THE SPINE AUGUST 7, 2009
Just about a year ago, The New Republic published a long and well-documented indictment of American and international policy around Darfur. The article was by Richard Just, one of our most gifted and scrupulous writers and editors. The piece was called "The Truth Will Not Set You Free." It made something of a stir even though it was published in the middle of a campaign defined by slogans. Joe Lieberman took the article to John McCain. Someone (now high in government) whom I do not feel free to mention took it to Barack Obama. But the stirring didn't quite move the principals, although they both pointed out that earlier in the campaign they had issued a joint statement precisely about Darfur. Oops, I almost wrote "Biafra" whose dread and forgotten fate I fear also will be Darfur's.Now, again, Just has written a desolating essay about Darfur and the ugly cynicism of paying lip service to the cause but doing nothing. Worse, disguising the realities. It will be published in out next print edition (to which you may subscribe here) and thereafter on the web (but only thereafter).We've also had the benefit of carrying the pathbreaking writings of Eric Reeves who was quite literally the first person to address the question of Darfur as a challenge to western civilization.He's got a devastation of an op-ed in this morning's Boston Globe, "The phony optimism on Darfur." There's another one of Obama's highly touted "special envoys," this one Scott Gration. What he proposes is that we normalize relations with Khartoum, "including," as Reeves characterizes it, "lifting sanctions and removing Sudan from the State Department list of terrorist-sponsoring nations."Read the piece. If you don't weep or get angry you have a heart of stone.