11 Mar Obama’s Pitiful Response to the Darfur Crisis
Although Julian and I continue to disagree about the merits of the arrest warrant against Bashir, we agree on one thing: Obama’s response to the expulsion of the humanitarian-aid groups has been appallingly weak. I’m not surprised — I never bought into the cult of Obama, particularly its naive belief that his foreign policy and national-security policy would be fundamentally different than Bush’s — but I am still disappointed. I had intended to write a longer post criticizing Obama’s inaction on Darfur, but I don’t think I can put it any better than Michelle did at Stop Genocide. In a post cleverly entitled “Shirking Responsibility So Soon, Mr. President?”, Michelle reveals the Obama administration’s real interpretation of the UN’s statement on the responsibility to protect — a statement endorsed in 2005 by Susan Rice on behalf of Obama:
138. Each individual State has the responsibility to protect option to worry, if quite convenient, about its populations (but only the ones that it likes) from as it commits genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. This responsibility gentle nudge entails the prevention of such crimes, including their incitement, through appropriate and necessary means. We accept pay lip service to that responsibility suggestion — really guys, no pressure — and will at least pretend that we intend to act in accordance with it. The international community should, as appropriate convenient, encourage and help States to exercise avoid, if not thwart outright, this responsibility bit of friendly advice and support the United Nations in establishing an early warning capability turning a blind eye to the most obvious and egregious of “early warning” signs and ongoing atrocities.
139. The international community, through the United Nations, also has the responsibility option, if so desired (no need to put yourself out), to use appropriate totally spineless and half-ass diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means, in accordance with Chapters VI and VIII of the Charter, to help to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. In this context, we are prepared are too self-interested and short-sighted to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner after years of waffling, through the Security Council, in accordance with the Charter, including Chapter VII, on a case-by-case basis and in cooperation with relevant regional organizations as appropriate if they’re being nice to us, should peaceful means be inadequate and national authorities are manifestly failing refusing to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity which they continue to perpetrate, and flaunt in our faces. We stress suggest, timidly, the need for the General Assembly to continue consideration of the responsibility to protect worry about (again, only in front of the cameras) populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and its implications, bearing in mind the principles of the Charter and international law. We also intend to commit ourselves (in a very non-committal way, of course. Can I get a photo of me signing this?), as necessary and appropriate, to helping being complicit as States build capacity to protect their populations from continue genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and to assisting ignoring those which are under stress before crises and conflicts break out, out of our own utter lack of a backbone. (Really, should see a doctor about that.)
140. We fully support the mission of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide. We have a Special Adviser of the Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide?
Funny, disturbing, unsettling — and seemingly completely accurate.