Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Support Intervention in Sudan? ..Then Why Criticize Iraq

So many people in the country are concerned about the genocide that has been taking place in the Darfur region of Sudan, and I agree, its terrible. Obviously genocide is horrible and I am in no way condoning it. Whats bothering me is that many of the same people who are saying the US should intervene and stop the atrocities of Darfur are the same ones that are criticizing our involvement in Iraq. One of the main reasons we went to Iraq, besides the threat of WMDs, was to stop Saddam Hussein and the Ba'ath partys killing of many Iraqi civilians. Its a similar situation, and in Darfur we don't have any interests that would legitimize our involvement aside from attempting to stop the genocide. However, I do feel that the situation in Darfur should be recognized by the UN, not specifically the US. The US did not take on the role of international peacekeepers so we shouldn't have to be the ones to stop all the problems. In addition, we have a ton of problems within our own borders. I think before we make anymore problems for ourselves we should fix the ones that are brewing here, then maybe move on to the issues elsewhere.


ERose said...

I could not agree more with your views on the Sudanese genocide. I do not think that the US should intervene there the same way we did in Iraq. However, it goes without saying that UN recognition is imperative. Such extreme violations of human rights should always be addressed in the UN.

While the United States prides itself as being a country dedicated to the spread of international democracy and equality, we do so (especially in Iraq) within the framework of our own self-interest. Frankly, I have no problem with this agenda.

Do not misunderstand; I am not in favor of the war in Iraq. I merely appreciate the necessity of proclaiming dominance in such an important region. The Middle East is an area of highly concentrated ethnic strife, violence, overall dysfunction, and (sorry, but...) oil. Above all, it is imperative for the US to have a military presence in the Middle East to send a message. No, I am not advocating military intimidation. I am advocating for a strong stance against religious fanaticism and arbitrary violence against the US.
Any country that has (or is perceived by the US to have) WMDs should be dealt with, plain and simple.

I value my own life, the life of my family, my friends, and my fellow students too much to ignore threats of violence.

Yes, the human rights violations in Sudan are horrific, inhumane, and disgusting. However, priorities must be made to preserve our own nation.

aditi said...

wait what??? So basically what erose is saying is that it is fine for the US to keep doing what it is in Iraq to support its self interests?? I mean what is happening in Sudan is awful because innocent people are being killed. So is that not the same with the war in Iraq? Are not thousands of innocent people being killed for what the US can only justify as trying to bring peace and stability in the region? I understand how the US is in a difficult position. When they don't interfere the world thinks 'Being a first world country, what is the US doing about the situation?' Then again when they do interfere, they are reprimanded for their actions. Hence, I see why the war in Iraq is such a controversial issue. However, justifying the many atrocities that the US has committed in Iraq by saying that it is necessary to proclaim dominance in a region with rich oil deposits is atrocious. Also, what exactly is the 'message' the US is trying to send according to Erose?

ERose said...

The initial motivation for invading Iraq is different than the would-be motivation for invading/aiding Sudan. Initially the US thought that Iraq had WMDs with the capability of doing severe damage to our nation. To me, this is a justifiable reason for an invasion.

HOWEVER...Iraq did not have WMDs. That is why I said I am not in favor of the war in Iraq. We went to war under false pretenses. Additionally, the US has done a poor job of instilling democracy in Iraq. The political culture of Iraq is not one suitable for democracy (at least as of now), putting the US in a tight position.

This is why I am against the war. However, now that the US has made itself highly visable in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are benifits. THAT is why I mentioned oil, the safety of the US, and the necessity of serving our own priorities. Do you really want a leader like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ruling without the US applying pressure? I didn't think so. That is why our military presence in the region is beneficial as of now (and I admit I may be overly optimistic).

Back to your original confusion… The original motivation for invading Iraq is much different than the potential motivation for action in Sudan. In my eyes, the difference in self-interest, a very important need that we must cater to in order to provide security.

Abby said...

I don't believe that the U.S. should intervene militarily in Darfur. I agree with Elizabethjane that the UN should take on the role as peacekeepers in Sudan. The UN Security Council needs to step up its role of ensuring that the Sudanese government abides by the UN arms embargo and peace settlements. As of now, this has not been happening. The Sudanese government has been deploying weaponry and financially supporting militias involved in the genocide.

In response to Erose's comments about the war in Iraq and the idea of "preserv[ing] our own nation": The war in Iraq is an unjust war. It is unjust because it fails to meet the fundamental requirements of jus ad bellum, or justice of the initial declaration of war. Self-defense was never a motivating factor of going to war with Iraq, seeing as it was terrorists representing the Taliban and Al Qaeda who were responsible for the 9/11 attacks, not Iraqi forces.

