"Do something," the editors implore in the July 8/12 issue, referring to the Sudan crisis.
Well, some of us have been. I've just gone through all my back copies of TNR since April, and it appears the Sudan crisis has only just popped up on the magazine's radar. The editorial criricizes the Bush administration's alleged passivity during the past year, but does not cite any instances of TNR's voice being raised in outrage during that period.
The piece admits that "in recent weeks, the Bush administration has taken modest steps in the right direction," which may account for the editorial's timing. TNR has to say something, fast, before Bush steals the show altogether.
The editorial offers a number of strategies that might help: "To make sanctions effective, the United States should coordinate with its European allies" - hope springs eternal - "the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank." And while our own combat strength is fully committed elsewhere, "logistical and airlift support" might encourage some of those other nations to come on board with peacekeeping troops. (Well, it can't hurt to ask.)
The magazine suggests that a transfer of "even a fraction of the 2,000 American troops currently stationed in nearby Djibouti" could have a "dramatic psychological impact". And shortly after a gratuitous suggestion that "few in the Bush administration have ever shown much enthusiasm for using the US military to save African lives," the editors remember that "some 200 American ground troops helped end the violence in Liberia last summer."
"If President Bush wants to show the world that his moral rhetoric was sincere in Iraq, he now has his chance, in Sudan." I couldn't agree more. It's nice to know that The New Republic is finally catching up with President Bush.