At 11:49 a.m. on the last day of the year, I posted a Spine on Darfur and the Democratic campaign, "What Does Hillary Think About Darfur?" In it I digressed about what Obama does or does not think about Darfur. The fact is there is virtually no Democrat who thinks hard about the genocide in Sudan, and it doesn't take very much to grasp what is going on. And, yes, I ridiculed the United Nations which seems to be every liberal's lame recipe for action.
Then I turned to the Financial Times and an article by its smart U.N. correspondent, Harvey Morris: "Depleted UN force joins peace effort in Darfur...Only a third of troops deployed." And here's a significant pull-quote: "The troops will lack the transport and attack helicopters needed to operate in the vast territory."
First of all, Sudan (and its Arab allies in the U.N.) refuse to accept non-African troops on the contingent, that is, soldiers from Thailand, Nepal and Scandinavia, leaving a poorly trained, poorly armed, loyalties suspect all-African force of barely 9,000 to cover an area larger than France. Or is it Texas? It hardly matters. Rwandan troops have been attached, and they have a grisly record of blood-letting. And Nigerian troops, too. The only non-Africans in what's called UNAMID will be "an advance party of Chinese military engineers" whose policy on the Darfur genocide is -- what shall we say?- - ambiguous.
So to the U.N. boosters: Happy New Year. It'll be a miserable one for the people of Darfur where every day there are less of them.