The US is petitioning the UN Security Council not to prosecute Darfur war criminals–just another piece of Washington’s ongoing campaign against the International Criminal Court, which could one day be used against US troops or political leaders. Meanwhile, a report by a five-person UN panel released Jan. 28 conveniently finds that while the Darfur violence is part of a government-orchestrated systematic campaign, it does not constitue "genocide". (IHT, Jan. 28) Just a day later, African Union peacekeepers reported that a Sudanese government airstrike on the Darfur village of Shangil Tobaya (40 miles south of El Fasher) left at least 100 civilians dead, and caused a thousand more to flee. Some 10,000 have fled violence in the Shangil Tobaya area in the past two weeks. (Boston Globe, Jan. 29) Pretty impolitic–you’d think the Khartoum butchers would have a better sense of timing. Then again, I guess they are entitled to their hubris, given how the whole world is giving them a blank check for butchery.