Monday, May 09, 2005

The Selfish Case for Direct Involvement

I’m not particularly fond of Senator Corzine, and there aren’t too many areas where you would find me in agreement with the gentleman from New Jersey. For that matter, I can’t imagine that I’ll be a regular reader of The Huffington Post. But when someone makes a good point, I figure it’s worth noting.

But even if you put aside the moral case for ending genocide for a moment, consider our own interests in the matter.  The failed state that is being created in the wake of this horrific crime will be a hotbed for global instability.  I was there, and I saw what’s happening.  As I stood in the refugee camps of Eastern Chad, into which hundreds of thousands of desperate people are pouring over the border, I realized how dangerous to America the situation has become.  Not only is Darfur a lawless part of an unstable state, but the conflict there is destabilizing Chad.

The refugees, even when they are receiving food and shelter, have nothing to do.  Resentment is building.  And Eastern Chad, which has insufficient resources for its own population, cannot accomodate the refugees for long.  We must stop this genocide, and we also must bring about a long-term political solution to this crisis.  With two million people in refugee camps in Chad and camps for displaced persons in Darfur, we are creating the conditions for the collapse of law and order in an entire region and, potentially, for terrorism.

There are strong moral reasons to want to see the situation in Sudan, but even strong moral reasons aren’t always enough to warrant the kind of energy and political capital that it takes to resolve a difficult, violent situation like the one we are seeing in Darfur. Making the practical case--the argument that non-involvement will be far more expensive in the long run--is far more persuasive to me.

Read the story.

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