Mark Helprin had one of those let’s bomb Sudan and everyone who doesn’t want to do so immediately is obviously complicit in genocide in Darfur op-eds the other day. The trouble, as Mark Goldberg from UN Dispatch points out, is that this is completely detached from the nature of the problem in Darfur, which wouldn’t at all be solved even if the Sudanese government was “persuaded” by air strikes to withdraw its forces from the arena. What’s needed to provide security are actual boots on the ground that can do some good, and “So far, the only organizations willing to take on this challenge are the African Union and UN peacekeeping, which Helprin dismisses as a ‘camping trip to the tower of babble.’”
Now Mark’s far too polite to point this out, but what you’re seeing once again is that there’s a certain set of people for whom Darfur is an interesting situation just insofar as it provides a venue for UN-bashing and a “more bombs would make the world awesome” worldview. It’s obviously frustrating to contemplate how unsatisfactory current UN and AU efforts in Sudan have been, but the reality is that they’ve done much more good than anything else. The idea that if we would just cast off these shackles of multilateralism that an excellent solution is just around the corner is daft.