Saturday, November 10, 2007

Darfur II

Four months ago, I mentioned the pathetic nature of the liberal response to Darfur. Now, in an article at the American Spectator, James Bowman has made the same point far more articulately than I did:
Near the end of Ted Braun's documentary, Darfur Now, a student from Los Angeles named Adam Sterling is invited to speak at the ceremonial signing in Sacramento of a measure he has helped to push through the California legislature. It instructs California state pension funds managers to sell any stock they have in companies doing business in the Sudan. "To the government of Sudan," says young Adam as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger beams down at him approvingly. "We're coming! Your genocide will not occur on our watch, and it will not occur on our dime!" Now I suppose that disinvestment by the state employees of California -- and other states -- in Sudanese oil is not quite so feeble a gesture as the petition addressed to the Taliban I was once asked to sign, pre-9/11, protesting against their treatment of women in Afghanistan, but it is not far off it.

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The saddest thing in this sad film is the shots of the people of Darfur as they wait for Western assistance, imagining what it will be like when "the white people" come to deliver them from their miseries, to set up hospitals and dig wells and bring electricity. They are frankly nostalgic for the days of empire. What Adam Sterling is really doing with his ostentatious display of compassion is helping to make sure that that will never happen. One of the refugee children interviewed for Mr. Braun's camera says: "I want to be a pilot. When I am a pilot I will fly to America and buy many weapons." And then, speaking of the Janjaweed, he adds: "Like they burned us, I want to burn them." Now there's someone who might get something done.

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