Monday, June 04, 2007

3 Plans for Darfur That Will Work

Beijing Olympics 2008 SymbolFOR A LETTER TO SENATOR KERRY REGARDING DARFUR SEE: Letter to Senator John Kerry on the Situation in Darfur

Some interesting ideas were proposed at the Democratic debate yesterday, not regarding Iraq, but Darfur. Here are three actions that could be taken that have the best chance of stopping the genocide.

1. Boycott the Chinese Olympics until China ends its support for the Sudanese government

China is easily the biggest backer of the Sudanese dictatorship. Taking them out of the equation would make ending the genocide much easier.

2. No fly zone over Sudan

This could be enforced along with trade sanctions. Without any money, Omar al-Bashir would surrender quickly. He can only get so much food for himself, right?

3. Send in troops

Under Chapter 7 of their constitution, the U.N. is allowed to use force if necessary. Sadly, war is likely the only way to stop the violence in Darfur. Both the Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide were only ended after war.


Brendan said...

In April 1978, there was a Soviet-backed coup in Afghanistan, along with an increase in human rights abuses against Jewish dissidents, such as Alexander Ginsburg, Yuri Orlov and Anatoly Scharansky. At that time, when Moscow was preparing for a Summer Olympics that was still two years away, there were two cities in the world that could have played host in lieu of Moscow: Munich and Montreal. Given the fact that the murder of eleven Israeli athletes in Munich was still fresh in the minds of many, Montreal was probably the only real alternative to Moscow, but it was enough.

President Carter could have and should have pressured the International Olympic Committee to consider moving the 1980 Olympic Games to Montreal back then; instead, he did nothing until January 1980, weeks after Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev's invasion of Afghanistan. Mr. Carter's last-minute boycott campaign ended up doing nothing to get Soviet troops out of Afghanistan but did end up making our president look in the eyes of many around the world as if he were afraid to have American athletes compete against the Soviets on their turf and lose. Moreover, Mr. Carter's boycott didn't cause the cancellation of the Moscow Olympics; instead, it simply enabled the Soviets to rack up more medals and spurred their boycott of the Los Angeles Olympics four years later.

The Moscow Olympic boycott was thus a spectacular failure, and similarly, it may already be too late for a Beijing Olympic boycott to work, as the Bush administration has done absolutely nothing to prepare for one. Imagine if the sixty-five nations that boycotted the Moscow Olympics had participated but had refused to allow their national anthems to be played or their national flags to be flown at the opening, closing, and medal-awarding ceremonies, substituting instead the Olympic hymn and the five-ringed Olympic flag: the Soviets would have been deeply embarrassed every time three Olympic flags were hoisted for a medal-awarding ceremony, and our athletes would not have been deprived of their opportunity to compete. This is the action we might consider taking in protest of China's continuing economic cooperation with Sudan if it is already too late to pressure the IOC to move the 2008 Summer Olympics from Beijing to Athens or Sydney.