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February 21, 2006

Comments

Oh, please, someone start a thread on Hating On Charles Bird.

Red Herring though it is, click the "cashing in" link. It leads to The Weekly Standard, that bastion of fairminded analysis of the UN. And Mr. Bird fails to mention that the award money detailed in the article, as reported by the article, is to be used as seed money for a foundation in Africa. TWS dismisses this as some sort of scam, based on ... its own intuitions.

Well, it's good that someone did a Darfur post, whatever else one might think of the content. On a practical level, what should we as individuals be doing?

Gary Farber has some suggestions. I can't believe I'm beating him to it here...

A thread has opened up for the hatred.

So, the US is condeming the genocide in Darfur - that's good. I agree that more countries should.

However, how many troops is the US committing to the Sudan? I believe none.

One question I've had in all discussions of Rwanda, and Somalia, that someone here might be able to help me with: in civil wars where there are millions of casualties, there are presumably hundreds of thousands of people fighting. While 10,000 UN troops could certainly provide security in some areas, would this number of troops be sufficient to significantly affect the course of the civil war? What kind of casualties would the troops suffer in such circumstances? In Iraq, the US has a lot more troops, and is not in the midst of a full-blown civil war, but still has not brought security to significant portions of Iraq.

"...would this number of troops be sufficient to significantly affect the course of the civil war?"

If you think what's been going on in Darfur is a civil war, you are badly confused.

My apologies; shall we stick with the term genocide then?

On second thoughts - ignore the question; it was ill-posed, and I should be working anyway :).

Part of the problem appears to be that the current administration of the US government thinks that info on terroism is far more important than what is going on in Darfor.

Bush Says He Will Veto Any Bill to Stop UAE Port Deal

*Link: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,185479,00.html

Romeo Dallaire, Force Commander of UNAMIR, has said in his book Shaking Hands With the Devil that the Rwandan genocide could likely have been largely prevented with about 2,000 UN troops with the proper equipment at the early stages of the conflict, and about 5,000 later once hostilities were truly under way. The mission was eventually increased from around 300 to 5,500, but after much of the murders had been committed.

It leads to The Weekly Standard, that bastion of fairminded analysis of the UN.

Ad hominem, quihana The writer is Claudia Rosett, practically the only journalist doing decent investigative reporting on the UN.

And Mr. Bird fails to mention that the award money detailed in the article, as reported by the article, is to be used as seed money for a foundation in Africa.

I also failed to mention this part of the Rosett's article:

To date, he has provided no information about what this promised foundation might be or who will run it, or what perquisites might go to its founder, or to anyone else associated with it. Asked recently for details, Annan's spokesman replied, "When we have more information, we'll pass it on to you."

Such non-answers have a familiar ring to anyone who has followed the saga of the sporty green Mercedes, shipped into Ghana in 1998 by Annan's son, Kojo Annan, who saved $14,000 in customs duties at the time via inappropriate use of his father's name and U.N. privileges. In that instance, the transaction was obscured behind a humanitarian façade, with the U.N. Development Program office in Ghana setting its U.N. seal on the paperwork. Annan, despite wiring his son $15,000 to help pay for the car, claims he knew nothing about it, and that it had nothing to do with him or the U.N.

Ever forget writing $15,000 checks?

claims he knew nothing about it

Knew nothing about his son's wanting a car or nothing about the "inappropriate" way his son obtained this car? That "it" is suspiciously ambiguous, in my honest opinion. If I were Rosett's editor, I would ask her to clear that sentence up, or better yet, to quote what Annan actually said. The whole article is full of strategic ambiguities and non sequitors, however, which makes me suspicious that her editors liked her writing that way.

Claudia Rosett is a consultant to FOX News.

Romeo Dallaire, Force Commander of UNAMIR, has said in his book Shaking Hands With the Devil that the Rwandan genocide could likely have been largely prevented with about 2,000 UN troops with the proper equipment at the early stages of the conflict, and about 5,000 later once hostilities were truly under way. The mission was eventually increased from around 300 to 5,500, but after much of the murders had been committed.

This is quite likely true, and unfortunately quite meaningless with regards to the genocide in Darfur. The Rwandan genocide could have been suppressed quite easily because all that was really needed was a UN force with guns pointedly aimed in the right direction to force the Rwandan government into action - the machete-wielding mobs weren't terribly brave and a little central authority combined with mean-looking guys in blue helmets carrying guns probably could have saved hundreds of thousands. (Which is why Romeo Dallaire is now perhaps the most self-incriminating person alive. How many people do you know who would personally accept blame for failing to stop a genocide when practically every surviving Rwandan Tutsi alive considers him a saint? It takes a severe knowledge of how badly the West failed those people.)

This isn't the case in Darfur, where the central government is essentially powerless and the massacring assholes are well-armed and well-organized. You