Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Darfur and Ethical Consitency

Funny how the Bush Administration is now playing by the Dems play book, and some Dems are playing by the Neo-con play book.
WASHINGTON, May 29 — President Bush announced today that he is imposing stiff economic sanctions against Sudan and that he will press the United Nations for additional action to end the violence in Darfur.

“The people of Sudan are crying out for help and they deserve it,” he said in a brief statement at the White House.

The decision makes good on a threat the president made nearly six weeks ago. Mr. Bush warned then that the United States would act if Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, did not permit a full deployment of United Nations peacekeeping forces, allow aid to reach the Darfur region and end his support for the janjaweed, the militias that have been systematically killing civilians there.
The article goes into the disagreement over whether the actions by the Sudanese government are genocide or not and how the UN is saying not at this time. There are also some laughable lines by the Sudanese president.
Although the Bush administration has classified the situation in Darfur as genocide, the United Nations has not. The administration officials said the secretary general had been made aware of Mr. Bush’s plans for sanctions, though they would not say if Mr. Bush had spoken personally with Mr. Ban.

It remains unclear how Mr. Bush’s announcement will be received at the United Nations.

The Sudanese government today criticized the sanctions, Reuters reported.

“I think these sanctions are not justified,” Mutrif Siddig, Sudanese undersecretary for foreign affairs, told Reuters in Khartoum. “It is not timely. We are cooperating well with the United Nations.”

Strange that the UN has been complaining about the lack of cooperation, and yet he thinks they're doing just fine.

The Democratic presidential hopefuls spouted off in response to Bush's actions:
Bush had delayed the formal start of sanctions last month after United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had asked for more time to negotiate with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called the economic curbs “a step in the right direction,” but Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) set the bar higher.

“I hope today’s announcement will be followed closely with a new [U.N.] Security Council resolution imposing multilateral economic sanctions and other restrictions on Sudan,” Durbin said in a statement. “A threatened veto by the Security Council should not silence us.”
A step in the right direction? What is the completely correct direction I wonder?

Then there is Obama.
Senator Obama today released the following statement in response to President Bush's announcement of sanctions on the Sudanese government.

"President Bush's announcement today that he will finally impose tightened sanctions on the Sudanese government is welcome. But, it falls well short of what is necessary to compel Khartoum to stop the four year-old genocide."

"Conspicuously absent from this package of sanctions is maximal punitive action against the Sudanese oil industry, which the Administration once touted as a critical element of its so-called "Plan B." Targeted pressure by the international community against the Sudanese oil economy is a much-needed step to stop the killing and displacement of innocent civilians in Darfur."

"Also needed is the deployment of a strong international force, led by the UN, with an enforcement mandate to protect civilians. The U.S. should work with our allies and partners to compel the Sudanese government to accept such a force and establish a no-fly zone over Darfur."
We should take military action against a country that hasn't attacked us first? Wait a minute, isn't that wrong? I mean, if Iraq was a horrible mistake, even though the were of limited direct threat, they certainly were more of a problem than Darfur, and the human rights issues there were just as bad if not worse. So how is it that it is ok to use military action here? Or is that my strange issue with requiring ethical and moral consistency?

And he must be mentally challenged if he really thinks a UN lead force will be any type of solution. They've done so very well everywhere else they've tried to provide security.

Can't wait to hear what the other presidential hopefuls come up with.

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