Ibrahim Kakwan’s column Thursday was a wrongheaded call to inaction regarding the genocide in Darfur that has displaced more than 2.5 million people ( Saving Darfur?, 11/13/2008). While Kakwan demonstrated a knowledge of the various geopolitical actors who have contributed to the current humanitarian crisis, he showed a callous indifference to the sufferings of the “civilians caught in the middle” as he correctly described them.

The central thesis of the article seemed to be that the actions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army have led to a “blurry line between good guys and bad guys in Sudan.” Kakwan then used this blurred line as justification to attack the slogan “Save Darfur” and politically oriented organizations like Tents of Hope, a group Kakwan never names but mocks derisively.

Kakwan went on to discount the deployment of peacekeepers and the need to use diplomatic pressure on enabling nations like China. Frustratingly, his viewpoint completely ignores the efforts of apolitical humanitarian groups, like the University’s own Will Work For Food, that are pragmatically relieving the suffering of innocent civilians. Will Work For Food currently addresses problems like the potentially fatal malnourishment afflicting one in five Sudanese children. We must resist calls for isolationism and reclaim our moral leadership as a nation. There is nothing “blurry” about malnourished children.

Kakwan finally asked, “So what does Save Darfur mean?” He then correctly stated that he has no idea. I invite him to actually look into what saving Darfur means to students on campus; I think he’ll find that to most of us it means saving and improving as many lives as possible in a region facing a modern genocide and massive refugee crisis.

Nicholas Standiford
LSA senior

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