Excellent article in the New York Times:
Another Triumph for the U.N. By DAVID BROOKS Published: September 25, 2004
And so we went the multilateral route.
Confronted with the murder of 50,000 in Sudan, we eschewed all that nasty old unilateralism, all that hegemonic, imperialist, go-it-alone, neocon, empire, coalition-of-the-coerced stuff. Our response to this crisis would be so exquisitely multilateral, meticulously consultative, collegially cooperative and ally-friendly that it would make John Kerry swoon and a million editorialists nod in sage approval.
And so we Americans mustered our outrage at the massacres in Darfur and went to the United Nations. And calls were issued and exhortations were made and platitudes spread like béarnaise. The great hum of diplomacy signaled that the global community was whirring into action.
Meanwhile helicopter gunships were strafing children in Darfur.
We did everything basically right. The president was involved, the secretary of state was bold and clearheaded, the U.N. ambassador was eloquent, and the Congress was united. And, following the strictures of international law, we had the debate that, of course, is going to be the top priority while planes are bombing villages.
We had a discussion over whether the extermination of human beings in this instance is sufficiently concentrated to meet the technical definition of genocide. For if it is, then the "competent organs of the United Nations" may be called in to take appropriate action, and you know how fearsome the competent organs may be when they may indeed be called.
The United States said the killing in Darfur was indeed genocide, the Europeans weren't so sure, and the Arab League said definitely not, and hairs were split and legalisms were parsed, and the debate over how many corpses you can fit on the head of a pin proceeded in stentorian tones while the mass extermination of human beings continued at a pace that may or may not rise to the level of genocide.
For people are still starving and perishing in Darfur. (...)
Read it all!
And here's an example of the determination of the German government to help people in Sudan, whatever the costs. Please note the tough language:
Minister of Foreign Aid Wieczorek-Zeul on September 23, 2004:
The Minister of Foreign Aid issued an urgent appeal to the government of Sudan to implement the resolutions of the United Nation's Security Council in their entirety, and especially to disarm the equestrian militia groups.
Only by doing so the path can be cleared for an African Union peace group. Against this background Wieczorek-Zeul once again reiterated that human rights are of central importance. "Respect, protection and advancement of human rights are issues of central importance in the politics of the federal government, since they are central prerequisites for peace, stability, justice and sustainable development in the world", affirmed the Minister of Foreign Aid.
The real result of doing things the enlightened, multilateral, UN, Joschka Fischer way: More mass graves, human rights abuses and genocide in Darfur.
"Urgent appeal": This will surely scare the living daylights out of the government of Sudan....
(Translation of Wieczorek quote by Dorothea)
26.9. an Dorothea zur Übersetzung firstname.lastname@example.org