The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Under Water

As a resident of the State of Florida, I found the following Reuters news item to be unintentionally comical:
If nothing is done to combat global warming, two of Florida's nuclear power plants, three of its prisons and 1,362 hotels, motels and inns will be under water by 2100, a study released on Wednesday said.

In all, Florida could stand to lose $345 billion a year in projected economic activity by 2100 if nothing is done to reduce emissions that are viewed as the main human contribution to rising global temperatures, according to the Tufts University study.

That equals about 5 percent of what economists project the state's gross domestic product will be by the end of the century.

On its face, this, and literally thousands of similar MSM “news” reports, are an example of climate change hysteria, but they’re also representative of something that is even more troubling—a belief in a static world, one in which there is no technological, societal, or political change.

One hundred years (well, actually 93 years if you’re counting) is a very long time. To put this in perspective, horse drawn carriages were the primary source of transportation 93 years ago and the dominant pollutant was … horse manure. The average life span in the US was 50 years, women did not have the right to vote, antibiotics had not yet been invented, electricity was a new-fangled idea and telephones, radio, and the like were future technologies.

The hubris that is exhibited among those who are climate change alarmists is astonishing. Although they believe they are being proactive and looking to the future, in reality, they have a static world view. They believe that their time and place is so important that nothing will change.

It is a virtual certainty that within the next century, advanced technologies will make clean energy available across the globe and that the primitive and grossly inaccurate models of global climate will be replaced by more accurate models that might predict a radically different environmental result. It is within the realm of possibility that any environmental damage that has been done might be undone by advancements as yet unknown. One hundred years is a very long time.

If reports like Reuters' weren’t so funny, they would be insulting to those of us who recognize that things will change dramatically over the next century.

Let’s put it this way, I live a little over 4 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Even after reading the Reuter’s piece, I don’t intend to buy a life boat just yet.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Wars of Discipline

Shelby Steele provides an interesting take on the kinds of wars that American has fought during the past half century. He calls them “wars of discipline” and describes them in the following manner:
All this points to one of the great foreign policy dilemmas of our time: In the eyes of many around the world, and many Americans as well, we lack the moral authority to fight the wars that we actually fight because they are wars more of discipline than of survival, more of choice than of necessity. It is hard to equate the disciplining of a pre-existing world order--a status quo--with fighting for one's life. When survival is at stake, there is no lack of moral authority, no self-doubt and no antiwar movement of any consequence. But when war is not immediately related to survival, when a society is fundamentally secure and yet goes to war anyway, moral authority becomes a profound problem. Suddenly such a society is drawn into a struggle for moral authority that is every bit as intense as its struggle for military victory.

Certainly, the Iraq War, like Korea and Vietnam, is not a war of survival. America would survive regardless of its outcome. And therein lines the problem. Again, from Steele:
America does not do so well in its disciplinary wars (the Gulf War is an arguable exception) because we begin these wars with only a marginal moral authority and then, as time passes, even this meager store of moral capital bleeds away. Inevitably, into this vacuum comes a clamorous and sanctimonious antiwar movement [and anti-War media] that sets the bar for American moral authority so high that we must virtually lose the war in order to meet it. There must be no torture, no collateral damage, no cultural insensitivity, no mistreatment of prisoners and no truly aggressive or definitive display of American military power. In other words, no victory.

Meanwhile our enemy is fighting all out to achieve a new balance of power. As we anguish over the possibility of collateral damage, this enemy practices collateral damage as a tactic of war. In Iraq, al Qaeda blows up women and children simply to keep alive the chaos of war that gives it cover. This enemy's sense of moral authority--as misguided as it may be--is so strong that it compensates for its lack of sophisticated military hardware.

On the other hand, our great military might is not enough to compensate for our weak sense of moral authority, our ambivalence. If we have the greatest military in history, it is also true that we lack our enemy's talent for true belief. Our rationale for war is difficult to articulate, always arguable, and distinctly removed from immediate necessity. Our society is deeply divided and there is a vigorous antiwar movement ready to capitalize on our every military setback.

This is the pattern of disciplinary wars: Their execution is always undermined by their inbuilt lack of moral authority. In the end, our might neutralizes our might. Our vast power makes all such wars come off as bullying, even when we fight selflessly for the freedom of others.

