||By Salih Booker
Genocide is a unique crime against humanity. This crime is currently unfolding in Darfur, western Sudan, as the world looks on. Yet, even as pressure grows from many quarters including in Congress) for U.S. leadership regarding Darfur, many progressives and people usually concerned about social justice feel that a U.S.-led intervention is the wrong answer. They express concern about negative historical precedents, about exploitative U.S. motivations, and about the current lack of U.S.
credibility on the international stage. These are all defensible arguments. But do they render U.S. leadership an impossible option in the case of genocide?
At the heart of the debate is the question of whether we -- progressives -- believe that U.S. power can be used for good in Africa or elsewhere in cases of mass killings and other crimes against humanity? This is a broad question, but the carnage in Sudan presents an immediate need to answer it.
Salih Booker is executive director of Africa Action, the oldest Africa advocacy organization in the United States www.africaaction.org He is also a board member of both the Interhemispheric Resource Center www.irc-online.org and Foreign Policy In Focus www.fpif.org
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