- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The popular press is all stirred up (“Justice for the Sudanese,” Editorial, July 15). With a confident stride, they assert that the multilateral community has shown its teeth by the United Nation’s referral of Sudanese President Omar Bashir to the International Criminal Court.

What a reassuring show of the “global community’s” capacity to assert its “will.” Shame is the only reaction one can have to this papier-mache act. Quick on the heels of the poster-filled candlelight vigils for the latest patron saint of the left, Ingrid Betancourt, this “action” seems extreme until one understands this international “court’s” lack of substance.

This move is a mere PR stunt, and an expensive one at that. Shamed into action by the death of more than 200,000 and the near death of many more, the United Nations had to do something; hence this toothless reflex.

The court from day one has been an expensive charade. Like the trial of tyrant Slobodan Milosevic, this move can have no impact other than to be used by the otherwise cowardly U.N. leadership, which is sorely pressed to camouflage its ineffective disregard for the lives of those extinguished by this genocide. Five years on, after numerous attempts to sidestep the truth, the United Nations has had to go against one of its own.

Khartoum’s Marxist-Islamist regime is a state sponsor of terror, al-Qaeda supporter and illiberal religious extremist. It has dressed up its genocide as a “tribal” matter, one of civil strife. It is in fact a systematic attempt to extinguish the Sudanese Africans who have lived in this region for centuries - all in the greater name of Allah.

Rather then self-satisfied gestures of “no-no,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon could set aside his opaque diplomatic arc, show some guts and call a spade a spade.

Convene the Security Council, give Mr. Bashir one week to cease and desist, allow a real multinational force (NATO) to occupy the Darfur region and shoot on sight any “nomader” who dares break the truce. This could be accompanied by a no-fly zone with instructions to shoot any violators out of the sky.

Mr. Bashir is a seventh-century henchman, an apostate from decency and ultimately a world-class coward.

He understands only one language - strength. Anything less, and Mr. Ban Ki-Moon should retire to his town house on Sutton Place and continue to “play house.” That is all his weak actions amount to.

ROBERT F. AGOSTINELLI

London

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