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Why Don't We Care About African Genocide?

 
 
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 09:37 am
Genocide in Darfur

The Secret Genocide Archive
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

Published: February 23, 2005


hotos don't normally appear on this page. But it's time for all of us to look squarely at the victims of our indifference.

These are just four photos in a secret archive of thousands of photos and reports that document the genocide under way in Darfur. The materials were gathered by African Union monitors, who are just about the only people able to travel widely in that part of Sudan.

This African Union archive is classified, but it was shared with me by someone who believes that Americans will be stirred if they can see the consequences of their complacency.

The photo at the upper left was taken in the village of Hamada on Jan. 15, right after a Sudanese government-backed militia, the janjaweed, attacked it and killed 107 people. One of them was this little boy. I'm not showing the photo of his older brother, about 5 years old, who lay beside him because the brother had been beaten so badly that nothing was left of his face. And alongside the two boys was the corpse of their mother.

The photo to the right shows the corpse of a man with an injured leg who was apparently unable to run away when the janjaweed militia attacked.

At the lower left is a man who fled barefoot and almost made it to this bush before he was shot dead.

Last is the skeleton of a man or woman whose wrists are still bound. The attackers pulled the person's clothes down to the knees, presumably so the victim could be sexually abused before being killed. If the victim was a man, he was probably castrated; if a woman, she was probably raped.

There are thousands more of these photos. Many of them show attacks on children and are too horrific for a newspaper.

One wrenching photo in the archive shows the manacled hands of a teenager from the girls' school in Suleia who was burned alive. It's been common for the Sudanese militias to gang-rape teenage girls and then mutilate or kill them.

Another photo shows the body of a young girl, perhaps 10 years old, staring up from the ground where she was killed. Still another shows a man who was castrated and shot in the head.

This archive, including scores of reports by the monitors on the scene, underscores that this slaughter is waged by and with the support of the Sudanese government as it tries to clear the area of non-Arabs. Many of the photos show men in Sudanese Army uniforms pillaging and burning African villages. I hope the African Union will open its archive to demonstrate publicly just what is going on in Darfur.

The archive also includes an extraordinary document seized from a janjaweed official that ...

See link above for remainder of article.
_____________________________________________________


Why are we not outraged by this? Why are we not doing anything? We have a world outpouring of support for natural disasters that we have no control over (tsunami) but this, that we can change, is allowed to continue? Why?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 16,913 • Replies: 247
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woiyo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 09:42 am
Unfortunately, the US can not CURE the Worlds problems.

Unfortunately, we only directly help when it is in our INTEREST to help.

I am sure the UN has spoken out against the outrage, yet the Sudan Govt ignores them.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 09:49 am
Quick BM, because I'm at a cafe. Yes Squinn... apathy kills.
Woiyo, the UN has gone very far out of there way to not help... they won't even admit it's a genocide...
Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
CoastalRat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 09:58 am
Are you hinting Squinney that we should send in troops to a sovereign nation in order to put right what we see as wrong? But going in and ending the murderous regime of Saddam in Iraq was wrong of us? I guess it was only wrong because Bush did it using as an excuse the WMD. But the end result was to remove from power someone who was very much a murderous thug.

So what is the difference? Do you want our military going into any nation on our own in order to stop some group from killing another or do you want us to stay out? I don't get it.
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 10:48 am
CoastalRat wrote:
Are you hinting Squinney that we should send in troops to a sovereign nation in order to put right what we see as wrong?


Quote:
Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world. All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.


G.W. Bush, inauguration speech

CoastalRat wrote:
But going in and ending the murderous regime of Saddam in Iraq was wrong of us?


I think, CR, either or. Either both nations would have to be invaded if "the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors", or none of them.

Do you concur?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 10:57 am
Thats just not practical tho is it, Old Europe. Cant fight five wars at the same time.

I do think there should at least be a semblance of even-handedness though. Not the total arbitrariness that was demonstrated the last years.

Also - people, hello - dont governments have a whole set of instruments to use between war and invasion on the one hand and demonstration of total disinterest on the other?
0 Replies
 
woiyo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 11:19 am
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Quick BM, because I'm at a cafe. Yes Squinn... apathy kills.
Woiyo, the UN has gone very far out of there way to not help... they won't even admit it's a genocide...
Rolling Eyes


I wish they had a symbol for "tounge in cheek". Of course the UN will ignore the problem.
0 Replies
 
CoastalRat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 11:23 am
old europe wrote:
CoastalRat wrote:
Are you hinting Squinney that we should send in troops to a sovereign nation in order to put right what we see as wrong?


