statement on darfur

There is also the view that this is an African problem with a European solution–but let us come to the heart of the matter. All these proposals for ending the genocide in Darfur are really proposals to prevent the United States from ending it. It appears that there is something even more terrible than genocide in this very terrible world, and it is the further use of American military power abroad. And in a Muslim country! Why, it would make us more unpopular. Remember that in the post-September 11, post-Operation Iraqi Freedom environment, the sensitivities of Muslims–insofar as they can be clearly known and accurately predicted–must not be further offended. Never mind that they themselves give gross offense: This is a genocide committed by Muslims against Muslims that no Muslims are racing to stop. The poor Darfuris: Their plight interferes with the anti-imperialist integrity of liberals in the only country in the world with the power and the authority (yes, still) to help them. The Democrats in Washington are now clamoring for the appointment of a special envoy to Sudan. (No mention so far of Brent Scowcroft.) That is to say, they are searching for reasons to deflect the responsibility of refusing to let crimes against humanity stand. In the matter of genocide, the party of Clinton is still the party of Clinton.

more from the Editors at TNR here.