Kristof And The United Nations

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THE SPINE OCTOBER 2, 2006

Kristof And The United Nations

I admire Nicholas Kristof. He has insisted that we keep our minds and hearts on bloodied Africa. Darfur, Chad, Central African Republic. These have been his datelines, and TNR has been a comrade in his battle. Here's what he wrote in yesterday's Times:

"If President Bush is serious about genocide, an immediate priority is to stop the cancer of Darfur from spreading further--which means working with France to shore up both Chad and the Central African Republic. (France has troops in both countries.) It also means putting U.N. peacekeepers in both places. Right now."

This is a recipe for disaster. If France has troops in Chad and the CAR, why not send American troops and Australian troops and Canadian troops and whoever is ready to help? Kristof knows that sending the U.N. would tie the whole project up in the delicacy of multilateral resolution-making, a project that, as we know from Darfur and from Lebanon, is never decisive and never clear.

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