Quote:
Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world. All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.


G.W. Bush, inauguration speech

CoastalRat wrote:
But going in and ending the murderous regime of Saddam in Iraq was wrong of us?


I think, CR, either or. Either both nations would have to be invaded if "the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors", or none of them.

Do you concur?


I would agree. And personally, I have no problem with the US saying that we will go in and stop the genocide if the UN won't act. But the hypocrisy among those of a decidedly democrat persuasion here who have the gaul to suggest we need to do something when they have so adamently argued against any need to do something in Iraq is laughable.
0 Replies
 
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 11:34 am
Actually, CR, the gall of comparing the two is gut wrenching. The mass killing Saddam did was years ago and with biological and chemical weapons provided by the US government.

If Iraq was for humanitarian reasons it would have been done prior to 2003, and would have been stated as the reason. It wasn't.

As woiyo already pointed out, there has to be an "interest" involved. That turns my stomach.

The fact that millions of dollars was given freely by individuals, not just governments, for tsunami victims is some indication that we haven't lost all compassion. Where is the compassion for the African tribes of Darfur?
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 12:01 pm
Quote:
Also - people, hello - dont governments have a whole set of instruments to use between war and invasion on the one hand and demonstration of total disinterest on the other?


Is that the diplo-macie thing I keep hearing about? Take your leftish European notions of gov't elsewhere!

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 12:17 pm
The question should be IMO does the world care about the African Genocide? The answer as made clear by the UN is a resounding no. It just points up again, the ineptitude, irrelevance and hypocrisy of the world body which it would seem to be inappropriately called the United nations. United I suppose in looking the other way in every world crisis.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 01:10 pm
au1929 wrote:
The question should be IMO does the world care about the African Genocide? The answer as made clear by the UN is a resounding no. It just points up again, the ineptitude, irrelevance and hypocrisy of the world body which it would seem to be inappropriately called the United nations.

Uhm ... care to bring up the example of any individual country thats actually picked up the gauntlet and acted on the matter, when the UN failed to do enough?

I think the UN's take on the situation is woefully inadequate. But to blame the UN as a body for the world's indifference when that indifference is just as blatantly showcased by each national government's relative apathy on the matter is all too easy a bit of scapegoating.

Plus, it suggests to me that somehow you have a bigger bone to pick with the UN than with the actual genocide going on in Darfur. Someone who really cared about Darfur would be coming up with things the UN should do - or that governments could do. Merely taking the occasion to take another potshot at the UN and leaving it at that kinda painfully highlights where your priorities lie, I dare say.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 01:19 pm
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Quote:
Also - people, hello - dont governments have a whole set of instruments to use between war and invasion on the one hand and demonstration of total disinterest on the other?

Is that the diplo-macie thing I keep hearing about? Take your leftish European notions of gov't elsewhere!

I dunno. I'm kindof at a loss as well. Diplomacy by itself will not work with a regime like Sudan's. It should be flanked. Flanked by aggressive measures: isolation, travel bans on government officials, possibly a freeze on their personal assets abroad - hit 'em in their wallet - things like that appear to work better than blanket sanctions of the country as a whole, which mostly ends up hitting the civilian population.

Some sabre-rattling perhaps - navy exercises somewhere off the coast, something like that. Openly speaking of and condemning "genocide", which the UN has shirked away from for the moment. Pressuring and encouraging the countries of the African Union with diplomatic and financial incentives to extend their hesitantly budding peacekeeping deployment in Sudan.

I dunno. Support local/regional development projects that benefit the population groups that are being chased up and harassed - that opportunity is still there, its not a closed country, the aid and development organisations are in there, doing everything from food aid to developing school books for the local languages. Fund them. Fund outside opposition groups if needed, if only to send a message to the government. Threaten the establishment of an international war crimes tribunal or assigning the task of persecuting guilty parties to the The Hague ICC. Every little bit that might scare people in power off a little, make them think twice about whatever next crime they're thinking of having committed, helps.

