1
   

5 Congress Members Arrested at Sudan Protest

 
 
BernardR
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 May, 2006 01:16 am
Mr. nimh- Sir. It appears you studiously avoided responding to my post. It may be that you were unable to rebut it. It may also be that you did not read it. In that case, I will give you another opportunity.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Only 50,000? Well, perhaps nimh thinks there is some kind of a geographical calculus, Finn. You know, the higher you go up in Europe, the more a life is worth!!!

Just the one strike in which he gassed and killed Kurdish men, women and children would be enough to send the troops of any country which protects the innocent.

Apparently, Finn, nimh forgets the conditions laid down by the coalition after the end of Desert Storm. Perhaps, Finn, nimh does not know about the diversion of funds which took food out of the mouths of Iraqi people under the bogus food for Oil program.

But, Finn, I am sure that nimh will come around if he only re-read the words of the great statesman, William Jefferson Clinton, who sent missles, without Congressional approval, mind you, to bomb Baghdad.

And what was part of Clinton's speech in which he rationalize those actions?

Perhaps exactly what nimh would accept--

quote- William Jefferson Clinton- Dec. 18, 1998

"The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, THE SECURITY OF THE WORLD">


Is the "security of the world" enough for you, Nimh?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 May, 2006 11:50 am
Underlining the stupidity (or is it narrowsightedness) of Foinn's framing of this subject as nothing but a partisan issue, this snippet from a report on John McCain's visit to Jerry Falwell's Liberty University.

There was one topic that brought McCain and the religious right's students together, and it was Darfur.

Quote:
McCain made no reference to family values in his commencement address, focusing instead on global concerns.

He drew applause when he said the United States should take up arms against the "awful human catastrophe" in the Darfur region of the Sudan. Osama bin Laden and his followers, he said, "have called on Muslims to rise up against any Westerner who dares intervene to stop the genocide."
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 May, 2006 12:35 pm
Finn d'Abuzz wrote:
[Are you actually incapable of recognizing the inanity of your comments?

50,000 dead over three years is undeniably more important that 100,000 dead over 35 years.

Only an ideologue would argue a distinction between the horrors of Iraq and the horrors of the Sudan.

You're the one who is being inane, Finn, letting your partisan rage blind you to even the most basic of logic.

The three years in which 50,000 people have been massacred in Sudan are still continuing now. It is happening right now, Finn. We can still stop it.

Whereas the Iraq war couldn't stop the massacre of 100s of thousands over 35 years anymore by definition, because it wasn't taking place anymore.

Sure Saddam was still a brutal dictator, like Turkmenbashi, like Assad, like a dozen other dictators around the world - there were undoubtedly still thousands in his prisons, just like there are in the prisons of his peers. But the mass murder of Kurds and Shi'a that you so piously thrust forward as ad-hoc excuse for the invasion had taken place fifteen to twenty years ago.

That is that "detail" that you insist to blatantly and transparently ignore - because it doesnt suit the needs of the faux indignation you've worked yourself into. Because it would get in the way of your liberal-bashing.

In 2003, the main victims of those 100+,000 dead, the Kurds, had already had their own, Western-protected area for over a decade! Thats what makes your brandishing of their past suffering so sickening. Back when the Kurds WERE actually being gassed and slaughtered, the European Parliament spoke up, the Socialist International spoke up - while Rumsfeld and Cheney were busy rewarding Saddam with millions $ for being the enemy of their enemy, who cares about who he was gassing. Thats whats so nauseating about how they suddenly invoked it again fifteen years later, when those Kurds were actually in a safe place, to justify their pet war.

Yes, Finn, when deciding which humanitarian intervention to undertake, 50,000 dead in a slaughter taking place right now is more important than 300,000 dead who were killed two decades ago. That's not exactly rocket science, is it?

I mean, what is even your argument here? That Saddam was as bad a guy as the Sudanese regimists? Well, yes, obviously - you've proven that point with the history sketch, as if it needed to be. But you don't invade countries because someone is a bad guy. At most, you invade a country because there's a massive slaughter going on now that we can still stop.

