Tuesday, August 10, 2004

See No Evil

The officials of the European Union prove once again that they are past masters of the art of sophistry:

BRUSSELS, Aug. 9 (Reuters) - The European Union said Monday that it had found no evidence of genocide in the Sudanese region of Darfur despite widespread killings, but that there were few indications of government efforts to protect civilians.

The conclusion of a fact-finding mission put Europe at odds with the United States Congress, which has pushed for a declaration that the campaign of looting and burning by government-backed Arab militiamen against black village farmers in Darfur is genocide.

Sudan, which has insisted that the militiamen are outlaws, said it expected to meet a United Nations deadline, expiring in three weeks, for improving security and human rights in Darfur or face sanctions.

But Pieter Feith, who visited Sudan on behalf of the European Union, showed little optimism about the situation, even though he declined to endorse the American assessment. "We are not in the situation of genocide there," he told reporters. "But it is clear there is widespread, silent and slow killing going on, and village burning on a fairly large scale."

The International Criminal Court defines genocide as the "systematic and planned extermination of a national, racial, religious or ethnic group." (emphasis added)
So tell me what the difference is, exactly? The last sentence indicates that someone at Reuters obviously has a fine ear for hypocrisy.

UPDATE: Also see this post by Sebastian Holsclaw. It makes more sense to lean on a jellyfish for support than it does to expect the EU ever to take meaningful action when international crises arise.