Saturday, July 24, 2004
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Bipartisanship on Sudan
What with the convention season starting and the general election campaign already making people testy, we here at danieldrezner.com feel it's worth occasionally highlighting those areas of policy where both sides of the aisle are in rough agreement.
Which brings us to this Rudolph Bush story in the Chicago Tribune about Congressional pressure on Sudan's humanitarian disaster:
I did, however, find this paragraph amusing:
posted by Dan on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM
posted by: cube on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
If the world does not have the will to act rightious, then we should act as we did in Iraq....and go it alone...like jesus and john wayne would!
We are the only blessed nation on the earth and with great power comes great responsibility (Gospel according to Stan Lee!).
We can shock-and-awe this region into democracy, if we have The Will!posted by: hipocrit on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
Daniel Drezner might prefer that I stayed away from “partisan politics” in this instance. Unfortunately, I cannot comply with this wish. Why does everything mostly depend on the Americans regarding the Sudan? Where are the Old Europeans? Of course, we already know the answer to this question: they have no interest in building up their military and involving themselves in a significant matter. A central plank of the John Kerry campaign is the call to unite with our “allies.” The Bush administration presumably angered them and that’s why the Old Europeans remain on the sidelines. This is nonsensical and ignores the reality that they are selfish socialists who will find just about any excuse not to send their troops into harm’s way.posted by: David Thomson on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
We don't really have the troops to deploy to Sudan; they're busy elsewhere. We could deploy a couple of aircraft carrier groups to the Red Sea and begin bombing in pretty short order. As I understand it we have the needed capacity in both the Navy and Air Force to respond.
Likewise, if we have any allies that border Sudan we could use air bases there for the Air Force to maintain no-fly zones (really protected zones) and could use them to go after the Janjaweed and others.
If the French and Germans were willing to step up, I bet we could even get some troop transport for them to deploy their troops. We even have the AF bases in Germany already. That way the French wouldn't be left to leasing off-season ferry boats, as they did in Bosnia.posted by: Robert Prather on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
"I would like to see, and think it's appropriate, that the administration say this is genocide," Wolf said. "That would force the Europeans and our friends in the UN to do the same."
Short response: Ha.
Longer response: this person seems to have no idea about how Europe responds to the US. Furthermore getting the Europeans to call it genocide isn't going to do much of anything if your goal is to intervene militarily. If there is going to be a major force in the Sudan it is going to end up being American. The only way the European nations will act is after the US has done most of military heavy lifting. And after that the genocide will be over, who know if they will see a need to act at that point.posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
“If the French and Germans were willing to step up...”
If only the moon were made of cheese. If only Yao Ming would beg me for mercy on the basketball court. John Kerry deserves to be ridiculed for naively believing that the Old Europeans will do their fair share of the fighting. If nothing else, they will refuse to spend the money to build up their military.
Am I possibly turning cynical and isolationist? Nope, we have to play the cards we are dealt. It’s unfortunate that the Old Europeans and many other members of the United Nations are selfish parasites---but the world would become even more dangerous if we also decided to act in a similarly selfish matter. We have no other choice but to often act “unilaterally” like the Gary Cooper sheriff in “High Noon.”posted by: David Thomson on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
France is very concerned about Sudan. You see they have oil interests there and they don't want Sudan's governement to be inconvenienced by any outside trouble.posted by: Richard Swan on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
What the Euros lack in military might they make up for in money. They could step up to the plate with some funds to assist us if we decide to act, especially since their relative wealth has gone up recently.
Buzz off, you're an ignorant (and annoying) slug. I mean, do you really think the re-armament of Europe is a good thing? Since you are calling on them to be more tough I assume you are calling for such an awful policy. Personally, I think unquestioned military superiority is great thing.posted by: andrew on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
I do my best not to be a partisan (there are no partisan hacks on this comment board, dave), but I'm gonna be partisan here. Republicans are advocating process and multilateralism in Sudan when there is ongoing genocide. Iraq, otoh, could have been postponed for several years while we prepared a more extensive occupation force without costing hundreds of thousands of livess.
Maybe its just me, but most of my multilateralist feelings go out the window when ethnic cleansing or genocide is involved.posted by: andrew on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
Buzz off, you're an ignorant (and annoying) slug. I mean, do you really think the re-armament of Europe is a good thing? Since you are calling on them to be more tough I assume you are calling for such an awful policy. Personally, I think unquestioned military superiority is great thing.”
