Tom Toles's cartoon in today's Washington Post sums up exactly what I feel. Colin Powell has used the word"genocide" to describe what is going on in Sudan. Where is the outrage? Where, more importantly, is the action?
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Ralph E. Luker - 9/20/2004
Stephen, You are either ill-informed or very naive. There isn't the faintest hint of indication that Bush has any intention of reduced spending in a second term. He loves spending _your_ money and sending other people's children off to war. You don't recognize a waistrel when you see one.
Stephen Tootle - 9/20/2004
I would like to see spending under control as much as the next guy, but I don't think we are going to see it happen unless and until Bush's second term. Any spending cut will start an avalanche of criticism that would crush any politician running for election.
As for who gets a tax cut, the largest portion of the tax burden on lower and working classes does not come from income taxes. This does bring up an interesting thought that I haven't quite worked through: I don't know if it is a good idea for certain income brackets to pay no federal taxes. As I say, I haven't thought it through, but it seems like everyone should end up paying some federal income tax. Speaking as someone who is paying income tax for the first time, (my income never quite made it to the "taxpayer" bracket) I do feel more "invested" in the federal government.
Jonathan Dresner - 9/20/2004
The comment "we might need to raise taxes or interest rates if the economy begins to overheat" is the epitome of Republican economics: taxes are not what the government needs to operate, but a drag on the economy, and the only reason to raise them is not because the government should pay its debts but to slow the economy.
I admit that deficit financing is still something I don't entirely understand, but even allowing for the need to spend more than we take in sometimes, as a society, planning to do so for the foreseeable future is just dumb.
Ralph E. Luker - 9/19/2004
On the first point, you certainly are correct. The last time I checked, the United States' balance of payments was at an all time low. This is no sign of a healthy economic recovery. On the second point, if you want to stimulate an economic recovery via the tax cut mechanism, you don't do it by cutting the taxes of the wealthiest 2% of the population. That only fattens their reserves. You do it by cutting the tax burden on lower and lower middle income tax payers because they will _spend_ it. Finally, when I ask where is the call for sacrifice, I ask that of the administration. This administration tells gullible Americans that they can fight wars on many fronts, cut taxes, maintain and add entitlements, and hope that the children and grandchildren won't suffer for all that self-indulgence. It's the epitome of irresponsibility and, sadly, some voters are likely to believe it.
Stephen Tootle - 9/19/2004
I think the economy has changed since the 1960s. With the flood of cheap imports coming into the U.S., I don't think we have to worry as much about inflation, especially on consumer goods. At the same time, we might need to raise taxes or interest rates if the economy begins to overheat. I don't think we have to worry about this happening for the next year or so. At the same time, I have been worried about the U.S. economy stagnating since 2000. If the question is, "How do we stimulate the American economy to keep the recession short and shallow?" My answer is tax cuts. What is your answer?
As for sacrifice, I would support some kind of system of mandatory national service.
Ralph E. Luker - 9/17/2004
Tootle is almost exactly wrong here. What is altogether lacking in this administration's policy is the gutlessness of it. _If_ the war on terror is worth the fight, as I think it is; _if_ the war in Iraq is worth the fight, as I doubt it is; _if_ an intervention in the Sudan is mandated by humane concern, as I think it is, then: _where the hell_ is this administration's call for us to sacrifice for worthy struggle? Instead, we get told again and again that there are tax cuts brightening our futures! This is the utterest nonsense and anyone as smart as Tootle ought to be able to see that. Armed intervention without sacrifice at home in the 1960s ruined the domestic economy with inflation for two decades thereafter and Tootle's and Bush's prescription is simply a repeat of that.
Derek Charles Catsam - 9/17/2004
Funny that this week you post a rather good blog entry on people who cheat not wanting to be cheaters. You misinterpreted my first post on Nazis and slaves and what i meant. You weree wrong, but it has become so fashionable among the right (rightfully so) to reject use off Nazi analogies that you reject valid ones. Mine was valid. It was an analogy based on readings of evidence. Yopu misread what I wrote and so chose to ignore the Nazi thing that did not say what you thought it said. And you keep doing it.
