MORE TNR DARFUR, FEWER KUDOS. One of my favorite public intellectuals, Samantha Power, also pens an excellent essay which raises a crucial point that will likely make some of the Iraq war hawks who roam the halls of TNR rather uncomfortable.
Thanks to the war in Iraq, sending a sizable U.S. force to Darfur is not an option. Units in Iraq are already on their third tours, and the crumbling Afghan peace demands ever-more resources. Moreover, sending Americans into another Islamic country is unadvisable, given the ease with which jihadis could pour across Sudan's porous and expansive borders. Making Darfur a magnet for foreign fighters or yet another front in the global proxy war between the United States and Al Qaeda would just compound the refugees' woes.
I am glad that Power was able to sneak in these lines. Because, for an issue entirely dedicated to the Darfur genocide, there is surprisingly little in the way of specific remedial policy proposals, let alone ones that recognize the difficulties that the Iraq War has posed to Darfur. Rather, various essays attack the same liberal boogeyman for not understanding that American power, and only American power, can save Darfur. But insofar as these editorials simply ignore the issues raised by Samantha Power, they add precious little to the debate. Calling people like me �heartless bleeding hearts� without addressing the underlying concerns that make me (and Samantha Power) skeptical about the wisdom of deploying American troops to Darfur may be rhetorically satisfying. But in the midst of this ongoing genocide, simply ignoring the difficulties that Iraq has posed to our response to Darfur is irresponsible.
--Mark Leon Goldberg