Does this mean that the attention on Bosnia and Rwanda was also just about feeling good? Alexander Cockburn in Counterpunch.
As a zone of ongoing, large-scale bloodletting Darfur in the western Sudan has big appeal for US news editors. Americans are not doing the killing, or paying for others to do it. So there’s no need to minimize the vast slaughter with the usual drizzle of “allegations.” There’s no political risk here in sounding off about genocide in Darfur. The crisis in Darfur is also very photogenic.
When the RENAMO gangs, backed by Ronald Reagan and the apartheid regime in South Africa were butchering Mozambican peasants, the news stories were sparse and the tone usually tentative in any blame-laying. Not so with Darfur, where moral outrage on the editorial pages acquires the robust edge endemic to sermons about inter-ethnic slaughter where white people, and specifically the US government, aren’t obviously involved.
Since March 1 the New York Times has run seventy news stories on Darfur (including sixteen pieces from wire services), fifteen editorials and twenty-one signed columns, all but one by Nicholas Kristof. Darfur is primarily a “feel good” subject for people here who want to agonize publicly about injustices in the world but who don’t really want to do anything about them. After all, it’s Arabs who are the perpetrators and there is ultimately little that people in this country can do to effect real change in the policy of the government in Khartoum.