Saturday, September 10, 2005

Less important genocide

In Rwanda, in 1994, 800,000 people were killed in less than three months. Did we help them? Oh, but that was the Clinton administration, right? The morally upstanding Bush administration will help people wherever it is needed. Because they wield "moral authority". What about Sudan? One year ago, the White House acknowledged that genocide was taking place in Darfur. At least 400,000 people have been killed, and up to 2 million displaced by violence. And this isn't over the course of 20 years like the Iraq situation. This is happening right now. West Africa has been a proven haven for terrorists. Osama Bin Laden operated there for years before going to Afghanistan. Why isn't the Sudan a priority? Why did we attack Iraq instead? If we are interested in promoting democracy, personal freedom, and safe living conditions for all people, then why don't we go where we can do the greatest good? Or maybe it isn't about that.


Semanticleo said...

When my 17 year-old gets his tail caught in a crack, he imbibes about the negative vibes of his younger brother.

Is Clintonism the only defense for the cretin Bush?

Cubicle said...

There is limited amount that we could do in africa mainly because of the general unstable nature of the entire area. If we were to solve the Sudan problem in the same way we solved the Iraq problem, we would only have the same problem sprout a nation over.

Iraq, presented a isolated but major problem that if solved could solve several problems at once.

Frist the problem of demoracy in the middle east. Iraq was part of a wider plan for the Middle east. A relativity stable place (compared to many parts of africa) but unfree area.

The second issue with the middle east is the national threat that several of those countires persent. you mention that Osam worked in Sudan, well he and his requrits come from the middle east.

Also in the longer term veiw the stable nature of the Middle east is what made it a threat from WMD. Africa has no chance of developing WMD's on their own with out the help from larger nations, where Iraq and several other countires do persent a major problem.

Iraq had failed to be a counter weight to Iran. Which by taking over Iraq and giving them the chance to vote on their leaders it is hoped that we could effect change in Iran with out firing a bullet.

Do we need to help Africa? Was Africa the biggest problem for America? No. Will we be able to eventually help Africa, ex soviet block countires, and latin america? It will take awhile, but it is in the nations intrest to make sure as many of these countires are free and prosperous as possible. Now that we have shed the older cold war mentality of "stable is better" hopefully many of these problems will get fixed in my lifetime

Sandcastle said...

re: semanticleo, I am not defending Bush or Clinton. I am saying that America's foreign policy is responsible for many of its foreign problems.

Sandcastle said...

re: Cubicle, I would like to argue two of your points. First, Iraq is not an isolated problem that once solved will help the region. We are occupying two countries in the region, list a third as part of the Axis of Evil, and have placed military bases in 9 others (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. I would argue that deploying this much of our military to any part of the world could help to stabilize it.

The second point, and the main part of my argument overall, is that the US has not actively sought to "help" any developing nations. We have sought to stabilize them for American businesses, but we have ignored human rights, civil liberties, and the right of self determination all over the world.

The Middle East is a concern because it contains most of the world's oil and natural gas, both of which we need. In addition to oil rich nations like Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, many of the ex-Soviet states have large untapped reserves.

transientforeigner said...

While reading analysis and theory of the U.S. motives and justifications for foreign military intervention I came across probably the best and most succint insight into what is necessary for going to war.

1) Humanitarian Concerns

2) Threat that the conflict will spill over into bordering nations.

3) National Gain

Each of these three is necessary for military intervention. One and two alone are necessary but not sufficient for going to war, just as two and three are not enough without one. Take any war that happened or any war that did not happen and look at it within this framework.

Why did we not go to Rwanda? Number three was absent. The U.S. had nothing to gain economically or militarily by becoming involved in Rwanda (or Sudan). Clinton came to office promising moral intervention in foreign states but the policy failed miserably in Somalia, because again, number three was not present.

Why did we become in involved in Bosnia? People were being killed, in mass, because of their ethnicity (humanitarian cause). Refugees were fleeing the area and the country was in danger of being divided or of having an ethnically cleansed populace living alongside the families and survivors of those killed (spillover). This was one of those dreaded "isms" in Europe. Call it fascism, totalitarianism, whatever, it was a big problem and a threat to U.S.'s European allies. The NATO allies owed the U.S. a big favor for assistance when it was all over(national gain).

Now Iraq. 210,000 people in mass graves is a big humanitarian concern; I don't think anyone on the board is denying this. Iraq invaded another country in Bush's (the father) term. That was definite spillover then. The threat of WMD and terrorism, though now proven incorrect, was an argument that had to be made (perhaps an out right lie, perhaps just a mistake with poor intelligence) to reach the necessary justification for war. Finally....oil. One can claim that it was not our primary goal, but it would be simply foolish to claim that it wasn't one of the many reasons we went back to Iraq.

Military intervention is a big step and a lot of support is needed to launch a war. That simply cannot be achieved by having one reason for going to war. Not enough people care about that one reason.

America is represented by ruthless, selfish hegemons. But even ruthless, selfish hegemons like to be able to sleep at night.

If anyone wants the source of the article on the justifications for foreign intervention let me know and I'll look for it. I don't think it is online however.

moss said...

If you read the UN security council debates you'll see that China and Russia blocked US (and UK, French, and German) attempts to define what is happening in Darfur as genocide and to take more aggressive role in securing peace in that region. Also, you're overlooking the involvement of the African Union and the fact that the US is understandably reluctant to get involved in Africa after Somolia. Finally, Sudan has quite a bit of oil, so if that is the US reason for going into Iraq we should be equally as eager to enter Sudan.

Sandcastle said...

As far as the UN blocking actions, I think Bush has made his disdain of the UN apparent. If he wanted to help in Africa he would. As far as oil, while Sudan does have significant reserves, they are no where near the levels in Iraq. Additionally, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have allowed the US to position troops in half a dozen other countries in that region that are rich in oil and natural gas.