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House Resolution on the Sudan

2006-04-09

Category: politics

Kudos to the House of Representatives for taking a step in the right direction regarding the Sudan. Last week HR 3127 passed 416 to 3 to impose economic sanctions on the country. They also want to limit visas for the Sudanese officials. The resolution would lend support to African peace keepers but would commit no US troops. Now, we just have to wait for the Senate to pass it as well (they'll get back to work after Easter).

For quite a while now, Muslim militants have been engaged in genocide in the Sudan. The Sudanese government claims that they are trying to stop the killing. Most of these attempts have involved giving weapons to the militants as well as occasional fire support. Nothing like the lend of a few armed helicopters to say, "Hey, stop that."

The United Nations has issued a couple of proclamations. They have threatened to write even more harshly worded proclamations in the future if things don't improve. There are even rumors that they may use a naughty word.

This issue does cause an ethical dilemma, for me anyway. As a general rule, I don't want my government getting involved in other country's problems. On the other hand, I hate to stand aside while innocent people are slaughtered. (I'm aware that this is happening in places other than the Sudan, I'm just commenting on this because of the House resolution.) Withholding food from the Sudanese government seems like a good idea.

It's true that this ethnic and religious violence has been going on since the mid twentieth century. Much of this was actual civil war. I guess I don't feel as bad about two sides fighting a war as opposed to one side wiping out villages full of unarmed people. At some point, these people are going to have to modernize and stop killing each other in large numbers.

So that's that. I'm guessing that the Senate will pass their part if it; who wants to come across as pro-genocide. In reality it is unlikely that the resolution will have any effect on the situation. Still, I like the idea that people are paying attention.


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