Having passed through three stages of denial on the Darfur issue, it appears that the Bush administration may finally be accepting United Nations Secretary General Annan's appeal for a more serious peacekeeping deployment.
For the last couple years, the Bush administration and its allies have clung to the fiction that they could stop the genocide in the Sudanese territory of Darfur by just sending in African Union forces.
Kofi Annan spoke the truth about these troops: "They didn't have the large numbers that would have been required for a region the size of Darfur. They didn't have logistical support."
This shouldn't even be a question. In 2004 Mr. Bush's administration sent expert investigators to interview 1,136 victims of Darfur's violence; based on this careful assessment, the administration accused Sudan's government of genocide -- the first time a government has leveled such an accusation at a sitting counterpart since the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide was adopted in 1948.
This sickening violence was genocide when it began in 2003, and it remains so three years later. The excuses for not confronting it with a serious Western troop deployment never looked good, but they are now thinner than ever.
Darfur's violence has recently grown worse and has spread into neighboring Chad, a country that plays host to French troops and American oilmen and seems on the verge of a civil war fomented by rebels apparently linked to Sudan's military.
[Source: Washington Post Editorial]