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A Commitment to Inaction: US Rhetoric and Darfur
Unformatted Document Text:  Andrew Buchwach Powell also made the claim that “We [the US] have been doing everything we can to get the Sudanese government to act responsibly” (Powell). Again, Powell is placing the burden of responsibility entirely upon the Sudanese government. The US has been “trying” to get the Sudanese to act in a certain way; the US, however, has not engaged in any direct action personally. The US is working through others, seeking “African solutions to African problems.” The US helped broker the 2004 cease-fire agreement, but failed to provide guarantors for its implementation and continuation. The US provided millions of dollars in aid, but failed to provide the necessary manpower to ensure that the needy received adequate and consistent relief. Powell iterated that¸ “We [the US] want to see dramatic improvements on the ground right now,” but failed entirely to ensure that those improvements came about (Powell). On May 18, 2006 the House of Representatives Committee on International Relations held a hearing to discuss the “Prospects for Peace in Darfur.” The DPA was signed just two weeks earlier, and the Committee spoke at length about the history and possible outcomes of that fateful accord. Although Vice Chairman Christopher Smith, the first speaker, explained the necessity of devising a plan for the implementation of the DPA, the Committee spent the majority of its time transfixed in self-congratulatory revelry. After Smith left the podium, ranking Democrat Member Tom Lantos made several illuminating comments. He quickly asserted that despite the existence of genocide, “Congress can do only so much” (United States). Considering the power that the House of Representatives wields, Lantos’ pronouncement begs further examination. As the House of Representatives unanimously proclaimed the existence of genocide in 12

Authors: Buchwach, Andrew.
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Andrew Buchwach
Powell also made the claim that “We [the US] have been doing everything we can
to get the Sudanese government to act responsibly” (Powell). Again, Powell is placing
the burden of responsibility entirely upon the Sudanese government. The US has been
“trying” to get the Sudanese to act in a certain way; the US, however, has not engaged in
any direct action personally. The US is working through others, seeking “African
solutions to African problems.” The US helped broker the 2004 cease-fire agreement,
but failed to provide guarantors for its implementation and continuation. The US
provided millions of dollars in aid, but failed to provide the necessary manpower to
ensure that the needy received adequate and consistent relief. Powell iterated that¸ “We
[the US] want to see dramatic improvements on the ground right now,” but failed entirely
to ensure that those improvements came about (Powell).
On May 18, 2006 the House of Representatives Committee on International
Relations held a hearing to discuss the “Prospects for Peace in Darfur.” The DPA was
signed just two weeks earlier, and the Committee spoke at length about the history and
possible outcomes of that fateful accord. Although Vice Chairman Christopher Smith,
the first speaker, explained the necessity of devising a plan for the implementation of the
DPA, the Committee spent the majority of its time transfixed in self-congratulatory
revelry.
After Smith left the podium, ranking Democrat Member Tom Lantos made
several illuminating comments. He quickly asserted that despite the existence of
genocide, “Congress can do only so much” (United States). Considering the power that
the House of Representatives wields, Lantos’ pronouncement begs further examination.
As the House of Representatives unanimously proclaimed the existence of genocide in
12


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