The invasion of Iraq has killed at least 35-40,000 civilians - within three years, Finn. Thats not the kind of thing you do just for historical retribution; just to avenge something a dictator did twenty years ago. It's something you do only if at least 40,000 people would have been killed if you hadn't intervened.

There was no sign of Saddam being on the verge of murdering another 40,000 of his countrymen. In between Kurdish autonomy, no-fly zones and sanctions, we had already emasculated him to the point that he was no longer able to do something like that. So what was your invasion for, from a humanitarian POV? Making a point? At 40,000 civilian dead alone - and counting - thats a hell of a point, Finn.

The massacres in Sudan are taking place right now. Now, not fifteen years ago. Your use of the statistics is vapid and opportunistic. We had to overthrow Saddam in 2003, because back in 1982-1991, he massacred hundreds of thousands of people. How does that even make sense??
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 May, 2006 03:27 pm
Well, that was a typical case of http://www.discussanything.com/forums/images/smilies/banghead.gif

An utter waste of time, of course, the above post.

I guess if someone is hellbent on seeing the devious duplicitly he's conjured up, rather than the actual argument you're forwarding, there's nothing you can do.

I'd say that the difference between the mass slaughter of entire populations taking place right now, on the one hand, and a brutal but emasculated dictatorship having, a decade ago, before you stopped it, after the previous war, done the same, on the other, is significant. You know, when you're having to choose where to send your soldiers.

Significant and rather bleedin' obvious.

But then acknowledging it, I guess, would get in the way of bashing any liberal who might <gasp> want to join your cause. Cant make it that easy. I mean, ongoing genocide is an interesting topic and all, but not half as inviting as the opportunity of more partisan baiting.

To the likes of Finn, if you oppose one war, you have to oppose all others too - or be a hypocrite.

Never mind that, at 40,000 civilian deaths alone - and counting - the war in question has caused more destruction than Saddam could have wrecked in those three years -- and predictably so.

Taking such considerations in mind - you know, will the intervention cause more deaths than the wrong you're trying to defeat?, that kind - is just inane liberal sophistry, I suppose.

In fact, trying to set a workable criterium "for intervening in one crisis but not another" makes you nothing less than a "despicable breed of intellectual"!

Not that Finn wants to send US soldiers to intervene in every single crisis, of course - to invade every single country that's ruled by a "power-mad schmuck" - that'd be some two dozen countries alone, after all.

But woe he who tries to define a standard on when to act. The opportunistic or pot-luck method - you know, the one that identifies Saddam Hussein's Iraq as part of "the axis of evil", but hails Muammar Gadafy's Lybia as, quoth Condoleezza Rice, "an important model" - is so much more ... moral, I suppose.

Well, whatever. There goes another thread.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 May, 2006 09:19 pm
nimh wrote:
Finn d'Abuzz wrote:
[Are you actually incapable of recognizing the inanity of your comments?

50,000 dead over three years is undeniably more important that 100,000 dead over 35 years.

Only an ideologue would argue a distinction between the horrors of Iraq and the horrors of the Sudan.

You're the one who is being inane, Finn, letting your partisan rage blind you to even the most basic of logic.

The three years in which 50,000 people have been massacred in Sudan are still continuing now. It is happening right now, Finn. We can still stop it.

Whereas the Iraq war couldn't stop the massacre of 100s of thousands over 35 years anymore by definition, because it wasn't taking place anymore.

Sure Saddam was still a brutal dictator, like Turkmenbashi, like Assad, like a dozen other dictators around the world - there were undoubtedly still thousands in his prisons, just like there are in the prisons of his peers. But the mass murder of Kurds and Shi'a that you so piously thrust forward as ad-hoc excuse for the invasion had taken place fifteen to twenty years ago.

That is that "detail" that you insist to blatantly and transparently ignore - because it doesnt suit the needs of the faux indignation you've worked yourself into. Because it would get in the way of your liberal-bashing.

Yes, you must be right nimh. Saddam and his boys were such good fellows for the fifteen or twenty years before the invasion. Merely thousands or even only hundreds were murdered. Hell, that ain't genocide so who the hell are we to get involved. And we all know that they would never have reverted to their "genocidal" ways. They were contained! Wasn't that your argument for not invading? They were contained and would be for all time to come!

