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Why Don't We Care About African Genocide?

 
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2005 07:45 pm
old europe wrote:
McGentrix wrote:
cicerone imposter wrote:
Israel is also in breach of many UNSC resolutions. They also have stockpiles of WMDs.


Rolling Eyes


What an eloquent answer, McG!!


You have something to add?
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cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2005 08:15 pm
McG, Your eloquent response was all that was needed. Nothing more to add.
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Ticomaya
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 10:44 am
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au1929
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:08 am
What else can be said of the UN other than a noble experiment gone sour.
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Ticomaya
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:12 am
au1929 wrote:
What else can be said of the UN other than a noble experiment gone sour.


Well, that's one way of looking at it.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:24 am
The UN can't be expected to solve all of the world's ills. They do some things well, and they should be given credit for those. The US isn't exactly helping the UN perform better by holding back funding.
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old europe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 12:16 pm
au1929 wrote:
What else can be said of the UN other than a noble experiment gone sour.


Probably the same thing some people in the south said about the United States... in the 1860s....
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Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 01:13 pm
old europe wrote:
au1929 wrote:
What else can be said of the UN other than a noble experiment gone sour.


Probably the same thing some people in the south said about the United States... in the 1860s....


Probably the same thing some people said about Hitler.
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FreeDuck
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 01:14 pm
Hitler was a noble experiment? I'd heard him called many things but never that.
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Ticomaya
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 01:18 pm
FreeDuck wrote:
Hitler was a noble experiment? I'd heard him called many things but never that.


I'd never call him that, but that statement is about as right as the ones posted above it.
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FreeDuck
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 01:20 pm
Well, maybe the sour part. But both the US and UN are experiments. You might say one is working out a bit better than the other.

Ok, I'll quit nitpicking now.
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Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:51 pm
FreeDuck wrote:
Well, maybe the sour part. But both the US and UN are experiments. You might say one is working out a bit better than the other.

Ok, I'll quit nitpicking now.


Yes, you might say that, and you might say that the NY Yankees have worked out "a bit better" than the Chicago Cubs.
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HofT
 
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Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2005 06:23 am
Tico - the article you quote isn't an official inquiry, it's a movie review:
_____________________________________________________________

"..Actually, alarm bells didn't necessarily have to go off, as Gen. Dallaire offered a silver lining: He knew the location of the Hutus' weapons cache, and he was planning to seize it and stop the slaughter before it started. But his plan to save hundreds of thousands of lives was short-circuited by Kofi Annan, who didn't want to upset the sitting Hutu government or in any way appear to be taking sides. "
_____________________________________________________________

General Dallaire wasn't in Rwanda to act as nanny to the locals; he was there to be responsible for the peacekeepers entrusted to his command. His misguided attemts to guard untenable positions like the alleged "weapons cache" led to the deaths of 10 Belgian soldiers, following which the UN peacekeepers were evacuated. What's the sense of getting peacekeepers murdered when there's no peace to keep?

Following this gross dereliction of duty General Dallaire escaped prosecution by the fact he was declared legally insane and spent several years in an asylum. Hardly a reliable source by most standards, yet he seems to have been one of the main sources for the script of the movie.
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HofT
 
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Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2005 06:32 am
Addendum: movie review cum book review (Gold's book).

Mind you, Tico, almost all those killed in Rwanda were killed by low-tech implements like machetes. Guarding warehouses containing agricultural implements is no job for soldiers - surely you see that.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2005 06:35 am
Well, I think that was quite clear (re movie/book review).
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au1929
 
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Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2005 03:25 pm
OP-ED COLUMNIST

The American Witness

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

Published: March 2, 2005

merican soldiers are trained to shoot at the enemy. They're prepared to be shot at. But what young men like Brian Steidle are not equipped for is witnessing a genocide but being unable to protect the civilians pleading for help.

If President Bush wants to figure out whether the U.S. should stand more firmly against the genocide in Darfur, I suggest that he invite Mr. Steidle to the White House to give a briefing. Mr. Steidle, a 28-year-old former Marine captain, was one of just three American military advisers for the African Union monitoring team in Darfur - and he is bursting with frustration.

