Friday, April 01, 2005

Send Troops to Sudan?

The Bull Moose brays that we must send troops to Darfur, to stop the genocide. Thousands have died and thousands could be saved. I share the impulse, but I disagree. Our volunteer armed forces, already stretched thin with the occupation of two countries, already needed at the ready should Syria not properly answer our ultimatum about Lebanon, already needed to deal with rising nuclear powers in North Korea and perhaps Iran, signed up to protect the Constitution and people of the United States, not to serve as a global police force.

Bull Moose says this should be a NATO action, with or without UN approval.

I say, if we find it necessary to have a global police force that we recruit one. We should ask for volunteers who are willing to serve in a global force, sometimes under UN or NATO orders. We shouldn't use our current armed forces for that.

Sorry, this is about an agreement we made to the volunteers who joined the military and that agreement should supercede other concerns.

The first President Bush, moved by images of starvation and slaughter in Somalia, sent our troops there as he left office. The most graphic result was one of our pilots, dragged dead through the streets.

We've already crossed a slippery slope, where our volunteers are sent into danger despite the lack of threat to the US (Iraq, twice) and I wouldn't ask them to brave the killing fields of Sudan.

It's hard sometimes, but maybe it's time we started keeping the agreements we made to our military volunteers.


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