Thursday, January 17, 2008

Once you label it “genocide” you obviously have to do something about it


Bush met with the Special Envoy for Sudan Rich Williamson because the people of Sudan “suffer deprivation and rape. My administration called this a genocide. Once you label it ‘genocide’ you obviously have to do something about it.” Obviously. And what might that something be? “Our discussion centered upon our mutual desire to develop a strategy that will help the United Nations become more effective.” Well, if having a discussion about your mutual desire to develop a strategy to help the UN become more effective doesn’t work, I don’t know what will.

WHAT AMERICA IS PROBABLY WONDERING: “You know, America is probably wondering why, why do you care? And one of the reasons we care about the suffering in Sudan is because we care about the human condition all across the face of the earth.” See, he just found out that the Sudanese are humans. Condi really should have mentioned that to him before.

MURDER AS A WEAPON: “And we fully understand that when people suffer, it is in our interest to help. And we also understand that when people suffer it makes it more likely that some may turn to the ideology of those who use murder as a weapon. So it’s in our national security interest and it’s in our -- in the interest of our conscience to confront this, what we have called a genocide.” There’s something remarkably repellant about the argument that 1) we need a self-interested motive before we do something about genocide, 2) that the real danger in genocide is that the survivors might turn into terrorists. Just quite remarkably repellant.

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