Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bad Precedent

There was a post at Coalition for Darfur that really has me thinking. In a link to an Eric Reeves post, they point out that Sudan is arguing that if UN troops are deployed, it will lead to al-Qaeda entering the country to fight. In fact, the threat goes so far to claim that there is already an indication of foreign fighters in Sudan in anticipation of a UN (or NATO) deployment. What makes this even worse is that the UN Special Representative for Sudan is reapeating this without contradiction.

Eric Reeves is quick to slap this argument down, and warn anyone else against buying into it. The strict government of Khartoum certainly knows when foreign fighters are in the country, and if they are there, are there at the government’s invitation, according to Reeves.

Acknowledging any of Sudan’s arguments against UN deployment is obviously foolish, but Reeves makes a good point why this one is particularly dangerous. Other countries, seeing that it has worked to keep the UN out of Sudan, will use it whenever the UN tries to intervene in their country.

Since there is little chance of a real UN or NATO deployment in Sudan, despite some of the recent statements, the only way to show that we don’t believe this argument is first to refuse to acknowledge it or use it as our reasons for not going in, and secondly to make it clear that we don’t believe they have no control over who is in their country. In the future, governments will likely use terrorists and non-uniformed military to do their dirty work. When these situations arise, we must show without a doubt that responses to these groups will be directed at the government that in reality supports them.