I do indeed believe that the “re-armament of Europe is a good thing.” The United States is the preeminent power in the world by default and not by choice. It is my hope that someday a united nations will be more than a pipe dream. I am an internationalist---but realistic enough to realize that my dream will not likely occur within my life time. The process will involve a slow drawn out evolutional process. It’s similar to a marriage. Rarely are a few dates adequate for such a long term commitment.
The Democrat Party is a danger to our freedom and safety because it prefers to believe in an illusion. John Kerry is similar to the childishly immature adolescent who wants to hold onto the fantasies of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. It is also quite noticeable that Dan Drezner and others trying to give the Massachusetts senator the benefit of the doubt conveniently ignore his appeasement record during the Cold War. Has the leopard changed his spots? Where is the evidence to suggest that he has? It’s time for Drezner to stop ignoring this issue.posted by: David Thomson on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
“Maybe its just me, but most of my multilateralist feelings go out the window when ethnic cleansing or genocide is involved.”
The Republicans are being played for suckers. They will get stabbed in the back immediately after requesting American troops be sent to Africa. Still, they should do the right thing. I’m very glad that your “multilateralist feelings go out the window when ethnic cleansing or genocide is involved.” Have you informed John Kerry of your sentiments? He apparently strongly disagrees with you.posted by: David Thomson on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
This is nonsensical and ignores the reality that they are selfish socialists
The real nonsense, Dave, is your ignorant belief that only America is doing anything to help settle down the world's hotspots.posted by: Robert McClelland on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
“The real nonsense, Dave, is your ignorant belief that only America is doing anything to help settle down the world's hotspots.”
Did I say that? Great Britain, or at least Tony Blair’s government, is trying to do their best. A few other nations are also getting on the bandwagon. Regretfully, though, without the United States---the world would soon go to hell in a hand basket. We are the anchor holding the whole thing together. President Bush sees this clearly while John Kerry fails to have a clue.posted by: David Thomson on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
America went to the U.N. to build a multilateral coalition in Iraq. Many said no... some said yes. For the Rep's to call for a multilateral coalition is consistent with past behaviour... I don't see the disconnect on the Rep side. The disconnect is on the other side who wants to go it alone now, but not in Iraq.posted by: todayonly on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
The disconnect is on the other side who wants to go it alone now, but not in Iraq.
No, the disconnect is with those people who cannot differentiate between an invasion to impose a regime change on a sovereign nation and a peacekeeping mission to restore order and prevent a genocide from occuring. Iraq was the former and the Sudan is the latter.posted by: Robert McClelland on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
Regretfully, though, without the United States---the world would soon go to hell in a hand basket.
Utter nonsense. The world would get along just fine, even if the US were to suddenly vanish from the planet. You should really research what other countries are doing around the world. Canada for instance, has troops in Afghanistan, Bosnia and a few other places around the world. Nearly every country on the planet is contributing to some effort somewhere.posted by: Robert McClelland on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
"Canada for instance, has troops in Afghanistan, Bosnia and a few other places around the world. Nearly every country on the planet is contributing to some effort somewhere."
Contributing to some effort somewhere is not nearly the same as being able to be effective the US wasn't supportive. Canadian peacekeeping in places like Afghanistan and Bosnia would be impossible without the US going there first. Could Canada have gotten rid of Milosevic when all of Europe couldn't do it without the US? I think not.posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
"the disconnect is with those people who cannot differentiate between an invasion to impose a regime change on a sovereign nation and a peacekeeping mission to restore order and prevent a genocide from occuring. Iraq was the former and the Sudan is the latter."
Maybe you could explain the diffence between the two... but try to do it from the perspective of an Iraqi that has been freed from Hussein or someone from Sudan that might not be killed by Arab militias.posted by: todayonly on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
Expunge the notion of a "peace-keeping" mission for your vocabulary and your thoughts when it comes to Sudan. There is no peace there to keep.
This is not a case of a sovereign nation admitting that it faces an insurgency, wholly native or fueled by the covert aid of a foreign empire, too powerful or pervasive for it to handle on its own. Rather, it is a case of a gang of thugs attempting to gain plausible deniability.posted by: John "Akatsukami" Braue on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
..as long as the outcome is the same call it what you will..
But that's just it, the outcome is not the same.posted by: Robert McClelland on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
What irks me about the evangelists, or what ever you call them, involvement is that they think Christians are being killed by the more Muslim north. While this has occured in the recent past, the present carnage involves northern lighter skinned muslims killing darker skinned muslims. Once they get wind of who the actual present victims are, their interest will return to sex and school prayer and other internal instrusive issues.posted by: r.t. on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
“The world would get along just fine, even if the US were to suddenly vanish from the planet.”
