anyway, and if the Sudan isn’t the right place to do it, I don’t know what is.

  8. Wow the use of the private sector for something like this, talk about your can of worms. Thirty years from now some lucky guy not only gets to bitch about the jerkoffs from the last company he worked at, he gets the chance to kill them too when his new company gets awarded that juicy contract to save such and such nation/people from such and such evil agressors. Or just make it a monopoly and award it to the Chinese company that charges 75% less, nevermind the 5000% increase in casualties… they’ve more than got the manpower to cover it. I say allow a few select US military units the chance to volunteer to serve in the Sudan as UN peace keepers and then just letting them get the job done. I know that would never happen though. Far too many people in this world with far too much at stake to ever let any aspect of the US military accomplish anything near what it is capable of accomplishing. What sucks though is no matter what does happen… the USA will most likely be the one footing most of the bill.