TCS Daily

Countdown to Genocide

By J. Peter Pham & Michael I. Krauss - September 5, 2006 12:00 AM

The final countdown for Darfur looms.

Back in April, in a widely commented piece on TCS, we warned both that the impending Darfur crisis was a calamity of overwhelming proportions and that it was intrinsically linked (despite the irony of its victims being Muslims) to the same kind of pan-Arab Islamism that threatens us globally. Since then, of course, the West has been "distracted" by Islamist attacks from Gaza and from Lebanon, the latter itself a diversion of the world's attention from the creation of an Islamist holocaust weapon in Iran.

After the United States helped broker a Darfur peace deal in May, the United Nations promised to come to the rescue with a peacekeeping force capable of enforcing the accord. But, as Darfur faded from public consciousness, the world body has again proven itself utterly ineffective. As the feeble and largely symbolic African Union force (itself indifferent at best to the continuing rapes and murders) prepares to leave the region in five weeks, Darfur is on the brink of massive human killing with no international force forthcoming. The UN's own chief of humanitarian operations, Jan Egeland, conceded in a recent interview that mass murder is about to begin on a tremendous scale, while rapes and individual killings are already the rule, not the exception. (Systematic sexual violence against women, we recall, is the hallmark of the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Sudanese regime's Janjaweed militia in Darfur. Even after they have been driven from their homes into wretched camps, Darfuri women still must venture out to fetch wood and water, putting themselves at risk.)

Bearing a letter from President Bush, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer recently flew to Khartoum to urge Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to accept U.N. peacekeepers for Darfur. Secretary Frazier and our nation were publicly humiliated when al-Bashir claimed he was too busy to see her. Perhaps the dictator was busy composing the note he dispatched to Dr. Frazer the next day, rejecting the conversion of the 7,000 African Union troops into part of the UN mission. Or perhaps he was personally addressing invitations to the students who were let out of school on Wednesday to stage an anti-peacekeeping rally in Khartoum. In any event, Bashir finally found a bit of time in his busy schedule to meet with America's representative last week -- after she had put off her scheduled departure -- then dismissed her cavalierly with the observation, "[a]ny state that sponsors this draft resolution [authorizing UN peacekeeping troops in Darfur] will be regarded as assuming a hostile attitude against the Sudan."

On August 28, Sudan boycotted the meeting of the Security Council at which Egeland warned that since the dubious "peace deal" signed in May, there had been a dramatic increase in violence, sexual abuse and displacement in Darfur. In response, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said he wanted a new Security Council resolution "in the next couple of days" authorizing the urgent dispatch to Darfur of a UN force of 17,500 troops and 3,000 police. Although the text still stipulates that the force will only be deployed with the consent of the Sudanese government, and despite opposition from Qatar, the only Arab member of the council, the six-page, 2,600-word resolution appears to have gained enough support to pass.

But Sudan seems intent on accelerating the massacre in Darfur: the government has actually proposed that the African Union troops depart when their mandate expires, to be replaced by 10,000 troops from the same Sudanese army that created the Janjaweed in the first place. Thus is set in place the most massive calculated campaign of slaughter, rape, and displacement since the Rwandan genocide (a slaughter that itself could have been mitigated had the then-head of UN peacekeeping, one Kofi Annan, not hamstrung General Roméo Dallaire, commander of the blue helmets in the benighted Central African country). By best estimates, at least 250,000 men, women, and children have already been killed in Darfur. At least another 2.5 million people whose homes have been destroyed have taken shelter in miserable camps partially under the watch of the African Union military that will be withdrawing. In these places -- when they are not attacked by Janjaweed -- they die from disease and slow starvation as they await mass annihilation after the African Union troops leave. As for other volunteer assistants, the murder of an aid worker with the International Red Cross -- the first ICRC staff member to meet that fate in Darfur -- sends a not-too-subtle message about the fate Bashir and his cohorts have in mind for humanitarian workers.

In fact, as the UN's own Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, Hedi Annabi, recently reported to the Security Council, the Islamist regime in Khartoum is massing for a military onslaught in northern Darfur. "We have received reports that a build-up of Sudan Armed Forces in Darfur has already begun and that a number of extra battalions have been deployed in El Fasher and Nyala," Annabi reports. The only appropriate response to this move, given Bashir's obstruction, would be the deployment (under Chapter VII of the UN Charter) of a credible international force without his consent to protect the victims and their humanitarian assistants and repel the killers.

