Let's get real about Darfur. Nothing is happening that is positive, with the exception of the humanitarian effort on the ground. Given continuing genocidal violence, even the humanitarian effort is now largely focused on refugees who have crossed over into Chad.
The New York Times has yet another excellent article on the genocide--but what difference does it make? We are participating in the world's first post-modern genocide--where the whole world watches, argues over details of coverage, and takes no action. This has been going on for 18 months in Darfur, and a decade or more in southern Sudan.
Here are some talking points that sum up the situation:
The touted African Union solution is a sham. The 4000 AU troops that may or may not ever get to Darfur are about a tenth of what are needed to stabilize the situation. More than 17,000 troops were used in Sierra Leone, a much smaller state and against much less serious opposition. More than 65,000 went to Kosovo. In Sierra Leone the British Navy backed up the AU, and in Kosovo Nato bombers.
No leader who has the power to change things is willing to.
The Chinese are in the best position to influence the regime in Sudan, but they just regard Sudan as "business as usual."
Kofi Annan is a coward and is not willing to take a stand against the Sudanese government, and certainly not against the Chinese who are supporting the regime.
The Bush administration is not serious about Darfur. If they were, they would not have paired their condemnation of the "genocide" with assurances to Sudan that they would not support a military invasion to stop it.
Perhaps after the election the US administration will become more aggressive.
The only hope I see is in large scale demonstrations. But in the United States there are no political mobilization resources available until after the election in two weeks.
Many activists have told me they will shift to Sudan after the election. I hope so.
So we have two weeks to wait and position ourselves--and then perhaps we can mobilize.
And oh yes, I am angry and I'm tired to trying to see the glass half full. For the people of Darfur, the clay cup is nearly empty.