But what of the global war on terror? Is it a war of discipline or a war of survival? Certainly, we were attacked viciously and had moral authority for a counter-attack. However, those on the political left, if they believe that there is a existential threat at all, consider it one of our own making, and certainly think that survival is not an issue. In fact, a minority of the angry left appear to yearn for a time when our survival will truly come into question.

Even those on the right recognize that Islamofascism has the potential for long-term erosion of western ideals, but represents no immediate threat to our survival as a nation. Therefore, in some ways, the GWoT is also a war of discipline with all of the drawbacks that Steele describes.

That’s the frustration of attempting to prosecute a war of discipline. We struggle with ourselves, and as a consequence, we make only marginal headway against a dangerous and determined enemy.

If Iraq provides us with a model, it appears that wars of discipline are best fought by proxy. Local militias, tribes, and warlords who fight on our behalf (but in their own self interest) are fighting a war of survival. As such, they don’t worry about torture, or collateral damage, or cultural insensitivity, or mistreatment of prisoners or truly aggressive or definitive display of military power. They fight to win—definitively. They fight to destroy the enemy—completely.

In the GWoT, what we need to do is to find the right proxy and then let them do their job. But who or what is the right proxy?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I’m sorry, never mind

Among the many memorable characters that have been introduced on Saturday Night Live is the late Gilda Radner’s Emily Latella. After presenting a completely erroneous commentary on the program’s news segment and then being corrected by the news anchor, Emily would look abashed and say, “I’m sorry, never mind.”

Leaders of the Democratic congressional majority—Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and John Murtha and many others—have been doing their own version of Emily Latella. For the past year, they’ve argued that the Iraq war is unwinnable, that we’ve already lost, and that the only thing to do is depart, defeated and chastened by our experience. Using a variety of unsuccessful legislative ploys, they’ve been trying to wind down the war in Iraq. Those on the Right would claim that they’re defeatists, while those on the Left argue that they’re realists and that Iraq is a quagmire that simply cannot be won.

This Left-leaning narrative was promulgated enthusiastically by the MSM and adopted by a significant percentage of Americans.

But now, we’ve reached an “I’m sorry, never mind” moment. Reports across the MSM reflect a significant turnaround in Iraq. Ralph Peters summarizes:
Attacks of every kind are down by at least half - in some cases by more than three-quarters. A wounded country's struggling back to health. And our mortal enemies, al Qaeda's terrorists, have suffered a defeat from which they may never fully recover: They've lost street cred.

Things could still go wrong in Iraq, but there’s absolutely no question that important strategic accomplishments have been made and that the war must now be considered in a different light. Why the success. Again from Peters:
We didn't quit: Even as some of us began to suspect that Iraqi society was hopelessly sick, our troops stood to and did their duty bravely …

Gen. David Petraeus took command: Petraeus brought three vital qualities to our effort: He wants to win, not just keep the lid on the pot; he never stops learning and adapting, and he provides top-cover for innovative subordinates …

The surge: While the increase in troop numbers was important, allowing us to consolidate gains in neighborhoods we'd rid of terrorists and insurgents, the psychological effect of the surge was crucial. Pre-surge, our enemies were convinced they were winning - they monitored our media, which assured them that America would quit. Sorry, Muqtada - that's what you get for believing The New York Times. …

Fanatical enemies: We lucked out when al Qaeda declared Iraq the central front in its war against civilization. Our monstrous foes alienated their local allies so utterly that al Qaeda in Iraq is now largely a spent force - the hunted, not the hunters. The terrorists have suffered a strategic humiliation …

The Iraqis are sick of bloodshed and destruction: This is the least-recognized factor - but it's critical. We still don't fully understand the mechanics of black-to-white mood shifts in populations, but such transitions determine strategic outcomes…

And yet, with all of this, the Democratic leadership along with a majority of Democratic presidential contenders and virtually all of the angry-Left insist that we need to leave Iraq precipitously. It’s as if they refuse to see the new reality and adapt to it. It’s as if they want to lose. In my view, they could all learn something from Emily Latella, and simply say, “I’m sorry, never mind.”

Monday, November 19, 2007


In a recent speech, Rudy Giuliani concluded with the following comments:
I get very, very frustrated when I . . . hear certain Americans talk about how difficult the problems we face are, how overwhelming they are, what a dangerous era we live in. I think we've lost perspective. We've always had difficult problems, we've always had great challenges, and we've always lived in danger.

