Thinking as a Hobby

Get Email Updates
Email Me

Admin Password

Remember Me

3477751 Curiosities served
Share on Facebook

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (12)

I've been in Florida on business the last few days...hence the lack of blogging. But now I'm back.

And on Sunday, your truly got a call into the Washington Journal on C-SPAN. The topic was something we've talked about a bit here, the crisis in the Sudan, and the guest was John Prendergast, a special advisor to the International Crisis Group, a non-governmental organization.

Here's the link to the Washington Journal archives (RealPlayer required). Click on "Washington Journal Entire Program (08/08/2004)", and if you just want to hear my Q&A, you can fast-forward to around 2:48:30.

Prendergast is talking about how, even though the Bush Administration has done more than anyone to raise awareness, we "haven't taken a single action".

I point out that we're the only ones who have sponsored a resolution in the U.N. to impose sanctions (which the guest is in favor of), while other nations have actively blocked our efforts. Prendergast says something about how the U.N. keeps giving Sudan more time (which is a direct result of obstruction on the issue by other countries), and then says something about how the sanctions are against the rebel groups.

The host gives me a chance to ask a follow-up, and I wish I'd been a little less nervous and a lot more confrontational. I say that I don't understand how you can impose sanctions against a rebel group (our ships surround them?), and then I state that I was under the understanding that the sanctions we were asking for were against the government of Sudan. He just says I'm misinformed.

Well, if we're talking about the resolution that the U.S. has been trying to pass recently, every news story I've ever read, has said we want sanctions against the government. Resolution 1556 does indicate:

7. Decides that all states shall take the necessary measures to prevent the
sale or supply, to all non-governmental entities and individuals, including the
Janjaweed, operating in the states of North Darfur, South Darfur and West Darfur,
by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of
arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military
vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the
aforementioned, whether or not originating in their territories;

8. Decides that all states shall take the necessary measures to prevent any
provision to the non-governmental entities and individuals identified in paragraph 7
operating in the states of North Darfur, South Darfur and West Darfur by their
nationals or from their territories of technical training or assistance related to the
provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of the items listed in paragraph 7 above;

But the problem is, we were talking about the actions of the United States, not those of the U.N. It's true that the U.N. has passed ineffectual resolutions regarding Sudan. The point is, the U.S. has been trying to pass resolutions against the government of Sudan, with sanctions (which the guest is in favor of), and we've been blocked at every step.

So he never addressed my point.

If I'd thought about it at the time, I also would have pointed out that while the U.S. government has given $130 million in aid, asked for by Kofi Annan, other countries have donated almost nothing.

So Prendergast's assertion that the U.S. has taken no action is lame, irresponsible, and flat-out untrue. Have we invaded the Sudan? No. But to say all we've done is raise awareness when we're the only ones activing pursuing sanctions, while we're one of the few supplying money for humanitarian aid and refugee relief...I think that's a gross misrepresentation of the truth.

Read/Post Comments (12)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.