What would I do in the war? I would have used more troops as almost every serious military leader said would be necessary. i would have been in less haste to declare victory than to actually win it. I would have made my intelligence assessments based on facts on the ground, not what I wished to be true. I'd have developed a plan for the reconstruction. But above all, more troops would have been the first solution. And while i am sure Tom would love to be dragged in on your side of this debate, i don't think any of us need to defer to military historians to know that no wars go peachy, but also to note that that wars don't go peachy ought not to absolve those who made the bad worse, who were clearly unprepared for so much of what has happened, and whose arrogance made trying to recover from blunders worse.
You ask me which social or military programs I would cut. Neither. I would rescind the tax cuts. parts at first, all if necessary. I want things, I pay for them.
No, the administration has made minimal progress on AIDS. And in fact it started actively withholding aid from South Africa when mandela (who was not even p[resident, by the way) spoke out against the war. That 25% is of what was promised during that 3.5 year time period, not some amorphous whole. the President promised X provided .25X instead. That is not success. Especially since almost all of that money has gone to paying for overhead that we in fact created, apparently not trusting folks on the ground to be able to address their own problems.
Yes, a simplistic reading: toppled Taliban, toppled Saddam = good. Of course disaster ensued in both places post facto and our troops are no safer nor are we any more protected from terroprists. So a complex reading? That "toppling" does not a success mark.
I would have sent in troops six months ago. The administration has not yet done so. It has not imposed sanctions. It has not called a conference of allies. It has not threatened. Bill Clinton's biggest failing was in not stopping genocide in Rwanda. This administration has a litany of failings, and yet still comparable inaction on Sudan ought to be earning scathing condemnations now. It is well and good to advocate action. Africans are dying while we pat ourselves on the back for our own views when this administration sits back as those Africans die. It is not about what we would do. It is about what people in power with the ability to stop genocide are not doing. Instead you point to position papers from the State Department (and of course we know that in this administration, if the State department says something . . .) rather than place condemnation where it belongs: With those who could stop genocide now but are not. All I have the power to do is write and hope that my small words convince my small audience. I do not support action as some abstraction. I support action as something that was imperative six months ago. This administration is countenancing genocide among what I see as its many, many failings and few successes.
Stephen Tootle - 9/17/2004
Wow. You are a force of nature. I said I would ignore the Nazi stuff, but I guess you won't let me. You wrote:
"Try to keep up and don't confuse my assessment of what is with what I think shold be. Or do you think that people who write about slavery believe in slavery, who describe Germany in the 1930s believe in Nazism? Again -- long before this issue entered your consciosness I wastaking very public stands on what we ought to be doing."
You assert a) I am stupid, and not able to "keep up." b) in fact, being so stupid that I might believe that people who write about Nazism or Slavery are actually advocates for it and c) you have been reading my mind for the past year and a half, and knew when I started to care about what was going on in the Sudan.
I am asserting that all three of these assumptions on your part are, in fact, incorrect. That is what I was ignoring.
Next, you argue that my "bad reading skills" and sloppiness caused by the "thin air of Colorado" were the cause of the confusion. Now our readers have your assertion, and my interpretation of your words side by side and they can make their own conclusions.
You support the war effort. Fine. Me too. You say you have a problem with its execution. Fine. What would you do different? Fighting a global war on terror makes it harder to move in the Sudan? Fine. It is tougher. We agree. I didn't say that you had to admit that the war was "going peachy." Wars don't go peachy (I think Tom can back me up on this).
Next, you say that you "would have had serious reservations about going to a war if we had had the full evidence before us." Ok. You had reservations. Knowing what you know now, do you still support the invasion of Iraq? Me too. You were ambivalent? Me too, but I know you don't think the U.S. should be frozen with ambivalence in the face of a threat.
If you think that "everything since "Mission Accomplished" (ahem) has been mismanaged...," what would you do differently? What would you have done at the time, and what would you do now?
The "Evidence??!!" bit was in anticipation of your call for evidence. I could present a bunch of links to articles. So could you. I just don't think it would get us anywhere. I believe that you would never believe any evidence I presented. Again, readers can look at our exchange and decide if I am making an incorrect assumption.
As for the GOP bit, you wrote:
"It is a shame that the GOP doesn't even want to pay its fair share while asking others to bear every burden."
