Back in December I wrote an item entitled Darfur Warriors of the Boston Globe, describing the newspaper's call for muscular action to end ethnic strife in that region of Africa. Earlier this month, the Globe was back on the case, as I described in The Darfur Double Standard: Globe Calls for Intervention.
Well, you might say, like child like parent. The New York Times, parent corporation of the Globe, is out with an editorial this morning, Talking Darfur to Death, very much along the same lines.
The Times politely writes off UN expressions of concern and Arab League diplomacy. Instead, it demands "concerted international action, including a strong protective force." Note that word: "force." Call it protective, but "force" inevitably implies guys with guns. And to what end? To stop the killing of innocent civilians in the ethnic, largely intra-Muslim, strife that grips Darfur. The parallel with the situation in Iraq is striking. Yet in the Darfur case the Times demands an international force, whereas in Iraq it of course is demanding that the international force in place withdraw post haste.
What if the United States were to follow the Times' dictum and withdraw, and Iraq plunged into limitless violence, as the Time's own Baghdad bureau chief has predicted? Would the Gray Lady reverse course and demand "concerted international action, including a strong protective force" to stop the killing in Iraq?
Mark was in Iraq in November. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org