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Darfur: All they are saying is, "give genocide a chance."

07/28/2004

Believe it or not, the conflict in Sudan has really been going on for at least 15 years . It claimed 2 million lives before it was officially declared to be "over" in May of 1994. As many as 40,000 have died in Darfur alone, where rape camps are established for the purpose of ethnic cleansing.

If this were happening in Europe, the whole world would be up in arms. When it happened in Bangladesh, artists organized a "Save the people" campaign. They sang "All we are saying, is give peace a chance." If Israelis were murdering Palestinians in this way, there would long ago have been a ruling by the ICJ about the genocide and ethnic cleansing, there would be UN Security council resolutions, sanctions and worse. When it happened in Kossovo, Nato intervened.

But the Sudan is not in Europe, but in Africa. The conflict began as a struggle for a secular society (the same secular society that is so beloved of some Palestinians for Israel) in Sudan. Ahmed Ibrahim Diriage, a Muslim leader of the opposition, said in 1989 :


And then we from Darfur with all Muslims came with our brothers from the south and formed the New Forces Congress. We did not care whether they were Muslims or not. So, I think, if we look at the issue in this way - true, I am a Muslim myself, but I don't agree with the National Islamic Front. I think the Sudan should be a secular country and I would fight for that and would like the people to do it. So it is not only the southerners, who are Christians, that have to fight for their rights. There are Muslims who would fight for their rights as well.



Apparently, there were not enough people willing to fight for a secular Sudan. That battle was lost long ago. Now the issue is one of simple survival, but even that is not to be allowed.

Understand, that because this is occuring in Africa, and perhaps because it is Arab Muslims who are committing genocide, nobody is in a big hurry to do anything about it. There is no doubt at all of what is happening. Hair-raising reports pour in every day. For example:


Sudanese militias have burned civilians alive in the Darfur region, say African Union military observers.
Men rode into a village on horseback, looted the market and chained people up before setting them on fire, they say.

They are "believed to be Janjaweed" - the pro-government militias accused of ethnic cleansing against non-Arabs.



It is nothing new. It has been going on for years, whether it was done officially by the government, or unofficially by the militias, whether it was done in Darfur or in South Sudan. Here is a report from 1998, when the US was busy saving lives in Kosovo. If it has gone on for so long, then it is no wonder that nobody is in a hurry to do anything about it, is it?

Aside from a few righteous people who cry out about the silence ( eg here and here ) nobody cares. You don't really care, either, do you? Or perhaps you do care, but not enough to get anyone to do anything about it.

Here is another example of what we are condoning by our silence:


In the past 16 months, the conflict opposing the Sudan government and its militia allies to the rebels of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), has killed at least 10,000 people and displaced more than one million across the large western Sudanese region.

"Rape appears to be a feature of most attacks in Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa areas of Darfur," says the latest Human Rights Watch report on the Darfur conflict.

...

Many witnesses say the population of Kaileck was held hostage by the Janjaweed for two months, despite repeated appeals to the commissioner of Kass.

Men were also picked up daily and killed.



If you are indifferent, you are in good company. US Secretary of State Colin Powell isn't in a hurry to do anything about the Sudan either: "Powell, too, cautioned against "premature" military intervention in Darfur."

Good for you Colin. We mustn't be hasty. Fifteen years is not enough time time for Sudanese to finish their genocide program. True, the Nazis had much less time, but the Germans had better organization. Good old Colin was agreeing with the Arab League, who also want to give the Sudanese government more time:


The Arab League has urged the UN Security Council to "avoid precipitate action" in the Darfur crisis.

The 22-member bloc on Tuesday also said the UN should give the Sudanese government time to honour its commitments.



All they are saying, is give genocide a chance. Very good. We mustn't be hasty. Fifteen years is not enough time to stop the murders. More time is needed, because the rapes and murders are not complete. But don't worry, they are hurrying up the job. According to the UN , the security situation is deteriorating:


The United Nations' top emergency relief official has warned that the security situation in Sudan's Darfur region is becoming more difficult.

Jan Egeland, who has just visited Darfur, said relief supplies had been looted and humanitarian workers attacked by militia.

More than one million people have been forced from their homes and thousands more killed by Arab militia since 2003.



So you see, for their part, the Janjaweed militia are doing their best to expedite matters, and the Arab League wants to help them also:


The bloc also distanced itself from international condemnation of the Janjawid, calling on the ethnic minority rebels in Darfur to take the initiative.



