Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Troglodyte on " A Prayer for the Dying"

Scott W. of The Troglodyte has bad news Here it is:
As Mark Leon Goldberg of the American Prospect reported back in April, the Bush administration was leaning heavily on congressional leaders and managed to stall, and probably killed, the Darfur Accountability Act.

As Goldberg explained, the bill

[E]stablishes targeted U.S. sanctions against the Sudanese regime, accelerates assistance to expand the size and mandate of the African Union mission in Darfur, expands the United Nations Mission in Sudan to include the protection of civilians in Darfur, establishes a no-fly zone over Darfur, and calls for a presidential envoy to Sudan.

Because of this pressue, the bill appears to be trapped in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Relations, presumably never to be seen again.

So what is Congress going to do now that sanctions, a no-fly zone and civilian protection are off the table? Apparently it has been reduced to "[encouraging] the people of the United States [to pray] for an end to the genocide and crimes against humanity and for lasting peace in Darfur, Sudan."
Why would the Bush Administration pressure Congress into banishing a law that helps Dafur? Eric Rasmusen has some thoughts:
The text of the Senate version of the Darfur Accountability Act (which isn’t the appropriations amendment, but presumably is the same except for the money) shows it is actually different from how it is described by Senator Corzine and others. It does *not* call for a no-fly zone. Rather, it call for the US to ask the UN to establish a no-fly zone– a mere gesture, since the UN won’t do it. The same goes for economic sanctions and so forth. Moreover, most of it is just a “sense of Congress” resolution, meaning it doesn’t actually do *anything* except tell the President the opinion of Congress. The only part with bite is minor, perhaps not requiring any action whatever, since it is sanctions and visa restrictions on individuals involved in genocide in Darfur (how many janjaweed fighters own multinational corporations and want to visit Niagara Falls, anyway?).
He correctly points out that the Senate bill does not call for U.S. no-fly zones in Dafur. It calls for the UN to establish no-fly zones.

This does not excuse the Bush Administration's lackluster performance on Dafur. If this bill was inadequate, why hasn't the President called for a stronger one? Why hasn't the U.S. introduced resolutions to the Security Council that call for a no-fly zone over Dafur? In fact, why hasn't the U.S. demanded a larger role for the African Union already on the ground? Sudan may provide valuable intelligence to the U.S. on islamo-fascist terrorist network and support organizations. This can't serve as a justification. Otherwise, the U.S. has committed the same sin of RealPolitic that she did during the Cold War. The U.S. must not secure cooperation from nations at the price of innocent lives. Women and children especially are at risk.

Should the United States Congress only succeed in calling for prayer, then let no one be surprised when that prayer falls on deaf ears. The Lord is too busy listening to the cries of his children in Dafur.