A year ago Friday, the United States declared that the situation in Sudan constituted genocide. Although some hailed this as a change in the administration’s policy, no aid has come from Washington.
With America committed to the war in Iraq and operations in Afghanistan, few would reasonably expect the U.S. government to intervene in this crisis unilaterally. But why have they not spurred action from the U.N. and its Security Council? And furthermore, why must we be the ones to initiate action?
The war in Sudan and the atrocities against humanity are precisely the type of situations the U.N. was formed to deal with. The U.N. has again proven itself unable to move past useless debate and take action. Apparently the massacres in Rwanda and the famine in Ethiopia have taught them nothing.
Sudan has three strikes against it. The country has no oil or other valuable resources, the conflict is religious and it is in Africa. History tells us that world leaders will see no advantage for themselves in becoming involved.
We have seen images of the tsunami in Indonesia and now Hurricane Katrina in the Southern U.S., and been helpless to stop the destruction. Unlike these acts of nature, war and genocide are disasters that man does have the power to stop.
How much more committed would we be if atrocities in Sudan were given as much media time or discussion as either of these tragedies?
The sad fact is that disasters like the one in Sudan are not very photogenic. It is easy to see the carnage and put it in perspective when floodwaters destroy a city in a day. Genocide is not measured in days, or in the thousands. Genocide takes place over years, and the dead are counted by the hundreds of thousands, or dumped in mass graves and never counted at all.