Don't hold your breath. Let's see, the UN is currently providing cover for Hezbollah re-armament in Lebanon, having brokered a ceasefire on its promise to protect the peace by disarming these terrorists, and then immediately breaking that promise. The UN is also practicing milquetoast diplomacy with respect to Tehran's impending nuclear arms build-up, which is in violation of another UN resolution that set a deadline of Thursday for the mullahs to suspend uranium enrichment activities. Now the Security Council has declined to enforce its deadline, postponing possible actions until after the European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, met with Ali Larijani, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, sometime in the middle of next week. Even in Sudan the UN appears helpless before a relatively weak, lawless country whose Islamist leadership seems intent on massacring hundreds of thousands of its citizens. Do we sense a pattern here?

Michael I. Krauss is professor of law at George Mason University School of Law. J. Peter Pham is director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University. Both are adjunct fellows of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.


I give it a week before we get blamed for this.
Rwanda. Srebernitza. Darfur. Etc.

Each and every time the U.N. sticks its nose in to an awful situation and fails, we get blamed for not acting to stop whatever horrible thing the people in Country A are doing to their fellow citizens.

The U.N. has proven itself so useless that the fact that we even continue to fund this spineless (unless they are condemning Israel or the United States,) international debating society for thugs, tyrants and terrorists. Consider the following:

- The U.N. has refused to send in a peascekeeping force to Lebanon or Darfur until the governments and millitias there promise not to hurt them. Think about that, a peacekeeping force that can only go in when there is already peace and they need the permission of the local genocidal madman/terrorist millitia leader to do so... Why haven't these guys already achieved World Peace with rules like that?

- The U.N. Human Rights Commission has had a string of, to put it extremely mildly, questionable chairs. For example, Libya. Libya is a dictatorship that practices torture, summary execution, terrorism, slavery and refuses to ratify even the most basic conventions against child-pornography. (1) Cuba, a communist dictatorship, was elected Chair immediately after detaining 80 pro-democracy activists and summarily executing three for trying to steal a ferry. (2) Other members on the Commission have included China, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Venezuela. America was kicked off the Commission.

- After sixteen resolutions on Iraq, it took action by the United States and the Coalition of the Willing to get anything done.

Why the hell are we paying these people to waste our time, blame us for everything from Darfur to global warming and gripe when they drop the ball that we weren't there to pick it up?

US out of the UN, UN out of the US. Preferrably, right in to the middle of the Atlantic from a height.



If only
If only the Sudan had oil, or had attempted to assassinate Bush Sr. Then we would be in there in a flash to liberate `em.

It seems we have a paradox in the UN. On one hand we want to be able to veto UN actions we don't like (e.g. blocking Israel from colonizing the "territories"). Other powerful countries also have veto power. This means UN decisions have to be nearly unanimous rather than by consensus, which makes it hard to get anything done.

Are we willing to give up the veto in order to make the UN more functional?

The UN has no mandate for action
I don't think Darfur should be used as just an excuse for UN-bashing. There is a dimension to the conflict that is beyond the UN's writ, namely the sovereignty of nations within their borders. This issue needs to be defined once and for all before the UN can ever take meaningful action with a single nation, against the wishes of its leaders. If a mandate is to be created, responsible parties should set up ground rules that have a promise of holding up for all time, not just serve as a pretext for this one intercession. Otherwise any hope for the continuing existence of the principle of international law will be further trashed.

The core of the problem is that Bashir is a simple autocrat, and intends to run his country unopposed by any distaff body of opinion. And the farming tribes of Darfur have spoken up in favor of greater local autonomy. Either Bashir must be crushed, or the rebels must repent. Otherwise the conflict will continue.

Diplomacy is probably out as an option. Certainly Condi's experiment in pouring oil on troubled waters ended in humiliation. And as we should recall, the last time Khartoum's hegemony over the nation was challenged, a unique solution favorable to Bashir was implemented.

A peace treaty reconciling the breakaway south and the Muslim north was ostentatiously signed, and John Garang was welcomed into the government as an official Vice President. A month later, his plane met with an unfortunate mishap.

Either the UN is to outgrow its peacekeeping role and evolve into another warmaker, or the rest of the world must be content to sit on the sidelines and watch, while the government and killers on horseback combine to murder an entire race of people at their leisure.

