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Thursday, July 08, 2004

Well, it's not quite another Rwanda, in the sense that they don't have any military advisors sitting amongst the genocide's plotters and executioners (coincidentally not unlike the German Kaiser's army during Ottoman Turkey's genocide against the Armenians), but this is still shameful for France:
France says it does not support US plans for international sanctions on Sudan if violence continues in Darfur.
Hang in there Mr Timmyhawk, I hear you say: Haven't you always argued against sanctions, such as Cuba or Iraq? Yes, though normally I advocated a military invasion as alternative, which was not always popular with the anti-sanctions crowd. My point of criticism against France here is that France is opposed to sanctions not because they are ineffective or counterproductive, but because the French government doesn't think there is anything to make a fuss about. Can't really help you there if you don't see it. I suppose we should just wait until Sudan's blacks have all been murdered and deported, because only then can we prove beyond doubt that the problem is serious enough to warrant and legitimate action. By then it will be too late to do anything. Clever Chirac, that way you needn't worry about such abusive regimes. I feel his deputy foreign minister is being a bit too flippant:
Mr Muselier also dismissed claims of "ethnic cleansing" or genocide in Darfur.
"I firmly believe it is a civil war and as they are little villages of 30, 40, 50, there is nothing easier than for a few armed horsemen to burn things down, to kill the men and drive out the women," he said.
"Oh well never mind, shit happens" seems to be the message here. Thank God France is leading the EU to be a counter weight to the evil US, spreading the message of superior morals and love of peace, or whatever it is called.
Why, however, would the US be doing this? Well the BBS can help us here with its thoughtful and unpredictable analysis:
France led opposition to US moves at the UN over Iraq, and as in Iraq the US also has significant oil interests in Sudan.
Aha! The oil grabbers caught red handed again. Thankfully France doesn't have any oil interests in Sudan, like France had no oil interests in Iraq, like those exclusive drilling rights the Brits and Yanks were being denied by Saddam for "political reasons". No, oil would never be a factor in French foreign policy.
To be clear, I'm not attacking France for pursuing her interests, not even for wrapping itself in a mantle of morality -we all do that after all-, what I'm annoyed by is that vast parts of the media, students and public opinion have been taken in by it.
At the end the question is, is anybody talking tough?
Meanwhile, African leaders have urged Khartoum to stop bombing Darfur and say their proposed 300-strong force will have a mandate to protect civilians.
God bless 'em, even if it doesn't do much good.


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