Do we think our parents and our grandparents and our great grandparents didn't live in danger and didn't have difficult problems? Do we think the Second World War was less difficult that our struggle with Islamic terrorism? Do we think that the Great Depression was a less difficult economic struggle for people to face than the struggles we're facing now? Have we entirely lost perspective of the great challenges America has faced in the past and has been able to overcome and overcome brilliantly? I think sometimes we have lost that perspective.

Do you know what leadership is all about? Leadership is all about restoring that perspective that this country is truly an exceptional country that has great things that it is going to accomplish in the future that will be as great and maybe even greater than the ones we've accomplished in the past. If we can't do that, shame on us.

With all of the ideological bickering and partisan political backbiting that has been a mainstay of the past six years, I would hope that liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, Hillary fans and Huckabee loyalists can all agree that Rudy’s words have merit.

Leadership is about restoring perspective, but it’s also about helping the public distinguish reality from delusion, delivering bad news as well as good, and leading our country forward to solve the many challenges it faces.


With hindsight, there’s very little question that our war in Iraq was based on bad intelligence data, was ill-conceived at the outset, and was badly executed after our rapid thrust into Baghdad. We made fundamental political miscalculations as well as strategic and tactical mistakes. We should all be angry that these errors were made, but it’s also fair to state that similar errors have occurred in every war that has been fought in the past 100 years.

The New York Times (certainly no great supporter of Bush administration policies in Iraq) reports:
Data released at a news conference in Baghdad showed that attacks had declined to the lowest level since January 2006. It is the third week in a row that attacks have been at this reduced level … the figures added to a body of evidence, compiled by American and Iraqi officials, indicating that the violence had diminished significantly since the United States reinforced troop levels in Iraq and adopted a new counterinsurgency strategy.

In addition, it appears that Al Qaeda in Iraq is losing badly. Again from the NYT:
Military analysts said a number of factors explained the drop. They say, for example, that Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a predominantly Iraqi insurgent group with foreign leadership, has been greatly weakened by American military attacks.

Thousands of new Sunni volunteers have made common cause with the Americans. About 72,000 such civilians have joined the effort, American officials said, and 45,000 each receive a $300 a month stipend from the Americans to help with the effort.

Moktada al-Sadr, the anti-American cleric, has ordered his militiamen to stand down. American military officials also say that Iran appears to be abiding by a commitment to reduce the flow of roadside bombs and other weapons into Iraq. Beyond that, many Iraqis appear to be exhausted by the sectarian violence and eager for a modicum of stability.

Could it be that things are actually improving in the war-torn country? Could it be that the Iraqis (with our help) may yet be able to establish a stable representative government—a new kind of country in the Arab crescent? Only time will tell.

Let’s assume for a moment that we have some modicum of success going forward. The big question is: Was it worth it? Was the cost in American and Iraqi lives, the drain on our treasury, and the political upheaval in our own country justified.

The Democratic leadership in Congress doesn’t think so, and continually passes legislation (vetoed by the President) to withdraw our troops and come home. Their approach is to cut our loses and accept defeat.

During this snapshot in time, many of us would prefer to walk away. Four years of war have exhausted the public, and it’s hard to see how Iraq can turn out well.

But past experience indicates that unpopular wars sometime lead to good results, Michael Barone comments on another war prosecuted by a Democratic President, Harry S. Truman. After presiding over 50,000 American deaths in a war that was 8,000 miles away, Truman’s popularity ratings at the end of his term were lower than George W. Bush’s are right now.
When my father returned from service as an Army doctor in Korea in 1953, he brought back slides of the photos he'd shot, showing a war-torn country of incredible poverty. We would have laughed if you had told us that Americans would one day buy Korean cars. But 50-some years later, South Korea has the 13th-largest economy in the world, and you see Hyundais and Kias everywhere in America. Looking at things in micro-timeframes is not always a reliable guide to the macro-timeframe future.

But US politics in the first decade of the 21st century mirrors our national need for instant gratification. It seems to focus solely on “micro-timeframes.” We have no patience, and therefore no resolve.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I think we can’t, I think we can’t

In his article on energy independence, Steve Chapman starts out strong:
The end of President Bush's time in office is still 14 months away, but already, I can guarantee two things. First, the next president will be elected on a promise to lead the nation to energy independence. Second, the promise won't be kept.