In 2003, the main victims of those 100+,000 dead, the Kurds, had already had their own, Western-protected area for over a decade! Thats what makes your brandishing of their past suffering so sickening. Back when the Kurds WERE actually being gassed and slaughtered, the European Parliament spoke up, the Socialist International spoke up - while Rumsfeld and Cheney were busy rewarding Saddam with millions $ for being the enemy of their enemy, who cares about who he was gassing. Thats whats so nauseating about how they suddenly invoked it again fifteen years later, when those Kurds were actually in a safe place, to justify their pet war.

You sicken easily. Try pepto-bismol. The US is not without taint when it comes to Saddam and his evil. It is shameful how, after the first Gulf War, we left the southern Shia who rose up against the tyrant with confidence that we would support them to be torn to pieces by the Monster. It is simply absurd though that this perfidy should preclude us as a nation from ever again taking action agains Saddam. The sins of the father do not, in actuality, fall to the son.

Yes, Finn, when deciding which humanitarian intervention to undertake, 50,000 dead in a slaughter taking place right now is more important than 300,000 dead who were killed two decades ago. That's not exactly rocket science, is it?

And so you the international rocket scientist are able to first of tell us that Saddam's mass slaughtering ended 20 years before the invasion, and if so that it would never again rear its ugly head? Now who is being disingenuous?


I mean, what is even your argument here? That Saddam was as bad a guy as the Sudanese regimists? Well, yes, obviously - you've proven that point with the history sketch, as if it needed to be. But you don't invade countries because someone is a bad guy. At most, you invade a country because there's a massive slaughter going on now that we can still stop.

First of all you have laughably staked out a position that Saddam ceased to be a "bad guy" twenty years before the invasion. That is either ignorance or dishonesty. Secondly, your tortured attempts to frame the Sudan as somehow different from the rest of the horrible situations in the world is feeble, and finally, the single Super Power on earth should put it's muscles to some good use and stop evil everywhere and not just the evil that rises beyond nimh's sensibilities. Are you actually comfortable with drawing the line between what murders should be stopped and what should be tolerated? Spare me your sanctimonious crap because it is hollow. Either you are passionate about defending the weak wherever they are or you are a geo-political ghoul.

The invasion of Iraq has killed at least 35-40,000 civilians - within three years, Finn. Thats not the kind of thing you do just for historical retribution; just to avenge something a dictator did twenty years ago. It's something you do only if at least 40,000 people would have been killed if you hadn't intervened.

There was no sign of Saddam being on the verge of murdering another 40,000 of his countrymen. In between Kurdish autonomy, no-fly zones and sanctions, we had already emasculated him to the point that he was no longer able to do something like that. So what was your invasion for, from a humanitarian POV? Making a point? At 40,000 civilian dead alone - and counting - thats a hell of a point, Finn.

The degree of civilian deaths (and that I think your assessment of 40,000 is exaggerarated is somewhat immaterial) is evidence of the fact that America's efforts have not been perfect, and possibly quite imperfect. You would have this stand as evidence against the intent rather than the execution. You would also lay claim to precognition in that you would suggest that under no circumstances would Saddam have killed 40,000 of his citizens if the invasion had not gone down. This is a stupid assumption. Had the US been turned back from its aim or never embarked upon it, do you really think that a monster like Saddam would have remained tame (which only you think he ever was)?

The massacres in Sudan are taking place right now. Now, not fifteen years ago. Your use of the statistics is vapid and opportunistic. We had to overthrow Saddam in 2003, because back in 1982-1991, he massacred hundreds of thousands of people. How does that even make sense??

Read the preceding.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 May, 2006 09:27 pm
nimh wrote:
Well, that was a typical case of http://www.discussanything.com/forums/images/smilies/banghead.gif

An utter waste of time, of course, the above post.

I guess if someone is hellbent on seeing the devious duplicitly he's conjured up, rather than the actual argument you're forwarding, there's nothing you can do.

I'd say that the difference between the mass slaughter of entire populations taking place right now, on the one hand, and a brutal but emasculated dictatorship having, a decade ago, before you stopped it, after the previous war, done the same, on the other, is significant. You know, when you're having to choose where to send your soldiers.

