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Old 03-23-2006, 06:36 PM   #1
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http://www.opinionjournal.com/editor...l?id=110008130

Hobbes in Sudan
What a world without U.S. power looks like.

Thursday, March 23, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST
At places like Davos and Harvard, the world's sages rarely stop fretting about the dangers of a too powerful America. Well, if you want to know what the world looks like without U.S. leadership, Exhibit A is Darfur in Sudan.


Today's leading authority on Darfur is the political philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who prophesied a world "nasty, brutish and short." At least 200,000 civilians have been killed in the past three years and two million more have become refugees. The source of the problem is the Arab rulers in Khartoum, who have pursued an ethnic cleansing campaign against black Muslims in western Sudan. They've equipped the Janjaweed Arab tribesmen to do the dirty work, and that militia is now attacking civilians across the border in Chad, creating 20,000 more refugees.




To his credit, Kofi Annan started shouting about the problem two years ago, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell labeled it "genocide" not long after that. The U.N.'s mighty peace-making machinery then started to roll and . . . nothing. The Chinese (who have close commercial ties to Khartoum) and Russians have blocked any serious intervention. Arab members of the Security Council have also opposed any attempt to single out Khartoum.




The Arab League--so quick to denounce Danish cartoons--has also stymied any global intervention to stop the murder of their fellow Muslims. Here's League Secretary General Amr Musa earlier this month: "In Sudan, there is a problem related to Darfur. We will listen to the Sudanese state minister to explain to us the developments in the issue of Darfur . . ." The League plans to hold its meeting next week--in Khartoum.


The African Union has at least sent 7,000 troops to the region, but they are under-funded and under-equipped to enforce a truce that Sudan blatantly flouts. But the African failure is also political. In January the Union held its own summit in Khartoum, and next year it plans to award Sudan its presidency. The rule seems to be never to say a discouraging word about other African leaders, no matter how murderous.




As for Europe, France would be ideal to lead an intervention force. The French have military bases in neighboring Chad and could establish a no-fly zone to stop Janjaweed bombing. However, Paris is already occupied with another intervention in the Ivory Coast, and with its own business interests in Sudan isn't volunteering in any case.




Amid this global abdication, Mr. Annan finally decided last month to call in the American cavalry. He visited the White House and, with media fanfare, all but begged President Bush to do something. Despite U.S. obligations in Afghanistan, Iraq and many other places, Mr. Bush responded by proposing an expanded U.N. peacekeeping force under "NATO stewardship."




But Sudan President Omar al-Beshir quickly played to type and withdrew support for a U.N. force. He also threatened that "Darfur will become the graveyard for the United Nations and foreign intervention." And rather than stand up to such threats, U.N. envoy to Sudan Jan Pronk has wilted. He's now talking up intelligence about al Qaeda terrorists in Khartoum who could retaliate against U.N. peacekeepers. And he's warning against any NATO intervention without Security Council approval--as if that would be forthcoming. All of this is a repeat of the same feckless U.N. pattern we've seen in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq.


So that leaves . . . guess who? The cowboy President, the American unilateralists, the Yankee imperialists--or, to put it another way, the only nation with the will and wallet to provide order in an otherwise Hobbesian world. However, that will and wallet are being stretched today in Iraq and elsewhere, and Mr. Bush is rightly wary of committing more American blood and treasure to a conflict in Sudan that the rest of the world doesn't seem serious about ending in any event. One lesson of Darfur is that there really are limits to American power, and in its absence the world's savages have freer reign.
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Old 03-23-2006, 06:47 PM   #2
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hmmm. i dont quite know where to go with that, so i wont. touchy subject.

arent there any problems that can be solved with a few sorties of carpet bombing and a half a dozen tommohawk strikes?

theres no oil in sudan. oops, that slipped out.
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Old 03-23-2006, 07:05 PM   #3
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I think you missed the point...I think Bush has basically said "Eff off" to his detractors at this point and will address this situation, however unpopular and politically unsavory it may be.

The bottom line is, no matter how much the World "hates us", they are ****ed without us...
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suitanim
I think you missed the point...I think Bush has basically said "Eff off" to his detractors at this point and will address this situation, however unpopular and politically unsavory it may be.

