Monday, September 27, 2004

Bush and Sudan

There are multiple failures of the Bush administration that has placed America and the world in a much worse place than they were in 2000. Potentially one of the greatest is that because of Rummy, W, and the boys crazy plan to invade Iraq, the US military is extremely overstretched. This has many consequences, some of which I will take up in later posts. But I want to discuss briefly how our Iraq policy has helped lead to inaction in Sudan. We are currently fighting a war on 1 1/2 fronts (it's hard to say we're really fighting a full war in Afghanistan, even if we should be). The Iraq war itself has stretched our military as far as it can go. But think if we hadn't gone to war with Iraq. We would likely still be fighting in Afghanistan though hopefully we would have been defeating Al Qaeda there. But even if we were just fighting a war on one front, we would still have the resources to step in and take control of the Sudan situation.

There are many on the Left who are uncomfortable with the use of military force in any circumstance and while I can understand that, I do not agree with it. Militaries do have value and the Left needs to have a legitimate policy for using them. Stopping genocide seems like a pretty damn good reason to me. But Bush has refused thus far to go into Sudan. Of course, perhaps the UN should but let's face it, the UN wasn't built for situations like this that require snap judgments on whether to intervene in a place that all of a sudden is committing crimes against its own people. So while they should, it's hard to expect them to. This is a situation that may in fact require unilateral action. But we are so overstretched that where would the troops come from? Already, the military is actively recruiting in 3rd world nations for troops. I know I'm not signing up anytime soon.

It's an oversimplification to say that an overextended military is the reason we aren't involved in the Sudan. Bush's lack of policy in Africa is a major reason. Remember that in the 2000 and early 2001 when Bush was setting out his foreign policy he used as an excuse for his lack of any policy with Africa that we couldn't pay close attention to the entire world. Of course, Africa was the only area ignored by the Bushies. Well except for Antarctica, though it's possible that the administration has a more well-thought out policy to deal with penguins than it does for Africa. Another reason for the inaction is the fear that action would kill the slowly evolving peace between the Sudanese government and its Christian minority in the South that was brokered by the US. But even if these reasons didn't exist for US inaction in Sudan, we would still be hampered by our stupid invasion of Iraq and the subsequent overextension of the military.