Cheat-Seeking Missles

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Let There Be No "Hotel Sudan"

Let there be no "Hotel Sudan." That's the concluding thought of an op/ed in today's LA Times by Margaret Carlson on the film "Hotel Rwanda," the awful situation in Sudan, and the inability of the UN and the world to do anything about it. (here) It's good reading, illuminating why so much goes so wrong on that continent.

Here's the conclusion of Carlson's piece:

War is God's way of teaching Americans geography. Few of us even know where Rwanda or Mogadishu or Sudan are unless, by chance, some American gets caught in the crossfire there. Who can sort out the Tutsis from the Hutus or make an educated guess as to what beyond blood lust, revenge and despair they are fighting over? The Middle East we care about. Africa, we don't.

Bush's appointment in June of former Sudan envoy John Danforth to be U.N. ambassador offered the country a ray of hope, at least until he quit just six months later. A day after announcing his resignation, he publicly denounced the failure of a motion that (mildly) criticized human rights violations in Sudan. "One wonders about the utility of the General Assembly on days like this. One wonders if there can't be a clear and direct statement on matters of basic principle. Why have this building? What is it all about?"

As Christmas neared, Save the Children, one of the last relief organizations left in Sudan, announced that renewed fighting made it impossible to stay. The White House tossed the ball back into the United Nations' court, telling Secretary-General Kofi Annan that it was up to him to go there and reopen peace talks.

Let no one be dragged in years to come to "Hotel Sudan." That's a sequel no one should have to see.