Saturday, May 07, 2005

The New York Times > Kristof: Day 113 of the President's Silence on Darfur

Mr. Bush might reflect on a saying of President Kennedy: "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality."

Mr. Kristof might reflect on the saying, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

"Mr. Bush doesn't see any neat solution"

If so, Bush is right. Pragmatism should prevail over moral anguish. I'm sure Kristof is a good, moral person, but he's wrong.

Population pressures exacerbate cultural enmities whenever the two coincide. Sometimes you just have to let events run their course because the sort of action that would be required to deal effectively with situations like Uganda, Darfur and so many other places, without bleeding us to death, are politically impossible.

It's better to do nothing than to do something ineffectual in cases such as these.

As population pressures increasingly focus resource competition and shove together cultures best kept apart, we're going to see more and more of this sort of thing. If humanity is lucky enough to make it through the next several decades, it will probably be partially as a result of pragmatic bloody-mindedness.

Unless science develops some sort of brain pill to address the problem, you have to kill people, and lots of them. I'd start by making an example of Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army, then move on to his backers in Sudan, which might temper the Janjaweed problem in Darfur. Invade full-force, kill them all, then get out just as quickly. Fight fire with fire, then stabilize.

Yeah, right. Not in my lifetime. Not even in fantasy.
The Conqueror Worm (Wikipedia) (Wikisource)

Author:Edgar Allan Poe

Lo! 'tis a gala night
Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
In veils, and drowned in tears,
Sit in a theatre, to see
A play of hopes and fears,
While the orchestra breathes fitfully
The music of the spheres.

Mimes, in the form of God on high,
Mutter and mumble low,
And hither and thither fly-
Mere puppets they, who come and go
At bidding of vast formless things
That shift the scenery to and fro,
Flapping from out their Condor wings
Invisible Woe!

That motley drama- oh, be sure
It shall not be forgot!
With its Phantom chased for evermore,
By a crowd that seize it not,
Through a circle that ever returneth in
To the self-same spot,
And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
And Horror the soul of the plot.

But see, amid the mimic rout
A crawling shape intrude!
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!
It writhes!- it writhes!- with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
In human gore imbued.

Out- out are the lights- out all!
And, over each quivering form,
The curtain, a funeral pall,
Comes down with the rush of a storm,
While the angels, all pallid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy, "Man,"
And its hero the Conqueror Worm.

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