Nixon thought the antiwar movement at the time was largely made of up radical environmentalists, so he figured why not divide the movement by appeasing a few of the enviros' wishes. Fortunately for those who wanted U.S. armed forces out of Vietnam, Nixon's ploy didn't work. Today, the Save Darfur campaign is the cause du jour for the liberal wing of the antiwar movement. And unlike Nixon and the EPA in the '70s, if Bush gets involved in Darfur he may well derail the mounting opposition to the war in Iraq.
George Clooney and a handful of other Hollywood big shots, along with over 164 humanitarian and religious groups, are now calling on the United States to hustle troops over to stop the ethnic conflict. Bin Laden, in his latest radio hit (if it was really him), claimed the Darfur region of the Sudan, which is largely Muslim, would be the next stop for the U.S. imperial armies. Let's hope he's wrong, even if Clooney and Amnesty International desire it. The United States, if troops were deployed, would most likely only escalate the deaths, not end them. There is absolutely no reason to believe that shipping young Americans off to the Horn of Africa to die would result in anything tangible or worthwhile. Sadly, the bloody conflict would likely continue regardless.
Some little-known facts about the Darfur situation: Both sides in the conflict are black, and both sides are Muslim. So, despite what the major news media may say, this isn't an Arab-on-black or Muslim-on-Christian nightmare. And perhaps worst of all, there isn't a good side to be on. Both have committed horrible atrocities, and both want to slaughter the other. Not to mention that entering the region militarily would only feed right into bin Laden's rhetoric much like we did when we shocked and awed Baghdad. So I think it's safe to say that hatred of the U.S. would only increase among closet jihadists in the Middle East and elsewhere if we invaded Darfur. That doesn't make us, or them, any safer.
1992 saw the invasion of Somali, which by most accounts was an utter failure. Thousands of innocent Somalians died while others were brutally raped by UN peacekeeping forces. And for all those who claim that the late 90s Kosovo war was a just conflict, dont forget that thousands of ordinary people were killed because of our intervention. Oh yeah, and NATO is still occupying the place.
There are other reasons we ought not act on all of our humanitarian impulses, however well intentioned they may seem. Unlike Darfur, we've got wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan that actually involve us. In fact, we are responsible for them. Want to help bring peace to the Middle East? Why not pressure the U.S. government to halt all funding to Israel? That'd be a heck of a start.