Meditations (Politics): Resign, Kofi Annan
Resign, Kofi Annan
A nation’s moral authority is inversely proportional to its dependence on military power. Nowhere is the erosion of America’s stature under the militaristic Bush Doctrine more clear than with US/UN ineffectuality in dealing with the genocide in Sudan.
After repeatedly declaring, with the relish of a small man, “I’m a war president,” Bush now says, “nobody wants to be the war president.” (Shrub’s megalomania and plans for perpetual war are revealed in his use of the preposition ‘the’ rather than ‘a.’) Then he insults our intelligence by adding, “The next four years will be peaceful years.”
By declaring “global war on terrorism,” Bush played into the terrorist’s hands in this psychological struggle. Articulating higher principles and addressing, rather than manipulating people’s fears, would have won hearts and minds of people around the world, the true territory of this 'war.'
What is needed to triumph over terrorism is a degree of wisdom and rhetorical restraint. Instead, the bastards waged a “war of choice,” and destroyed the world’s goodwill toward America. If wiser heads had prevailed, American leadership might not be such a contradiction in terms, and the international community wouldn’t be so rudderless.
With this backdrop, the killing and expulsion of people from their villages in western Sudan continues. Is it any wonder that ordinary people in Khartoum ask, “Is Iraq not enough? Do they want to destroy us too? America wants everyone who is Arab to pay.”
Thus another genocide, another ethnic cleansing is made. Just as the Hutu rightly calculated that Belgium and the West would pull the UN troops out of Rwanda, making the killing fields secure for their slaughter, so too the Janjaweed militia in Sudan rightly calculated that a toothless United Nations would be incapable of acting. A fickle America and a feckless Europe now cynically threaten economic sanctions against an impoverished people, even as they dance a diplomatic tango around the word “genocide.”
The destruction of UN credibility and effectiveness is nearly complete. Dislocated Darfur refugees, which number about a million and are receiving little or no aid, echo the same sickening indictment of the ‘international community’ heard in Bosnia and Rwanda: “We were told that the United Nations would make us safe, but we waited so long in Darfur, and no one came to make us safe.”
At the same time as the Bush Administration’s front man, Colin Powell, visited the region, Kofi Annan made his obligatory trek to see the suffering masses. He sat in his vehicle while aides angrily told him that the entire refugee camp--thousands of people—had been moved during the night. The displacement of the displaced took place because Sudanese officials didn’t want the world’s leading diplomat to see such squalor.
Though two genocides in a decade have taken place on his home continent, Mr. Annan has yet to find his voice. By kowtowing to the hollow “sole remaining superpower,” Annan has helped to realize Bush’s self-fulfilling prophecy of UN “irrelevance.”
Resign, Kofi Annan. Doing so, plus speaking the truth about how these horrors came to pass, and what needs to be done to avert more genocide, is the only thing you can now do to save your beloved United Nations.
As the killing and raping go on, Russia sells MIG fighters to Sudan. It joins China in refusing to even discuss taking action, adhering to a foreign policy designed to pre-empt any light from shining on their human rights abuses.
In such climate, governed by a bogus clash of civilizations fomented by an American president and administration with no capacity for reflective thought, the Sudanese president declares with a straight face: “The international concern over Darfur is actually a targeting of the Islamic state in Sudan.”
Behind all this farce you hear an implicit but unmistakable communiqué of hubris, now accepted by UN and EU leaders: ‘we are the United States, the sole remaining superpower, and we will determine what action, if any, will be taken on matters concerning humankind, even when the issue is genocide.’
However, when the world’s policeman is a militarist, don’t expect adequate humanitarian response in real time to real people dying from real slaughter and deprivation.
Unless true leadership emerges in the world (which won’t come from the US, even if, miraculously, Kerry is elected) expect more wars, both the fake and real kind, with more genocides following in their wake. It’s time for world citizens to take things in our own hands.
- Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He has been publishing in North America, Latin America, Africa, and Europe (and now New Zealand) for 20 years. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The author welcomes comments.