Thursday, April 27, 2006

So now sovereignty matters?

A recent New York Times article discusses genocide in Darfur and the limited options available to the rest of the world to become involved there. The argument is floated that for the UN or NATO to become involved in Sudan would be a violation of its sovereignty seem somewhat misplaced given recent UN developments. The United Nations released "Responsibility to Protect" (also see the R2P website) a report which studied and made recommendations with regards to the responsibility of the international community to protect citizens if their own state cannot or will not do so. Clearly such a situation is occurring in Sudan, yet the Bush Administration is arguing over issues of violating Sudan's sovereignty if a UN intervention occurred. Such discussions are preposterous, especially coming from the administration that invaded Iraq. Come on, we can even frame this within the war on terror, Sudan once gave refuge to Osama bin Laden. We want to stop genocide (which the US has declared is going on in Sudan) yet the cooperation we're getting from the Sudanese government with regards to the war on terror trumps the human rights violations which are occurring. I admit that intervention is problematic in Sudan, and I'll give credit to the Bush Administration that it has floated the idea of NATO action in Sudan, but talking and doing are very different things. We've heard this kind of talk before,from both Republicans and Democrats alike, that human rights violations are intolerable, yet no concerted action takes place. I am hopeful that the United States will back its call for action in Darfur and assist, and encourage others to the same, to end the genocide. To discuss issues of sovereignty with regards to the Sudanese government is to lend them legitimacy. The Sudan is a failed state who's own government is carrying out ethnic cleansing, discussions of sovereignty are perhaps not the most appropriate to have on this topic. I can't help but wonder how many times the world will say "not again" before it actually means it.

More can be done, and I think its time we did it. I'd encourage anyone reading this post to get involved. We can't just shake our heads and say "thats too bad". If you can't give your time or your money to this important issue, you can lend your voice. Join the Virtual March on Washington against Genocide in Darfur and check out Save Darfur to become more involved.

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