Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Where's the Stick?

The Moose notes that when it comes to Darfur, the Bush Administration is all carrot.

The Washington Post reports,

"Nations and international organizations on Tuesday pledged $4.5 billion over three years to help southern Sudan build government institutions and alleviate poverty as it recovers from a two-decade civil war.

"The bulk of the money will come from the United States, which promised $1 billion to $2 billion, including humanitarian relief. Robert B. Zoellick, the deputy secretary of state, said continued support would depend on whether the Sudanese government acts quickly to end a separate conflict in Darfur, in western Sudan, which has killed tens of thousands of people since 2003.

"There is a chance to save this country," Zoellick said, calling the current moment "a time for choosing for Sudan." He said the country could take an upward spiral toward peace or a downward spiral "back into the depths."

It is a welcome development that the world is offering funds to address the misery of the people of Sudan. However, it is likely a false hope that this money alone will be an inducement for the government in Khartoum will mend its ways and halt its collaboration with the genocide in Darfur.

As the Coalition for Darfur points out,

"...though much if this aid is nominally contingent on Khartoum's ability and willingness to end the violence in Darfur, it remains to be seen if the international community is truly willing to risk undermining the long sought peace agreement by demanding an end to the genocide. For a year and a half, the UN and others have tread carefully, fearful that too much pressure on Khartoum would derail the north/south peace process. And Khartoum has relentlessly exploited that fear by, for instance, warning that the recent Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court "threatens Sudan's stability."

"And while the world focuses on protecting the peace agreement, Darfur continues to deteriorate."

It appears that the world community wants to take a relatively painless path to end the suffering in Darfur. Moreover, the Bush Administration, which has talked tough about the "evil empire", seems to leave the "stick" at home when it comes to the evil in Sudan.

And surely this should be a more important issue for the Democrats than John Bolton's temper tantrums.
-- Posted at 11:49 AM | Link to this post | Email this post