Or something along those lines. Judge for yourself.

Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a Democratic presidential candidate, called Wednesday for the use of military force to end the suffering in Darfur.

“I would use American force now,” Biden said at a hearing before his committee. “I think it’s not only time not to take force off the table. I think it’s time to put force on the table and use it.”

In advocating use of military force, Biden said senior U.S. military officials in Europe told him that 2,500 U.S. troops could “radically change the situation on the ground now.”

“Let’s stop the bleeding,” Biden said. “I think it’s a moral imperative.”

But according to Biden and most Democrats, it’s not a moral imperative to stay in Iraq even knowing that if we leave too soon a genocide to dwarf Darfur’s will fill our wake. Not to mention what a premature bugout would do to US credibility.

Help me out here, Democrats. You all want out of Iraq. I know that a lot of you agree with Biden and want into Darfur. What underlying principle guides you? I’m not being snarky–I’m genuinely curious about it.

Because from where I sit, you people make no sense at all.

Your top reps in the House will meet with Assad or Ahmadinejad but not Bush. You run away from Fox News but I bet you’d all go debate on Al Jazeera. You’ll fundraise for CAIR but you treat James Dobson like he’s a leper. You all think Keith Olbermann is just the manliest man ever since he’s always “speaking truth to power” but, as a kid, he got beat up by girls all the time. And you’re all probably cool with that. And now this–let’s run away! from Iraq, and lurch right into Darfur.

You hate the “civil war” in Iraq? Well, you’ll just love the civil war in Darfur. Did ya know that the same Islamist forces we’re fighting against in Iraq are involved in Darfur? You’d best get up to speed. Chop chop.

Here’s one argument you could make, but none of you will: That you’d like to help the Christians and animists survive an Islamist onslaught. That argument might even win me over, if I thought you actually meant a word of it. But you’ll never make that argument, though it is the truth of the conflict.

And I do know that at the first drop of American blood spilled in Darfur, you’ll all be caterwauling to Bring The Troops Home Now! Because that’s just what you all do–support military interventions until they turn the least bit tough, and then pull the rug out from under whoever you claimed to be helping while you simultaneously abandon the troops.

At least it can be argued that the war in Iraq has something to do with national security. That case cannot be made for sending troops into Darfur. It can’t. Both conflicts have massive humanitarian dimensions, though Iraq’s is arguably the larger of the two (more people there, more enemies surrounding, etc).

So what’s behind all of this? Is it cynicism, since you all know that at the end of the day, China will veto sending any serious military presence into Darfur? Is it just a desire to use the instruments of American foreign policy in conflicts that have nothing to do with American security, exclusively? Do you all just talk about Darfur to make yourselves feel good? What could possibly motivate anyone in their right mind to actually see Darfur as being worth sending in US troops, if Iraq isn’t worth keeping troops there?


Update: I think Darfur is the trendy cause du jour, having replaced Tibet at some point. I’m not alone in thinking that.

“Most students I know … think that someone else will take care of the problem and don’t have a responsibility to fix it themselves,” said Savannah Wiseman, 19, a freshman and international relations major who recently wrote an editorial on Darfur for the Daily Trojan.

What helps? Celebrities. Wiseman believes that the “trendiness” of the issue — one that has attracted the attention of Oscar-nominated hipster Ryan Gosling and actor George Clooney — is often what initially attracts some to activism.

“It has been a trendy issue,” said Scott Warren, a student at Brown University and communications coordinator for STAND (Students Taking Action Now: Darfur), an organization that has coordinated activism at more than 700 high schools and colleges. “But the trendiness is needed. Whatever helps, even if it is celebrities, isn’t a negative in my view.”

Yes, yes, students are all over the issue. Just ask Speaker Pelosi:

Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently said Darfur would not be a priority in Congress if students had not pushed the issue. “Students on college campuses … are calling for us all to do more to help the people of Darfur,” she said.

She has been in the House for years. She’s privvy to much more information than any student can get their hands on. So to me it’s a bit cringeworthy to hear her yammer up a student role in driving the issue. Pelosi knew about Darfur long before they did, but did nothing about it until they bugged her first. Or at least, that’s how the quote comes off.

And then there’s this.


The caption reads:

University of Connecticut students participate in a protest against the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, at the Connecticut campus in Storrs, Conn.
Photo by AP

Laying down on a sidewalk does diddly squat, other than make the laydowners feel like they did something. If they really wanted to do something constructive, they’d start bothering the Chinese government. But that’s not likely to have any effect at all, and it would get in the way of classes, and there’s that date they have this weekend, and they have to think about their careers and the possibility of working in Beijing at some point…so let’s just lay here for an hour with a cardboard sign and call it a day, shall we? Anyone up for latte?

And isn’t George Bush just awful? I mean, he’s like Hitler or something.