This is quite easily shown to be a comment made without a grounding in either current events or recent history. If we assume a world without the United States which nation or nations is it that protects Taiwan from Chinese aggression? Which nation or nations is it that protects South Korea from North Korean aggression? And if that happens who then protects Japan?
But that is the other side of the world and hypothetical situations. Look at Europe last decade. What were the Europeans able to accomplish in the Balkans without American assistance? Short answer is nothing. When NATO did finally act, first in Bosnia then in Kosovo, it was nearly an All-American show. Yes, there were Euro ground troops in Bosnia but without the threat of the Americans they don’t serve as much of a deterrence; witness what happened to the Dutch forces before the Bosnian-Serbs thought the Americans were serious. In Kosovo it was all American air power. Europe can’t even police its own without the United States military holding its hand.
Clearly Robert’s comments weren’t well thought out.
The inebriation of victory
Having manufactured a threat by implying that Austria and her ally, Saxony, were likely to attack, Frederick spurred his soldiers on, urging them to fight "for the fatherland." He singled but European governments he didn't like as "former great powers." He convinced his subjects that the Silesians would greet his invading troops with smiles and flowers, instantly recognizing the new regime as superior to the former one. That proved untrue, but Frederick's subjects soon forgot their disappointment in the inebriation of victory.
German history shows the perils of Washington's new strategy:
Intellectuals such as Georg Friedrich Hegel, who held the philosophy chair at the University of Berlin in the early 19th century, encouraged the Germans' belief in their exceptionalism. He claimed German superiority justified that nation's drive to world domination through war and conquest. Soon there developed in the popular culture what historian Edward Crankshaw calls "a totalitarian mystique which glorified the community as standing above all law."posted by: Haven on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
Haven: You are off the mark. There is a big diffence between Germans saying that they are a superior peoples to the rest of the world and Americans saying that their system of government is better than any other.
Americans establishing democratic governments in the defeated nations after WWII is proof that our belief lies in the system rather than the people running it. Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan prove that those willing to adopt the system can succeed regardless of race, which is not what the Germans you cite believed. Eastern Europe and Russia offer examples of how others, given broad access to democratic principles, will follow our lead. Are any of them carbon copies of the American system; no. But they are most certainly derived from it. The only nations that I see that really are following the teachings of the Germans are those that follow the likes of Milosevic.posted by: Phocion on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
As a guy who knows something about the region, speaks the language, I would like to correct the misapprehension over who 'got rid' of Milosevic. The Serbian people got rid of Milosevic.
Ah, you say, we drove the Serbs from Kosovo, thus depriving Milosevic of the only possible reason for staying in power. Well that's a good wrong answer. Milosevic actually gained support during our illegal war against that country. Indeed, had we been willing to listen to opposition leaders like Vuk Draskovic and comprimise, there would have been no air war, no large scale ethnic cleansing of Kosovo Albanians (which began after we started bombing), and no ethnic cleansing of the Roma , Serbs and others from Kosovo today.
For the record, I have no kinship connection with any of the peoples involved. Just trying to spread a little light about something I actually know something about.posted by: stari_momak on 07.24.04 at 10:26 AM [permalink]
I believe that you have misread my remarks. Nowhere have I stated that it was American air power that drove Milosevic from power in Belgrade. What I did state, as rebuttal to an uninformed poster who mistakenly believes that other nations could easily fill the role of the United States, was that when looking at the use of military force to aid in accomplishing a goal even in Europe that the Europeans were incapable of doing so and had to rely on the American military to do the vast majority of the fighting.
I agree that it was not the use of American air power alone that drove Milosevic from power. It was a combination of that use of force with the rising up of the Serbian people that brought about Milosevic’s removal. Neither could have done it without the other. The largest mistake that the United States made was the ruling out of the use of ground forces. That is what gave Milosevic the opportunity to pursue the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo. I do disagree with your assertion that the cleansing did not begin until after the air campaign began though. There are two types of ‘ethnic cleansing’: The first being the elimination of a peoples by killing, the second being a forced or coerced removal or displacement. It is this second manifestation of ethnic cleansing that I believe began prior to the air campaign; the large scale killing came after.
And yes, it would be helpful if more people, Americans in particular, would learn a little bit beyond what makes up a 5 minute network news story. Hitchcock’s The Struggle for Europe does a nice job of explaining the complex problem in the Balkans during the 1990’s in a relatively concise manner; about one rather detailed chapter.
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