But he then proceeds to tell the reader all of the the reasons why we can’t become energy independent:
If energy independence were truly feasible, it probably would have been achieved back in the 1970s, after President Richard Nixon embraced it. In 1973, we imported about a third of the oil we used, compared with 60 percent today. Domestic production was at its peak. OPEC was in the process of turning the energy world upside down by quadrupling the price of oil …

It's enchanting to imagine swearing off foreign oil in favor of ethanol made from wholesome Illinois corn, or fuels derived from West Virginia coal. But even if all the corn grown in this country went toward ethanol, it would cut our gasoline consumption by no more than 12 percent. In cost terms, ethanol can thrive only with lavish federal subsidies. In climate terms, the switch offers small benefits at best.

So why does ethanol get treated like the prettiest girl at the prom? Because our leaders' motive is pandering to American farmers and corporations, not making sound energy policy. If you want to know the main reason the federal government subsidizes ethanol, I've got two words for you: Iowa caucuses.

As for coal, schemes to turn it into liquid fuel for use in cars and planes have been around for half a century -- including a dismal failure launched during President Jimmy Carter's administration. Besides being expensive, reports a recent article in Scientific American, "liquid coal produces more than twice the global warming emissions as regular gasoline and almost double those of ordinary diesel."

That minor flaw might be fixed -- but only by raising the cost even more. Of the other potential alternative fuels, none looks capable of competing without massive government help.

Reducing our consumption of oil would be a good thing, if only because it would reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. But replacing oil with alternatives that also pollute is an exercise in missing the point. And as ethanol demonstrates, a drive for energy independence is likely to veer off into wasteful handouts to powerful interests.

Like all major politicians, all captains of industry, and many other people with a direct interest in maintaining the status quo, Chapman become the voice of the little engine that couldn’t. He conveniently forgets viable technologies that are available today – nuclear, geothermal, solar, even wind energy – that with substantial government and private capital investment could, over one decade, cut our dependence on foreign oil dramatically. He doesn’t ask why we’re not making and aggressively marketing plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles today, not in 2011. These technologies are ready right now and could cut gasoline consumption significantly over ten years. He forgets that a gasoline tax could do much to fund a crash program to get the job done and he further suggests that Americans and our economy couldn't take the pain.

He’s wrong, but too many people in positions of leadership secretly agree with him, and as a consequence, Chapman and others like him becomes the voice of the little engine that couldn’t. Not because it can’t but because it won’t. Not because the path to a better energy future isn’t relatively clear in the short and middle term, but because it’s easier to do nothing, except talk.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Losing Ourselves

In an insightful column, Caroline Glick discusses the stress placed on Nation States across the globe by certain elements of the Muslim community in those states:
MUSLIM MINORITIES throughout the world are being financed and ideologically trained in Saudi and UAE funded mosques and Islamic centers. These minorities act in strikingly similar manners in the countries where they are situated throughout the world. On the one hand, their local political leaders demand extraordinary communal rights, rights accorded neither to the national majority nor to other minority populations. On the other hand, Muslim neighborhoods, particularly in Europe, but also in Israel, the Philippines and Australia, are rendered increasingly ungovernable as arms of the state like the police and tax authorities come under attack when they attempt to assert state power in these Muslim communities.

Logic would have it that targeted states would respond to the threat to their authority through a dual strategy. On the one hand, they would firmly assert their authority by enforcing their laws against both individual lawbreakers and against subversive, foreign financed institutions that incite the overthrow of their governments and their replacement with Islamic governments. On the other hand, they would seek out and empower local Muslims who accept the authority and legitimacy of their states and their rule of law.

Unfortunately, with the notable exception of the Howard government in Australia, in country after country, governments respond to this challenge by attempting to appease Muslim irredentists and their state sponsors.

The British responded to the July 7, 2005 bombings by giving representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood an official role in crafting and carrying out counter-terror policies.

In 2003, then French president Jacques Chirac sent then interior minister Nicholas Sarkozy to Egypt to seek the permission of Sheikh Mohammed Tantawi of the Islamist al-Azhar mosque for the French parliament's plan to outlaw hijabs in French schools.

