Do Progressives Care About Darfur? - Part II

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Do Progressives Care About Darfur? - Part II

Last week I wondered if Darfur was an issue that progressives cared about and, based solely on the agenda for the upcoming Take Back America conference, concluded that they do not.

Since then, two important articles have come out regarding the Bush administration and Darfur and neither seem to have generated much outrage or even concern among lefty bloggers.

The first article was by the American Prospect's Mark Leon Goldberg in which it was reported that the Bush administration is quietly trying to kill the Darfur Accountability Act.

The second was a piece by Ken Silverstein in the LA Times on the close anti-terrorism intelligence relationship between the CIA and the genocidal regime in Sudan. And the only blog outrage this generated was over a claim that, in the mid-90's, Sudan offered to turn Osama bin Laden over to the US but Clinton refused the offer.

As Mark Goldberg stated in a post on the topic
Drum seizes upon one sentence concerning a fabled offer by the Sudanese government to turn over Osama bin Laden in 1996 and rejects the story en masse.


Silverstein's toss-away line is an insignificant misstep. This is a hugely important story about the Bush administration's degradation of human rights and democracy promotion by forging relationships of political expedience with some of the world's most heinous criminals.
I strongly support Goldberg's point and was extremely disappointed that bloggers preferred to criticize the media rather than focus on the Bush administration's cooperation with a genocidal regime.

It is becoming clear that those on the Left do not seem to care about Darfur strictly on its merits. But even if that is the case, I still fail to understand why they are not talking about Darfur, especially since it offers a prime opportunity to engage in some well-deserved Bush bashing, which seems to be the main force that is driving most of us to blog.

After taking office, Bush reportedly read an article on President Clinton's failure in Rwanda and scrawled "NOT ON MY WATCH" in the margin. Yet it is happening on his watch, but bloggers and other progressives appear entirely unwilling to capitalize on this hypocrisy.

For more than two years people have been dying in Darfur while the world stands by and yet progressives have barely uttered a word of condemnation.

Hell, even Feddie, a conservative, Catholic, Bush-admiring federalist, is saying that "The Bush Administration ... should be ashamed of itself."

If that is not clear evidence that this administration is failing in its responsibilities, I don't know what is.

I am not happy with the idea of having to "sell" a genocide in this manner in an attempt to fit it into the progressive agenda (whatever that is), but if people aren't going to care about Darfur on basic human rights grounds, then I really have no choice.

The Bush administration has failed to adequately deal with this crisis and 400,000 people have died as a result. And if liberals bloggers aren't willing to criticize him for that and demand action, then there really is no hope.

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