With Andy Garcia as a Janjaweed Strongman?

Is George Clooney dropping hints about what the big job will be for the gang in Ocean's 13? The star actor and director has been touring Chad and Sudan. His trusty sidekick? Uncle Father Nick Clooney, the erstwhile American Movie Classics host and brother of singing legend Rosemary. Clooney is working both sides of the aisle in an effort to get the United States to stop the genocide in Darfur.

I like Clooney and I don't want to make the umpteenth cheap shot about Hollywood stars and their political campaigns. I think military intervention in Darfur is a non-starter, and I'm glad about that. But what's the clear categorical distinction between intervening in Iraq (which I think it's fair to say Clooney and many other Darfur hawks opposed) and this one? Why does it always seem like progressives support any intervention that clearly does not advance any American interests? (I don't think invading Iraq advanced our national interests, but people made that case, which you definitely can't in the case of Sudan.)

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    Its that whole genocide thing. Progressives hate that shit.

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    The only categorically good acts are those that have no self interested motivations. Thankfully, I'm dead and have little control over the US Military.

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    Saddam did most of his killing off camera.

    Maybe it was because he wasn't killing Blacks, er African-Americans, er, African-Africans.

  • ||

    Its that whole genocide thing. Progressives hate that shit.


    They didn't complain when it happened in Iraq.

  • alkali||

    The distinction is this: The genocide in Darfur is ongoing and could to some extent be prevented. Going to war in Iraq in 2002 to punish Saddam for genocidal acts in the late 1980s can't undo the genocide.

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    Why does it always seem like progressives support any intervention that clearly does not advance any American interests?

    Well, that's the $19.99 question, isn't it? Guilt? False modesty? Hatred of America? My money's on guilt. Which would be too bad, since guilt is, in my opinion, totally overused as an emotion. It's so, you know, two millenia ago.

  • R C Dean||

    I think military intervention in Darfur is a non-starter, and I'm glad about that.

    I bet the people being gunned down and macheted have a different opinion.

    Although the ones doing the killing probably agree.

  • Captain Holly||

    Its that whole genocide thing. Progressives hate that shit

    So that's why Bill Clinton and the UN were so eager to get involved in Rwanda...

  • Wilbur Larch||

    So you don't care about genocide.

    Perhaps you do, if I'd tell you that Sudan has some oil. Perhaps an intervention is now in the US interest.

    I am in Europe and can't attend the Darfur rallies across the U.S. on April 30th. Therefore I am organizing an online rally for Darfur together with many other German Bloggers.

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    So that's why Bill Clinton and the UN were so eager to get involved in Rwanda...]

    They're still doing penance for that--Albright too. ...and is anyone suggesting that Hollywood didn't want to go into Rwanda? I don't remember them being all itchy to go, but I don't remember them being against it either.

    Anyway, if Clooney really does inflict an Oceans 13 on us, then in its own right, that should qualify as some kind of crime against humanity.

  • R C Dean||

    Its that whole genocide thing. Progressives hate that shit.

    Except when they don't, of course. In addition to Rwanda, lets not forget Cambodia. Certainly the transnational progressives at the UN have yet to meet a genocide they couldn't tolerate.

    Of the three major genocides since WWII, the only meaningful intervention was the day-late, dollar-short intervention by the US and NATO in Bosnia.

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    Let's see: no weapons of mass destruction in Darfur, and ... no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. You're right, they're about the same. Those damn progressives.

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    Anyway, if Clooney really does inflict an Oceans 13 on us, then in its own right, that should qualify as some kind of crime against humanity.

    Invade Hollywood! Clooney is within three years of possessing WMDS! (What -- More Damn Sequels?!)

    Why does it always seem like progressives support any intervention that clearly does not advance any American interests?

    The answer is so simple, you guys have almost said it, but not quite.

    If the intervention doesn't end up doing Americans any good, then it is unselfish, and therefore good.

    If the intervention might conceivably end up doing any Americans any good -- especially American businesses -- then it is tainted, bad, and a war for profit. Profit is the root of all evil. There is nothing any foreign dictator could do that is worse than Americans obtaining a profit.

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    "So that's why Bill Clinton and the UN were so eager to get involved in Rwanda..."