In the US, in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the FBI asked the terror-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations to conduct sensitivity training for FBI agents.

In Holland last year, the Dutch government effectively expelled anti-Islamist politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the interest of currying favor with Holland's restive Muslim minority.

THE FOREIGN policy aspect of the rush to appease is twofold. First, targeted states refuse to support one another when individual governments attempt to use the tools of law enforcement to handle their domestic jihad threat. For instance, European states have harshly criticized the US Patriot Act while the US criticized the French decision to prohibit the hijab in public schools.

More acutely, targeted states lead the charge in calling for the establishment of Muslim-only states. Today the US and the EU are leading the charge towards the establishment of a Palestinian state and the creation of an independent state of Kosovo.

In some cases, the “appeasement” that Glick correctly identifies is done with the best of intentions. Following our Western tradition, it is thought that if we are reasonable and bend over backwards to accommodate minorities, then the minorities will reciprocate and be reasonable in their effort to support the nation state.

It appears, however, that a substantial minority of the Muslim community in some countries is not reciprocating and has no intention of doing so. At every opportunity it’s leaders foster “outrage” over relatively minor slights and make demands that are often unreasonable in a secular democracy.

Yet we try to assuage the outrage and meet the demands, never recognizing that we lose something every time we make mindless accommodations. And step by small step, we lose ourselves in the trying.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

100 per

Yesterday, the market price of oil approached $98.00 per barrel. Talking heads across the MSM spoke of this “crisis” and warned of dire consequences as the price continues to rise. Me? I’m pleased.

Before you label me uncaring about the US economy, the plight of commuters and poor people, the need for elderly to heat their homes in the Northeast, and all of the other legitimate negatives associated with rising oil prices, let me explain.

It’s apparent that the Congress and the Executive have neither the will nor the courage to move us rapidly toward alternative energy sources. They’ve pontificated about the need to do this for 30 years, but have done virtually nothing that really has an impact. Even though it's a serious environmental issue and an even more serious national security issue, the members of the House, the Senate, and the Executive are too enamored of campaign contributions from big auto and big oil—two entities that want change to occur very slowly.

So, maybe what we need is a market-driven initiative … and that can only happen once oil becomes very expensive. This morning, Wired Magazine reports:
If there are any lingering doubts as to whether the age of oil is nearing its end, the International Energy Agency has put them to rest and made it clear that only a massive and immediate investment in sustainable energy will prevent a global crisis.

The agency states in no uncertain terms in its annual World Energy Outlook that "alarming" growth in worldwide energy needs will within a generation threaten energy security, accelerate global climate change and possibly bring worldwide shortages and conflicts.

It's an unusually pessimistic view from an agency that has long said oil production, with trillions of dollars of investment, could meet rising energy needs. But the explosive growth of China and India has caused a seismic change in thinking at the IEA, which says we must move swiftly, boldly and decisively beyond fossil fuels if we are to avert a crisis.”

We do need “to move swiftly, boldly and decisively beyond fossil fuels,” but don’t hold your breadth with our current crop of national “leaders” (worse, it appears that Democratic and Republican candidates for 2008 have nothing new to add to the subject).

But the market just might respond. As gas approaches and then exceeds $4.00 per gallon, things will begin to happen. Plug-in hybrid vehicles, all electric vehicles (available right now but withheld from the market for reasons that are incomprehensible) will proliferate, not as oddities but as mainstream products with serious marketing campaigns and major sales impact.

Solar and wind-powered electrical power generation will become viable and major power companies will make real investments (not the token investments made so far) in these technologies.

Undoubtedly, there will be pain—a lot of pain. But sometimes, that’s the only way that change can really happen.

So the next time you hear someone lament the rising cost of oil, think of the old saying: “Do you really want the plague to continue just so the grave-diggers can keep their jobs?”

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Actions and Words

Most objective observers would agree that Hillary Clinton is the most pragmatic and “centrist” of the major contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination. It’s interesting, therefore, in the month before Condi Rice’s attempt to jump start the mid-East peace process, to see what Clinton’s stated view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict really is and whether it differs in any significant degree from Condi's. But before we get there—a comment.