Unless, of course, the rebels are convinced that they must give up their rebellion because no assistance will be coming their way.

Changing the UN's mission
This latest impasse shouldn't come as a total surprise to you. The rules for the peacekeeping role have been pretty much in place since the UN's inception. First, there must be a peace to keep. That means both, or all, sides to the conflict must agree to guarantee the safety of the UN observers and/or peacekeepers.

Would that that rule had been followed by the belligerents in the recent dustup in Lebanon.

The UN has never had a proactive role in imposing its will by force. Had they had such a role we would have seen it in action many years ago, when Palestine was first replaced by the Nation of Israel.

So if we are to approve a change in the UN mandate we must consider an amendment to its charter, and find some way of funding offensive weapons-- an air force, a rapid strike assault team, a way of providing troops in large numbers who are trained and ready to kill, etc.

Otherwise we can't complain when it is asked to do something it can't do as a matter of law. That would be akin to asking the Peace Corps to put a stop to Bashir's forces. Or so it would seem to me.

BTW I'm wondering about your castigation of Cuba for executing three hijackers. If the incident had occured in the United States, and three persons dedicated to the overthrow of our government were found in the process of trying to seize a ferry, wouldn't we consider that an occasion of terrorism?

Let's have similar ground rules for all parties, and either all tolerate these occasional seizures of planes, boats and trains, or accord every nation the right to patrol its own sovereign territory, punishing terrorists according to their custom.

Beaner and Guttmann didn't need a full week.
Publius Jr.: You were wrong. Roy Beaner and Liberal Guttmann didn't need a full week to settle the blame on the U.S. for the Arabic Sudanese genocide of the Black Sudanese in Darfur. It's not the UN's fault that nothing is being done to stop the massacre, it's our fault -- we don't care enough about the victims of racial hatred because there's "no oil" in Darfur and we're not willing to "give up our Veto authority" in the UN. It's that simple. At the drop of a hat, leftists can always find a reason to blame the U.S. They don't need no stinkin' week!

Not a week, only a reason
As an American, you can sit and complain about Darfur, or you can try to do something about it. The question is not why they are killing in Darfur, but why so little is being done to stop it. The original post addressed this question, as did Bean and I. Why was the US willing to invade Iraq but not the Sudan? Why is the UN unable to act? These are questions about the US.

About blaming the Bushies (not America), we don't need a sinkin' week, we just need a stinkin' reason. Do you think we're wrong? If so, why?

All excellent points...
to consider. Let's take a look:

PJ: Liberals will blame the US instead of the UN which has become a haven for corruption, inaction, and those who have made a career out of opposing anything Israel and the US attempts.

LGM: Oil baby! Its the US's fault since we don't go anywhere unless they have oil. Also, the UN is bureaucratically unable to do anything unless everyone agrees.

Roy: Same as LGM's last point just more long-winded but adds the aspect of peace as long as the Christian South (the rebels) lay down for the Islamic North. I am sure that the Southerners will be accepted with open arms. Of course he throws in the UN becoming a "warmaker" if they grant themselves the ability to stop genocide without the consent of the ones committing the genocide. By all means, one cannot despoil the good name of the UN by making them "warmakers".

Perhaps the point is: of what real use is the UN? They have allowed atrocity after atrocity while stealing money and providing comfort to any third-world thug that comes along. It is only concerned with expanding its own powers unless that power comes with responsibility.

It is bedtime for the UN, at least on our shores. I would say that it is high time for a union of democratic states to come together to solve the issues that face the world today.

Will this happen? No. Never. Oh well. Let's just watch the carnage unfold and then we can make a movie about it so we all can wonder how such things could happen.

Here's a few why's...
>"The question is not why they are killing in Darfur, but why so little is being done to stop it."

Why? Because the UN can't do anything about it. Although you may not like the truth, it took 17 UN resolutions and a coalition of 30+ nations to remove Saddam. Yep, THAT "rush to war" myth.

>"Why was the US willing to invade Iraq but not the Sudan?"

Why? Because Iraq was a destabilizing influence in a critical region and a sponsor of terrorism. Not to mention it had enough UN paperwork to make it legal in the eyes of the international community.

>"Why is the UN unable to act?"

Why? Because, as Roy pointed out, they were not created to act. The UN exists for the diplomats and for no one else.

>"About blaming the Bushies (not America), we don't need a sinkin' week, we just need a stinkin' reason."

