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Kristof Gains Attention From White House

Nicholas Kristof, columnist for The New York Times, seems to have gained the ear of the outgoing administration. The folk at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue released a statement regarding the situation in DARFUR, and U.S. efforts to bring a resolution to the tragic and dire events on the ground.

Apparently the statement mentions Kristof by name, “Today’s announcement is further evidence that Nicholas Kristof’s portrayal last week of this Administration’s response to the genocide in Darfur ( A New Chance for Darfur, December 28, 2008 ) was inaccurate.” I guess Kristof ruffled some feathers because it wasn’t just some chop-shop Assistant to the Assistant Deputy Assistant Press Secretary that bylines this statement. The press release is entitled “Statement by National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley .” By my simpleton reading and comprehension I deduce that DARFUR is a national security concern since the National Security Advisor is commenting on it.

As painfully delightful as all this may be it does underscore a lack of action with regards to DARFUR, and a sense of urgency to put a nice stamp on a Presidency that some people consider a failure (only history will make that judgement).

After reading the press release I think the sentence that is the most educational/controversial is the first sentence of the last paragraph – “Unilateral pressure alone cannot be our policy.”

When oil interests were threatened in the Middle East and a dictator thumbed his nose at us it was okay to take unilateral action, even though the international community was against it. But when a humanitarian crisis of historic and epic proportions faces the world; when we are reliving history all too soon; and when the people of a dejected continent call for the leadership of the United States in order to bring them out of a darkness, what do we say – “going in alone is not the right course of action.”

Maybe the Bush administration did learn from Iraq. Too bad they are applying that lesson at the wrong time.

Peace

For a full reading of Nicholas Kristof’s article in The New York Times, click here.

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