The GOP is a political party. I assume that you meant that the GOP advocates a position in which someone (the rich? the American people?) does not "pay its fair share" (how much would that be?) while asking (who asks? the party? the President? the chairman of the RNC?) others (the poor? other rich people? the Democrats?) "to bear every burden."
I know the thin air and my sloppy reading skills are conspiring to make me stupid, but the sentence seemed vague and lacked precision.
Next, you wrote:
"The Republicans in the executive and in Congress are spending with no apparent way to pay for it. Are you denying this? Are you honestly telling me that we can afford multiple fronts of military action, domestic programs, and also these tax cuts and that you are not even remotely disquieted by it?"
Yep. But I know you don't want to cut the social programs. Neither one of us wants to cut the military budget. So we are left in a terrible position. If you were made dictator tomorrow, which social programs would you cut? Which ones are the Kerry campaign putting on the chopping block?
Next, you claim Bush is "pretending to tackle AIDS in Africa," while admitting that after only 3.5 years he has provided 25% of his promised aid. Sounds like progress to me. Sounds like success.
Then, you call it "self-congratulatory piffle" that the United States toppled two dictatorships. Again, our readers should judge whether removing the Taliban from Afghanistan and Saddam from Iraq is "piffle." I would argue no. You can argue the "yes" position.
I didn't argue that the "peace is going swimmingly" either. Reconstruction is hard. It takes time. Sometimes it even fails, as it did in the American south, when the American people and their elected representatives decided that the costs were too high.
Yes. One of the definitions of political success, in my mind, is the ability to "get stuff through" Congress. The thin air is probably getting to me again.
As for gay marriage, I wouldn't call myself a "hero" for supporting it, but thanks.
"Holmes" is a term of affection. Luv ya, hot stuff. xxoo
I would speak out more against the administration if I thought that any of the marriage amendment had any chance. It doesn't. Also, I think the country is moving in the right direction on the issue. We will have gay marriage in this country soon.
When the next crisis in Africa pops up, I won't be lecturing you. I am not lecturing you now. I don't understand what makes you so upset about me agreeing with you. If you think the administration is "dilly dallying" I want to know what you would advocate right now. I haven't been commenting on your articles up to this point because most of my comments would have consisted of little more than "ditto" or "I agree." So we would both support military action. Good. Great. Super.
Derek Charles Catsam - 9/17/2004
The problem as I see it is that American foreign policy toward Africa is almost exclusively reactive. Of course, the last time we were not merely reactive in Africa it got us Constructive Engagement during the Reagan years. I wish for once we would both take an active and engaged role and be on the right side of things. But at minimum, I wish we'd do the right thing as events are playing out.
Derek Charles Catsam - 9/17/2004
You'll ignore the Nazi stuff? What are you talking about? You were missing a larger point in which I was making no analogies with anyone being a Nazi, but rather with your misreading of evidence, which you then just did again. It wasn't my temper, It was, apparently, your bad reading skills. You were conflating those of us who have been arguing that it might now be difficult to act in Sudan with those who want to sit back and do nothing. that is where I made the point that just because one makes observations about the reality of slavery or the realities of nazism, does not make them a suppoirter of slavery or Nazis. please tell me it is the thin Colorado air and that you are not this sloppy all the time.
Further, please tell me that you understand that one can support a war effort and not support its execution. I am all for the war on terror (my time in Israel, Steve, recall that? Northern Ireland? Most of my work on Africa? A whole range of public writings?) but that does not mean that just by executing a war the goals of which I support I then have to say that the execution of that war is going peachy. I further would have had serious reservations about going to a war if we had had the full evidence before us. The administration did not lie, but it did present a case that was largely false. I believe in this crazy little thing called the democratic process and had the Senate had all the information at its disposal, it may well not have written the blank check. I supported getting rid of Saddam. But had Congress chosen not to act, knowing there were at the time no WMDs and that thus there was no necessity to act right away, I'd have been ok with that too. I was not gungho, indeed I was ambivalent. I simply averred that there was a liberal case to be made for this war. And I made it (with an emphasis on human rights above all, and much less on wmds and none on al quaida) But even if I had been gungho, the fact that everything since "Mission Accomplished" (ahem) has been mismanaged, I think the administration deserves to be held accountable. It has done a horrible job in Iraq, and we and our troops may not be safer as a consequence.
