Thursday, July 22, 2004

Darfur and the UN

This whole editorial on the genocide in Sudan is worthwhile but note both the key fact and the key moral concept.

First, the key fact:

France is well-placed to lead such [a relief] effort: It has a military base in Chad, Sudan's western neighbor, and another in Djibouti to the east; it could offer airlift and other logistical support for delivery of relief. So far, however, France has offered only to help pay for one contract aircraft; it has offered no helicopters, even though the United Nations relief team appealed for six in March and has so far received none. The United Nations is short of food and other supplies also: It has appealed for $349 million worth of materials, but donors have come forward with a pitiful $145 million or so. Tightfistedness from France, Japan, Italy, Spain and Germany is the main reason for the shortfall. For example, France has donated just over $6 million to Darfur, according to the United Nations, whereas the United States has given $130 million and committed to an additional $170 million.

And here's the key moral concept:

It is as though, in the wake of the West's failure to prevent Rwanda's genocide, the gods of history are asking, okay, if we give you a second chance and months of warning, will you do better?

Thus far, the answer is a disgusting no.

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