Thursday, February 23, 2006

Darfur


As Natalie says, Darfur does seem to have dropped off the radar, both on the blogosphere and in the traditional media. I've not written on it largely because there doesn't seem anything useful to say. It would probably take a company and a half of Royal Marines to overthrow the corrupt murdering bastards in Khartoum (Omdurman anyone), or alternatively it's maybe even possible for economic methods to have some sort of success.

But what exactly is the aim here? To restore peace to the Darfur region, obviously, but how? Make the Khartoum Government nice? Can't be done. You could get the Wizard of Oz to give the fuckers brains, hearts and courage and they still would be an incompetent bunch of camel-botherers. Finish off the Janjaweed? Needs military intervention, on which more below. Starve the Janjaweed of weapons? Requires sanctions even if it were at all possible, on which more below. Create a lasting peace in Sudan? Requires the partition of Sudan into Arab and Sub-Saharan African regions. Not. Going. To. Happen. Just try and get the AU to buy into that.

So we're left with toppling the Government of Sudan or imposing serious economic sanctions. Military action would be extremely difficult, and even more unpopular. Iraq's still unfinished, Iran's just starting to bubble and Afghanistan is just about ready to turn over. Another military expedition in the Middle East is not exactly propitious just now.

Economic sanctions it is then. Except that China is Sudan's most important trading partner. They get most of their oil from Sudan and provide weapons, infrastructure and military 'advisers' in return. You can bet your bottom dollar that they'll block any UN action in the Security Council. So economics is no go either.

This is why I've avoided Darfur as a subject - it's all very well shouting 'Something must be done' and banging one's fist on the bar, but if you can't think of anything that is even possible, it doesn't get anyone very far.

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