Law School Discussion

DARFUR: can we help or has our Master become...Complacency?

THE BLUE SWEATER

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Re: DARFUR: can we help or has our Master become...Complacency?
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2006, 11:18:09 PM »
Thanks Rocky whats going on with you.

redemption

Re: DARFUR: can we help or has our Master become...Complacency?
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2006, 09:15:35 AM »

Oh when we do not do our research . As if Rocky wasnt enough I feel the need to adrdess your points.

1)No I would not have Afghanistan produces more opium than any other country and is also the worlds largest arms dealer next to malaysisa. It was also a conduit for the ISID (Iranian Intelligence). Besides Bin Ladin Hezbellah had a major operating node in Afghanistan as well as Chechen rebels. The activity in Sudan never compared to Afghanistan. Maybe Libya maybe but never Sudan.  And airfields in that location (Baghram) place U.S. forces in a perfect defense posture to operate in SW ASIA and the middle east (IRAQ, IRAN, YEMEN). Afghanistan was on the hit second only to Iraq (yes ahead of NK and IRAN) before 9/11. Period.

I see. So the so-called Al-Qaeda network is headquartered in Afghanistan, the Taliban government is providing haven for it when it has made credible threats against the "security interests" of the US and you wouldn't intervene because Afghanistan didn't grow poppy under the Taliban? Nice! And you say that even in retrospect, after the deaths of 3000 of your fellow citizens. What a great analyst you are, champ. You should try and get a job at the CIA.


2)Thats policy of incentives is classical american foreign policy. I mean sec of states admit to in (Kissinger's Diplomacy). You can ask yourself why did we help so many politcal and economic weaklings in the past...COld War containment...why somalia....it was a UN HUMANITARIAN MISSION GONE BAD. Its not not it was a deliberate intervention like SUDAN OR RWANDA would have been.

I am sorry that I cannot pick through your poor use of English in this paragraph, because I'm sure that there is a deliciously stupd line of argument here that I would have enjoyed picking apart.

3) I cant believe you brought up the WWII comparison. The reason Hitler got to the point he did is because the U.S. DID NOT INTERVENE!!!! The U.S. was being begged by the allies to enter WWII and REFUSED. Congress argued that it would be HARMFUL TO AMERICAN COMMERCE to enter the war. Entering the  wasnt gong to happen until pearl harbor.

Here the English is clearer, but I am confused about what your argument is. I will remind you that I am suggesting that there is a plausible moral and strategic argument to be made for the suggestion that the US should have entered the war before or at least during the period when the Germans started killing of the European Jews. You seem to be saying that the US didn't. I understand that, champ. The US used your short-sighted logic and let six million innocent civilians die because, like you, it did not believe that its national economic and security interests were at stake. I am suggesting to you that that was a mistake. What are you suggesting? That it wasn't?

I find your arguments particularly irritating because you have a smug "I know what I'm talking about" kind of attitude in your post. You don't. Your line of reasoning - to the extent that you have one - is slavish and an affront to the intelligence of the people who read it. Because of smug thinking like yours, millions of people die unnecessarily. If you are just posting thoughtlessly because your main point is to let us know - in an offhand and casual way - that you work as an analyst (to build your "board" street cred, say), I understand that and I have some sympathy for it. If you believe what you are writing and saying here, however, you should be ashamed of yourself.

redemption

Re: DARFUR: can we help or has our Master become...Complacency?
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2006, 09:51:05 AM »
Response to redemption:

1) Sorry. One of the tribes being massacred by the Arab militia is related to the Chadian president.

2) Sudan and China do have a strong economic link.According to the CIA World Fact Book, China is a major trading partner of Sudan taking in up to 66.9% of its exports.  Please refer to the following link:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21143-2004Dec22.html

3)It is also reported that Sudan expelled Osama Bin Laden in 1998. 'Osama Bin Laden was expelled, training camps were closed, and the US state department says Sudan has "deepened its cooperation in investigating and arresting extremists".' This is from the following BBC article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3853671.stm

4)I did not say our policy is driven by oil. I just said that we do not have a big enough reason according to the White House to go into Sudan. The Mogadishu Line is a term used by many people to describe the point in which U.S. intervention no longer benefits them. 

5) Correct me if I am wrong but Kosovo was a NATO operation and not a sole U.S. operation. After Somolia, the United States has been hesitant of entering into battle with the United Nations commanding its forces. If I am wrong than touche.

For those that care. It seems that there is a state of war between Chad and Sudan now. So, it seems that any political ties between Chad and Sudan have been broken.

1. Honest to goodness, there is no such thing as the “Arab militia” in the sense that you mean it. Believe me. The history and cultural/”racial” mix of Sudan is too complex to break it down into Arab and black, into this tribe and that. Tribes are not particularly important in Sudan, clans are. If you are really interested in the Sudanese situation, please read ethnographic work on it, and not journalism. The latter simplifies and packages so much - in order to make it digestible for an international audience - that the truth of the matter is lost altogether. The familiar tropes of tribe and arab/black dichotomy are easily understood in the West, but literally have no meaning in Sudan.