    Ha! I see you're making the all too common mistake of lumping Bill Clinton in with the Progressive Movement. The difference between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush is that Clinton spent an hour at a Rwandan airport in the late 90s to "feel their pain" and offer an empty apology for doing nothing. He also cited his inaction as one of his two biggest failures as President. Bush, on the other hand, said in the 2000 debates that the Clinton administration got Rwanda right! This was at the time when Bush Jr. also called for a more "humble" foreign policy.

    Although I'm something of a social democrat/left-winger, I do find it odd to see others on the opposite end of the political spectrum use that awful word -- "Progressive." Perhaps it's to make up for all the crap that "liberals" have been getting for the last 20 years .

    Stopping or preventing genocide in Darfur would have at least given the U.S. some measure of credibility in a "blood for no oil" humanitarian foreign policy. Bush would have us believe that he went from agreeing with Clinton inaction in Rwanda to military humanism in Iraq (while doing nothing about on-going genocide in Sudan).

    Also, I find it odd so-called "libertarians" would condemn the inability of the U.N. to act. This is like upon discovering a transitional form, Creationists triumphantly claiming, "aha! now you have to account for TWO MORE organisms." The U.N. is a weak institution; completely emasculated. If it did have power to interfere in the internal affairs of a country, then it would undermine "state sovereignty," which is not something the U.S. will tolerate (any more than it will tolerate an international criminal court). Major powers are not held accountable for their crimes.

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    Tim,

    You said it yourself, "military intervention in Darfur is a non-starter." Therefore, it's OK to support, without fear of being held accountable.

    "Progressives" (they've EARNED those quotation marks) distrust and fear individual accountability - hence their disdain for business success, affinity for the dispossessed, embrace of races, groups, quotas and collectives, and acceptance of any excuse for bad conduct.

    It didn't used to apply to foreign policy, but now it does.

    I don't like Clooney (preening, smug, dim, etc.), but I wish him well on this one.

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    Also, I find it odd so-called "libertarians" would condemn the inability of the U.N. to act.

    Bear with us, Cain. We're not like Hollywood--we don't have any one voice that speaks for all of us.

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    They didn't complain when it happened in Iraq.

    Actually, they did complain when the sanctions were killing countless innocent Iraqis.

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    So, if military intervention in Darfur is a non-starter, what would you call a starter? I'm not arguing in favor of military intervention; it's just that what has been and continues to happen over there is sickening and the idea of doing nothing is fairly sickening too, so I'd love to hear some alternatives to both inaction and military action.

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    Airdrop pistols.

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    "Uncle Nick Clooney"

    Er no, dumbasses. Nick Clooney is George Clooney's FATHER.

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    Anon writes:"Actually, they did complain when the sanctions were killing countless innocent Iraqis."

    If I recall correctly, some years ago _Reason_ (prior to 9/11), had a story saying the sanctions estimated by "Progressives" were grossly overstated.

    "Bear with us, Cain. We're not like Hollywood--we don't have any one voice that speaks for all of us."

    Ken, I realize "libertarians" are not in uniform agreement on foreign policy (or anything else for that matter). However, isn't it fair to say there is a broad consensus against the U.N.? Moreover, "libertarian" animus toward the U.N. does not stem from institution's ineffectiveness vis-a-vis genocide...?

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    some alternatives to both inaction and military action

    Take up a collection and hire a mercenary company - hell, I'd chip in a few bucks.

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    I don't have much use for the UN, but I'm pragmatic. Maybe you've heard the one about the economics professor and the student? ...The student says, "Hey, there's a $20 bill on the ground!" ...blah, blah, blah.

    In this case, pragmatism's about cost and benefit. It seems to me that the UN could have done an awful lot in Rwanda without a whole lot of effort. We spend a tremendous amount of money on the UN, and it's not good for much. ...but if we're payin' for it, we might as well use it for what it's good for.

    Boy, I wish we could use them as an exit strategy in...

    P.S. If you'd asked me what single voice spoke for all of Hollywood, I would have answered that it was a revolving leadership between Melissa Gilbert, Al Rosenberg and joe. (Just kidding joe!)

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    Jarod and peachy,
    What really deserves discussing is how governments prevent the stopping of genocides.
    I can't imagine worldwide anarchy allowing genocide... unless a whole bunch of people actually NEEDED killing.
    Hey, it could happen.

