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The UN and Sudan

2008-07-11

Category: politics

The troubles in the Sudan have been going on for some time now. The United Nations, in its impotence wisdom, have sent peace keeping troops from Africa to help stabilize the situation. Now the troops have suffered another serious attack and the Sudanese government is a large part of the problem. You can read a news story about it here.

Here is a brief recap of the problems. Islamic militants in Sudan have been slaughtering non-Muslim persons there. These slaughterees have been herded to refugee camps on the border. The Sudanese government has not only allowed this to happen but has been encouraging and assisting the militant groups. The government finally allowed UN peace keepers to come in, but has strictly limited the effectiveness of these forces. The result is that no one in Sudan is helped and UN peace keepers are dead and injured.

It is the typical stance of many people and governments, especially the United States government, that we do not condone the wholesale destruction of non-combatants unless there are huge profits to be made. The United States has also been generally opposed to Islamic militant activities. Based on this, I think most of us can agree that the slaughter of Sudanese refugees by the militants is a bad thing.

Normally I would suggest that bad guys should, where possible, be inundated with trade goods until they become too fat and indolent to be troublesome. When they have a difficult time deciding whether to perform an act of terrorism or to stay home to cram pizza down their throats while watching reality television, then they have been truly defeated. Sometimes, though, there is not enough time or the group in question is small enough that it is not practical to change them in this way.

In the case of the Sudan, we should have no difficulty loaning equipment to the African troops who are stationed there. Likewise, we should have no trouble providing them with satellite intelligence to tell them where everyone is and what to expect. Furthermore, there should be no problem for the United States to carpet bomb one little militant settlement just to show that we can and will. This extra bit of weight may be what the African troops need to get a little more cooperation from the Sudanese government.

It takes little time for U.S. forces to establish a landing strip or two and then inundate an area with supplies such as food and water. No one can complain too much about such an activity. Of course it would be nice if our troops weren't already stretched thin by the activities of the current administration. Still, we should be considering such aid to the U.N. troops who are on the ground already. It would go a long way to show these African troops that the United States isn't a whites only club.

None of this will come to pass. The typical American doesn't give a rat's back side about Africa or its people. Most Americans who think about the United Nations at all tend to think of it as a joke of an organization. No one really cares about the murder, the rape, the hardships faced by the refugees. There are reasons why I am not in charge.


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