More peacekeepers are dead in Darfur (click here for BBC report) where there is, sadly, no peace to be kept. There was a well argued case against foreign troops being sent to Darfur a few weeks ago on the BBC.

Why are our over heated politicians and media pundits crying for intervention in Darfur? Or, indeed, action against Mugabe, Burmese generals or other nasty governments? And why do we pretend we can bring peace to places like Afghanistan by parking soldiers there?

There is precious little that can be done when there is war – particularly civil war – by putting another army between the combatants. Iraq has shown the mess that follows regime change imposed by invasion.

Some people claim that the interventions in the dismembered Yugoslavia are a fine example of what intervention can do. Here is an article in London Review which might change minds. All we have done is crystallise many resentments. It does not take inspiration to prophesy that there is more grief to come in the Balkans.

When Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers” he was not thinking of men with guns or governments making economic sanctions and political gestures. Peacemaking is about making contact, giving respect and negotiating. And when peacemaking fails we have to admit that some problems may not have solutions.

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