Significant and rather bleedin' obvious.

But then acknowledging it, I guess, would get in the way of bashing any liberal who might <gasp> want to join your cause. Cant make it that easy. I mean, ongoing genocide is an interesting topic and all, but not half as inviting as the opportunity of more partisan baiting.

To the likes of Finn, if you oppose one war, you have to oppose all others too - or be a hypocrite.

Never mind that, at 40,000 civilian deaths alone - and counting - the war in question has caused more destruction than Saddam could have wrecked in those three years -- and predictably so.

Taking such considerations in mind - you know, will the intervention cause more deaths than the wrong you're trying to defeat?, that kind - is just inane liberal sophistry, I suppose.

In fact, trying to set a workable criterium "for intervening in one crisis but not another" makes you nothing less than a "despicable breed of intellectual"!

Not that Finn wants to send US soldiers to intervene in every single crisis, of course - to invade every single country that's ruled by a "power-mad schmuck" - that'd be some two dozen countries alone, after all.

But woe he who tries to define a standard on when to act. The opportunistic or pot-luck method - you know, the one that identifies Saddam Hussein's Iraq as part of "the axis of evil", but hails Muammar Gadafy's Lybia as, quoth Condoleezza Rice, "an important model" - is so much more ... moral, I suppose.

Well, whatever. There goes another thread.


What a self-serving, pompous, and cowardly post.

Yes, nimh direct your arguments to the greater A2K polity for they surely acknowledge your sagacity. After all, you tried didn't you?

What happened nimh, couldn't you come in your direct answer to me? Did you have to stroke it again in this sort missive to the world? I hope you left satisfied.

Big Bad Finn -- thanks Jesus for the likes of nimh.

Very Happy
0 Replies
 
BernardR
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 May, 2006 07:59 pm
Finn D"Abuzz- I can tell you one thing, Finn- If nimh was ever a Democrat, he is now an apostate.

He ignores the words of the most able policy wonk who ever served our country- WIlliam Jefferson Clinton-- when he said in his Dec. 18th speech rationalizing his unapproved attack on Iraq--

quote:

"Indeed, in the past, Saddam has intentionally placed Iraqi civilians in harm's way in a cynical bid to sway international opinion"

and

"If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond,we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people"


Either nimh has not read with the leader of the left in America; the former President, Bill Clinton, has said or he,( gasp) does not agree with him!!

Such heresy will not go unpunished!!
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 May, 2006 03:28 am
BernardR wrote:
Finn D"Abuzz- I can tell you one thing, Finn- If nimh was ever a Democrat, he is now an apostate.

He ignores the words of the most able policy wonk who ever served our country- WIlliam Jefferson Clinton

Of course I wasn't ever a Democrat, I'm Dutch. The only Democrats we have are the "Democrats'66", a small centrist party representing a kind of wishy-washy liberalism - much like Bill Clinton did, in fact. ("Leader of the Left"??? You must be joking!)
0 Replies
 
BernardR
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 May, 2006 09:00 pm
But, nimh, if Bill Clinton wasn't the putative leader of the left in American Politics in the nineties, who was?

Ted Kennedy? Heavens, no- He was in his cups so often, he could not have served in that position.

Certainly not The Reverend Al Sharpton.

Or perhaps, the rotund Michael Moore?

Or could it possibly be the most erudite Noam Chomsky?

Who, who was it,sir?

Who was the leader of the left during the nineties if not, Bill Clinton?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 May, 2006 01:11 pm
It didnt have any.

Ralph Nader in the year up to '00 and Howard Dean in the year up to '02 I guess are the closest recent equivalents to leaders of the American left. Nader has since dumped out; is Dean still sorta, kinda leader of the Left today? Dunno. Perhaps Al Gore? Not one person standing out. Perhaps Feingold would like to be.
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 May, 2006 04:16 pm
Quote:
quote:

"Indeed, in the past, Saddam has intentionally placed Iraqi civilians in harm's way in a cynical bid to sway international opinion"

and

"If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond,we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people"


Of course, what you don't say about both these statements is that a little over than one month later as the ink had barely dried on the President Bush's Oath of Office, Condelessa Rice was on the national Sunday morning news shows saying that Saddam was marginalized, that Bill Clinton -as with everything else- was wrong about the situation in Iraq.

