Editorial: The whole world is watching, and doing nothing

In 1994, the world watched as 937,000 people were slaughtered by machine gun and machete. Every river in Rwanda turned blood red as bodies and limbs piled up.

Then in 2004, Terry George directed “Hotel Rwanda” and won the Audience Award at AFI Fest, and people with no previous knowledge of the 1994 genocide saw the horror for the first time.

Two years later, 400,000 people have been murdered in Sudan. Again, the United Nations refuses to intervene, and while the Bush administration can be commended for calling the situation in the Darfur region what it is – a genocide – we’ve found ourselves in the same state of inaction as in Rwanda. The United Nations refuses to intervene and U.S. forces, already stretched thin, are reluctant to do anything in the region without coalition support. We face two other conflicts; low military enrollment numbers and the knowledge that every time the U.N. is slow to react, the U.S. military is expected to go it alone. The situation is further complicated by the perception of some extremists that U.S. involvement in Darfur is just another front in the crusade against Islam.

The inaction of the United Nations is deplorable. Delegates argue about the meaning of the term genocide and do nothing while thousands of innocent people die. As signers of the Genocide Convention, the U.S. is obligated to send forces into Darfur and stop the killing, but so is every other state in the pact.

Internationally, there is nothing but ignorance and apathy toward Africa, until Hollywood makes a movie a decade later.

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It’s sad that in 2016 we’ll be watching “Hotel Darfur,” and complaining that the world did nothing.