Posted by: sean | June 6, 2005

‘Caring’ about genocide in Sudan

Last week in the Times, Kristof penned a criticism (free subscription required) of the Bush administration’s handling of the Darfur genocide in response to a letter by a reader from Eugene, Oregon. The letter reads as follows:

Why should the U.S. ‘care’ for the rest of the world? The U.S. should take care of its own.

People have been in Africa for thousands of years – & look at their progress during those years. Tribal still!

It’s way past time for liberal twits to stop pushing the U.S. into or to try to make every wrong in the world our responsibility.

This little missive has so many points to address that I’ll have to get to each of them in different posts. But first of all, besides the moral and practical responsibilities that Kristof mentions in his piece, the U.S. has a legal responsibility to intervene.

In July 2004, the US Congress unanimously declared the violence in Darfur a genocide. Article 1 of the Genocide Convention, signed by the US in 1948 and ratified in 1988, states that all contracting parties agree to “undertake to prevent and to punish” the crime of genocide.

Unless we as a nation start living up to our practical, moral and legal responsibilities to prevent genocide, the phrase “never again” will remain a platitude that we speak on the anniversaries of genocides we did nothing to stop.

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