Monday, January 29, 2007

Iraq vs. Darfur - Just What Is a Worthy Call to One's Conscience?

These pictures, taken at the University Temple United Methodist Church across the street from the UW law school, illustrate perfectly the moral bankruptcy, hypocrisy, and vapidity of the left's foreign policy worldview:

Around the country this weekend, tens of thousands of people marched in favor of the killing of countless Iraqis - the certain outcome if we were to retreat redeploy from that country. Whatever their signs may have said, it was clear what they wanted. They marched in favor of American defeat, in favor of the anti-democratic forces in Iraq, in favor of Fascist Iran's geopolitical goals. They literally spat at an OIF veteran who dared to disagree with them. Why? Because Bush lied about WMDs, because our presence there only creates more terrorists, and because we're only there for the oil anyway. (That none of these claims are in any way supported by facts have no impact, remember.) They claim to be anti-war, but the truth is that they don't care about war unless the US has something to do with it. Or at least, they care far less about mass killings than about being anti-Bush. A call to one's conscience indeed.

Why are the Christians in Darfur more worthy of being saved than the Kurds or Shi'ites were under Saddam's Iraq? Why is the sectarian violence (some could say civil war) in the Sudan worthy of sending American troops to battle al Qaeda, IEDs, and an "endless war" in a country without any real government, when at the same time, it is a moral imperative that we guarantee the same deadly results in Iraq by withdrawing immediately?

Because of the fact that Russia, France, India, and China buy substantial supplies of their oil from the same Sudanese government which is happily allowing the killings to continue (much as those governments prevented action against Saddam for the same reasons), why do they imagine the UN will do anything? And since it's by now obvious that these three permanent vetoes will prevent any kind of action in the Sudan, does this "Crisis of Conscience" require that we go in unilaterally? Or is intervention only morally justified if we can get a corrupt international debating club to sign off on it?, the organization the banner asks us to donate to, has four goals:
  • Strengthen the understaffed and overwhelmed African Union peackeeping force already in Darfur.
  • Push for the deployment of a strong UN peacekeeping force.
  • Increase humanitarian aid and ensure access for aid delivery.
  • Establish a no-fly zone.
How are these things any different than what we have tried and are trying to do in Iraq? How will they NOT result in US soldiers being killed, or in "distracting" us from the "real" war on terror? Wouldn't we be invading a sovereign nation that isn't a threat to us? There's no WMDs there! Wouldn't we just recruit more terrorists who can claim we're oppressing the Muslims because we are intervening on behalf of the Christians? Wouldn't we open ourselves up to accusations that we're only there to take the oil for ourselves? What's's exit strategy? If Bush is an incompetent buffoon who only makes things worse for the locals by his military interventions, why are they demanding he lead the charge? Are these people Chickenhawks for advocating Darfur intervention without volunteering to go there themselves?

Why is it that being a super power means we can only use force when it's NOT related to our national interests? Even if the absurd conspiratorial accusations against Bush lying and terrorizing his way into Iraq were true, how do people who think it is worth American lives to prevent mass sectarian violence not demand we stay there?

There are no answers to these questions, of course. Darfur is hip, Iraq is not. That's it. That's the real difference. And Darfur has the added bonus of "never going to happen" because of French, Chinese, and Russian interests there. Which means the high school idealists, college-know-it-all hippies, academics, and other assorted activists can feel good about "making a difference" without ever having to face the consequences which come with the best intentioned humanitarian interventions.

I would love to intervene in the Sudan. I wish we had the military to do it. Unfortunately, our military is too small to solve every world problem at once. So how about we finish solidifying our victories for freedom and human rights against murderous oppressors where we already are first? Don't think success in Iraq will be able to be ignored by the Sudanese thugs who know they're next on the radar...
"Blessed are the Peacemakers" indeed. Too bad neither this church, nor the "anti-war" crowd, nor the defeatists in Congress can claim such a title.


PubliusRex said...

The Mercedes parked in front of the Church is a nice touch. I love the leftist/socialist whose "conscience" demands German-engineered luxury.

Being enlightened coastal liberals, I am sure they demand this luxury IN SPITE of Daimler Benz's role in the holocaust.

Ivan said...

No-fly zone? Talk about freakin' clueless. I've spent countless hours in an F-16 patrolling Iraqi No-Fly zones over the years. Sudan is killing African Christians on the ground with machetes and guns...on horseback. Throw in an occasional chopper. A "No-Fly" zone would be just the exact symbolic gesture they like, while doing absolutely nothing to stop the genocide. Now, let me take an F-16 and strafe and bomb (with cluster bombs even!!) the Janjaweed, and we might get somewhere.

majormike said...

