May 2, 2006

A Handy Club For Bush-Bashing

No one has done more to try to end the genocide in Sudan than George Bush and the United States, as documented by Nina Shea in this terrific piece at NRO. And George Clooney's activism in the cause of the people of Darfur is tarnished by his refusal to acknowledge that, and to place the blame for the killing where it belongs.

The genocide could be ended tomorrow by the United States military. But nobody, least of all Clooney, is suggesting sending in the Marines...

...So when Clooney urges a “multi-national” peace keeping force going into Darfur, he must be envisioning a large and powerful army legitimized by the inclusion of troops from other Muslim and Arab nations and sanctioned by the United Nations’ Security Council. And Bush would then have to be blamed for failing to persuade the Arab League and China to vote against their own economic interests in order to defend the human rights of insignificant, impoverished African tribes against the oil-rich Khartoum regime.

Never before has either China or the Arab League based its foreign policy on altruism. It would be remarkable if these dictatorships suddenly sacrificed self-interest in order to defend human rights that they routinely disregard within their own borders. It was the presence of China and various distinguished members of the Arab League on the U.N. Commission on Human Rights that discredited that body and caused it to be disbanded earlier this year. For this group, “never again” has no meaning. Clooney’s “solution” is preposterous.

Yet Clooney does not seem to have any intention of criticizing these countries—in his view, attribution of blame is to be reserved almost exclusively for the Bush administration. Rarely does he criticize any other government by name—not even the government of Sudan, the author of the genocide. His discussion of the facts of Darfur focuses on the victims and on the United States, not on the perpetrators in Sudan and their abettors in China, the Arab League, and the U.N.

Posted by dan at May 2, 2006 1:20 PM