Bush Defends Decision Not to Send Troops to Darfur

Reluctant to intervene in another Muslim nation
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2008 3:35 AM CST
Chinese U.N. peacekeepers build fortifications on a new U.N. base in Darfur. China has sent a small contingent of 140 engineers and troops to the U.N.'s new Darfur mission, known as UNAMID, amid criticism...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – President Bush has defended his decision not to send US troops to Darfur to stop the genocide taking place in the troubled African region. The choice was partly due to a desire not to intervene in another Muslim country, he told the BBC. Bush is scheduled to leave today for a visit to five African countries, but may be delayed if the controversial eavesdropping bill he backs continues to be held up in Congress.

The president also told the BBC that he plans to attend the Olympics in Beijing, despite mounting criticism and threatened boycotts over China's human rights abuse. "I view the Olympics as a sporting event," he said. Bush and his wife plan to visit Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and Liberia to see how US aid is being utilized. He won't visit Sudan or Kenya, but plans to discuss the problems of both violence-torn countries with African leaders.