The self-styled "world community"--a combine of supercilious diplomats, self-righteous NGOs, and unrealistic journalists--has for years been lethargically searching for a solution to the problem of genocide in Darfur. And now this alliance of the high-minded has been let off the hook. The prosecutor at the international court in The Hague is seeking an indictment of the president of Sudan. Now, such an indictment is well-deserved. But it is not justice, as Nuremberg was justice. Moreover, the real powers on the African continent (the Arab states to the north and post-apartheid South Africa) are against this move. How can you indict Omar Al Bashir without the approval of Qadhafi?
In any case, true justice is not a long and long-delayed proceeding against one person who has been the political front for the orgy of murder. I prefer in such cases the quick dispatch of Mussolini to his father in heaven. The end of the Sudanese genocide requires force and nothing less than force. But, actually, not all that much force. And if Barack Obama and John McCain were to jointly appeal to President Bush for a deployment of force such force would be deployed. The combination of Obama and McCain would be irresistible, and it would be morally exemplary: the first action by the West to stop the killing of African blacks. America would not be alone: I have once or twice before listed those democratic countries that would join us in the effort.
Which is just what Nicholas Kristof is against. In his last column, he latches on to The Hague proceedings as a substitute for practical action, writing "[W]e should be applauding. The prosecution for genocide is a historic step that also creates an opportunity in Sudan." But this substitute will not stop the killing. Only arms, Western arms, and Western personnel (plus perhaps Japanese and South Koreans) can do that. And that is taboo to Kristof. What are not taboo for Kristof are moral slights at Israel, even in this piece in which it has no place whatever.
In an editorial a few days ago, The Wall Street Journal explains why the international court is a particularly obtuse way of dealing with genocide: "[T]he indictment is of a piece with the same toothless moral posturing that has already prolonged Darfur's misery for more than four years." Please read it.