Are you saying now that Bill was right and Condi was the goof she turned out to be?

Despite strenuous efforts on the part of many parties, Bush and his Security Chief ignored the growing threat of terror. Condi kept talking about China, not Al Queda, as being the biggest threat to us.

Joe(She is a wonderful pianist)Nation
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 May, 2006 04:23 pm
Hhhmmmm Joe, you're on thin ice there, equating ignoring Clinton's warnings about Saddam with ignoring the danger of terror and Al-Qaeda...
0 Replies
 
blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 May, 2006 04:38 pm
The Memory Hole > 2001: Powell & Rice Declare Iraq Has No WMD and ...2001: Powell & Rice Declare Iraq Has No WMD and Is Not a Threat ... Furthermore, on 15 May 2001, Powell testified before the Foreign Operations, ...
www.thememoryhole.org/war/powell-no-wmd.htm - 15k -
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 May, 2006 06:24 pm
Quote:
In Darfur, rapes and shootings go on, despite peace agreement

Xan Rice in Menawashie, South Darfur
Monday May 15, 2006
The Guardian

Isaac Ibrahim Muhammad winced as he showed where the bullet had ripped through his left shoulder. Hanan Ahmed Hussein pulled her blue blanket over her head as she exposed the fresh gunshot wounds to her knee and wrist. Her one-year-old daughter Menazir smiled, though she too had experienced the burn of a bullet that passed through her foot.

Fatouma Moussa, 18, wrapped in a red shawl, showed no wounds and no expression. Perhaps she was thinking of her 10,000 dinars (£23) - the proceeds of three months of firewood collection - that was stolen by the Arab raiders who forced the passenger truck travelling to Menawashie to pull over on Thursday night. Or perhaps she was trying not to think at all.

"We found the Janjaweed [government-backed militias]," she said in a tiny voice, as her mother watched over her. "I was raped."
Ten days ago in Abuja, Nigeria, the Sudanese government and the main rebel group in Darfur signed a peace agreement to end three years of fighting. A ceasefire was supposed to come into force 72 hours later. The deal, brokered by the African Union and international mediators, was hailed as a breakthrough - a significant step towards peace and ending the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

But little has changed on the ground in Darfur. African Union observers continue to chronicle tales of death and destruction. Rebel fighters and government soldiers eye each other nervously across the frontlines. Bandits attack with impunity. Defenceless civilians are as fearful of attack as ever.

Even a trip along the main road between El Fasher and Nyala, a rare strip of asphalt that slices through the desert and links the capitals of north and south Darfur, is fraught with danger.

Fatouma and 50 other passengers who had piled into a creaking open-top lorry set off from the market town of Shangil Tobayi, where she had gone to sell her firewood, at 5pm on Thursday.

An hour into the journey, with the desert still glowing in the thin late afternoon sunlight, raiders fired into the air to try to force them to stop but the lorry sped on past.

At the ghost town of Amar Jadid, long since emptied of its inhabitants, the gunmen were more ruthless.

According to Mustapha Abu Ahmed Said, a slight man wearing a dirty pinstripe shirt and sunglasses, three men with machine guns blocked the road and fired at the truck's tyres. They shot Mr Muhammad, the driver. Ms Hussein, her baby daughter, and three other people were also hit.

Everybody was forced off the truck and ordered to carry their cargo of millet, goats and cows into the scrub bush, where nine other armed men were waiting with a dozen camels.

"They told us that we were slaves and that they would finish us," said Hussein Ahmed Abdullah, who, like all the passengers, was robbed of his money and possessions. He and others said that the raiders then took 15 women aside and raped them before riding off into the night.

Some three hours later, guided by a full moon, the passengers stumbled into the sprawling village of Menawashie on foot. The wounded had managed to hitch a ride on a passing vehicle.

One woman died of her bullet wounds. She was buried in a simple grave, marked only by a mound of dirt.

An African Union military observer, who took careful notes from the eyewitnesses gathered next to the road that cuts through Menawashie, asked what the raiders looked like.

