For the hundreds of thousands of wounded, starving refugees in Darfur, there’s good and bad news. The good news is, George W. Bush has looked up, looked over, and discovered a world out there. He’s now heard of Darfur (and it‘s not even in Texas!), and he’s taking action.
The bad news is about the "action" he's taken. Now that he’s blinked, gulped and noticed the world beyond Crawford, he’s taken the “action” of telling the Senate to cease and desist. The Senate had just passed the Darfur Accountability Act, which would freeze the assets of Darfur’s genocide leaders, and impose a no-fly zone to prevent Sudan’s army from strafing villages.
Whoa! Not so fast there. A bunch of sniveling refugees? What’s that got to do with the price of oil? The White House went from their standard Stupor mode to “Oh My God, my Bitches are doing something that doesn’t benefit my oil mentors. How many times have I gotta bitchslap those #$&*&%#s?”
The Bush administration has taken other “action” in addition to stifling the Senate. The Deputy Secretary of State is trying to backpedal on previous statements that referred to the Darfur situation as “genocide.” He also gave an “official” estimate of the death toll as between 60,000 and 160,000. Most international estimates are at least 400,000.
The genocide in Darfur is a bipartisan issue; Republicans and the Christian Right actually led the way in drumming up concern over the slaughter. So why is Bush trying to squelch the Darfur Accountability Act?
For one thing, the Sudanese government has recently increased its cooperation with the CIA in the War on Terror, and Bush doesn’t want to jeopardize their good will. Also, Bush doesn’t want to get involved in any humanitarian effort that doesn’t have a neat, quick solution. In other words, no quagmires (got one already).
Still, isn’t there a middle ground between sending in troops and just doing nothing? Freezing the assets of Darfur’s genocide leaders, and establishing an internationally-backed no fly zone, would at least mitigate the brutality of this modern day Holocaust.
Bush has a choice: make a small diplomatic effort for a cause that doesn’t benefit Halliburton or the oil companies; or go down in history as the president who did absolutely nothing while hundreds of thousands of refugees were slaughtered.