Friday, March 06, 2009

The silence of failure

Darfur was supposed to be the EU's finest hour – the very reason for the European Rapid Reaction Force, the focus of its humanitarian and peacekeeping ambitions. This was going to be the way "Europe" demonstrated to the likes of the crude Americans how things were to be done.

The EU ambitions degenerated into farce, of course – as they always do when the "colleagues" actually have to do something rather than tell others what to do – or criticise them for not doing whatever it is they think should be done.

And the result is this:

Aid officials warn that a humanitarian emergency is in danger of becoming a disaster. The move has put the supply of food to 1.1 million people in doubt, as the UN's World Food Programme scrambles to find lorries to deliver sacks of grain. It had been using four of the expelled charities to get food to people in need. Outside the hospital – run by the International Rescue Committee until it was ordered out – a mother brushed flies from the face of her daughter. "My baby is sick," Fatima Abdulrahmen said. "She has a fever and I brought her here and now I don't know what to do. Who will help me now?"
Wholly predictably, the "colleagues" have failed. And so complete is their failure that no-one is even mentioning the EU – no one even expects it to act. It doles out a little conscience money, with €247 million for "development aid" - a fraction of what it is pouring into Gaza, but as for intervening robustly, with military force, all we get is silence.

There is no longer even a pretence that the EU can resolve the issue. This is the silence of failure.