Steve -- if you'd like this to become a test to see who can patronize who better, that's fine. What you mean by "Evidence?!?!!!" I have no idea. You have not actually presented evidence of the tax cuts helping to end the recession. Not a scintilla. Then you have the audacity to tell me that i am not accepting that evidence that you are not giving. Cunning. Duplicitous and wrong, but cunning.
What do I mean by the GOP not wanting to pay its way? The Republicans are running up colossal deficits and cutting taxes. They are going to make a future generation pay for their profligacy. Inane asides about dues, wherever you were going with that, is again simply disingenuous. The Republicans in the executive and in Congress are spending with no apparent way to pay for it. Are you denying this? Are you honestly telling me that we can afford multiple fronts of military action, domestic programs, and also these tax cuts and that you are not even remotely disquieted by it?
Bush has pretended to tackle AIDS in Africa actually, promising billions in aid and then after 3.5 years providing well less than 25% of that promise. I'd say the self-congratulatory piffle about "toppling two dictatorships" is a mite premature, and the peace is going swimmingly, I see. Iraq and Afghanistan are a work in progress, hardly yet successes. You think his domestic agenda has been successful. That marks a huge difference between me and you. "Getting stuff through" is not, in my mind a success. Or I should say, being successful at getting stuff through does not make for being successful. lots of administrations have successfully pushed through laws that in fact helped to make their administrations failures. And while you are a hero for supporting gay marriage (what, precisely, is "holmes," by the way? Settle down, Vanilla Ice.) it would be nice to see or hear you speak out against what the administration is doing to gay Americans.
I am glad to know that two months ago you could have identified Sudan on a map. The thing I wonder is, when the next crisis pops up in an African country about which you up to then knew nothing, are you going to be lecturing me about what we should or should not do there four months after I have already written something saying we should act? I supported strong action against Sudan months ago. The current administration is still dilly dallying. I'll have to await the next round of circuitous logic to find out how this redounds to their credit. I don't understand your saying that you have been waiting to see what I would do with regard to Sudan or Africa generally. Maybe just checking the archives here to see my rather copious writings on Africa (none of which were worthy of comments from you, I noticed) would be a start. Then I can refer you to a few other things I've written. This is why I referred to you as a johnny come lately -- because you are coming in apparently unaware of just how much I have written right here on this very weblog never mind in an array of other fora, and then wonder what I think we could be doing that we are not. You are also confusing state Department papers with action on the ground. But what are we DOING in Sudan? What are we DOING in Zimbabwe? What are we doing with regard to policy in South Africa? What are we doing in Swaziland? I am glad the State Department is writing stuff about Sudan. But meanwhile, people are dying in Sudan, we've used the word "genocide" and we are not acting. I advocated military action months ago. That has not changed. But then when I point out that action may not come for an array of reasons, you start defending tax policy and talking about pirates on the Barbary coast and misspelling slang that makes you sound like you are recording "Greeley's Most Wanted," ignoring the seemingly simple truism that an acknowledgment of facts does not in any way shape or form represent an endorsement of those facts.
Stephen Tootle - 9/17/2004
I agree with everything (minus most of the last paragraph).
Stephen Tootle - 9/17/2004
First, I am not playing "Johnny Come Lately," and I am not "getting in your face." Just because I did not write about the Sudan on this blog, does not mean that I was ignoring the situation. I am pretty sure I can identify the Sudan on a map, and could do so a couple of months ago as well. I have been pleased that the Bush administration has paid more attention to Africa than any other administration in history (barring our invasion of North Africa and fighting with the Barbary pirates).
He is your President too, so you can take pride in his accomplishments as much as I can.
Also, which military action by your President do you disagree with? I thought you supported the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
So, here is your chance. You have made your assessment of the situation. What should we do? I will try to keep up.
(I'll ignore all that Nazi stuff-- I assume that was your temper getting away from you)
I don't know that I have to debate you on American Africa policy. I don't know what you think we should do, that we are not currently doing. I posted and linked the current administration policy. I would like to know where you differ. I don't have to bring it. The State Department brought it. Argue with them.
I am sorry I managed to miss your point about inflation entirely. Glad you can see that inflation is not bad now. And I am not asking to spend willy nilly on another front. I am asking for the government to spend money, and blood, to stop a genocide.