In short, use every single measure you have at hand to pressure the government short of actual war. It wont solve the problem like magic, but it would be a start - some of it is already being done, but a lot could be done much more aggressively.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 01:20 pm
CoastalRat wrote:
Are you hinting Squinney that we should send in troops to a sovereign nation in order to put right what we see as wrong? But going in and ending the murderous regime of Saddam in Iraq was wrong of us? I guess it was only wrong because Bush did it using as an excuse the WMD. But the end result was to remove from power someone who was very much a murderous thug.

So what is the difference? Do you want our military going into any nation on our own in order to stop some group from killing another or do you want us to stay out? I don't get it.

Bush did not use the WMD as an excuse. That was his actual reason for invading Iraq, as he repeatedly said, and it was no more wrong than when a policeman frisks a suspect in a crime and doesn't find a gun. Not finding the gun does not make frisking the suspect wrong, nor does it mean the suspect didn't have a gun 60 seconds previously.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 01:30 pm
You're equating the invasion of Iraq to a policman frisking a suspect for a gun and the lapse between having WMD and not as 60 seconds? Reread that, Brandon, and try to tell me it's not ridiculous.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 01:38 pm
Quote:
Bush did not use the WMD as an excuse. That was his actual reason for invading Iraq, as he repeatedly said, and it was no more wrong than when a policeman frisks a suspect in a crime and doesn't find a gun. Not finding the gun does not make frisking the suspect wrong, nor does it mean the suspect didn't have a gun 60 seconds previously.


Worst. Analogy. Ever.

Frisking a suspect doesn't involve killing dozens of thousands of people and starting international wars...

What a dense thing to say.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 01:40 pm
nimh wrote
Quote:
Uhm ... care to bring up the example of any individual country thats actually picked up the gauntlet and acted on the matter, when the UN failed to do enough?


It is the funtion of the UN to act as a cohesive force in situations such as this not that of any individual nation. What did the UN do? At first for the longest time turn a blind eye. And than when pressed refused to call the situation genocide. Which would have required action.
nimh wrote
Quote:
I think the UN's take on the situation is woefully inadequate. But to blame the UN as a body for the world's indifference when that indifference is just as blatantly showcased by each national government's relative apathy on the matter is all too easy a bit of scapegoating.


If you want to place pin the apathy on the individual nations of the world go right ahead. But remember these Nations are what make up the UN. They make it the irrelevant, hypocritical organization that it is.


I would refer you to
http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=25810&highlight=

It a discussion on the subject at hand
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 01:41 pm
No, no no LW, Cyclo, please dont start Brandon about that. Sometimes it seems its the only argument he ever comes to make here, and he can do it endlessly. This thread is about Sudan, not Iraq.

Its not the first one by the way - interesting prior threads:

Sudan genocide

"Never Again"


And of course, the long thread:

United nations, EU, where are you??

That one has lots of info but also lots of only marginally related tired arguing of the usual kind (its the UNs fault! No its the Americans! No, the Europeans are just being hypocritical again! Oh yeah like the US meant well in Iraq! Well the UN sure proved its bankrupcy there! Et cetera - without much of all relevance to Sudan. But hey - still it had a lot of good info that it would be a pity to replicate. Check out Dagmaraka's posts in particular. Voice of reason, that girl. Also posted a plea of a UNICEF worker just returning from Darfur.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 01:48 pm
au1929 wrote:
But remember these Nations are what make up the UN. They make it the irrelevant, hypocritical organization that it is.

Pretty much my point. Its not so much the fault of the UN as a body (quite a small body, as it is - its budget, including all peacekeeping operations worldwide and all its organisations, WHO, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNCHR, WFP et al., being just four times what the NYC Police Department spends annually, or five times what one single B-2 bomber costs) - but of the nations who make up its membership, and to whom the eventual political decisions fall on what the UN is (allowed) to do or not.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2005 01:55 pm
The conservative dogma that it won't attack countries unless there is a national interest involved was not violated because of the oil in Iraq -- in African nations involved there is no resource we are interested in to instigate that same dogma. The George Washington doctrine about not getting involved in foreign wars was tossed in the trash bin what seems like eons ago. That conservatives are faithful to what the forefather's believed in is in that same trash bin.
0 Replies
 
 

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