Darfur a Worthy Call to One's Conscience - only since Muslims were attacked.
Darfur has become the darling of the left only since the civil war in Sudan spread from a mere Muslim (arab) v. Christian (black) battle to a Muslim (arab) v. Muslim (black) conflict. In 1983, the Muslim v. Christian civil war began, and supposedly was concluded with the signing of a peace treaty in 2005. During the civil war there was famine, taking of slaves, rape and murder of over 2 million people. During this, very little hue and cry was made for the Christians in Sudan. But since 2003 when the conflict spread to a Muslim v. Muslim conflict, the Darfur crisis has been getting the attention of the left.
I do not begrudge the attention given to the conflict in Darfur. It is a vile and should be stopped. However, I do find it ironic that those people who cared little for the Christians in Sudan are now demanding that something be done. Little has changed - the crimes alleged in Darfur, are no different than the ones that occurred - the only difference is that there is a new victim.

Anonymous said...

A Civil War based on oil (PetroChina) where there is sectarian violence and ethnic cleansing.

I'm not talking about Iraq, I'm talking about Darfur. If there is no war for oil. Then there should be no war for oil regardless of location.

Darfur = war for oil (oil for China)

Marvin said...

If we did intervene militarily in Darfur, one month later this same crowd would be protesting our actions in Darfur.

Archie T said...

A great post on a case study of double standards that I have long found grating.

I hate plug my own blog, but I wrote a series of posts on left-Darfur hypocrisy. Here's the post that links to all of them:

Archie T said...

Sorry, the link on my Darfur posts didn't work. Second take:

Why Leftists Fail to Understand Darfur

Anonymous said...

No way on Darfur. This is just like Iraq, Go back 5 or 10 years and you can see all sorts of documentary pap produced about how terrible the Iraqis were suffering under Saddam. Of course, thats all out the window now. If we go into Darfur, the same thing will happen.

No thanks. Let the UN do it

Orrin Johnson said...

The UN doesn't "do" anything. That's the point. "Let the UN do it" is the exactly the same thing as, "Let them die - not my problem" - just like "Out of Iraq now!" is exactly the same as "Let them die - not my problem."

A fair (if harsh) argument, but let's be honest about the outcome here. I'm not arguing we could or should run headlong into Darfur today (although I'd like to), but let's not pretend it's not a choice without consequence, as if there was another entity out there who is either willing or able to save those lives when we turn our backs.

Anonymous said...

In this story you mention that Christians are being killed by Muslims however the victims are actually black Muslims being killed by Arab Muslims. Another example of Muslim on Muslim violence that is prevelent in Iraq, Gaza etc and also an example of the esteem that Black people are held in by their Arab brothers.

walkercolt said...

Do your recent history research - as stated above, there has been war in Sudan since '83 - and it was a war against the largely black Christian south up until the government went to war against the black Muslim population in Dafur. One thing not mentioned previously is that the south became well armed and began putting up effective resistance, which IMHO is why the government of Sudan went after Dafur - cowards don't like it when victims can shoot back.

TR said...

Don't forget the "anti-war" protestors were out last year calling for an invasion of Sudan, an oil-rich, predominantly Muslim country, with suspected ties to al-Qaida and WMDs, that’s experiencing genocide.

UWLawschoolhunk99 said...

Great Post Orrin, I loved it and I love walking across the street to see the same sights everyday, its a great stop on the way to the LaRouche cronies.

jillian said...

WONDERFUL post. It absolutely made my day.

Anonymous said...


I am aware of the history, I was only pointing out that the current violence which is the subject of the protests being discussed is Muslim on Muslim.

I agree with this post 100% and have often thought about the obvious hypocrisy of the protesters.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you guys sure do hate a lot. Keep yopu warm or something?

Anonymous said...

"One thing not mentioned previously is that the south became well armed and began putting up effective resistance, which IMHO is why the government of Sudan went after Dafur - cowards don't like it when victims can shoot back."

Walkercolt, the 'shooting back' included the massacre of 'arab' merchants and their families amongst other atrocities. Sudan has been suffering a horrific civil war that dates back to independence in 56, and your comments merely underline your ignorance of my country's historic struggle with the hangovers of colonisation. Ethnicity has always been a blurry and difficult subject in Sudan that it is impossible to discuss in terms of 'arab' and 'black'.

If we're going to start talking abou t 'cowards', how about Americans using cluster bombs and other weapons that kill and maim civilians in Iraq? How about Clinton bombing a medical factory in Khartoum accused of manufacturing chemical weapons (later of course found to be a mistake)