"Every single day you go out to see another burned village, and more dead bodies," he said. "And the children - you see 6-month-old babies that have been shot, and 3-year-old kids with their faces smashed in with rifle butts. And you just have to stand there and write your reports."

While journalists and aid workers are sharply limited in their movements in Darfur, Mr. Steidle and the monitors traveled around by truck and helicopter to investigate massacres by the Sudanese government and the janjaweed militia it sponsors. They have sometimes been shot at, and once his group was held hostage, but they have persisted and become witnesses to systematic crimes against humanity.

So is it really genocide?

"I have no doubt about that," Mr. Steidle said. "It's a systematic cleansing of peoples by the Arab chiefs there. And when you talk to them, that's what they tell you. They're very blunt about it. One day we met a janjaweed leader and he said, 'Unless you get back four camels that were stolen in 2003, then we're going to go to these four villages and burn the villages, rape the women, kill everyone.' And they did."

The African Union doesn't have the troops, firepower or mandate to actually stop the slaughter, just to monitor it. Mr. Steidle said his single most frustrating moment came in December when the Sudanese government and the janjaweed attacked the village of Labado, which had 25,000 inhabitants. Mr. Steidle and his unit flew to the area in helicopters, but a Sudanese general refused to let them enter the village - and also refused to stop the attack.

"It was extremely frustrating - seeing the village burn, hearing gunshots, not being able to do anything," Mr. Steidle said. "The entire village is now gone. It's a big black spot on the earth."

When Sudan's government is preparing to send bombers or helicopter gunships to attack an African village, it shuts down the cellphone system so no one can send out warnings. Thus the international monitors know when a massacre is about to unfold. But there's usually nothing they can do.

The West, led by the Bush administration, is providing food and medical care that is keeping hundreds of thousands of people alive. But we're managing the genocide, not halting it.

"The world is failing Darfur," said Jan Egeland, the U.N. under secretary general for humanitarian affairs. "We're only playing the humanitarian card, and we're just witnessing the massacres."

President Bush is pushing for sanctions, but European countries like France are disgracefully cool to the idea - and China is downright hostile, playing the same supportive role for the Darfur genocide that it did for the Khmer Rouge genocide.

Mr. Steidle has just quit his job with the African Union, but he plans to continue working in Darfur to do his part to stand up to the killers. Most of us don't have to go to that extreme of risking our lives in Darfur - we just need to get off the fence and push our government off, too.

At one level, I blame President Bush - and, even more, the leaders of European, Arab and African nations - for their passivity. But if our leaders are acquiescing in genocide, that's because we citizens are passive, too. If American voters cared about Darfur's genocide as much as about, say, the Michael Jackson trial, then our political system would respond. One useful step would be the passage of the Darfur Accountability Act, to be introduced today by Senators Jon Corzine and Sam Brownback. The legislation calls for such desperately needed actions as expanding the African Union force and establishing a military no-fly zone to stop Sudan from bombing civilians.

As Martin Luther King Jr. put it: "Man's inhumanity to man is not only perpetrated by the vitriolic actions of those who are bad. It is also perpetrated by the vitiating inaction of those who are good."
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Duke of Lancaster
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2005 12:31 am
cicerone imposter wrote:
Israel is also in breach of many UNSC resolutions. They also have stockpiles of WMDs.


I concur.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2005 01:17 am
FreeDuck wrote:
Well, maybe the sour part. But both the US and UN are experiments. You might say one is working out a bit better than the other.

Ok, I'll quit nitpicking now.


Which is which??????
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HofT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2005 05:27 am
Does anybody here know why Kristof is agitating for intervention in Darfur but not in the Congo, where the carnage (now with UN "peacekeepers" fighting pitched battles) is orders of magnitude greater?

Is it a lack of snuff videos, such as he gratuitously displayed in the NYT, or is it that one of the parties in Darfur is Moslems of Arab descent whereas in the Congo the ongoing genocide is an all-black-African melee we can all safely disregard?
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au1929
 
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Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2005 08:54 am
HofT
You seem to have a problem with Kristof's article. Why? Do you think he is exaggerating??
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