The Human-Rights Vacuum

Darfur and Burma stir no response because the U.S. is discredited while China's power grows

Pornchai Kittiwongsakul / AFP / Getty

Buddhist monks join Myanmese activists in a demonstration in front of Myanmar embassy in Bangkok on October 7, 2007.

Rebel troops stampeded an african Union base in Darfur, Sudan, last month, murdering 10 African peacekeepers. That same week in Burma, the military regime killed a Japanese photographer and turned its machine guns on unarmed, barefoot monks. The violence in Darfur and Burma met with widespread international condemnation but scant concrete action. The perpetrators will almost certainly get away with murder.

What is going on? Even in an era of connectedness, when such outrages are beamed into living rooms around the globe, the world's major powers can't seem to agree on what should be done or who should do it. While...

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