When dealing in Middle Eastern politics, words are meaningless, but actions do matter. For example, that great Palestinian “moderate,” Mahmoud Abbas said just yesterday that “everyone wants peace” in the region. But what actions has Abbas initiated to achieve that goal? Has he reigned in terrorist groups within his own Fatah faction? Hardly. Has he confronted Hamas in any meaningful way? Negative. Has he moderated his Arabic speeches to lay the ground work for Palestinian concessions that will be vital to peace? Nope. Has he hinted in Western media that his people are even willing to make any concessions? Uh uh. Actions are what matter.

On the Israeli side, actions have occurred repeatedly, but they never seem to be quite enough. Have the Israelis unilaterally given back land to the Palestinans? As an example, Gaza comes to mind, and look how that turned out.

Some of Israel’s actions trouble the Left-leaning international media. For example. the Israelis built a physical boundary to keep terrorists out of their country and stop the Palestinians from murdering innocent civilians. That’s an action that shows they care about their own people and for the most part, the wall or fence works. In an odd way, the boundary actually protects the Palestinians from themselves by dampening their ability to conduct terrorist attacks that can only hamper any attempt at peace.

An equivalent Palestinian action would be an attempt to stop Hamas from lauching thousand of rocks that indiscriminately target Israeli civilian. Such an action would show that the Palestinians care (1) about their people and want to avoid Israeli reprisals and (2) about establishing a basis for peace. Like every other action that might lead to peace, the Palestinians has chosen to go in another direction. Lots of wortds, but no actions other than those that result in death.

Now back to Hillary. In a major foreign policy statement
in Foreign Affairs Clinton states [my comments in brackets]:
Getting out of Iraq will enable us to play a constructive role in a renewed Middle East peace process that would mean security and normal relations for Israel and the Palestinians. The fundamental elements of a final agreement have been clear since 2000: a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank [Israeli action] in return for a declaration that the conflict is over [Palestinian words], recognition of Israel's right to exist [Palestinian words], guarantees of Israeli security[Palestinian words], diplomatic recognition of Israel[Palestinian words], and normalization of its relations with Arab states [Palestinian words]. U.S. diplomacy is critical in helping to resolve this conflict. In addition to facilitating negotiations, we must engage in regional diplomacy to gain Arab support for a Palestinian leadership that is committed to peace and willing to engage in a dialogue with the Israelis. Whether or not the United States makes progress in helping to broker a final agreement, consistent U.S. involvement can lower the level of violence and restore our credibility in the region.

Of course, this is a single paragraph in a much longer statement, but it seems to continue the meme that demands only words on the part of one party and actions—some that threaten its very existence—on the part of another. It’s troublesome, and more significantly, it will not work.

Interestingly, Hillary's position differs little from Condi's—and that's the problem. It appears that when it comes to mid-East peace, no one's got a clue.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Intersection with Reality

Every once in a while a New York Times editorial intersects with the harsh reality of international conflict. In today’s editorial, the NYT editors note:
After four years of genocidal massacres that have killed more than 200,000 people, the Darfur region of Sudan desperately needs a peace agreement and a robust multinational force to carry it out. Regrettably, this week’s internationally sponsored peace conference in Libya is doing little to meet those urgent needs.

The problem is not just Sudan’s continuing duplicity — it announced a cease-fire and then promptly violated it. Sudan does not really want a peace agreement. It merely wants more time to let the janjaweed militias it backs in Darfur finish killing or drive off what remains of the region’s non-Arab population.

The editors go on to say that speeches and peace conferences, negotiation and “international pressure” don’t seem to be working. That the Islamic Government of Sudan simply wants to "finish killing or drive off what remains of the region’s non-Arab population.”

Unfortunately the NYT editors can’t bring themselves to endorse the only action that will stop the Genocide in Darfur—killing those state sponsored militias that are doing the killing. Rather, they look for a peace agreement and a "multinational force to carry it out." Does "carrying out" the peace agreement include violent confrontation with Islamist thugs who are slaughtering non-Arab people? If it does, the NYT Editors don't say.

Maybe we should just “give peace a chance” or endorse the long held belief that “war is not the answer.” Nice sentiments, those. Of course, they don't intersect with reality, but they certainly allow those who espouse them to maintain their self-serving moral superiority.

And while we strive for a pacific solution in Darfur, (to quote the NYT editors) “the genocide goes on.”