THE BLOG
07/08/2014 10:50 am ET | Updated Sep 05, 2014

Foreign Policy Focus Should Move From Middle East to Africa

Hey everyone, remember Darfur? The massive murder, rape and torture of tens of thousands pf civilians by the government and their agents was termed a genocide by both President Obama and Bush. Darfur was the focus of the world's attention, and millions fled to refugee camps. The spotlight increased when George Clooney visited the refugees and made a film. The Save Darfur coalition was formed and we were inundated with emails. Had Darfur faded from your consciousness? It had mine too. I thought that there had a peace accord brokered and all was well in Sudan. After watching an episode of HBO's Vice I learned that this is not the truth. President Bashir is still in power, refugee camps are overflowing as people still cannot move back into Darfur.

I write this as the tensions are flaring up in Iraq due to the successes of the ISIS fundamentalists. We are seeing calls by many, particularly Dick Cheney and the Bush Iraq gang, for renewed military activities there. They say we never should have left. Never mind the hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives wasted in this war that never should have been waged. It is becoming increasingly clear that the idea of democratic paradise in Iraq was nothing short of a pipe dream. There are thousands of years of ethnic hatred that cannot be easily erased. Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds will never trust each other. We were right to leave and we should spend no further resources there.

At the height of the Darfur crisis, I was dismayed that no one not even the strongest advocates called for any direct US presence in Sudan. It was all about signing petitions and influencing policies. Could a wall of US and African troops protected Darfur's citizens from the Junjaweed? Could a similar wall help them return home safely now? This is a way for the US military strength to be used for social justice and helping people that need it. This or some other type of action can make a difference. Now when voices will once again be calling for a new Iraq war, perhaps President Obama and his team should turn towards Africa be a shining light for justice.

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