Monday, March 24, 2008

Exactly Why We Should Do Something About Darfur

First, because we're the Good Guys. There's a humanitarian disaster going on there. Looking back, we found it incredible that reports of the ongoing Holocaust during World War II were largely dismissed, until American troops walked into the concentration camps. And it's happening again right now.

Now, entering the cynical world of realpolitik, we can use Darfur against China. China has long had a policy of playing Older Brother to the Third World. When the Cold War was on, they tried to play the US off the USSR and seemed to act as a lookout for the developing world.

That strategy has continued. China recognizes an opportunity to look good in the developing world, where it doesn't cost much to change people's lives by building a road or a school or a well.

Yet somehow China doesn't seem to be bothered by what's going on in Darfur. This is why the West should take the opportunity to show Chinese strategizing for what it is (Spielberg's quitting the Olympics over it was a nice symbol but we need a little more than that). Is the Free World up to it? Are American conservatives?



Squid said...

I'm often struck by the disconnect between interference in a part of the world where we have a significant geopolitical interest (NO BLOOD FOR OIL!!!eleventy!), which is evil, and interference in a part of the world where we have no significant interest, which is good. Ergo, we should only interfere in areas where it doesn't help our country.

Even so, I wouldn't mind if we distributed 100,000 rifles among the victims. Might make the Janjaweed think twice about galloping into the next village.

Thomas Paine Jr. said...

You make an excellent point sir. People often forget that there are real bad guys in the world. We also forget that in the real world, no decision is undertaken without regard to self-interest. In other words, if you're going to be an imperialist, be a SMART imperialist (not being ironic; this I wholly advocate!) Even the U.S. has to pick its battles, and know its reasons for picking
certain ones.