President Bush might not be an ideal model for progressives, but he’s doing something about Darfur

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Friends, right-wingers, Republicans, lend me your ears – and save this Collegian. A progressive is about to say something considered blasphemy in the godless Church of Liberalism: President Bush is doing a good job.

No, strike that. A great job.

Before I’m ousted from my party, let me clarify: the president, while I disagree with him 999 times out of 1000, has been at the forefront of world leaders pushing for more to be done in Sudan, specifically in Darfur.

According to a Reuters report on www.savedarfur.org, President Bush told the United Nations on Sept. 19 the credibility of the UN is at stake in Sudan. Some might say the UN is impotent, inadequate, or as Sean Hannity says, “anti-Semitic,” but the UN must do something – anything – to stop the genocide in this east African nation.

This genocide has affected more than 3.4 million human beings and has sent 200,000 refugees to neighboring Chad, according to reliefweb.com. The most appalling number, however, is the approximately 400,000 men, women and children killed since the beginning of this tragedy in 2003, according to savedarfur.org.

Since he took office, there have been two times that I’ve wanted to say “hell yeah” after hearing the president speak. One was after Sept. 11, 2001, and the other when he addressed the UN, and said the following: “If the Sudanese government does not approve this peacekeeping force quickly, the United Nations must act.”

Bush was talking about a resolution to send UN peacekeepers, cute little blue helmets and all, to the devastated region of Sudan.

One might think to one’s self: “Why would anyone oppose the world community intervening in such a tragedy?” But, there is some resistance.

As Thomas L. Friedman pointed out in his Wednesday column in The New York Times, China’s delegate to the UN voted against sending peacekeepers to Darfur. Now when I think of human rights, oh yeah, I think of China, but really.

Friedman made sense of this vote, showing that China has strong oil interests in Sudan, interests that could be harmed if the UN ran blue-helmet-first into the region.

I’m not going to take a shot at the president and his oil interests – that’s another column for another day. He has made it his charge to stop the eradication of innocent Africans, and for this I applaud him.

He has built momentum in the international community for something to actually happen in Darfur. This is something for which I will follow him until the very end.

I invite Americans of all parties and ideologies to jump behind the president, thank him for what he’s done and encourage more action – except for the Green Party, stupid Ralph Nader, killing Al Gore’s chances.

There are ways to make something happen.

Do some research or visit one of the Web sites I mentioned. We can halt this atrocity, all of us. And after that, we can go back to whining about Ann Coulter being too mean.

Owen Kennedy is a junior in mass communication. Please send comments to opinion@spub.ksu.edu.

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