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George Wimps Out On Genocide
Nicholas Kristof writes in The New York Times that George Bush is soft on genocide:

It's been a year since Mr. Bush - ahead of other world leaders, and to his credit - acknowledged that genocide was unfolding in Darfur. But since then he has used that finding of genocide not to spur action but to substitute for it.

Mr. Bush's position in the U.N. negotiations got little attention. But in effect the United States successfully blocked language in the declaration saying that countries have an "obligation" to respond to genocide. In the end the declaration was diluted to say that "We are prepared to take collective action ... on a case by case basis" to prevent genocide.

That was still an immensely important statement. But it's embarrassing that in the 21st century, we can't even accept a vague obligation to fight genocide as we did in the Genocide Convention of 1948. If the Genocide Convention were proposed today, President Bush apparently would fight to kill it.

I can't understand why Mr. Bush is soft on genocide, particularly because his political base - the religious right - has been one of the groups leading the campaign against genocide in Darfur. As the National Association of Evangelicals noted in a reproachful statement about Darfur a few days ago, the Bush administration "has made minimal progress protecting millions of victims of the world's worst humanitarian crisis."

Incredibly, the Bush administration has even emerged as Sudan's little helper, threatening an antigenocide campaigner in an effort to keep him quiet. Brian Steidle, a former Marine captain, served in Darfur as a military adviser - and grew heartsick at seeing corpses of children who'd been bludgeoned to death.

In March, I wrote a column about Mr. Steidle and separately published photos that he had taken of men, women and children hacked to death. Other photos were too wrenching to publish: one showed a pupil at the Suleia Girls School; she appeared to have been burned alive, probably after being raped, and her charred arms were still in handcuffs.

Mr. Steidle is an American hero for blowing the whistle on the genocide. But, according to Mr. Steidle, the State Department has ordered him on three occasions to stop showing the photos, for fear of complicating our relations with Sudan. Mr. Steidle has also been told that he has been blacklisted from all U.S. government jobs.

The State Department should be publicizing photos of atrocities to galvanize the international community against the genocide - not conspiring with Sudan to cover them up.

Posted by aalkon at September 21, 2005 8:20 AM

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got a link to those photos?

id like to cram them down the throats of some conservitives i know that think bush is the next best thing to jesus

Posted by: john at September 21, 2005 2:53 AM

Posted by: eric at September 21, 2005 8:53 AM

So now you are in favor of American imperialism and nation building?

I must have missed the posts you wrote castigating France for blocking sanctions against Sudan on the U.N. Security Council, or France's violation of the E.U. ban on travel for Robert Mugabe to Europe when he was hosted as a state guest. Can you point me to those posts?

Posted by: nash at September 21, 2005 9:29 AM

Nash, there are many things I don't like that I don't post about. My blogging I do for free. If you would like to see those items on a blog, you might start your own. Because I like to go to France doesn't mean I think their socialist system is smart, or agree with many things they do. But, I'm a citizen of the United States, and I have a say, as a citizen in what we do. I'm having it here.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 21, 2005 10:27 AM

Why is Iraq okay, but not the Sudan?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 21, 2005 10:28 AM

Then why would you accuse Bush of being soft on genocide if you know that France is responsible for supporting the Sudanese regime and blocking any attempts at sactioning their government in the U.N.?

Iraq is strategically important while Sudan is not. However, I have no problem with sending U.S. troops and money into Sudan to remove the current regime and impose a Marshall plan of some sort to rebuild their country. But again, France and the American left would never support it.

Also, I think we still have troops in Liberia, a nation with little strategic importance to the U.S. but historical ties to our nation. Apparently the French did not have economic interests there so they weren't concerned about us sending in our troops.

Basically, you attribute the worst motives to the Bush Admin. over every little issue while giving the true monsters a pass.

One issue that I've seen the conservative blogs criticize the Bush Admin. over is the Dept. of Justice's decision to make internet porn their #1 priority. It seems like this is an issue that you would justifiably crucify (hah!) the Bush admin over yet nary a peep. Instead, baseless accusations that he's soft on genocide. Some 50 million people liberated in the past decade just ain't good enough for you.

What it boils down to is that I like your advice columns and I like your blog posts on things like the iron workers that you did recently. But when it comes to anything about Bush you just seem to lose your grip.

Posted by: nash at September 21, 2005 3:59 PM

P.S.: why doesn't the text wrap around to the next line in the comments sometimes like it's supposed to?

Posted by: nash at September 21, 2005 4:01 PM

Not sure what you mean. Example?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 21, 2005 5:55 PM

This is not a discussion about France, it's a discussion about the US and sudan. He is soft on genocide, and I oppose their attempts to nanny us in myriad ways -- abortion, porn, no nipples on TV, no swear words, etc. Children should have parents. The state shouldn't parent the rest of us in their absence (while they're focused on their own interests; among them, being their kids' best friends).

I didn't have the jones for Bush One that I did for his idiot son. If Kerry were president, trust me, I'd be loathing him plenty. He was simply the lesser of two weevils.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 21, 2005 5:57 PM

The Bush Admin has already denounced the genocide in Sudan. His attempts to bring it before the U.N. have been blocked by the French. What the hell else do you expect him to do?

You can't support your baseless argument that Bush is soft on genocide and simply fall back on the refrain that "Bush is evil!" I and others have pointed out that France is directly responsible for the genocide in Sudan yet you continue to ignore it and lay the blame at Bush's feet. France is the monster here and you refuse to acknowledge the truth staring you in your face. Do you blame Bush simply to assuage your own guilt for supporting France so blindly?

Posted by: nash at September 22, 2005 8:09 AM

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