29 June 2004

Other places

Remember what I said about places worthy of U.S. attention, instead of Iraq?

When you take the Bush Administration's claim that regardless of the lack of WMDs, or an Al Qaeda connection, we were doing the humanitarian thing going to war to oust Saddam Hussein. "The torture chambers and rape rooms are closed," President Numbnuts is fond of saying. Fine, even forgetting about the tortures and rapes that occurred at Abu Ghraib on the part of 'Americans'. But if that's the case, why haven't we gone after, aguably, more dispicable tyrants and regimes . . .

And I brought up the subject of the Sudan, quoting that young smart guy, Matt Yglesias[link down]. Today, The Head Heeb talks more about the situation in the Sudanese civil war. This is a place that is a breeding ground for terrorists and a destabilizing force in Africa and the Middle East.

The conflicts in western and southern Sudan are becoming intertwined with the SPLA's announcement that it will "refuse to join a coalition government that 'crushes' Darfur." This announcement could move the conflict one of two ways. It might influence the Sudanese government, which badly wants to conclude the peace process in the south, to moderate its Darfur policy. On the other hand, it might also lead Khartoum to abandon or delay the implementation of the peace accord in the south until it settles affairs in Darfur to its liking. The coming weeks will tell whether the SPLA's principled stand helps bring an end to the wars in Sudan or whether it only inflames them.

There is a peace treaty in the works there, but it is threatened by squabbling and what amounts to ethnic cleansing in the Darfur district. There are also thousands of refugees just across the border in Chad, most of them starving on their feet and the NGOs can't keep up. Had the Bush Administration not squandered our credibility and treasure, and spread our troops so thin, maybe we could have done something here. I mean, isn't that the reason we went into Iraq? To liberate people from a tyrant? Doesn't Sudan qualify? Oh, that's right, the Sudanese didn't try to kill Bush's daddy. Jesus H. Christ, this is a situation begging for American leadership and we just ignore it.

Well, that's it for the morning. I'm off to the mines.

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