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Darfur genocide: It's Bush's fault

If you're just joining us, here's the score:

Sudanese military, Arab gangs kill tens of thousands of blacks.

U.S. calls it genocide.

U.N. says no, it's not.

So, who's the real villain here? Is it the Sudanese government and its roving Arab death squads, for mass killings of blacks? Or is it the U.N., for standing back and allowing Sudan to continue its bloody work?

Trick question! The answer, obviously, is George W. Bush.

He's only tossing around wild claims of genocide because he wants to invade Sudan and get his hands on all that Sudanese oil. Not because, you know, there actually is a genocide going on.

As Hodari Abdul-Ali, executive director of the Orwellianly-named Give Peace a Chance Coalition, helpfully pointed out while on a panel discussing the Darfur crisis at Stanford University yesterday, Bush is making up reasons to get involved in Sudan just as he did with Iraq:

Let's face it -- the United States didn't say it was going into Iraq to get oil, it said it was bringing democracy and the world knows that's not the case.
It's a mistake to assume the world shares your own personal delusions there, H-man. (Somehow, it's always the pacifists who end up defending the world's most murderous regimes.)

Incidentally, the panel on which Abdul-Ali spoke was a nice, neutral affair sponsored by Stanford's Muslim Student Awareness Network.

Speaking on the same Stanford panel, Sudan's ambassador to the U.S. Khidir Haroun Ahmed chimed in, saying Bush's reckless genocide-mongering has only made matters worse: "The mischaracterization as genocide by the United States has emboldened the rebel groups."

Ahmed ignores the fact that even the U.N. commision's own report found that Sudan's "government forces and militias conducted indiscriminate attacks" including "killing of civilians, enforced disappearances, destruction of villages, rape and other forms of sexual violence, pillaging and forced displacement, throughout Darfur."

Somehow, I don't think Dubya is the real problem here. If his Sudanese critics are to be believed, he causes thousands of casualties even in countries he doesn't invade.

A big Riding Sun thank you to Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs for the link and hat tip.


Anonymous said...

Good post!

The Sudan is an awful country, and President Bush is great for tearing it up. In the south, north, and west we are putting pressure on Sudan and presaging the blasted land.

However, I do not believe it is genocide. Genocides are very few in the world. Massacres and even ethnic cleansing do not approximate the horror of true genocies.

It is a minor point. Governments that systemically massacre their populations do not deseve to exist. But Sudan is not at the level of the Shoah or Cambodia. 

Posted by Dan

Anonymous said...

Well, the difference here is that if Darfur is an "official" genocide, the U.N. would have to get actively involved.

If it is not a genocide, the U.N. can fob the whole thing off to the ICC, which will try a few fall guys while the killing goes on.

So it is a real, meaningful distinction with practical consequences.

(Of course, the killing would probably go on even if the U.N. sent a "peacekeeping force" or some such, but you know what I mean.) 

Posted by GaijinBiker

Anonymous said...

Yup. You are right. With its actions the U.N. has devalued the word genocide, and by not devaluing consitantly they are devaluing Darfuri lives. 

Posted by Dan

Anonymous said...

"I don't mind a genocidal regime; I object to a cut-rate one."


Posted by GaijinBiker

Anonymous said...

"(Somehow, it's always the pacifists who end up defending the world's most murderous regimes.)"

I've always been at a loss to really understand why this is so. I have my ideas, it's just so blasted insane!

Sudan is genocide, just as Rawanda was torn apart by this scourage and largely ignored by those (the U.N., and to a much lesser extent the Clinton Administration, and other "First World" governments) entrusted with preventing such a holocaust.

In Clinton & Bush's defense, it seems as if an American administration is damned if they do and damned if they don't. If it was about oil, I'm certain that there'd already be American flags flying all over Darfur. For the U.S., the hesitency to act is tied to the events in Mogadishu, and right now there are competing outcries for Bush to:

1) Act to prevent yet another slaughter of black Africans
2) Stay the hell out of Sudan because "it's all about the oil"

What is any President to do in such a no-win situation?


Posted by Sharon



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