Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Too little, too late (Darfur)

After many months of wrangling, the UN Security Council finally approved a resolution to send peacekeepers to Darfur. Several years too late, in my opinion and that of many others.

The hold out had been China, which depends on Sudan for a large part of its oil consumption and which only wanted to see what was happening as an internal affair -- that is, until civil society started putting pressure on world governments to threaten to boycott the Beijing Olympics next year. I guess the butchers couldn't stand being embarrassed like that.

I must admit I was rather annoyed by the Sudanese ambassador to the UN, interviewed by the BBC. In one sentence, he said his government would respect the resolution and allow the peacekeepers to come into his country unimpeded; in the next, he said the refugee crisis had been fantasized by NGOs.

That doesn't change the fact too many have been displaced, never to return home. And it was all because the oil was in the wrong part of the country. If it had been elsewhere and a refugee crisis erupted, Bush would have sent in the 82nd and 101st Airbornes in a New York Minute.

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