And are quite willing to invent a "stinkin' reason" if one is not readily available. This is not Bush's fault no matter how hard you try to push it.

Why do you think it's the US's job to solve every problem in the world.
Except the ones that really matter.

liberals could make sense
LG finds it amazing that countries are more willing to committ troops to those places that threaten their interests.

I'm willing to bet, that had the US gone into Darfur, without the UN's blessing, LG, roy, and the rest of the "Blame Bush" crowd, would have been screaming to high heaven about the unilateral actions of the Bush administration which resulted in the deaths of the innocent. (Innocent being defined as anyone shooting at US troops.)

Israel isn't colonizing anyone, that's your delusion.

If the US were to give up the veto, the UN would become worse than useless, it would become an active element of world degredation.

The United Nations IS a FAILURE --- not because it should have been, but because there are so many different national interests (legal and corrupt) and everybody is afraid of offending anybody --- screw world opinion --- no effective consensus can ever be reached.

I am certain that recent events in the Middle East, North Korea, Venezuela and elsewhere have caused great concern in our country and around the world. Yet, for some reason, we and others first turn to the United Nations to solve such problems. Why? Throughout its history, there has not been one single instance of the UN ever being able to prevent a conflict. Its sanctions have never been shown to be effective. It's humanitarian efforts lackluster.

The UN wants to talk to terrorists, dictators and despots like Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il, Hassan Nasrallah, Mahmoud Amadinejad, and Somalian and Sudanese warlords. These are people with whom all talk is useless --- just as it was with Hitler in 1938 when his troops were already massed on the Czech border as he flimflammed Chamberlain.

The UN will not disarm Hezbollah (with which it should not be dealing anyway as it is not a member nation --- it is not a nation at all) but will talk with Nasrallah while beating down Israel and its right to defend itself. It will talk to Amadinejad as he is building his atomic bombs and missiles. It will talk to North Korea as it is building its atomic bombs and missiles. But will it even talk to Russia about spreading the nuclear technology these two countries are using to build their bombs?

I have long felt that UN should stand for “Useless Nations.” We have tons of diplomatic personnel in New York City, very often living a much better life than they would in their countries of origin --- almost all expense paid. They shop at New York’s fancy stores (tax free!); dine at New York’s finest restaurants (tax free!); park their cars where they may and ignore the parking tickets --- and any other ticket they may get, including a DUI. They attend the theater, and museums and social events. Yet they show little, if any dedication to the initial principles of the United Nations at its founding.

I have a suggestion. Close the UN facilities in New York and move the UN headquarters to Kigali, Rwanda as soon as possible (within two years). This would accomplish two things. First, it would be a boost for Rwanda --- feeding an economy in need, improving its school system and literacy, improving its healthcare system, and helping to heal that country from the divides of 1994. Second, it would test the dedication of the UN member nations and their staffs by removing them from the luxuries of New York and, perhaps, putting them in an environment where they will have more time for the business of peace; more incentive to elect honest, hard-working Attorneys General instead of corrupt incompetnets like Annan; and would reduce the operating expenses of the UN headquarters significantly.

Neither New York City nor the United States would miss the United Nations, and its many spies under diplomatic cover, where it is now.

Not a Week, Not a Reason, Not Even a Weak Reason, Just More Fantasy
See Tlaloc's post below

Human Rights Committee
The most horrible and disgusting failure at the United Nations recently was the naming of Libya to head the Human Rights committee. The Arab/North African territory headed by war criminal "Colonel" Muammar Gaddaffi(abu minyar)has not been liberated of its tyrant who has ordered abductions abroad, jailed dissenters at "home", and sent tens of thousands to death all over the world has not been forcibly removed from power though he has ordered his loyal supporters to "kill enemies" recently, and has not been taken into custody to answer for his war crimes and violations of Geneva Conventions because diplomats are all about appeasing dictators, and Mossad/CIA has no compassion for his victims and the PC crowd is too busy "fighting racism" with affirmative action programs and promoting gay and ******* rights and "heather has two mommies" curricula in government schools, and succumbing to slogans like "fight aids,not people with aids" instead of "no taxation without respiration" and my 2008 US Congress campaign slogans for Federal district 4.NYState, "Unfunding Mandating McCarthy" or "No More McCarthyism".

pity there's not much oil there
The US might be motivated to act unilaterally! The UN serves the purposes of it's members and no more.

that's the way the five like it.
"the UN is bureaucratically unable to do anything unless everyone agrees."
The US thinks it’s veto power just as the other four.

