Mark Leon Goldberg

Mark Leon Goldberg is the executive editor of UN Dispatch and host of the "Global Dispatches" podcast.

Recent Articles

THE ICC WONT...

THE ICC WONT LET THEM BE. The International Criminal Court just issued its first arrest warrants for suspected war crimes in Darfur. Two people, a janjaweed commander and a Sudanese government official, are wanted for trial in The Hague. As the ICC does not have a Marshall Service of its own, whether or not these two face trial will depend on how strong the international community is willing to press Sudan on this issue. For our part, these warrants place American officials in a somewhat awkward spot. Law forbids American cooperation with the ICC absent a presidential waver, and as late as last month sources have told me that government agencies were still deciding on whether or not to cooperate with the court on Darfur. The United States, remember, is not party to the court. And back in March 2005 when the issue of granting the ICC jurisdiction in Sudan came up in the Security Council, the United States abstained from the vote. At the time, the U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes...

Legal Bind

In August 2003, the Sudanese government tasked Ahmad Harun, an official in the Ministry of Interior, to oversee the recruitment of janjaweed militia in Darfur. Earlier that year, separatist rebels in Darfur caught the central government off-guard in a series of surprise attacks on state installations. It was thought that the janjaweed -- militiamen comprised of Arab nomads -- could bolster the government's military presence in Darfur and help crush the rebellion. According to documents recently released by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Harun traveled to Darfur with boxes of cash and ammunition to distribute to the janjaweed. Once there, Harum struggled with the eternal counterinsurgency quandary: how to discriminate between combatants and civilian? As Harun reflected, "rebels infiltrate the villages," and villages "are like water to fish." Harun's solution was to hire a janjaweed commander named Ali Kushyb and give him carte-blanche to drain the pond. That...

PREVENTING THE NEXT...

PREVENTING THE NEXT DARFUR. On UN Dispatch (where I also blog), Lee Feinstein explains how the United Nations can build capacity to prevent the next Darfur. The absence of a rapid response capability is a problem that dates back to the UN's founding. But the time may be right to address this deficiency head on. Building on President Bush's proposal in the State of the Union for a voluntary international reserve of civilians, Ban should push for the establishment of an international strategic reserve of troops that could be designated by states to be available for peacekeeping missions authorized by the Security Council. Nations would train troops to international standards. Earmarked troops would exercise with one another. States would be compensated for their efforts, and would receive a premium if they gave formal approval for their forces, which would remain under each state's national command, to be deployed to a UN mission. The idea of some sort of semi-standing international...

WHICH SIDE ARE...

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON, EDWARDS? I don�t know Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan , but if Edwards does fire them, it would appear that he�s caving to the demands of a bigoted right-wing activist who worked very hard to make sure that Edwards would not be elected vice-president in 2004. My favorite quote from Catholic League President William Donahue, who is calling for Edwards to sack these two: �Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular ... Hollywood likes anal sex." -- Mark Leon Goldberg

GETTING HOT IN HERE.

GETTING HOT IN HERE. Don�t tell James Inhofe , but the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just issued its much-anticipated report on global warming. The 20 pages of policy recommendations contained therein are sure to be ignored by the flat-earth devotee, who earlier this week pre-emptively criticized the report's underlying science in an interview with CNN's Miles O'Brien . For O'Brien's classic Inhofe smackdown, watch this , courtesy of Think Progress. -- Mark Leon Goldberg

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