I've been with The New Republic for more than 34 years, and I've put a lot of my conscience and energy into making it a publication that dares to tell the truths others avoid. I've also sunk a good deal of money into TNR and, when I tell them how I've spent much of what is, after all, their inheritance I talk about the causes we have championed, not quite in solitude but with an obsessiveness that mirrors the indifference of others to our concerns.
More than a decade ago and for several years thereafter, we riveted on the Serbian enormities carried out against the people of Bosnia. Readers sometimes with accost me, saying, "Enough, enough!" But we mustered on, and it is with some pride that I claim The New Republic to have been one of the true actors (or factors) in the Western intervention against Miloevic's crimes and the crimes of his regular and irregular armies, supported by Russia and the Orthodox churches of Europe. A part of that shameful story was the ignominious callousness of the United Nations (and Kofi Annan, especially) to endangered Muslim life in the former Yugoslavia. We recorded our own role in the controversy with the publication of The Black Book of Bosnia, edited by Nader Mousavizadeh.
Perhaps our most controversial fixation is in the defense of Israel, and--to tell you the truth--I care not a fig about how controversial it is. Israel's struggle is the old struggle of enlightenment against darkness, freedom against oppression, law against domination, spirit against enslavement, science against myth. I cannot fail to notice that the big power enemies of Israel were also the big power enemies of Bosnia.
I also cannot fail to notice that the international alliance against Israel is no more fully replicated than in the international alliance against Darfur. These alliances are centered at the United Nations and in its various special (and innumerable) councils, committees and armed units. There is no way that a U.N. resolution against Israel can fail passage, save for an American veto in the Security Council. Given the opposition of Russia and China to any tilting of pressure or force against Khartoum, given the support of the Arab (and most Muslim) states for the Sudanese genocide, and given the olympian callousness of black Africa and especially South Africa to another black genocide on the continent, there is simply no way to relieve the despair of Darfur, let alone to stop the war being waged against its people.
Let's face facts: the war in the Sudan is a war of its Arabs against its blacks. "A black face begins a black day," says an Arab proverb. And the Arabs of the country do not want to see any blacks. In this, they are fully supported by the Arab states and (although most Sudanese blacks are Muslims and not Christians) by most of the non-black Muslim states. The uniformity here is dazzling, and it comports with how these two blocs view the Jews and Zionism.
In any event, all of this leads up to my pride in our journal's riveting on Darfur, a lonely riveting. Not that there haven't been articles and books and benefit concerts and vigils and speeches and prayer meetings for Darfur. But the program of most of these (and maybe of all of these) comes down to nothing more than "save the children." This used to be an appealing call. But in the bloody swaths of modern Africa it is simply sentimental.
You will find in the feature position (upper left) of today's TNR Online a withering article by our deputy editor Richard Just about Darfur: "It Happened While We Watched: Why We Didn't Save Darfur." Read it and weep. Read it and be angry. I am proud of how TNR has been obsessed with Darfur. I am proud of the fact that we realized early on that the only just solution for Darfur would come from a launching of helicopters and light fighters and carrier planes, a deployment of armed troops and armored vehicles not only to defend the victims but to repel and defeat their killers. The absence of such a mobilization will only tell the pharaoh to continue with his killing.
The pharaoh in Khartoum and all of his allies, from Beijing to Moscow and Cairo to Pretoria and the United Nations in its charmed locales on the East River and in Geneva, think they are in the clear. And nothing anyone has ever done will persuade them otherwise, not even the genocide charges against President Omar al-Bashir which may have deluded Westerners but not the criminals.
Soon we will put out The Black Book of Darfur which will be our black book of shame.