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Darfur and Sanctions

We've established that Boston is the sports capital of the world. It has undefeated Boston College, whose Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Matt Ryan got hot on Thursday and destroyed Virginia Tech along with remaining believers in the prevent defense; it has the undefeated professional Patriots who annihilated the Redskins yesterday, and it has the no-longer-cursed World Series champion Red Sox, who won in four.

Now to the more significant stuff of the day. Michael Abramowitz reports that many of those who have tracked the conflict in Darfur say President Bush has proven unable to mobilize his bureaucracy or the international community to address the issue, and Steven Mufson and Robin Wright tell us that analysts believe Iran is likely to withstand the new U.S. sanctions as other countries that need oil and other banking partners emerge to at least partially replace trade and financial constraints that the sanctions impose.

Our readers are of several minds on both of these stories; some see the humanitarian crisis in Darfur as demanding more attention, others think we should mind our own business and others note that we are rather overextended as it is. As for Iran, the comment stream includes debate on whether the U.S. is taking an unwise path, a concern that this could lead to war and the usual criticisms our RWC (Readers Who Comment) have about the Bush Administration's foreign policy.

We'll start with Darfur and dcehlk comment that "The Darfur crisis points up the need for a 'rapid reaction' POLICY force within this, and future, presidential administrations designed to treat (highly time-sensitive) instances of genocide."

But pgr88 expressed an isolationist view in writing, "Help Iraqis free themselves from murderous rule? BAD! Help Darfuris free themselves from murderous rule? GOOD! Forget the evangelizing on both the left and the right, and why don't we just leave all of them alone to sort it out for themselves?"

And Simon23p asked, "What the heck are we supposed to do anyways? We can't send troops, and we can't compel other people to send troops. We've got our own extremely difficult problems."

But negotiator6, who said he worked in Central Sudan in 2002 in an earlier crisis, asked, "How is it the world just stands by to these horrific events. One begins to loose faith in human nature; as one dedicated NGO [Non-Governmental Organization] phrased to me...'some men have truly black hearts..' "

And cjones210 was one of several who saw a pattern in writing, "Anything surprising about this? Did Bush follow through with his promises to New Orleans? Did he follow through with his administrations promises to our veterns in Walter Reed?..."

Last word on this topic to tiger_caddy_31, who said, "Sure. My daughter already went to Iraq and got shot at, let's send her to this hole in the wall so she can dodge lead again."

On the question of the effectiveness of new U.S. sanctions against Iran, we'll start with SarahBB's sarcasm in writing, "Gee, sanctions imposed on Thursday and its Monday already and they still aren't working! Nothing left to do if you are a kool aid drinking neocon but invade."

w04equals666 said, "let's see..economic pressure on a third world country..almost as good a plan as invading a country and then setting up an occupation army with less than 2 troops per square mile...goin' be lot's of success with this plan..."

fishingriver said, "Mission Accomplished[.] Bush imposes sanctions and oil goes up to $92.00 a barrel immediately... Bush is going to make it so that it becomes impossible to deal with Iran through diplomacy. Even for the next president. The only option will be war..."

lwps said, "Next we will criticize them for their economic backwardness and inability to feed their own children. I have seen this movie so many times I am sick of it."

rwbiles1 said that "Robin Wright and the WaPo offers headlines that are critical of the current administration, but the text of her reports ususally indicate how potentially positive the administration's decision could be. The spin for the reader is always that the administration has chosen the wrong path, but the story usually shows that the admininstration's approach has about the same chance of working as not working."

And mgibbosh wrote, "Again we seem to be a day late and a dollar short in our actions. Has any one considered that sanctions may increase the number of terrorist with enmity toward the U.S. because we could be considered the cause of their increased misery."

All comments on the Iran article are here.

All comments on the Darfur article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  October 29, 2007; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Darfur  
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Posted by: William Booker | November 21, 2007 6:44 PM | Report abuse

When one of my readers expressed concern over my failure to deal with Apartheid, I was taken aback. While politics forms part of my mandate I was surprised to see that I had missed this pivotal event in our country's history.

The Holocaust, Apartheid and the many other stains on the face of humanity escape unnoticed, primarily, in my humble opinion, because action would require leaving our comfort zone, accepting responsibility and possibly facing danger.

Darfur and the refusal to take substantial steps in ending the genocide is inexcusable. No matter what the purported reason therefore.

Posted by: Traps | October 31, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Darfur may well have oil, the country of Sudan most certainly does, which is why China, its biggest customer, supports the government of Sudan that supports the genocide. American oil companies are not players in Sudan, because Sudan is the subject yet another unilateral embargo by the United States, so the oil companies active there are from China and other countries. So while the old fields of Sudan are not being developed with the very best technology and equipment, they're still being developed well enough to make the leaders of Sudan rich enough that they don't have to listen to the United States while they're under Chinese protection.

Posted by: Micheal Deal | October 30, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Does Darfur have oil wells? If not, why bother? The US talks about decency but it is $$ that really matter.

One thing that may stop Bush turning on Iraq is that the Iraqis will turn off their oil wells and tell the West to walk to the Bankruptcy Courts.

DARFUR: The world does not care very much about poor people who are harassed by cruel troops. Year in and year out they are left to suffer. So much for the West's proclamations that its Christianity is superior to the religions practised by others. The Christian right is more interested in its followers having credit cards that can be used to send in donations so that the Pastors can wear expensive suits, live in big houses, have their hair permed and fly away in their corporate jets.

Hallelujah America!

Posted by: Robert James | October 30, 2007 3:52 AM | Report abuse

Iraq = huge profits for American companies
Darfur = no profilts for American companies
Need to know anything else?

Posted by: Awake | October 29, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

By now every thing is clear for white hearted people, it is the Darfurian groups who doesnt want peace to happen. Their irreponsible leaders who are benefiting from the continuation of this crisis, living in luxurious hotels and they oppose any effort to make peace, like what is happening in LYIBIA. Keep talking about genocide will not make peace to happen.They need to be forced to get to peace talks in order to bring women and children back home before leaving forginers to kidnaping our innocent children, like what the French group did while they are keeping false leader in Paris.

Posted by: ahmed | October 29, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

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