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    Is it really the business of an outside government to stop a genocide? Unless there is a compelling national interest (access to oil, strategic location, threat to the stability of a larger region etc), I would say no - a government's responsibility is to its own citizens alone. (The only exception - and this would really fall under national interest as well - is 'public relations'; it may be more damaging to a state's policy in the long-term to not take action.) By the same token, governments should get out of the way and let private citizens take whatever actions they desire on their own account - and I was entirely serious about hiring mercenaries. Darfur strikes me as a situation that won't be solved without killing, and shouldn't we libertarians support a free-market solution?

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    peachy,
    I'd chip in more than a few bucks for what you're advocating, but, isn't it illegal?

    Don't you just hate that?

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    No doubt... but I'm also pretty sure you could find a way around the law if you really desired. What are off-shore banks and front corporations for, after all?

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    Global Private Security.... it's the future!! Competition in the provision of effective conflict resolution solutions and state force used only in state interest (and any use of that force clearly perceived as self interest due to the alternative secutrity mechansims available). It'd be fascinating...

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    wayaway,
    Conflict resolution: Let the chips fall where they may.

    peachy,
    Finding a way around the law--even for what they really desire--doesn't have much appeal for Catholics.

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    Really wasn't trying to start a partisan flame war. Probably would have happened anyway.

  • Thomas Paine's Goiter||

    But what's the clear categorical distinction between intervening in Iraq (which I think it's fair to say Clooney and many other Darfur hawks opposed) and this one?

    Because Darfur is THEIR cause. Iraq was Darth Vader's.

  • Chris Wage||


    They didn't complain when it happened in Iraq



    Do you honestly believe this to be true? HRW and others were petitioning for action during and after Anfal, when there was still a chance to actually do something.

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    Fair enough, Ruthless - although those chips tend to fall not so much where they may as where they're pushed.

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    It's interesting.

    Some celebrity comes out in support of doing something about a morally dispicable situation...like the one in Darfur.

    And the best you can come up with is that they didn't oppose some other morally dispicable siuation?

    Pathetic.

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    But what's the clear categorical distinction between intervening in Iraq (which I think it's fair to say Clooney and many other Darfur hawks opposed) and this one?
    The level of intervention. Clooney isn't calling for a full-scale invasion of Sudan. I may be missing something, but I didn't see him calling for US military intervention at all... just a vague call for us to do something, possibly via the UN.

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    alkali,

    The distinction is this: The genocide in Darfur is ongoing and could to some extent be prevented. Going to war in Iraq in 2002 to punish Saddam for genocidal acts in the late 1980s can't undo the genocide.

    That makes absolutely no sense. Which is precisely the problem with liberal foreign policy. You think Saddam wasn't still murdering people after the late 1980's? Oh ye of great liberal faith! Surely you are heaven bound.

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    Cain,

    Ken, I realize "libertarians" are not in uniform agreement on foreign policy (or anything else for that matter). However, isn't it fair to say there is a broad consensus against the U.N.? Moreover, "libertarian" animus toward the U.N. does not stem from institution's ineffectiveness vis-a-vis genocide...?

    I can only wish there was a broad consensus against the UN among us libertarians. But I (as a libertarian who has no use for the UN) don't see the consensus.

    Libertarians are at least as likely to be awed by the UN as not. If you'd been around here in the days leading up to the Iraq invasion you'd have seen us nicely split on the UN.

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    btw, I think Clooney is looney, but I'd love to see him advocate the mercenary solution. He could put his money where his mouth is by seeding the fund.

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    I think a minimalist libertarian response to genocide would be to land some planes (with private donations, of course), mercenaries to guard the planes (with private donations, of course), let any unarmed person who wants to get the hell out onto the planes, bring them back to the US, and help them start new lives with the assistance of private charity.

    Basically, a minimalist libertarian approach to genocide would be to say "Give us your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...."

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    What 'peachy' said.

    Therefore I am organizing an online rally for Darfur together with many other German Bloggers.
    That'll teach those naughty genocide dudes! Throw in some of those deadly DoS attacks while you're at it.

    He could put his money where his mouth is by seeding the fund.
    He could put himself where is mouth is by going over there and shooting some Bad Guys.

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    I'm with you too, thoreau, but, once again, let's note how governments on both sides would put up every roadblock imaginable.

  • digamma||

    Its that whole genocide thing. Progressives hate that shit.

    They didn't complain when it happened in Iraq.


    And Saddam's buddies in the Reagan administration did?