"They wore muftis and military uniforms," said Mr Abdullah. "They were Arabs. They were Janjaweed" - the tribal militias armed by the government and blamed for many of the worst atrocities, particularly mass rape, in Darfur.

Responsibility for escorting trucks along the road between Menawashie and Shangil Tobayi lies with the Sudanese government, under a deal brokered by the local African Union observers. But locals say that the police vehicle used for the escorts broke down three weeks ago and there have been no patrols since.

In Mershing, a nearby town that was attacked by the Janjaweed in February, causing 55,000 people to flee, the police commander seemed unperturbed by the assault on the truck.

"The security situation is calm around here," said Lieutenant Fahd Rahman al-Nur, who added that he had been given no new instructions since the peace deal was signed. When asked about Thursday night's attack, he said that the Janjaweed, who are supposed to be disarmed by the government within six months under the terms of the peace deal, could not have been responsible.

"These raiders were opportunists from non-Arab tribes. Arab militias loot cattle but they don't block roads," he said.
0 Replies
 
BernardR
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 May, 2006 03:31 pm
Mr.Joe Nation. I have tried to keep up on my reading but I cannot remember that Condelezza Rice ever said , SPECIFICALLY, that Saddam was marginalized and that President Clinton was WRONG in every comment he made in his 1998 speech.

You may be privy to more information than I am. Would you please provide a link which shows EXACTLY what Condi Rice said about Clinton's 1998 speech.

In the meantime, until you can give a link which shows that Condi Rice thought that Clinton was wrong in every comment he made in his 1998 speech, I am sure you will forgive me if I insist that my comment(A QUOTE FROM CLINTON'S SPEECH AND NOTHING I MADE UP) stand unrebutted.
0 Replies
 
BernardR
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 May, 2006 03:34 pm
Mr. Nimh, sir--Where did the august and upstanding leader of the UN go wrong?

********************************************************
UN plans Darfur peacekeeper force

The African Union mission is short of funds
The United Nations is drawing up plans to deploy a quick reaction force in the Darfur region of Sudan.
The UN is responding to a warning from the African Union that it may be forced to hand over its peacekeeping mission in Darfur because of a lack of funds.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said rapes and murders were continuing in Darfur, and a new force would need air support and sophisticated equipment.

The AU currently has about 6,000 peacekeepers stationed in Darfur.

In recent months, AU troops in the region have been attacked by gunmen. Who was behind these attacks is not clear.

Mr Annan said plans for the proposed force would need the co-operation of the Sudanese government.

"We need to get the government to work with us in bringing in an expanded force with troops from outside Africa, because until recently it has maintained that it will only accept African troops," he told reporters.

"But I think we have gone beyond that now."

Mr Annan warned that the AU force needed money urgently, because any takeover by the UN would take months.

Some two million people have fled their homes in more than three years of internal conflict in Darfur.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 May, 2006 04:25 pm
More bad news..

Quote:
Darfur's rebel forces turn on each other

Xan Rice in Tawilla, North Darfur
Wednesday May 17, 2006
The Guardian

With Darfur's remaining rebels still refusing to sign a peace deal, fighters that were united against the Sudanese government have turned on each other.

Around Tawilla thousands of civilians have been displaced since the beginning of the year following deadly violence between two ethnically-divided factions of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), Darfur's largest rebel movement.

In what has become a turf war for control of rebel-held territory, gunmen on pick-up trucks and horseback have been burning huts, killing, looting, and even raping women, in raids just as deadly as those of the Arab "Janjaweed" militia.

Villages that had been emptied due to raids by government forces are once again deserted. Camps for displaced people on the outskirts of town lie abandoned, their terrified former residents having barricaded themselves in makeshift shelters against the razor wire surrounding the African Union peacekeepers' base. All but one international NGO have left.

"Initially the trouble here was the government forces," said an AU military observer based in Tawilla, two hours' drive west of the state capital, El Fasher. "But now these different SLA groups fighting each other have become the problem." [..]

Yesterday the UN security council passed a resolution to speed up planning for a UN peacekeeping force in Darfur and threatened sanctions against anyone who opposed the May 5 accord. On Monday the African Union agreed to transfer authority for its 7,300 strong peacekeeping force to the UN by the end of September.

