“You’re either with us or against us”

The debate in the West over Bashir’s arrest warrant has been heated and, up to a point, relatively cordial. Or at least it was. This, from the US-based Darfur advocacy group, the Enough Project, is ridiculous. In a post headlined “Bashir’s Best Buddies”, Enough’s executive director, John Norris writes:

“Somewhat sadly, Bashir’s most enduring loyalists may prove to be the arm chair analysts in New York and Washington who have made a cottage industry out of being critical of international justice, activism, or any forward leaning efforts to actually end a crisis rather than simply managing its consequences.”

Whatever the difference between the two schools of thought, this takes it way, way too far. Enough is essentially branding those who opposes the arrest warrant as “Bashir’s most enduring loyalists”. This is dangerously close to the smearing of liberal critics of the Iraq War as “pro-Saddam”. Or, as George W Bush might put it, “Either you are with us, or you are with Bashir.”

[Just to show that the debate can be civilised, here’s Alex de Waal and Human Rights Watch’s Richard Dicker arguing nicely over at Democracy Now. Although Dicker perhaps goes slightly over the top, praising De Waal’s views on no less than five occasions (“I think Alex is correct”, “as Alex is rightly suggesting”, etc…)]




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