2. There is no denying that China accounts for a large share of Sudan’s exports. That would suggest that China is important to Sudan. I am suggesting to you that  Sudan is not so important to China, which is a different matter: for that you would have to look at how much of either Chinese imports or Chinese exports are dependent on Sudan. I am suggesting to you that as a share of Chinese trade, Sudan is insignificant.

Does China want Sudanese oil? Sure, why not? Would China pursue Sudanese oil at the expense of its tradining relationship with the West or with the rest of Africa? I suggest to you that no, it wouldn’t. It is not hard to put economic pressure on China over Sudan. We do not because we do not want to not because we can’t.

3. I believe that that is exactly what I suggested. Sudan harbored him. The US bombed Sudan and Sudan then expelled him. (They offered him up to the US, actually, but the US Government didn’t want him, and said no. He then went to Afghanistan).  Sudan responds to pressure is the lesson that we can take from that, I think.

5. NATO IS the US. Don’t believe otherwise. It is funded and staffed almost entirely (more than 80%) by US personnel. Don’t imagine that because it is HQ’d in Belgium that it is a European institution.

I very much respect the fact that you care about the situation in Darfur. I am a little frustrated because people who do care are so few in the ground that it is a great shame that 1) orientalist red-herrings about ‘arab’, ‘black’ , ‘tribes’ etc  on the one hand; and 2) simplistic and short-sighted attituted balance of powers game-theoretic attitude to international relations on the other hand, paralyze us into inaction.

I expect these to be the excuses of the people who don’t care, not of the people who do.

THE BLUE SWEATER

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Re: DARFUR: can we help or has our Master become...Complacency?
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2006, 11:59:34 AM »
Ok I believe you are somewhat mixed up. I'm not condoing americas or anyone else actions. I'm just telling youu its not happening. In a ideal world and an ideal administration they would. But until your ready to explain to soliders familes that they need to have the husbands wives sons and daughters put there lives on the line for a possible war that doesnt advance americas intrerests I wouldnt be adamant about anything. I spent a year in Afghanistan and many months in Iraq. People are real quick to want action here and there. Unless your saying the same thing when americans are getting shot up and blasted by IEDS I wouldnt be so vocal to advocate anything.

redemption

Re: DARFUR: can we help or has our Master become...Complacency?
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2006, 12:10:06 PM »

How pathetic and disheartening that you would think that preventing genocide is not in the US national interest. You'll make a great lawyer. Carry on.

RockyMarciano

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Re: DARFUR: can we help or has our Master become...Complacency?
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2006, 12:34:19 PM »

How pathetic and disheartening that you would think that preventing genocide is not in the US national interest. You'll make a great lawyer. Carry on.

Unfortunately that is the way it seems. Have you ever read Samantha Power's book "A Problem from Hell"? It tells the story of how the United States has done little to prevent genocide. It was only a few decades ago that Kissinger did nothing during the Timor massacre. Also, the United States supported the Pakistani regime in the early 1970's in their attempt to keep East Pakistan from gaining independence. Fortunately for Bangladesh (FKA East Pakistan) they were saved at the hands of the Indian army supported not by the United States but by the Soviets.

I would put more scholarly journals up here as evidence but unfortunately they are in PDF form and I can not cut and paste them as easily. I have resorted to utilizing a more neutral news source such as the BBC for argumentative purposes.

As for the relationship with Sudan and China: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4587374.stm
According to this article, Sudan is very important to their development. China was the first country to invest heavily into Africa with the intention of promoting the government and not suppressing it like the old colonial powers of France, Great Britain, and etc.

http://www.cnpc.com.cn/english/inter/Exploration.htm
Here is a link to CNCP, China National Petroleum Corporation, talking about its recent explorations around the world.

Personally, I am just frustrated at the fact that the U.S. government is willing to go into Iraq but unwilling to go into Sudan. First on our international agenda should have been to go into Sudan and protect these innocent civilians being massacred. I admit that it is difficult to separate civil war from genocide. However, it is the United States duty as the only super power to uphold international law in accordance with the genocide convention.

Lastly, you are right that it is wrong to label the guilty party in Sudan as the Arab militia. From now on, I will refer to them as the government supported militia. Whether it is an Arab or African committing the crime. 

RockyMarciano

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Re: DARFUR: can we help or has our Master become...Complacency?
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2006, 12:37:34 PM »
Thanks Rocky whats going on with you.

Dude,
   I am just waiting for any acceptance letter. However, I applied in early December and went complete at a few within a week but some as late as two days ago. I feel pretty confident that I will get into about half the schools I applied to (rank: 18-30 in U.S. News Rankings). I would say more but I want to maintain some secrecy due to the rumor that adcomms roam around LSD.

redemption

Re: DARFUR: can we help or has our Master become...Complacency?
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2006, 01:05:09 PM »

How pathetic and disheartening that you would think that preventing genocide is not in the US national interest. You'll make a great lawyer. Carry on.

