Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Frum On Difficult Choices

It's not easy to be an enlightened liberal internationalist these days.

An enlightened liberal internationalist wants to send troops to the Sudanese region of Darfur to protect a majority Muslim population against murderous Islamic extremist militias.

On the other hand, he or she must oppose keeping troops in Iraq to protect a majority Muslim population against murderous Islamic extremist militias.

The enlightened liberal internationalist wants to use U.S. airpower to stop Osama bin Laden's allies in Khartoum from committing terrorist atrocities.

On the other hand, he or she must condemn the use of U.S. airpower to stop Osama bin Laden's allies in Iraq from committing terrorist atrocities.

NDP Leader Jack Layton summed up the two required points of view superbly in a pair of speeches he delivered last week. At a rally at Queen's Park in Toronto on April 30, timed to coincide with rallies in Washington, D.C. and across North America, Mr. Layton joined in a "scream" for Darfur. He declared: "Sometimes, there's a little too much thumb-twiddling." In a debate in the House of Commons the next day, he argued that it was immoral to stand by and do nothing as innocents are murdered.

On May 5, U.S. war protestor Cindy Sheehan passed through Ottawa--and afterward, Mr. Layton urged the Harper government to accede to Ms. Sheehan's request that Canada accept U.S. military deserters as refugees: "We should be looking at it. These young people are courageous individuals. They've made a decision of conscience."

But what if the U.S. deserter were running away from an assignment to Darfur? Would that be a "decision of conscience"? Or would that be standing by as innocents are murdered? More @ AEI

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