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The War: Plan B, Part 1

If the administration could only see that the best way to save face while withdrawing from Iraq would be to send some troops to save the southern Sudanese Christians and their nominal Muslim brethren in Darfur from Muslim aggression, we could change the equation in the overall war radically. Our policy should be focused on stopping Islamization period. Bringing democracy to Muslim countries only serves to exacerbate the problem. It's long past time to institute plan B.

WaPo: In April 2006, a small group of Darfur activists -- including evangelical Christians, the representative of a Jewish group and a former Sudanese slave -- was ushered into the Roosevelt Room at the for a private meeting with . It was the eve of a major rally on the , and the president spent more than an hour holding forth, displaying a kind of passion that has led some in the White House to dub him the " desk officer."

Bush insisted there must be consequences for rape and murder, and he called for international troops on the ground to protect innocent Darfuris, according to contemporaneous notes by one of those present. He spoke of "bringing justice" to the , the Arab militias that have participated in atrocities that the president has repeatedly described as nothing less than "genocide."

"He had an understanding of the issue that went beyond simply responding to a briefing that had been given," said David Rubenstein, a participant who was then executive director of the Save Darfur Coalition, which has been sharply critical of the administration's response to the crisis. "He knew more facts than I expected him to know, and he had a broader political perspective than I expected him to have."

Yet a year and a half later, the situation on the ground in is little changed: More than 2 million displaced Darfuris, including hundreds of thousands in camps, have been unable to return to their homes. The perpetrators of the worst atrocities remain unpunished. Despite a renewed push, the international peacekeeping troops that Bush has long been seeking have yet to materialize...

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