Presumably, when all the men are dead or enslaved, and there are no non-Muslim virgins over the age of eight in all of Sudan, the Arab League and the UN and Mr. Powell and the EU people will declare that their intervention was a big success, and the matter is now completely resolved. So you understand, there really is no hurry at all. Give genocide a chance.

Ami Isseroff

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Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000287.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

by Moderator @ 06:07 PM CST [Link]

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Replies: 8 comments

The UN is corrupted beyond any possible redemption. The Muslim world is taking advantage of the intentional denial of the governments in power to advance their adgenda. The fanatic Islamic clerics of all the Muslim countries continue to brainwash their people into callous ignorance while reducing them to poverty (mentally, financially and psychologically). This become a hudge mass that at one point could be used to destroy what is not "Muslim". Meat for canons. The Iranians and the Palestinians for example used their children for that very purpose. Some black African countries have learned to do the same. The death penalty applies to these "Masters" of the Muslim world. I am personally against the death penalty. The western world is far from being innocent. They probably would not care if entier peoples are killed or the victim of say: AIDS, malaria etc.
Where is the human conscience?

Posted by lubicz, stephane @ 08/01/2004 06:07 AM CST

Rather than look at Israel as a comparator perhaps we should look at Iraq. Saddam's human rights abuses are now being cited as justification for the invasion, in the absence of any WMD's. Yet when equally bad violations occur in Darfur there is no action; as yet not even sanctions.

The unfortunate thing is that even if the US and UK did want to intervene on humanitarian grounds, they have blotted their copybook with Muslims so badly that any involvement now would be like putting out a fire with petrol.

Posted by Nimrod @ 08/02/2004 04:47 PM CST

If the people of muslum countries could just realize that we all can get along, and stop putting religious racism as the main aspect of there lives there countries would be more prosperous and they could grow to be modern marvals. I guess ignorance will always provail when you live with blinders.

Posted by Tony @ 08/07/2004 10:00 AM CST

Instead of just posting comments here, why not do something concrete to help the refugees?

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/what_you_can_do/give_to_oxfam/donate/western_sudan.htm

Posted by Nimrod @ 08/11/2004 03:36 PM CST

A point of accuracy:
John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance" was written about the war in Vietnam, not in regard to the civil war in the former East Pakistan [Bangladesh]. Another former Beatle, George Harrison, organized the "Concert for Bangladesh" to benefit starving refugees there.
Two Beatles, two noble causes: signs of another time when Western pop-culture figures were leaders in the struggle for justice in the world. We must still proclaim, GIVE PEACE A CHANCE!

Posted by Robert Vint @ 08/15/2004 03:53 AM CST

Correct -
"Give Peace A Chance" was not sung at the Bangladesh concert.

Since I wrote the above, there has actually been some action of African states, as well as the watered-down UN resolution, regarding Sudan. The slaughter continues as of this writing, and the Arab league has again warned against pressuring Sudan. This is not necessarily a reflection of Arab public opinion, editorials in Al-Ahram (Egypt) Jordan Times and Arab News(Saudi Arabia) all decried the slaughter in Darfur.

An excellent article about the complexities of Sudan was written by Lee Smith at Slate. It is not a simple matter of Arabs versus non-Arabs.

Ami Isseroff

Posted by Moderator @ 08/18/2004 12:15 PM CST

Why are black leaders not making such a ruckus every day that it becomes a central issue which must be solved? Are the lives of black Africans so unimportant to them? IF they wanted they could mobilize our black communities and others as well. Why aren't they?

Posted by jerry @ 09/06/2004 04:53 PM CST

I agree absolutely that their should be intervention in this terrible crisis.

I am confused as to why Syrians, Jordanians, Egyptians, Nigerians, Ethiopians, Lebanese, Libyans, and Yemenese are not banding together to create a coalition force to rid this region of such heinous activity. They too, have eyes, ears, and the ability to help their neighbours.

I am confused as to why surrounding states would shake their head, and say "tsk tsk" about such an affair, and then scream loudly that it is ironic that the UN, or United States does not become involved, when they are more than willing to become involved in an oil-rich region.

I am confused as to why the UAE, or Kuwait are not organizing huge relief efforts, or humanitarian missions. Where is Poland? Where is India? Where is South Africa, Argentina?

Waiting for the UN or US to intervene. Yes, that's right. Waiting.......while it all happens. I'm sure they will be happy to band together at the end: to lay the blame of non-intervention on the UN, or US.

By all means, let's bring an end to this catastrophe.

Don't everyone jump in at once.

Posted by William Forrester @ 10/04/2004 02:57 AM CST


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