Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, September 29, 2006

Politics Over Human Life?

The Daily Evergreen has lent much attention to the terrors occurring in the Darfur region of Sudan, Africa. I have been noting the reports with a lot of interest and feel strongly for the poor people that have been affected by this. It’s a human tragedy that I hate to hear about, that anybody would hate to hear about. Yet many, like the WSU Progressive Students Union and Social Responsibility, have treated it as a political or social issue. They imply that the U.S. is somehow required to get involved not just for humanitarian reasons, but for political reasons as well.

I do believe that the participants in the Glenn Terrell Mall demonstrations are genuinely concerned on a human level. I don’t doubt their motives. I do, however, see far too much hypocrisy in how they chose their victims. These campus groups are overwhelmingly liberal, and have strongly and publicly chastised President Bush for his views on Iraq.

Before the toppling of Saddam’s regime, Iraq was in much the same situation as Sudan is now. Certain people were routinely singled out because of religion or politics and tortured, murdered, or all-out exterminated. For many years the Clinton Administration and the United Nations turned a blind eye. But when the United States invades Iraq shortly after 9/11, the human factor is brushed aside or hidden entirely. Now, many Iraqis no longer have to worry about being arrested by an oppressive government and fed into wood chippers (feet-first), and all we hear from the liberal left is that “Bush lied [about WMDs], thousands died.” Never mind the fact that—surprise, surprise—they actually found some. And if not for WMDs, then it must be about oil, right? If that were true why, after more than four years, am I still paying almost $3.00 per gallon of gasoline?

It is war and war alone, I fear, that will inspire any change in Darfur. The Sudanese government has made it clear that they don’t care what the UN has to say. Some may believe that words can solve this. I know that hatred as deeply rooted in history and society as that in Sudan will not be driven out by words. War is hell, and many young soldiers will undoubtedly die to liberate these victims in Sudan should we become involved. Our soldiers will do it without question or complaint. That is what a soldier does: They sacrifice their lives for strangers, be they countrymen or foreign allies.

My question is this: Why should a soldier’s life lost in Sudan be worth any more than a soldier’s life lost in Iraq? Why is it worth it to lose so much to liberate Darfur, and not to liberate 25 million Iraqis? By all outward appearances, this is exactly what many are advocating. They believe that intervention in Darfur is justified while “Bush’s war” is groundless and ill-inspired, even though their ends are essentially the same. It is unfortunate that the value of human life can be determined by which political party is advocating it.

1 comment:

Tom Forbes said...

I wonder if there were similar protests on campus during the Clinton Administration when there was "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia. Clinton chose not to intervene militarily either.

Somehow, I suspect there wasn't.