Like the American inaction in Rwanda, which Bill Clinton called the worst mistake of his presidency, [New Yorker article] the Sudan crisis shows the ineffectiveness of the world’s governments, and the sickening indifference of its wealthiest citizens–us.UN Secretary General Kofi Annan blames “those valuing abstract notions of sovereignty over human lives; those whose response of solidarity puts them on the sides of governments and not people; and those who fear commercial interests could be jeopardized.”
It seems bankrupt leftist dogma of non-intervention has combined with some sort of twisted realpolitik to leave some of the world’s most vulnerable citizens to be slaughtered–again.
Shame on a world that could allow the Holocaust, the Killing Fields, ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia. Shame on a world where people can go see a film like Hotel Rwanda, and then ask “where we gonna eat?” Shame on us all for not taking swift, decisive, multi-lateral action on the current crisis, which has now been festering for over 3 years.
We all seemed to be able to get our act together within 3 weeks, and send a billion dollars in aid to tsunami victims. But when the requirement is to actually save lives, we act like we couldn’t care less. While the world reeled in horror from the Christmas 2004 Indian Ocean disaster, another was already underway which received barely a peep of coverage. While the tsunami was beyond all human control and reckoning, the Darfur atrocity was of our own making, and within our power to stop. We opened our hearts to people who were already dead while ignoring the ones whose desperate predicament would force us to examine our flawed premises and social contracts. This contrast shows how far we will go to avoid confronting our own hypocrisies and moral compromises. Shame.
Genocide. GENOCIDE. The fact that the world can allow it time and time again is the most damning evidence of the dark side of human nature. All while distracting ourselves that–horrors–Britney Spears might have shown a little flesh for the cameras.
UPDATE: The Darfur atrocities continue unabated, more than 15 years after I wrote this original article. And the world is still letting it happen. –Sean Prophet, August 2022