Sunday, February 20, 2005

Ignoring Genocide

In 1994, the United States evaded its obligations under the Genocide Convention by assiduously avoiding the use of the term "genocide" in reference to the violence in Rwanda. Today, the United States is evading its obligations by using the term "genocide" in reference to the situation in Darfur while ignoring the legal (and moral) implications of that determination. The difference says something important, I think, about the difference between Clinton and Bush's attitudes toward international law (although neither is commendable in these instances), but there is a more important point, expressed best as a question, that transcends partisan differences: How many different ways can the United States Government find to ignore genocide in Africa?