Kucinich: If Darfur had oil, Bush would be there
Democratic presidential candidates vowed more intervention in the humanitarian crisis in Darfur if the White House changes hands in 2008 and criticized President Bush's different approaches toward Africa and the Middle East.
"If Darfur had a large supply of oil, this administration would be occupying it right now," said Dennis Kucinich, the liberal Ohio congressman and long-shot candidate.
Although US trade embargos prevent any of it from arriving here, Sudan does have oil reserves. In recent years, experts have estimated a reserver of between 563 millon and 5 billion barrels of oil. By comparision, there are more than 670 billion barrels of oil reserves within six Persian Gulf nations.
Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., took the most aggressive stance toward Darfur intervention, saying the US does not need to wait until it pulls out of Iraq to intervene with sanctions and the enforcement of a no-fly-zone over Sudan.
If need be, the US "should put American troops on the ground to stop the carnage," Biden said.
John Edwards, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton all endorsed placing US troops in the region, although Clinton specified she would like to see NATO lead the way in organizing any military intervention.
Obama called for a dramatic shift in US trade and investment policy toward Africa, and he said America needs to pay attention to the continent when it is not in crisis. The Illinois Senator said America's long-term security is going to depend on whether children in Sudan and Zimbabwe have educational and other opportunities to keep them from turning into violent extremists.
Clinton called for a more aggressive stance toward warlords in Sudan, saying the US needed to send a message to hostile forces in Darfur with the establishment of a no-fly-zone.
"If they fly into it," she said, "we will shoot down their planes."