Unfortunately that is the way it seems. Have you ever read Samantha Power's book "A Problem from Hell"? It tells the story of how the United States has done little to prevent genocide. It was only a few decades ago that Kissinger did nothing during the Timor massacre. Also, the United States supported the Pakistani regime in the early 1970's in their attempt to keep East Pakistan from gaining independence. Fortunately for Bangladesh (FKA East Pakistan) they were saved at the hands of the Indian army supported not by the United States but by the Soviets.

I would put more scholarly journals up here as evidence but unfortunately they are in PDF form and I can not cut and paste them as easily. I have resorted to utilizing a more neutral news source such as the BBC for argumentative purposes.

As for the relationship with Sudan and China: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4587374.stm
According to this article, Sudan is very important to their development. China was the first country to invest heavily into Africa with the intention of promoting the government and not suppressing it like the old colonial powers of France, Great Britain, and etc.

http://www.cnpc.com.cn/english/inter/Exploration.htm
Here is a link to CNCP, China National Petroleum Corporation, talking about its recent explorations around the world.

Personally, I am just frustrated at the fact that the U.S. government is willing to go into Iraq but unwilling to go into Sudan. First on our international agenda should have been to go into Sudan and protect these innocent civilians being massacred. I admit that it is difficult to separate civil war from genocide. However, it is the United States duty as the only super power to uphold international law in accordance with the genocide convention.

Lastly, you are right that it is wrong to label the guilty party in Sudan as the Arab militia. From now on, I will refer to them as the government supported militia. Whether it is an Arab or African committing the crime. 


My last post wan't addressed to you - I can tell that you are thinking hard and well about the Darfur situation. It was addressed to the other chap, who is far too glib and smug for my liking.

I have read Powers - when it first came out and I went to see her speak at a book-signing. Yes, the US has done very little to prevent and stop genocide in the 20th Century -from Armenia at the beginning of the century to Rwanda at the end. My argument is that it doesn't because Kissinger-type thinking - outdated and foolish - dominates the US foreign policy establishment, but that it does not need to in the future. Genocide has been seen as peripheral to the US national interest, but it is not: we not only have treaty obligations to prevent and stop genocide, but the costs of letting a situation detriorate are greater to us - the United States - if we do. It is in failed states that disaffection is rife and the seeds of terrorism sown. We cannot afford more disaffection in the world; we do not have enough World Trade Centers to withstand the anger of those who are permanently left out in the cold, bitter, and easily recruited by populists such as Bin Laden. The families of the three thousand people killed four years ago cannot easily fill the void left behind by these deaths. We cannot afford further erosion of our civil liberties in a greatly expanded so-called "war on terror". Rather than all of this, I suggest that it would be better if thought of reasons why preventing the extreme suffering of other people in distant places is in our interest rather than against it.

Sudan could become an easy place for China to get oil in the future because it has been neglected by the West. Because, ironically, we have decided that whatever happens in Sudan is not in our national interest. In my first post, I suggested that - for those who need an additional reason - the presence of oil in southern Sudan and the potential for it to become a major oil-producing country should be enough to stoke US and Western interest in stabilizing that country. My point about the Sudan-China relationship is that China is far mor important to Sudan than Sudan is to China. China has commercial and oil contracts elsewhere in Africa and elsewhere in the world to far outstrip the value of the contracts that it has with Sudan. If the West and Africa were to put pressure on China over Sudan, China would fold: it would have no option. Sudan is not Taiwan.

I agree with everything else that you have said here.

-best


THE BLUE SWEATER

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Re: DARFUR: can we help or has our Master become...Complacency?
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2006, 03:29:34 PM »
I'm never smug when people lives are involved and as I said before Ideally we will get involved. I am just saying it wouldnt happen. That has nothing to do with my opinion.

 Me personally I think it would be a military and political nightmare to enter Sudan without UN support. Which was my orignal statement, its the UN's job and they are not performing and changes need to be made. It would solve everyones problems and people besides the U.S. need to light a fire under them to move.

 Having seen people hurt over causes americans only support UNTIL out troops run into trouble I cannot bring myself to be so calvalier about americans lives. I would ask that my opinion be respected especially seeing as how I was the one putting my life on the line performing humanitarian and combat missions. As far as I can tell your just reading books about it.

 You say how can  be so smug about it? Simply because to make rational decisions thats what you have to do. Can you ationalize sending your son or daughter to Sudan? Can you rationalize a american incursion that will turn into another battle front for anti-coalition militants who have no concern with the plights of sudan. These are the questions analysts have to ask themselves and as sad as it is the U.S. can't intervene everywhere because after we intervene we cannot leave. As much as people say the military is stechd to thin why would you want to establish another armed conflict (it would cease to be a humitarian mission) in Sudan. Only the UN could handle this kind of problem.

I do really wish for somthing to be done. However I have seen the consequences first hand of a individual nation intervening in cultural and political hotspots without a coalition's support. And I'm not just talking about America. It doesnt work. I am not knocking anyone because they havent, been in the situations I have been in. However, I am able to see things from a perspective I'm certain you dont have access to. I just see alot the things that WILL go wrong if anything like that was attempted.

Ed

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