I do enjoy your use of the word "monocausal," though. You make it seem as though I think the rest of the American economy does not exist. Thanks for that.
I never said "Tax cuts= end of recession." The tax cuts did provide a stimulus to the economy that made the recession shorter, and shallower. I think most economists would agree with that. (At this point, Derek should respond "Evidence????!!!) Hey. Look it up yourself.
While we are on it, you assert that "The GOP doesn't even want to pay its fair share while asking others to bear every burden." What makes you think that the GOP, that is, the Republican Party, does not want to pay its fair share of something? Should the Party be paying dues to some organization that promises to reduce the deficit? How does that work, exactly? What, in your mind, is a fair share? Pay for what we do? You don't believe in deficit spending under any circumstances?
I think I know something about American conservatism, so if you want to have this discussion, bring it. No American conservative would oppose deficit spending during wartime.
This administration is "ideological yet intellectually inconsistent...?" What does that mean?
I assume that you are not talking about me when you say that some of your "conservative academic friends have managed to justify a whole range of things in which they never believed in order to support a president who has not been successful on any front."
But Bush has been successful on more than one front. He toppled two dictatorships, tackled AIDS in Africa, got healthy portion of his domestic agenda through, and reoriented American foreign policy. You might not like what he did, but these are successes. And I support gay marriage, for the record, so send your congratulations elsewhere holmes.
Derek Charles Catsam - 9/17/2004
Please do not play Johnny Come Lately and get in my face about Sudan. Months ago on this very blog, long before you could identify Sudan on a map, I wrote several long pieces on why we should intervene in the Sudan, militarily if necessary. I have at no point not advocated military action. I've been advocating far more active policy in Africa for a decade or more. My recoprd is hardly hidden here. But there are realities that YOUR president has brought about that has made military action less likely. Try to keep up and don't confuse my assessment of what is with what I think shold be. Or do you think that people who write about slavery believe in slavery, who describe Germany in the 1930s believe in Nazism? Again -- long before this issue entered your consciosness I wastaking very public stands on what we ought to be doing. I had a rather long argument with a conservative Republican on this very site in which I made an ardent case for military action if necessary, whatever the cost. If you'd like a debate with me on American Africa policy, Steve, bring it.
As for inflation being bad now, you manageed to miss the point entirely. Inflation is not bad now. Butif we spend willy nilly on another front, we run the risk of causing inflation. It would have the effect of printing money.
My point about causality is that it cannot be proven. You are however making a monocausal argument. Tax cuts = end of recession. I've never seen a serious economist promote monocausal arguments for either the onset of or the end of recessions. Given this historical fact, I'd assert that if you are going to argue monocausality, you need to prove it. The tax cuts we know hurt the budget. It is a shame that the GOP doesn't even want to pay its fair share while asking others to bear every burden. All I ask for is that we pay for what we do. At one point conservatives (as opposed to partisans) belioeved in the same thing. This is not a conservative administration, which I would oppose but respect It is instead an ideological yet intellectually inconsistent administration. I am shocked that so many people I respect are so willing to cave into whatever this administration does. I am shocked that Andrew Sullivan is holding to hardfelt principles more than my conservative academic friends who have managed to justify a whole range of things in which they never believed in order to support a president who has not been successful on any front, except perhaps in demonizing gays (so your president is good at bigotry of the worst sort. Congratulations.)
chris l pettit - 9/17/2004
If I may interject on the international law front...
According to the Genocide Convention, a state is required to intervene (not necessarily militarily) once a situation is declared genocide because of the prevention aspect of the Convention. The question of interpretation becomes who declares the genocide, and that question is far from being definitively answered. I would not go so far as to argue that Powell's declaration is binding on the US government, but a much stronger case can be made regarding the Congressional resolutions that were passed. Constitutionally, the power to declare such situations SHOULD fall to the legislature, but then again, so should war making.
For those who support unilateral action and look at the system failure of the UN as allowing things like the crisis in Sudan to occur, I do not see how one can form a legal argument saying that the US does not have the obligation to go in since it has declared a genocide and has therefore placed the requirement on itself to prevent it from continuing.
