U.S. Role to End Genocide: Some $$ and a Plane

Thursday, June 02, 2005

U.S. Role to End Genocide: Some $$ and a Plane

Yesterday at the White House, President Bush met with South African President Thabo Mbeki. In his statements, Bush acknowledged once again that Darfur is the scene of a genocide. Of course, simply calling it a genocide doesn't actually do anything to end a genocide that has gone on and on.

Bush tried to put the best face on the administration's actions:
BUSH: "Our government has put a lot of money to help deal with the human suffering there ..."

REPORTER: "... Mr. President, on the issue of Darfur, Sudan, a new survey came out by the Zogby International Poll that finds 84 percent of Americans polled feel that the U.S. should not tolerate an extremist government committing such attacks and should use its military assets, short of using military combat troops on the ground to protect civilians there."

BUSH: "Let me first say something. We are working with NATO to make sure that we are able to help the AU put combat troops there ..."
Of course, both the number of AU troops and their mandate have hampered efforts to end the violence in Darfur. And what responsibility has the U.S. accepted to end the misery that is Darfur?
BUSH: "... And as a part of that (NATO effort), I believe a transport plane of ours, for example, will be a part of this mission."
When Bush was asked whether he would support British Prime Minister Tony Blair's plan to get the world's wealthiest nations to double their aid to Africa, this was what our "compassionate conservative" in the White House had to say:
BUSH: "We have made our position pretty clear on that, that it doesn't fit our budgetary process."
The president who hasn't vetoed a single spending bill (including those filled with pork-barrel projects) suddenly hides behind the mantle of fiscal austerity.

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