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    "I think military intervention in Darfur is a non-starter..." There's already military intervention in Darfur. An African Union protective force, backed to a certain degree by the West, is on the ground deterring attacks. Operation Overlord it ain't, but it's something.


    "But what's the clear categorical distinction between intervening in Iraq (which I think it's fair to say Clooney and many other Darfur hawks opposed) and this one?" I can't speak for all "progressives," but the difference in my mind is the likelihood of success. Stopping Janjaweed attacks is a straightforward military mission that could probably be accomplished with a handful of modern infantry battalions and a squadron of fighters.

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    Also, as has been said before, genocide in Darfur is ongoing, while it most assuredly was not ongoing in Iraq in 2002-2003.

    The "intervention" Clooney is calling for would probably look a whole lot like the no fly/no drive zone that so effectly prevented Saddam's depredations against the Kurds for the years before the Iraq invasion.

    Not a very hard question, really.

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    joe,
    I suspect many here agree with you that stopping the genocide in Darfur would be a snap compared to the Crusades the neocons already have us embarked upon.
    The frustrating thing is that it would be so easy to stop, private citizens in the US could stop it... if governments--especially the USA--would just get the fuck out of the way. But that is out of the question.

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    Also, given how deeply progressives were split on intervention in the Balkans during the 1990s - some were urging intervention on anti-genocide grounds even before Clinton ordered the airstrikes that ended the Bosnian War, while others opposed intervention on pacifist and anti-imperialist grounds even during the Kosovo operations - it's a stretch to portray them as basing their position on opposition to the US national interest.

    Either some of them were supporting a war that was being fought partially to protect our national interest (aggressive Serbian nationalism backed by the Russians actually killed one to two Americans last century, you know), or some of them opposed a war that was being fought for humanitarian reasons alone and in no way advanced our national interest.

    This lazy, self-serving conclusion about progressives' foreign policy instincts reminds me of Martin Peretz always being forced, sadly and with a sigh, to conclude that his opponents are antisemitic.

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    Ruthless,

    Even the Liberal New Republic (I believe it says that on the masthead now) ran an article a couple weeks ago about a group of progressives that was trying to do just that, and the problems they were having.

    Literally, imagine a bakesale to buy spare parts for a military helicopter.

  • Thomas Paine's Goiter||

    He could put himself where is mouth is by going over there and shooting some Bad Guys.

    What is it that the demoprogreserals say about the so-called "Chickenhawks"? "If you want to war in Iraq but not fight yourself, then you're a chickenhawk!"

    Well, if George isn't willing to go shoot bad guys and intervene himself, he's a demoprogreseralhawk.

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    I was thinking just that thing. But when the progressives were suggesting the rich and influential fight their own battle, they certainly weren�t suggesting their rich and influential.

    �Literally, imagine a bakesale to buy spare parts for a military helicopter.�

    WTF. We are talking about guys on horses with rifles. I�m confident Clooney could afford one of each.

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    "If you want to (start a) war in Iraq but not fight yourself, then you're a chickenhawk!"

    No, that's not it. That's not what chickenhawk means at all. It's more like, "If you want to impugn other people's patriotism and courage, if you want to declare those who disagree with you as lacking the character to fight for what is right, but you won't fight yourself, then you're a chickenhawk."

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    pigwiggle,

    The Sudanese military uses attack helicopters to provide air support (meaning, shell the hell out of the targetted village) before and during the ground assaults by the janjaweed.

    You seem to know about as much about this conflict as you do about the beliefs of progressives.

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    Well joe, from what I have read the Sudanese governments involvement has largely been limited to financial support and training for the ethnic militias. The UN has documented a few joint operations, but they have been a minority of raids.

    Anyway, if you are right I suppose you�re off the hook. Not that you and your ilk would be willing to otherwise put yourself in place of the folks you are asking to intervene on your behalf. That�s the point; when are you signing up for your blue helmet?

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    I would if they needed me, pigwiggle. But they don't. There are plentiful troops available for the mission. All that's lacking is the will and the money, both of which I've subcontracted my government, as significant personal expense, to provide.

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    As far as my "ilk," several DEMOCRATIC Congressmen just went to the pokey for protesting in front of the Sudanese embassy, and Clooney is on the ground in Sudan, which has arrested American activists in the past.

