Friday, July 18, 2008

Zakaria: Both McCain & Obama Support Darfur No-Fly Zone, "But That Won't Do Much"

It boggles the imagination that four years after former Secretary of State Colin Powell declared the goings on in Darfur to be "genocide," the West has not mustered the will to do anything about those hideous proceedings. "How could the world let it happen" is a question Jewish intellectuals have asked for decades after the holocaust. As the despots of Beijing continue to arm and defend the genocidal regime in Sudan, the answer lies before us, in the larval stage of how the West could allow the holocaust to occur. It is quietly doing so now.

Fareed Zakaria, who hosts the must-see GPS on CNN, weighs in today on the ICC's indictment of Sudan's President for genocide. From CNN:

"CNN: What does the arrest warrant against the president of Sudan mean?

"Zakaria: What it does mean more than anything is that both China and Russia, who have been tacitly supporting Sudan in the Security Council, will have to come out of the closet.

"They now have to take a public stand on the indictment. If they join in the condemnation it probably makes the Sudanese president's life considerably more difficult.

"The Sudanese ambassador tells me his is banking on the Russian and Chinese vetoes in the Security Council to shield him from any action by the council.

"CNN: What is the likelihood of this leading to some kind of peace?

"Zakaria: Actually not that great. The arrest and even conviction are fully warranted as justice for the crimes of genocide. But to get peace in Darfur you need to right now broker some kind of deal in which all parties -- both the government backed forces and the rebels -- agree to stop fighting. And we are a long way from that.

"CNN: What should the U.S. do?

"Zakaria: Well, we should support this process. Unfortunately, we cannot in any meaningful sense because we have refused to join the treaty setting up the International Criminal Court. This episode is a good illustration of why it's difficult for us to lead the world if we turn our backs on international institutions and norms.

"CNN: Do either of the candidates have a position on what should be done?

"Zakaria: Both support establishing a no fly zone. But that won't do much. For the last year, most of the fighting in Darfur hasn't required much air support. Most of the use of air space is for humanitarian flights. Honestly, the best path for getting a resolution is to push the Chinese to use their leverage. This is a case where the U.S. has very limited leverage."

The lack of will -- in Katrina, in Darfur -- only underscore the inherent rightness of David Simon's claim that we are at Empire's End. Check out Chapter 1 of Zakaria's new book on The Post-American world here.

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