Thursday, May 15, 2008

Doing things Because It Looks Good

The news today is that Cindy McCain has rid herself of investments in the Sudan. Because of substantial evidence that "acts of genocide or related crimes against humanity was occurring or immediately threatened," in 2004 the U.S. government determined that genocide had been committed in Darfur. In January 2005, the UN Commission of Inquiry concluded that "crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed in Darfur and may be no less serious and heinous then genocide." In March 2005, the UN Security Council asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the Darfur situation.

The big question, of course, is why it took so long for the companion of the man who is seeking the world's most important post to "get religion," so to speak, about the Sudan's nefarious activities which have resulted in hundreds of thousands of planned deaths. Mrs. McCain has made it clear that she is not going to turn over her income tax returns because she is a wealthy heiress and she and her husband file separate returns. That is her right. But it is another case where politicians seek to have their cake and eat it too. The New York Times reported the sale of her Sudan investments on May 15, 2008, more than four years after the government (John McCain is a senator in that government) declared that genocide was being committed. Brian Rogers, a spokesman for the McCain campaign, confirmed the sale. “As soon as she was made aware, she sold it,” Mr. Rogers said. “Senator and Mrs. McCain are committed to doing everything possible to end the genocide in Darfur.” The reported amount of the investments was two million dollars. As an obvious observation the sale was done to avoid criticism during the presidential campaign, but to seek to capitalize on this tardy gesture as a humanitarian effort is offensive.

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