    Admittedly, it doesn't have the raw sense of personal danger that calling your opponents traitors and cowards on a blog might bring, but my ilk are holding their end up pretty well, I'd say.

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    joe, your moral obligation to act isn't contingent on the prevailing political will.

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    No, but the form of action that is appropriate is contingent on the circumstances.

    Right now, for example, it isn't necessary for me to airdrop into France, or join the US Army, to resist Naziism. If I were to sign up for the Army, and cease entirely to support intervention in Darfur as an active citizen in a democratic republic, I would not only fail to advance the cause of Darfurian salvation, but set it back - to a very small degree, obviously (I don't have Condi Rice on speed dial), but we're talking about principles here.

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    There are plentiful troops available for the mission. All that's lacking is the will and the money, both of which I've subcontracted my government, at significant personal expense, to provide.

    I think this is going to be one of those issues where joe and us libertoids have to agree to disagree. From Messieur Cavanaugh down to your humble interlocutor, the libertarian and minarchist position is that taxpayer funded killing should only be undertaken when the state the taxpayers fund gets something concrete out of it. On the the other hand, we generally support the right to privately funded killing (and the US government has been known to turn the proverbial blind eye on occasion - the decisive 1995 operations against the Bosnian Serbs, for example.)

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    Peachy,

    What does "concrete" mean?

    $$$?

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    In the following, I'm going to avoid the question of whether we should or shouldn't enter Darfur, mainly because I'm a coward. But also for space reasons. Yes...space...that'll do.

    If we did intervene, wouldn't the people we'd be shooting at be Muslims? There might be a lot of hesitancy to engage another Muslim "enemy" while we're already fighting in Iraq. Even assuming we have the military headroom to take someone else on, the propaganda value for Al-Queda, et.al. might be seen as too great ("See! We told you they just want to kill Muslims!)

    Hasn't the UN soldiery had a problem with enslaving women and using them for sex? This might be preferable to death for the women, but once again, the thought of bad PR might be enough to dissuade an already embattled Kofi Annan from wanting to add more to his plate.

    One potential solution would be getting our Nato pals currently sitting out Iraq to doing something. If they aren't in Iraq, the "new crusade" line of propaganda would have less effect. Especially if there were token forces from Muslim countries (e.g., Egypt, Turkey).

    imagine a bakesale to buy spare parts for a military helicopter.

    Eisenhower's estate might sue for intellectual property infringment.

    BTW, sorry for the use of passive voice. I'm passive-aggresive, so it just comes naturally.

  • ||

    Hasn't the UN soldiery had a problem with enslaving women and using them for sex? This might be preferable to death for the women, but once again, the thought of bad PR might be enough to dissuade an already embattled Kofi Annan from wanting to add more to his plate.

    In case it wasn't clear, I do not view death or sexual enslavement as good options for anyone, merely the two most likely ones respectively if 1) no one intervenes, or 2) if only the UN intervenes.

    If anyone hasn't heard about the UN soldiers.

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    In regards to whether it's any of our business what's going on elsewhere in the world, I came to libertarianism by way of the Reagan revolution, and while I've since learned to regret the nature of our involvement in places like Central America, it seems to me that nuclear proliferation may bring yet another Cold War upon us. ...this time with an enemy that's more dispersed.

    Should that come to pass, and given enough time, it appears almost inevitable, I think it would blur the distinction between foreign engagement and self-defense--self-defense being one of the few things I, as a good libertarian, want from my government. I would expect alliances, in such a world, to be a tremendous form of self-defense.

    Surely, we wouldn't have won the Cold War as we did without our allies, and surely our allies wouldn't have behaved as they did during the Cold War had it not been for our contribution in Europe during World War II. ...there are things I find acceptable in the service of an alliance (read self-defense), that I wouldn't find acceptable otherwise.

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    With regards to Sudan, or Iraq for that matter, the argument could be made (and I�m hardly the first to make it, although it seems the first of this thread) that when a government completely disregards the basic human rights of its people (i.e. the right not to be slaughtered), it cedes its own sovereignty and more decent peoples/governments have the right, if not the duty, to intervene in the name of their fellow human beings who are suffering.

  • ||

    joe -

    I gave some examples of concrete national interests earlier - access to a valuable resource, preserving the stability of a larger region where helping to restore that stability would impose greater costs in the long run, acquiring or preserving a strategically placed ally, and good public relations with the larger world when lack of sympathy abroad might affect other policy goals.

