A half-million dead in Darfur; 2.5 million refugees - not counting the corpses lost in the sands or terrified survivors in hiding. Surely, the world will act?
No. The world talks. While the militias kill - and years pass. The United Nations looks away - its signature gesture when human rights are violated.
Welcome to the triumph of global hypocrisy.
Europe wrings its hands - as Europe always does - but declines an invitation to the dance. After all, "responsible" governments can't play fast and loose with another state's sovereignty. No dictator or president-for-life would be able to get a decent night's sleep.
So Sudan's Islamo-fascists continue to kill with impunity.
Our own left mourns theatrically for Darfur's dead - but no one has formed a new Lincoln Brigade to take on Sudan's Muslims fanatics. And the uncomfortable fact that Arab Muslims are slaughtering black Muslims goes ignored. It doesn't fit the left's comfortable worldview.
Oh, yes: Those on the left demanding that we "bring the troops home" from Iraq would be delighted to send American troops to rescue Khartoum's victims. But our military is occupied with other cases of fanaticism and genocide in the Muslim world this holiday season.
Isn't it curious that, when it comes to liberation, Iraq didn't count? For the endlessly hypocritical left, there's one magic difference between the half-million dead of Darfur and the 1.5 million people killed by Saddam in his internal massacres and neighborhood wars: Bush.
Now the global intelligentsia is getting yet another lesson in what happens when the United States and its fellow English-speaking democracies are otherwise engaged: When the "Great Satan" doesn't act, the killing continues.
It doesn't matter that those oh-so-much-wiser Europeans have plenty of troops available. Latin America, that beacon of liberation, has plenty of soldiers, too. Asia has a number of excellent militaries - and China certainly has troops to spare.
But the world outside of Africa won't fight to save black lives. And China backs the Khartoum government at the United Nations - for the sake of Sudan's oil. Europe does what it loves to do: Weep piteously over the dead, but do nothing to save the living.
It tells you all you need to know about Europe's "conscience" that Guantanamo matters more to its citoyens than the genocide in Darfur.
The problem is that changing the world for the better costs blood. Only Anglo-American civilization has ever provided the leadership necessary to stop this kind of killing. For which we receive only abuse from the world's hypocrites and cowards.
As the massacres and mass rapes continue in Darfur, rich countries watch the destruction of an entire culture while arguing sanctimoniously that "We must let Africans solve Africa's problems" - knowing full well that Africa's militaries are too weak and poor, too ill-trained and ill-led to cope with so grave a crisis.
The oil-rich states of the Middle East could have funded the now-failed African military mission - after all, the victims in Darfur are fellow Muslims. But to the bloated princes and sheiks of Arabia, there are Muslims and then there are Muslims. Khartoum's Arabs count as "real" Muslims - unlike the black-skinned Africans who foolishly believed the Prophet's teachings that all believers are equal before Allah.
And the sanctimonious mourners realize that a mission to Darfur wouldn't be for peacekeeping. There's no peace to keep. It would be for peacemaking. And none of these folks thinks black lives are worth a fight.
Whether our domestic laments for Darfur come from The New York Times or a Web site, there's no indication that the left is really serious. Even those who want to send in our troops refuse to acknowledge that, in order to rescue Darfur from its "sovereign" government, an intervention force would need no-nonsense rules of engagement, resolute leaders behind it - and the intention of staying for years.
Indeed, the only way to build a lasting peace would be to break up the artificial state seated at the United Nations as "Sudan" - but the U.N. would never countenance such an act of justice. So the Khartoum junta will just go on killing its "own" people - as it has done not only in Darfur in the country's west, but in its impoverished south and east, as well.
One begins to suspect that all too many on the left enjoy pitying Darfur as they wait in line for their lattes. Others, of course, just refuse to accept the troubling fact that this broken world's problems demand more profound solutions than a chant of "Stop the killing."
The killing will never stop until we stop pretending that every dictator or junta seizing power is entitled to claim sovereignty over the millions who never had a voice in choosing their government. After the oppression of women, the sovereignty con is the world's greatest human-rights abuse. And for all of its damnable incompetence, the Bush administration understood that one great truth.
Darfur deserves more than self-satisfied words. As does Iraq. And Afghanistan. And Zimbabwe. And Burma/Myanmar, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and so many other "sovereign states."
But if we're ever going to stop the killing, we first have to stop the lying. Especially the lie we tell ourselves about the universal desire for peace: Try telling that one to the Janjaweed militaman raping your wife, burning your house, taking your children into slavery - and cutting your throat.
Meanwhile, the Sudanese government laughs at all of us. Khartoum is so confident that the world doesn't give a damn about black Africans that it's recently moved to destabilize neighboring Chad.
The hypocrisy of the intelligentsia, here and in Europe, stinks to the throne of God. No campus seminar ever provoked a cease-fire, and no demonstration ever halted a massacre. Those who are unwilling to fight injustice will ultimately face injustice and a fight.
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