Friday, June 25, 2004


I've been reading a steady trickle of articles about Sudan over the years, none of them flattering. First it was fighting in southern Sudan, and now Darfur, in which the battle appears to be more one-sided and possibly even more vicious:
Half a million people have been uprooted, with their villages burned to the ground, and 100,000 (the lucky ones) have taken refuge across the border in Chad. Ten thousand, and perhaps far more, have been murdered outright. Rape is ubiquitous; victims are often scarred or branded to make their shame permanent. Wells are poisoned to make sure the survivors will not survive long. When those uprooted are unable to plant crops in the rainy season, which has recently begun, starvation will threaten the region's entire population of 5 million. And this is not, as the Sudanese government insists, the work of mere rogue militias; government jets have been seen strafing villages in support of the marauders.
This is isn't even close to the first article I read about Darfur, but it's the straw that broke the camel's back. Stopping this atrocity is a cause worthy of Western military might. Sudan needs to be given an ultimatum. If threats don't work, then threats must be carried out, ideally with troops from countries that aren't militarily stretched thin in Iraq.

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