For those who look at it as the international community having to declare genocide (not necessarily through the UN, only universal consensus...and that does not even require nation states, just credible NGO's and civil society groups), the US declaration of genocide does little more than bring the issue to the forefront of the international community...a stance much more comfortable for those who want to argue political and economic concerns and want the US to be able to declare something genocide and then not take responsisbility for doing anything about it since we feel we are too strapped due to the illegal war in iraq and the tax cuts that no sensible economist would ever argue brought us out of the recession (which we are not out of, you would be wise to start buying yen or euros).
Having been in the Sudan, the US declaration should be taken with a grain of salt due to its support of atrocities committed by Chadian paramilitaries and Sudanese rebel groups fighting the Sudanese government and (media created) Janjaweed militas (in reality several different tribal factions with little to do with one another other than Sudanese government support and commission of atrocities). DC is totally correct in saying that indifference plays a major role. Sudan is interesting in that it is another example of a sort of proxy conflict posing as an ethnic battleground. on the side of the Sudanese government, all you see are Russian and Chinese weapons and supplies, on the side of the rebels and Chadian militias, all you see are US weapons and supplies. It is no wonder that this is all getting held up by self interest at the Security Council level. What it points out (yet again) is the fundamental failure of the UN nation state system and the reason why the SC council should be changed and the veto taken away from the P5. One will note that the US has a history of opposing the current Sudanese government (who admittedly are illegitimate and guilty of all kinds of crimes).
I should note that I have no doubt that there are some government servants (a small minority) that truly care about the welfare of the Sudanese people, but the great majority, I would speculate, care only about the removal of the government and the nationa state interests there (whether they be Russian, Chinese, or US).
What I find to be a greater disgrace is the inaction of the AU and EU, parties that do not have as much blatant self interest involved and should be more worried in terms of humanitarian concerns. I understand that the West is blowing the Dafur situation up while ignoring the other atrocities taking place in Sudan, Zimbabwe, Cote d'Ivorie, Chechnya, and other places, but still, a few hundred troops from the AU is unacceptable.
Lastly, i want to reiterate that I do not find arguments citing an illegal war or the greed and self interest of the US government motivated by economically disatrous tax cuts to be a compellling argument against intervening. It is interesting that out of a requested $160 million in aid, the UN has received the staggering sum of $17 million, the biggest non-supporters - 3) Russia due to its support of the Sudanese government and business interests in the region, 2) the UK: not really sure why here, may have something to do with the EU reluctance to declare the situation a genocide, and 1) the US - what a big surprise since this is what always happens...an even bigger travesty given that we are the ones declaring this a genocide and urging action...but we won;t give any aid when it is needed most due to our need to support the slaughter in Iraq and the pockets of the rich folks and arms manufacturers. hence my hesitation to actually think that the actions of the US government are anything but self interested.
Stephen Tootle - 9/17/2004
What would you be willing to accept as evidence that tax cuts helped pull us out of the recession? Be specific and I will see if I can meet your standards.
Budget deficits during wartime? I don't care.
Also, here is a link:
You find the section where the administration "when first, the administration denied that there was arecession [sic]..." in 2001.
I am familiar with inflation. Are you? Even factoring in energy costs, inflation is still low. Check it:
You said you would "love to hear their justification." Here is the President's statement:
White House Press Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 9, 2004
Statement By The President on Violence in Darfur, Sudan
The United States is appalled by the violence in Darfur, Sudan. Our government has led the international effort to end the suffering there by speaking clearly about the crisis and sending assistance to the suffering. We have provided more than $211 million in aid and humanitarian relief, and we will provide an additional $250 million. To end the conflict, we helped broker a cease-fire and worked closely with the African Union to deploy monitors and soldiers to investigate violations.
I sent Secretary of State Powell to Darfur and Khartoum to demand that the Sudanese Government act to end the violence. We sponsored a strong Security Council Resolution, which passed on July 30. This resolution called on the Government to disarm the Jinjaweed militias which have terrorized the people of Darfur, and bring their leaders to justice. Secretary Powell later sent a team of investigators into the refugee camps to interview the victims of atrocities. As a result of these investigations and other information, we have concluded that genocide has taken place in Darfur. We urge the international community to work with us to prevent and suppress acts of genocide. We call on the United Nations to undertake a full investigation of the genocide and other crimes in Darfur.