The bottom line is, no matter how much the World "hates us", they are ****ed without us...
i definitely caught the point and can see the benefits of a "guns a'blazing president".
its just a shame some problems cant be solved with a quick and easy airstrike. especially when our president will leave office before our military is once again consolidated.

america has made this bed of being a world superpower in its young history, and with my support they will lie in it. our future generations security depends on us policing the rest of the world. it sure beats the germans or chinese policing us.
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:52 PM   #5
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i definitely caught the point and can see the benefits of a "guns a'blazing president".
its just a shame some problems cant be solved with a quick and easy airstrike. especially when our president will leave office before our military is once again consolidated.

america has made this bed of being a world superpower in its young history, and with my support they will lie in it. our future generations security depends on us policing the rest of the world. it sure beats the germans or chinese policing us.
"The quick and easy airstrike"...hmmm...it's a "measured response". Actually, that defines the Clinton military policy. It did absolutely nothing for anyone but made the next guys job harder...
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Suitanim
"The quick and easy airstrike"...hmmm...it's a "measured response". Actually, that defines the Clinton military policy. It did absolutely nothing for anyone but made the next guys job harder...
who really knew about bin laden before we missed killing him by less than an hour? no way the public wouldve supported a war against al qaieda back then. clinton did the correct pro-active response. taking the rest of them weasels out then would be just as hard then as it is today, regardless of 9/11. clinton admin. also enforced bush sr.s no fly zone and the u.n. inspectors in iraq with airstrikes. granted he didnt finish the job for his predacessor, but then again it was his predacessor who decided it was a job that didnt need finished, despite the wishes of advisors and military leaders (schwartskopff and powell). you cant act like clintons job was made easier by his predacessors policies.

but really this isnt about clinton, its about using our rescources at hand, and its a shame a few quick strikes cant resolve the problem. and no im not ignorant to mogodishu, hence why i think its a shame. we dont have the luxury of sending 75,000 men to africa in a show of force.

sometimes getting re-elected weighs in as much as whats best for the world, here and now, when decisions like these are made. and by saying this i am not accusing either of the prior 2 administrations.

im taking the middle road on this one only cause it is a difficult and touchy subject and because it coinncides with my own personal beliefs. sometimes i just wanna nuke the rest of the world, othertimes i just wish we lived in a peacefull world. its great to be an american.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suitanim
I think you missed the point...I think Bush has basically said "Eff off" to his detractors at this point and will address this situation, however unpopular and politically unsavory it may be.

The bottom line is, no matter how much the World "hates us", they are ****ed without us...
But a lot of countries are ****ed because of you. I know Canada would be ****ed without you guys, but let it go with this stuff.
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Old 03-23-2006, 10:23 PM   #8
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But a lot of countries are ****ed because of you. I know Canada would be ****ed without you guys, but let it go with this stuff.
Yes there are some countries that would've been better off had we not stepped in.In some situations that we have intervened it would've been nice to have a crystal ball to predict the outcome.At least we do try and help countries get out of the mess that they are in.We don't have the luxury of picking and choosing our fights,we've been doing this for so long now it would be real nice if the rest of the world would do a little more to help make this a peaceful world to live in.
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Old 03-23-2006, 10:24 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ngreene15
But a lot of countries are ****ed because of you. I know Canada would be ****ed without you guys, but let it go with this stuff.
There are also a lot of countries ****ed by other countries. We tend to get more heat because we are the most powerful nation on the globe. When we do something wrong, it's magnified tens time more compared to a country that contributes jack shit to this globe. I guess that's the price you pay for being the strongest nation on the globe. I'm willing to take the heat and at times, the undeserved critisism, it's worth it. Most of it comes out of jealousy and pure stupidity.

I'm used to hearing how other countries hate the USA. When they want or need something, they know who to call. Funny huh? When shit hits the fan, they know what side to join. When their country gets slammed with a natural disaster, they know who to call for aid and relief. At times, I wish we would take the advice of some of these supposed "allies" and "mind" our "own business". See what this globe looks like then.
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Old 03-24-2006, 03:52 AM   #10
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The problem is that Bush is a war-mongering President with moron level I.Q.

Now, I am well aware that Bush is just the face of the Washington war-room and probably doesnt have much say in anything - lets hope not anyway - but the war in Iraq is ill advised as best - war crime worthy at worst.

Maybe Bush et al should spend a little more time concentrating on internal matters, such as response times to national crises, rather than looking to spread the vicious word of Christian democracy all over the world.

Constantly portraying the UN as a weak sister is just an attempt to take the heat off one of the most embarrassing , despotic, oil grabbing fiascos the world has witnessed.

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