Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mandami: Darfur and Iraq, two of a kind

More from Mahmood Mandami:

What would happen if we thought of Darfur as we do of Iraq, as a place with a history and politics – a messy politics of insurgency and counter-insurgency? Why should an intervention in Darfur not turn out to be a trigger that escalates rather than reduces the level of violence as intervention in Iraq has done? Why might it not create the actual possibility of genocide, not just rhetorically but in reality? Morally, there is no doubt about the horrific nature of the violence against civilians in Darfur. The ambiguity lies in the politics of the violence, whose sources include both a state-connected counter-insurgency and an organised insurgency, very much like the violence in Iraq.

Basically, the "Out of Iraq and Into Darfur" people have a lot to answer for, in Mandami's view. Why do we think that sending in the marines would help the situation in Darfur? Why do we think Darfur is a case of good-vs.-evil and Iraq as a moral and political quagmire? What if they were both moral and political quagmires?

In that case, Save Darfur wouldn't have much of a case.

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