Resistance is Futile
There's always two sides to a question. David Adesnik at Oxblog finds this creative analysis of the situation in Darfur.
IS OPPOSING GENOCIDE BAD FOR DARFUR? That's a real question, not some sort of perverse black humor. In a recent NYT op-ed (pointed out to me by the lovely SC), Prof. Alan J. Kuperman of the University of Texas argues that:
Darfur was never the simplistic morality tale purveyed by the news media and humanitarian organizations...The rebels, much weaker than the government, would logically have sued for peace long ago. Because of the Save Darfur movement, however, the rebels believe that the longer they provoke genocidal retaliation, the more the West will pressure Sudan to hand them control of the region
The solution? Kuperman writes:
This is no job for United Nations peacekeepers...Rather, we should let Sudan's army handle any recalcitrant rebels, on condition that it eschew war crimes. This option will be distasteful to many, but Sudan has signed a peace treaty, so it deserves the right to defend its sovereignty against rebels who refuse to, so long as it observes the treaty and the laws of war.
Adesnik comments on this proposal in his understated way. "How can one possibly expect the government of Sudan to observe the laws of war if it has already sponsored one genocide? That's a little bit like saying that since Slobodan Milosevic signed the Dayton Accords, we should've trusted him to implement the accords as well, instead of sending NATO peacekeepers."
It's also logical to argue, and the British authorities have apparently done so, that a robbery victim who resists the criminal causes his own injuries. The Scotsman wrote in 2004 about the dilemmas faced by people whose homes were being invaded:
The murder of John Monckton and the attack on his wife, Homeyra, during an apparent burglary in their London home has once again highlighted the true dangers and indeed the legal and moral dilemma members of the public face when they are confronted with intruders on their own property.
From a police perspective, the advice to potential victims of burglaries is unequivocal and clear-cut and you should never "have a go", so to speak, but for the victims of crime this is a very difficult thing to put into practice, especially when your natural instincts are to defend yourself, your family and your own property - the very pillars of your life that are being violated and potentially destroyed by criminals. ...
As a law-abiding individual confronted by an intruder in your home you face a catch-22. If you attack the burglar, or react in an "over the top" manner, as was recently illustrated in the case of Tony Martin who shot intruders in his Norfolk farmhouse, you will inevitably end up on the receiving end of a prison sentence that will far outstrip that imposed on the intruder in your own home. This situation has resulted in a lack of belief in the law among the public or rather a belief that the law isn’t exactly on your side when your home is broken into. ...
When individuals are confronted by intruders there are some actions they should follow. Direct contact should be avoided whenever possible. If unavoidable, the victim should adopt a state of active passivity. In most cases the best form of defence is always avoidance. If this isn’t possible, act passively, be careful what you say or do and give up valuables without a struggle. This allows the victim to take charge of the situation, without the intruder’s awareness, through subtle and non-confrontational means. People can cooperate but initiate nothing. By doing nothing there is no chance of inadvertently initiating violence by saying something such as "Please don’t hurt me".
Anyone who thinks the quotation above is a parody should follow the link. It's real. Just like the NYT op-ed.