    I don't see how any of these would be advanced by government-supported intervention in Darfur: there's no resources worth fighting over, the stability of East Africa isn't really threatened (not that the US cares particularly at this point), there's no valuable ally too close we have to protect, and as the Smoking Penguin pointed out, American soldiers shooting more Muslims won't do our international relations any good - an important factor now that the fallacy of an American hyperpower unilaterally dominating the globe has been effectively exposed.

    Everything involves money, of course - you can't run a state without it, and a sensible state does what it can to ensure a strong economy as a measure of self-preservation (mostly by getting out of the way, one would hope.) On the other hand, I would venture that it runs counter to pretty much all libertarian thinking to advocate the state shooting foreigners to advance the financial interests of its economic aristocracy, with is what I take "$$$" to mean. (Now, if the wealthy want to hire mercenaries to protect their foreign investments, as most companies in the Congo do, that's their own affair - perhaps even a necessary cost of doing business some places. And if they want to bankroll mercenaries in Darfur - perhaps as the modern equivalent of the Carnegie libraries - that would also be their own affair...)

  • ||

    "Stopping Janjaweed attacks is a straightforward military mission that could probably be accomplished with a handful of modern infantry battalions and a squadron of fighters."

    So this time it will be a cakewalk. Where have we heard that before ?

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    There's a difference between intervening to end an active genocide, and changing the regime of a dictator who committed a genocide.

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    SmokingPenguin,

    Saying "UN soldiers have a problem with enslaving women and using them for sex" is like saying "the 101st Airborn has a problem with soldiers fragging their officers." Yes, it happened. No, you shouldn't smear the overwhelming number of decent, honorable soldiers because of it.

    SM, if you recall, the "straightforward military" aspect of the Iraq War was a cakewalk. That's my point - the proposed action, the placement of a protective force to deter the Janjaweed militias, is a straightforward military mission, in contrast to the complicated nation building/democratising mission in Iraq.

    peachy, as far as our vital national interests go, the US currently has special forces in Chad, seeking and engaging Islamist militias hiding out in the desert. In addition, Sudan has actually provided substantial support to bid Ladin, comparable to that provided by the Taliban. In principle, I have no problem with Bush's doctrine of treating states that harbor international terror groups that seek to do us harm no differently than the terror groups themselves.

    Both practically and ideologically, there is a much stronger case for going to war with the Khartoum regime than there was to go to war with the Tikrit-by-way-of-Baghdad regime, on national interest grounds alone.

  • ||

    ...to which SM will likely reply with a point about mission creep, which is certainly a fair point.

    Also, on the Chad/Sudan question, the Sudanese government keeps sending forces into Chad in pursuit of Darfurian rebels, and have very likely (from my seat as a city planner in Lowell, Massachusetts, anyway) been supporting those same jihadist militias in the Chadian desert.

  • Timothy||

    Didn't Chad just have a violent governmental change?

  • ||

    Military/Humanitarian that does not advance any particular or easily identifiable national interest is percieved as an act of altruism and therefore is regarded with possessing a moral fortitude greater than an international act that does advance a national interest. Justice can be served in both instances though progressives see an altruistic act as more just than others. However, that does not excuse the leftist argument that a less just act is per se unjust (ie Iraq).

  • ||

    When will Americans wake up to the fact that the far-left is actively opposed to America, and on the side of terrorists? Americans think that 'they just don't get it'. Wrong. They do get it, and know exactly what they are doing. Until Americans figure this out, they will not win the WoT.

    Here is an article on which countries hate America, and which don't. Some surprises here.

  • ||

    I'm still waiting for the Organization of Islamic States to get excited. Maybe when they're done rioting and issuing fatwahs over some cartoons in Europe, they'll do something about the genocide happening RIGHT NEXT DOOR.

    Of course, it's always America's fault, isn't it?

  • ||

    Even if Ocean's 13 was to end up being about Darfur, I still can't imagine it being any more cynical and pretentious than the glorified PR stunt that Soderbergh & Co. made a couple of years ago.

  • ||

    Some of you have tried to make this complicated, as if there was some sharp intellectual divide between what the 'Progressives' would support and what they wouldn't support.

    'Progressives' have no problem with what George Bush is doing. The problem 'Progressives' have is with who is in charge. A detailed look at Kerry's foreign policy speaches will reveal that Kerry said, in summary, "I won't do anything different than what GWB is doing, but it won't be GWB doing it, and that will make all the difference."