"It is bedtime for the UN, at least on our shores. I would say that it is high time for a union of democratic states to come together to solve the issues that face the world today."

The US and the other countries would no more wish to give up their sovereignty to this new org then the UN, and that's the problem. The idea that democracy’s only make good decisions is just silly, let alone this one world view they don't have. Remember it was France a democracy that vetoed the Iraqi UN action. Would there be this same veto power in the “union of democratic states”

To all you UN apopogists, move to Europe
The U.N. has been trying for a long time, and has had some success, erasing sovernity of nations. The U.N. was a good, experimental, idea; in 1946. It was still somewhat useful to the world as late as 1975 or even 1980. But, since then, it has become a corrupt, power-hungry organization with one ultimate goal; to get its hands on the wealth of the worlds most powerful and wealthy nations.

I say "throw the bums out and demolish the building. That is prime real estate and could be put to a much better use.

The only way I will ever back the US staying in the U.N. is if a few notable rule changes were made.

1. The head of the U.N. must be from a main stream power. China, Russia, the U.S., Great Brittian or, perhaps, a handful of others (Japan, South Korea, Canada, France, etc).

2. He must be a recognizable leader with experience in diplomacy, organizational leadership, and democratic government (The U.N. is a democracy and not a dictatorship and should be run by someone who understands how this works)

3. The security council is made up of the pesent " big five" and four "At large", non-voting members. The big five, as a group, has veto power over all things that go through the body as a whole; individually they maintain veto power over security council resolutions only.

4. All security council resolutions must be enforced. The perminant members of the security council must work out a force arrangement for a military group, comprised of troops from anywhere, but led and supplied by the "big five" and financed by proceeds from all member nations. This perminant combat unit must maintain a total strength of 100,000 combat ready troops. A full array of naval transport, support and combat ships, airpower and re-supply will be guaranteed by the five nations whenever the group is sent into combat.

For example - The lead nation will, at present, be the U.S. and U.S. officers will top the command structure. The U.S. will supply 30% of the back up forces, second will be China and the Chinese will be next in command and supply 25% of the support forces/supplies, GB will be next with 20% of the support and next in line in the command structure. Russia is next and will supply 15% and France is last and will supply 10%. (This is just a suggestion, there might be better ways to do this.)

Finally, the silly season sh it must end now. The U.N. can help with humanitarian aid but only to nations not involved in a situation where the U.N. forces are involved or where their use seems highly probable. The U.N. goes after only the worst humanitarian offenders; quit nit-picking the best places in the world to live. U.N. workers and programs will be monitored and constantly audited. Workers will get paid a salary agreed to and no more. All programs must be transparant and, even a whiff of scandle, will not be tolerated. Any high ranking supervisor or U.N. officer will be removed and charged if they are involved, even to a small degree, with any illegal activity or with any profiteering.

Make the U.N. completely transparant and answerable and I might consider once again backing the organization.

Get real, the U.N. serves no purpose
Except to extort money from every source possible.

And you only named the bright spots
Let's not talk about U.N. inaction on anything of substance, its denegration of any country that tries to do the U.N.'s job, etc.

The UN might never be transparent, but it is not exactly "useless". We certainly don't need anymore Communist leaders like U Thant to lead it, and I support Guatemala's entrance and promotion of voting status for its cooperation with sanctions against terrorist sponsoring Arab Nations, and not being cowed by Arab League bullies who see that civil war ravaged nation as a negligent consumer of oil.U.S.troops should never be sent to war by the UN, and former president Bush broke this conservative credo when ordering troops into Kuwait. I guess the former CIA Director and WWII veteran wanted to look like diplomat in chief too, but he didn't get away with it and lost re-election.

Really!? What is is useful for?
I haven't seen a single serious accomplishment out of this organization in years.

How come
Every jerk in the world seems to have a AK47 over there, and those who really need protection cannot get it?

Seems to me that some right minded people should form an off-shore association with the specific charter to arm every person in the whole of Africa. You know the old saying: "An armed village is a polite village". Buy up all the Saturday night specials that New York city has been confiscating the last ten years, and hand them out to whoever needs them in Darfur. Hard to rape a woman that has a thirty-eight.

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