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Why Darfur?

It is extremely difficult to reconcile the left's views on who to save from mass murder. Darfur is an excellent example, as David Frum points out:

An enlightened liberal internationalist wants to send troops to the Sudanese region of Darfur to protect a majority Muslim population against murderous Islamic extremist militias.

On the other hand, he or she must oppose keeping troops in Iraq to protect a majority Muslim population against murderous Islamic extremist militias.

The enlightened liberal internationalist wants to use U.S. airpower to stop Osama bin Laden's allies in Khartoum from committing terrorist atrocities.

On the other hand, he or she must condemn the use of U.S. airpower to stop Osama bin Laden's allies in Iraq from committing terrorist atrocities.

What explains the disparity in these views? The drive to do something about Darfur is the same philosophy that drove the United States into war over the former Yugoslavia: it is an area of the world completely devoid of any national security interests for the United States, where we can flex our muscle without wringing our hands about 'imperialism'. Nowadays, the only legitimate reason to intervene anywhere is when we can do so with 'cleans hands', free of the white guilt that Shelby Steele speaks of. God forbid that the United States should use its military to actually protect the United States.

Should we intervene in Darfur? If we do (most unlikely) it will be most interesting to see the contortions the left puts itself through to suddenly praise and laud the military for the great things it does. Will leftists enlist in droves to go fight the Janjaweed? We'll see if the liberal chickenhawks come home to roost.

The suggestion has been made (I came across is somewhere, can't find it again) that the libs who want to do something about Darfur should just go ahead and form their own militia and go fight.

Seriously, not a bad idea.

Put your money where your mouth is, pick up a gun and go fight a good fight. I don't think anyone doubts it is a just cause, and they could form a latter-day Abraham Lincoln Brigade and go down in history as righteous warriors. I'd be tempted to join them.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 9 May 2006 08:53 PM


Why ask why? Try Darfur Dry.

Posted by: Will Franklin at May 9, 2006 11:11 PM

Your assuming that the left won't pull Iraq II, decide to vote against Darfur after they vote for it. I think the reason they are advocating intervention in Darfur is because we haven't intervened already, not because they think it's the right thing to do. They seem to think that anything done by a Republican administration is automatically wrong even if they supported the same thing whole-heartedly during a Democrat administration. Like warrantless wire-taps, Saddam's WMD's, ousting Saddam, and all the other things they are on record either praising during the Clinton administration that they now claim Bush used to "lie" us into war.

Posted by: bullwinkle at May 9, 2006 11:39 PM

Interesting point that they don't have to wait for Bush to make a decision, though. They can always take actual personal responsibility, and a little self-motivation, and go out and do something.

Posted by: JohnJ at May 10, 2006 02:48 AM

Great idea! *packs shorts, George Michael album, suntan lotion, and looks for information on how to obtain firearms in Kalifornia.*

Ahhh phooey.... Will & Grace is on! *munching on butter-less popcorn while holding a bottle of perrier*


Posted by: Eric at May 10, 2006 07:43 AM

It was alongside the members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade that George Orwell lost his... 'faith' and became driven to warn us all of the slippery slope to authoritarianism of Leftist idealism.

Posted by: DANEgerus at May 10, 2006 09:24 AM