Why must the New York Times hide Nick Kristof's articles behind their subscription firewall? As many people as possible need to hear his words on Darfur.
In yesterday's column, Kristof tries to tell us that the horrors in Darfur are easier to stop than most people may realize. He writes (emphasis added):
Where [genocide] arises from a weighing of costs and benefits, then it is possible for outsiders to impose additional costs and change the outcome. That’s what we need to do. The U.S. should lead other countries in pushing hard on all sides for a negotiated peace agreement among the warring factions, for that is ultimately the best hope to end the slaughter in Darfur and in neighboring areas in Chad and the Central African Republic.
I find President Bashir’s ruthlessness pretty easy to understand. What is harder to fathom is President Bush’s refusal to stand up to the genocide for four years. Why not impose a no-fly zone, why not hold an international conference on Darfur, why not invite survivors to the White House for a photo-op, why not give a prime-time speech about Darfur?
Perhaps the explanation for Mr. Bush’s passivity is the same as the explanation for Mr. Bashir’s brutality. Maybe Mr. Bush has made his calculations, looked at the number of calls and letters he gets about Darfur, weighed the pros and cons, and decided that Americans really don’t care enough about genocide to make him pay a major price for allowing it to continue.
Many, such as the members of the San Antonio Interfaith Darfur Coalition, already understand that every little bit of action helps. But we need more to join in. According to Nick Kristof, it doesn't take much.