One could then argue that the U.S. was responding to evidence of imminent danger based on Erose's comment about "WMDs"; however, the absence of evidence and, of course, the ultimate discovery of such weapons of mass destruction removes this as a possibility. The U.S. was clearly unjustly declaring war on the basis of a distant and speculative danger.

Erose's comment that there are economic incentives to remaining in Iraq seems to contradict his/her point by further debasing America's aggressive and intrusive involvement in Iraq (economic incentives are not justifiable reasons for invading, or remaining militarily involved with, another nation). Nations do not exist to proclaim their dominance. Such predator mentality is the reason why so many problems exist in our world.

Kyle said...

Military intervention in Darfur would not be the right answer to the problem because it would only bring more violence to the area. As Aditi said, bringing a war to Iraq that was supposedly about saving the Iraqi people (even though that was not really the reason and everybody knows that) has resulted in the deaths of thousands of other Iraqis. Wouldn't military intervention in Darfur create the same problems? If the U.S. does decide to send a millitary force to Darfur it must do so in a way that is low key and in a way that will help to put out the fire and not further ignite it. What the U.S. needs to do is to instill more confidence in the U.N. again and force the security council to formally declare that there is a genocide going on in the Sudan so that something can be done about this ASAP. If the U.S. can rally enough support in the U.N. then something can be done about this in a diplomatic way rather than in a violent way. Sending soldiers must be done only as an absolute last resort if the U.N. fails. The fact that the U.S. isn't doing anything about the genocide because there are no "benefits" (i.e. oil) involved is just further proof of how materialistic and morally devoid our foreign policies are.

Nikki M said...

I am confused by the original blog's comment stating "...in Darfur we don't have any interests that would legitimize our involvement aside from attempting to stop the genocide." Is there any greater legitimizing interest out there?! I don't think so. You know what bothers me? We talk about the Holocaust and everyone is just horrified. And how many times have we heard people say, "Never again. We can never let that happen again." And we let it happen in Rwanda, and it's happening in Darfur. What happened to the sense of humanity people felt after WWII? I can't help but to feel that this would be an entirely different conversation if this was happening somewhere in Western Europe, regardless of rather there was anything for us to gain. Regard for the lives of others should never be dependent on what you can get out of doing the right thing. As a country who is so fortunate and has so much, how selfish to base our regard for human life on monetary and resource gains alone.

kathan said...

First of all, we didn't have to go to war with Iraq in order to prevent human rights abuses. Those who disagree with the war in Iraq are by no means condoning the human rights abuses that occurred under Saddam's regime. But there were other options that we could have chosen, and I honestly believe the war did not stem from an outrage over human rights violations, but from a number of political, economic and military reasons.

Secondly, I think that somebody has to take action in Darfur. The U.N. simply is not doing enough (because obviously there is still a genocide going on). As long as this is occurring, we have to the obligation to step in. While that may mean military action, it certainly does not mean war. I couldn't agree more that the U.S. has plenty of problems within its own borders. But would you honestly be comfortable calling yourself an American knowing that your country had the resources and the power to do something about this genocide and it didn't because we already have too many problems of our own? How would you feel if you lived a country where you were being persecuted and other nations were turning a blind eye? Despite Bush's continued butchering of our reputation, the United States has a lot of power within the international community. If we decide that this is unacceptable and do as much as we can to stop it, hopefully other nations will follow suit.

rugbyplayr said...

I would like to begin by saying that the UN does not have an army. Since this is a world organization, if they are to send forces into a region, they require volunteers from member nations. Since the US has the strongest and most advanced military force, it is obvious why if the UN does decide to intervene the US will be directly involved.
Also, it is naive to believe that the US went to Iraq to deal with Saddam Hussein's human rights violations. Plain and simple, the US oil production peaked in the 1970s and now more than ever relies on foreign oil to fuel it. Saddam Hussein was a threat to US oil interests, thus needed to be eliminated. To the Pres. Bush's luck, he also happened to be a tyrant and a presumed security threat, making him an easy target. He was unwilling to subserviently turn his oil over to the US so imaginary weapons of mass destruction led to his downfall.
How can a situation such as this be compared to the atrocities in Darfur? The reason the UN has not intervened is because, if the Security Council should try to, a veto by China or maybe even Russia is almost guaranteed. Since the UN is at a stalemate, this situation will only be resolved by intervention by a military superpower, I don’t know, like the US maybe. The reason the US has not intervened is because they have nothing to gain from doing so. Winston Churchill truthfully stated, "A nation has no permanent enemies and no permanent friends, only permanent interests". The Middle East will always be an interest to the US and when convenient, Africa could be a friend, but since it is not an interest, it is doomed to its fate of evil dictators, with no one willing to defend the innocent citizens.