Darfur: 'humanitarian' intervention, is even deadlier than the 'White Man's Burden'.Two years ago, Pieter Feith, an adviser on the European Union fact-finding mission to Sudan, expressed to the world's press, that '[w]e are not in the situation of genocide there...But it is clear there is widespread, silent and slow, killing going on, and village burning on a fairly large scale'. So... Ok, that seems pretty straight forward, no evidence of acts of genocide in Sudan. Then, last year, a UN led mission to Sudan, with, I might add, orders to investigate alledged acts of genocide, resoundly concluded in its 2005 report, that the '[g]overnment of the Sudan has not pursued a policy of genocide'. In case you had trouble understanding that, the report repeats it again in the very next paragraph, that 'no genocidal policy has been pursued and implemented in Darfur by the Government authorities, directly or through the militias under their control'. Ok then... Message recieved.
So, why am I still being constantly told that there is systematic 'genocide' taking place in southern Sudan? How can it be, that the EU mission, and the UN mission cannot find any evidence of 'genocide', yet other individuals and organisations can? What is the motivation behind continually declaring there's genocide happening in Darfur? It's not designed to help the people of the region in any practical way. It looks more like an uncritical and simplistic presentation of the war in Darfur.
The demand for Western military intervention in Sudan's southern region of Darfur, have become extremely loud and popular these days. Everyone from millionaire actors like George Clooney, to most of the anti-war movement seem to agree that we should all rush and beg President Bush to 'Save Darfur'. All in the name of bringing this genocide to a halt, in order to save the people of southern Sudan from, well... themselves - but, they are wrong.
The consequences for the peoples of Darfur will be deadlier than ever before - far from resolving any of the Sudanese peoples problems, Western military interference is only likely to exacerbate the conflict in Darfur. A prolonged Western military engagement in Darfur, that is viewed in simple terms of 'good' verses 'evil'. A view where you have one side that's evil (the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed) who have to be punished, and, the other being hapless victims who need the urgent protection of the mighty West, will be a disaster for the region and its peoples.
Don't take my word for it, take a look at Somalia, Yugoslavia, Iraq... need I go on?
Also read: Humanitarian Intervention: Evolution of a Dangerous Doctrine - Empire? By Walden Bello. Global Policy Forum. 2006
Picture: US Army Image.