UN idiocy ragarding Darfur
I largely support the UN. While it may be ineffective at some things it does (such as stopping illegal invasions of other countries), it largely does good - UNICEF caring for the most vulnerable people in the world, another department providing AIDS education in the 3rd world, another providing some sort of infrastructure and organsisation to the massive movements of refugees. These are just some of the good things that it does. And with regards to its main aim - to promote dialogue between countries and to avert war, I think it's the best hope we have.
However, it is a little saddening when they release idiotic reports such as the one which was leaked to the press. The Independent carries the story here. To make a distinction between genocide and 'crimes against humanity with ethnic dimensions' is sickening. It downgrades the suffering of millions of black Africans in Sudan, and the consequences of that could be disastrous. It is an excuse for the world to turn its back once more, to ignore the vile actions carried out by the government and the Janjaweed militia.
Meanwhile, while all that is going on, a multi-national political struggle is taking place over the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The court was set up to judge on these international cases, but the Bush administration has declared it un-American, and fears that it will just become a stage for politically motivated trials of American officers and troops. Bush proposes a court be set up specifically for the Darfur crisis, similar to the Rwandan court in 1994. Lining up on the side of the ICC is Europe, China, Africa and Russia. A stand-off is developing, which only delays any action taking place.
While America should be applauded for taking notice of the Sudan crisis (not too much applause, it has failed in so much else, and it is quite hard to miss the Sudan crisis), it is wrong to waste time with this political wrangling over the court. Action needs to be taken, and quickly. Bush is worried that if the ICC is used for this case, and America supports it, then it will be seen that the US endorses the ICC's authority. Bush is questioning the impartiality of the court: he considers it to be too impartial - what is the point of an international court if you can't swing its decisions in favour of your country?
And meanwhile, people keep dying...