June 30, 2004
This is a petition urging President Bush to take action against the ongoing genocide in the Sudan. I've signed it and I urge you to sign it as well.
That said, it's somewhat hard to imagine what exactly the United States can do other than tell them to stop it. The Army has no spare capacity, a situation which I remind you is entirely the President's fault. What other bad choices will we have to make in the coming months because we have no other viable options?
UPDATE: The Poor Man comments on this.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 30, 2004 to Around the world
Hey now. The French, Germans, and other nations snubbing the Iraq reconstruction have plenty of troops to send in under UN blue helmets.
Heck, why not start putting blue helmets on Palestinians and let them earn statehood through service in the UN? Put down the Hamas flag, unstrap the belt, prove that you can perform peacekeeping operations without killing the locals, and you earn a state.
How's that for a test?
How about members of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders (trademarked by TBOGG)? http://tbogg.blogspot.com/
This means you Owen! Any able-bodied person in favor of Georgie's excellent adventure ought to be at the recruiting station forthwith. I'm not a vet, but I'm sick and tired of people who agitate for military action, but won't put their own butts on the line. The folks that they are calling up have put in their time.
Oh, and Lawrence - we broke it, we bought it. If I'm the French or Germans, I'd tell Georgie to go ask Cheney what he should do to himself. Head to the recruiting office if you haven't put in your time. (If you have, thank you and carry on.)
Your statement that the Army has no capacity left to deal with Sudan and that it is entirely the President's fault is, um, faulty. There were a ton of ongoing personnel commitments that the military had coming into the G. W. Bush era and that continue still (Haiti, Kosovo, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, etc.). No value judgement implied on those missions just that in fairness they did exist and draw from available forces prior to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Lawerence actually hits upon the most likely "solution" to mouting an intervention in Sudan. I would expect that when an intervention takes place, France, Germany, Italy or depending on the size Canada would likely lead a UN force that is fleshed out by forces from the likes of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Chile, etc. The UN pays good money for each soldier that they "employ" and the afforementioned countries would have no problem finding voluteers. The countries take portion but most of the daily UN pay is passed on to the soldiers and it far outstrips their normal pay.
I was a member of the UN Peace Forces in Croatia in 1995. My counterparts from Pakistan reported that the UN pay for a 6 month hitch was worth 3 years pay in their regular army and they routinely extended. The Swedish clerk assigned to our branch, Johannes, was in the Baltic for his 3rd tour. He'd come into the army and sign up for a 2 year hitch, leave with some money for college, go back to school, blow his money at college and then come back a year or two later and do it all over again.
BTW, the US military kept all but about $150/month of the "UN pay"...but I got to keep the blue beret.
And Roy, you can't pick and choose. Because someone backs the President in Iraq does not obligate that person to military service any more than it does a person who backs intervention in Sudan. Anyone who advocates sending our forces into harm's way be it Iraq or Sudan can reasonably expect an inquiry into when they plan to visit the recruiter.
There were a ton of ongoing personnel commitments that the military had coming into the G. W. Bush era and that continue still (Haiti, Kosovo, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, etc.). No value judgement implied on those missions just that in fairness they did exist and draw from available forces prior to Afghanistan and Iraq.
That's true, but the point I was making is that we went into Iraq on the assumption that we could handle that invasion plus our other commitments and still have the flexibility and strength to deal with other contingencies as they arose. Surely it was never suggested by the Bush Administration prior to the invasion that once we were in we'd be severely limiting our capabilities on a long-term basis.
As it happens, I do agree with you and Laurence that other countries can and will take the lead militarily in the Sudan (if military intervention is needed), and that this is the right thing for them to do. But again, it won't be because it makes more sense for them to do so, or because they have a greater stake in the region than we do, or because of a preexisting diplomatic arrangement, but because there's no other choice. It's because the President, knowing that we have many global military commitments and knowing that an urgent need for readiness if not deployment can occur at any time, chose to tie up essentially all of our existing resources in Iraq. Which is something we were told wouldn't happen, of course, but that's another story.
Thanks for the interesting stuff about how the UN Peace Corps worked, btw. I didn't know any of that.
So why was the humanitarian problem of the brown skins in Iraq less important than the humanitarian problem of the darker skins in Sudan?
Of course we have limited resources. That's human nature and scarcity. You're familiar with?
If you're going to start playing Save The World progressive, then at least give the President proper credit for ridding the world of two brutally repressive regimes. That's more than most two-termers accomplish on the humanitarian front, and ought to be something so-called progressives can celebrate even if they hate the man who did it.
Gosh, Kevin, maybe the fact that the invasion of Iraq wasn't sold as a humanitarian mission but as a we-must-prevent-Saddam-from-nuking-our-asses one has something to do with it. How much support would there have been for unilaterally sending in 130,000 troops for some indefinite length of time for strictly humanitarian purposes?
I don't recall George and Dick breaking Sudan, so "You broke it, you bought it" does not apply to Sudan. If anything, "You broke it, you bought it" applies to every Arab League country and the "Human Rights" lapdog-watchdog at the UN when it comes to Sudan for the "Arabs versus Darkies" slaughter.
As for the so-called 101st crap you're pedding, enough medical issues not to have been able to serve. And I do believe my medical history is a private matter, or do you not believe in that privacy thing when it comes to smearing patriots of a different color?