In a letter recently published in the British newspaper, The Mirror, England’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown wrote, “As we join our families for Christmas, we must not forget the mothers, fathers and children of Darfur.” He went on:
I am determined that Darfur’s tragedy should not continue. This determination is shared by the hundreds of humanitarian workers who continue to deliver aid to the people of the region in atrocious conditions, and the millions of campaigners throughout the world, including Mirror readers, who have kept Darfur on the world’s agenda.
Darfur is a test of whether the international community has the guts to stand up for its values.
If one takes an honest assessment of those values it seems the international community is passing the test with flying colors. Reviewing over four years of multilateralism on Darfur, one finds: a quarter-million corpses, two million people displaced, four million people on aid, incalculable billions in Chinese oil deals and investments, four toothless U.N. resolutions, and one earnest George Clooney documentary.
But no cowboy diplomacy, and that’s the important thing, after all. The endless Darfur horror is a perfect example of multilateralism for multilateralism’s sake. This article by Eric Reeves, re-printed in the Sudan Tribune, is a must-read primer on the ways in which China (using the U.N.) has endorsed and bankrolled a five-year massacre.
In his letter, Gordon Brown cites enthusiastically the deployment to Darfur of a large group of U.N. peace-keepers this coming January. With no peace to keep (and no orders to fight), the men in blue helmets will merely bear witness as all the figures mentioned above continue to climb.