The Government of Sudan has not complied with UN Security Council resolutions, and has not respected the cease-fire which it signed. The rebels are also guilty of cease-fire violations and failing to carry out past commitments. It is clear that only outside action can stop the killing. My government is seeking a new Security Council Resolution to authorize an expanded African Union security force to prevent further bloodshed. We will also seek to ban flights by Sudanese military aircraft in Darfur.
The world cannot ignore the suffering of more than one million people. The U.S. will continue to help relieve suffering, as we demand that the Jinjaweed disarm, and that the Government, Jinjaweed, and Darfur rebels end the violence.
Released on September 9, 2004
Finally, here is Powell's statement:
Here is the State Department report:
If you aren't advocating military intervention, what are you asking for?
Derek Charles Catsam - 9/16/2004
Tax cuts pulled us out of the recession? Um, evidence? Even a bit? You have none. Economists serously cannot trace causality. I am pretty certain that you or I cannot. I do know that we have ballooned the budget deficit. I am expected to pay for what I buy. I do not mind budget deficits. What i do reject is ratcheting up record budgets and cutting taxes. Sorry -- no go. Utterly irresponsible. But let's stop this boilerplate silliness about the tax cuts ending the recession, when first, the administration denied that there was arecession, then the recovery happened in ways that defy monocausal explanations.
At some point you cannot simply spend money you do not have. You are familiar with inflation?
Again, I have been arguing for months now to intervene in Africa. It is this administration that is not doing it. I'd love to hear their justification. But i bet the too thin military and the cost would play a role. If they were honest. That if is a huge contingency, i guess.
Stephen Tootle - 9/16/2004
No, no, and no.
Red ink now could save a generation of Africans. Tax cuts pulled us out of the recession. Raising taxes would be a bad idea. If we don't have the military capabilty, lets double it. Did you read that Helprin article in CRB?
I think the US should do what it takes, spend what it takes, unilaterally, to stop the genocide in the Sudan. It is a genocide. A genocide. Genocide. I don't think pragmatism has a place here.
Derek Charles Catsam - 9/16/2004
I've been arguing for going in for months. History will judge us nmore harshly for not doing so than we will judges harshly for doing so. But from a purely pragmatic vantage point, Ralph is right. Iraq makes it close to impossible. especially if the administration will not budge on tax cuts. I would argue that it will be the tax cuts even more than iraq that will prevent us from action. maintaining a little extra disposable income for the richest 1% of the population will stop us from ending genocide in Sudan. Pitiful.
Stephen Tootle - 9/16/2004
It is genocide. Spend the money. Go ahead and call me "pro big government" if you want to.
Derek Charles Catsam - 9/16/2004
To all three points.
Steve -- I do believe that there is at least a little bit of racism involved, at least as far as the unwillingness of the American public to be outraged, but I do not think that inaction in Rwanda on Clinton's part and Sudan on Bush's part is really racist. It is about the margnalization of Africa, and there is a racial component., racism is too easy to accuse someone of, but that does not mean that there are not racial or at least cultural biases involved.
Lee -- There is a good chance that Powell was the lone voice in the wilderness. Or, even more cynically, perhaps Powell was throwing out a trial baloon, the administration will engage in motion that falls short of action, and will then try to take credit for acknowledging genocide. Again, that is cynical, but I fear it may be true.
Ralph -- Yup. Iraq and especially Iraq's bogged situation means that another front might be well-nigh impossible. But America has power beyond military force. Of course the adinistration's ability to act in diplomatic circles has been rather circumscribed. I just cannot believe how badly the administration has mishandled this war. Sudanese are dying by the thousands, and as a consequence of that mismanagement, we are circumscribed in what we can do. This is not good. Were I North Korea with designs on the South, right now would seem a good time to act.
Ralph E. Luker - 9/16/2004
I don't understand how one could contemplate opening up yet a third front in the American war on Islam. The President's decision to invade Iraq has had consequences. It has tied up all available troops and resources. Indeed, at the current rate, we are committed to red ink into the rest of your lifetime.
Richard Lee Altman - 9/16/2004
Colin officially called it "genocide" a few days ago, yet we hear nothing about the U.S. moving to stop it. Is this just another example of Powell being the proverbial voice in the wilderness of the Bush administration?
Stephen Tootle - 9/16/2004
The answer, of course, is racism.
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