    To a certain extent, this criticism can be made of so called 'conservatives', who undoubtably would have supported Operation Desert Fox had it been a Republican behind it.

    For example, the claim that 'progressives' will support military intervention to stop a genocide falls flat on the face of the fact that the Sudan is in its 17th year of an ongoing genocide (and is in fact now apparantly winding down to a conclusion). If you go back roughly ten years ago to the height of the Sudanese genocide (or heck just three or four years ago), you'll find the 'progressives' strongly speaking out against US military intervention in the Sudan on the grounds that it would be just a 'war for oil' or 'US imperialism' or 'a Christian crusade'. Now the the main people calling for US intervention in the Sudan aren't Catholics and Protestant missionaries - and now that its too late for intervention to mean much of a difference - its ok for progressives to support 'intervening'.

    In 2008 or so when the Sudanese decide to test political the waters by starting up the killing again in the southern Sudan, expect which ever side doesn't support intervention to make up lots of intellectual reasons why they don't support the plan of the other side. However, these intellectual reasons are simply a false front. One side won't support intervention simply because the other one does.

  • ||

    Here is an article on which countries hate America, and which don't. Some surprises here.

    Thank you for that.

    I'd come to think the "Why does [insert whatever] hate America?" crowd had gone the way of the Dodo bird... I'd come to think they would only live on in our collective memory as the butts of jokes. ...but, sure enough, in the flesh, there you are!

    ...Let's party like it's 2004!

    (aside) I knew I'd be able to look back at that and laugh! (/aside)

  • ||

    "Why does it always seem like progressives support any intervention that clearly does not advance any American interests?"

    We don't. We opposed invading Iraq, didn't we?

  • ||

    Ted,

    Don't try to pull that one. Anti-Americans like you oppose the Iraq War under the 'There were no WMDs found' slogan. However, now that Iran is openly pursuing WMDs and threatening to use them, the anti-American left wants no action taken against Iran either.

    This contradicton seems silly until one notices that the consistent theme is opposition to America at all times.

    You have been found out.

  • ||

    Most people in favor of deposing Saddam thought it would be easy too. (Though by any historical standard, it has. But in the modern age, any loss is deemed an unwinnable setback).


    Still, many of the forces in play in Iraq would also be in Sudan - Al Qaeda (like they were in Somalia), arms from Iran, fighters and suicide bombers from various Arab countries.


    And of course, it's the strong opposition to the Iraq war that largely makes it impossible to intervene in Darfur. Most Iraq war supporters would love the US to also intervene in Darfur (and other places). But given how little support Iraq has, it's hard to believe any other interventions would be well received by the public. And with Bush possibly facing impeachment in 2006, he's can't go around doing anything to make it go from possible to definite.

  • Tom Scudder||

    Gosh, I thought it was the fact that we have no fucking soldiers left outside of the ones needed to fight the war in Iraq and the other war in Afghanistan.

    No, it's a lack of WILL! Will! Will will triumph! Or would, if we only had enough of it. Someone should make a movie.

  • ||

    Oh no! We've been found out...by twok! LOL, you silly little twerp.

    Timothy, I believe Chad is ABOUT TO have a violent change in govenrment, not HAS RECENTLY HAD a violent change in government.

    celebrim, you might have noticed, progressives weren't terribly happy about Kerry's foreign policy, often slagging him for half-measures and a refusal to oppose the Iraq War. You also might have noticed that progressives were opposed to Operation Desert Fox. Or, at a minimum, you might have noticed that progressives have been calling for action in Darfur for years.

    You seem to have confused "progressives" with "Washington Democrats" or, more likely, anyone to the left of yourself.

  • ||

    Oh no! We've been found out...by twok!

    Yeah, the jig's up guys. ...emergency drum circle!

  • ||

    Those commenting here who believe the world should turn its back on genocide are morally bankrupt. It is interesting that socalled libertarianism is strongest in parts of the US where genocide was actually practised.

  • ||

    Anybody else remember the last operation in Africa and how that ended up? No administration is eager to send American troops back into an African civil war.

    Somalia changed many things and some might say layed the ground work for the current mess we are in. Bin Laden Inc. realized pretty quick they could hit us and the best we could do was lobbing Million dollar cruise missles into the desert.

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