Monday, July 25, 2005

Yes, but I've got a good reason*

Where is Darfur?
Who's the president of that country?
When did the strife begin?
What is the nature of the strife?
Who's fighting who?
Are there any natural disasters involved?
Are there any countries helping out?
How are they helping out?
Sudanese refugees fleeing Darfur (April 2004)

Reuters reported Friday, 22 July 2005, that NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell** was roughed up by Sudanese security after she asked President Hassan al-Bashir why the American people could trust him to keep his word about stopping the violence in Darfur.

It would be great if Mitchell asked our administration questions that were as tough as the ones she asked of the Sudanese government. Here's my favorite quote of Mitchell's when asked about the incident:
"It makes me even more determined when dictators and alleged war criminals are not held to account," she said. "If our government is going to establish a relationship and push for a new beginning as Sudan reforms itself, they have to live up to international standards. A free press is part of that process."

And really, Ms. Mitchell is right. If our fascist government expects to do business with your government, we've got to have a government we can trust. And if we can't trust them, and they have no natural resources we want, we'll just have to walk away from the table. And don't think we won't do it.

Regarding the history questions above, check out Save Darfur's "History of the Conflict." More complicated than the National League Wild Card race.

* Personally, I avoid stories that depress me, like "Schindler's List." So I am woefully unschooled on the Darfur situation. But the old head-in-the-sand trick didn't seem to be working, so I have to get up to speed.

**Andrea Mitchell also doubles as the wife of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. When Alan was asked about the incident he made some ominous noises about raising the discount rate. Khartoum responded, "What's a discount rate?"

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