The latest twist in the Darfur crisis follows a major falling out late last year in the leadership of the SLA, a broad-based guerrilla movement formed to protest against the region's marginalisation by the Arab-dominated regime in Khartoum.

Minni Arcua Minnawi, the group's secretary-general, took with him the larger share of the fighters and weapons. Most of his men are Zaghawa, a cattle-herding tribe. Mr Wahid, the SLA chairman, and a member of the sedentary Fur, Darfur's largest tribe, was left with a smaller force but a large support base. [..]

The SLA "liberated" the [Tawilla] area more than a year ago, bringing a degree of stability. Civilians began returning to their fields to plant crops. Some even returned to their villages near the town. But since February this year Tawilla has become one of the most insecure regions of Darfur as rebels under Mr Minnawi sought to capture territory from their rival faction. Civilians were caught in the crossfire. The initial attack, at Korma, left 12 of Mr Wahid's fighters dead, along with numerous bystanders. Attacks on villages continued throughout the next two months. On April 19 the Minni rebels attacked the village of Tina, forcing all the inhabitants to Tawilla and looting their property.

"When you see the suffering around Tawilla, it is because of Minni," said Mr Muhammad, a thin man wearing military fatigues. "He has a secret agenda of wanting to create a big 'Zaghawaland' but we are fighting for all the people of Darfur."
0 Replies
 
BernardR
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 May, 2006 05:03 pm
Mr. Nimh.. You have a good point and it brings to mind a statement made by Paul Johnson in his History---Modern Times--P. 543

quote

"By(the early 1980's) it was apparent that the great bulk of the continent had become and WOULD REMAIN politically unstable and INCAPABLE of self-sustained economic growth, or even of a place within the international community. Africa had become simply a place for proxy wars, like Spain in the 1930's. In Africa, the professional political caste and the omnicompetent state had become costly and sanguinary failures."


The African states had been given their freedom by the largely European colonizers in the name of Self-determination.

Alas, they have proven that they have been unable to govern themselves.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Mon 22 May, 2006 05:20 pm
Absent all of the sound and fury it comes down to this:

There are very bad people in the world doing very bad things to their fellow humans.

As a nation we have a choice:

Attempt to intervene and stop these bad people in each and every case we find,

or

Intervene in only those cases where intervention serves our strategic interests.


I have a difficulty with the latter but at least it is logical and honest. For those who subscribe to this way of thought, a nation's strategic interests are paramount and the rescue of oppressed people is secondary.

Is it The State's responsibility to, alone, serve the interests of the nation or should it also act as an expression of the nation's values?

This is a real dilemma because the answer will determine the extent of American lives sacrificed in the advancement of the nation. Honorable people can occupy either side of this debate.

Where they do not reside is in the fringes, arguing that it is possible to draw a clear line between the deeds of terrible men that result in death, destruction and despair.

It should not be a choice (for the US at least) to assume a self-righteous mantle of humanitarianism while intervening in selected hell-holes.

A madman who murders millions irrespective of their ethnic origins is no less a monster than one who murders millions of a single ethnic origin.

Those who argue that there is a clear distinction between American intervention in the Sudan and Iraq, and deny this distinction is based in any way on ideology are, in my opinion, being dishonest.

Nimh - that means you.
BernardR
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 May, 2006 11:09 pm
Yes. we must indeed intervene only in those cases where intervention serves our stratetic interests, as Finn has opined.

Those who would view this has an excessively hard hearted position lacking compassion are obviously not aware of the egregious hypocrisy on the left

http://www.nysun.com/article/31898

Double Standard

New York Sun Editorial
May 1, 2006



The tens of thousands who gathered in Washington yesterday for a rally say they want to stop the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. We welcome them to the fight, and wish them luck. This newspaper sent a reporter and photographer into Darfur in May 2004. They were among the first American journalists to find firsthand evidence and testimony of atrocities, including ethnic cleansing.

We'd be remiss, however, if we didn't say that we also hope that the Darfur rally yesterday helps to illuminate the hypocrisy of some of those on the left. They want military action now to oppose a genocidal regime in Sudan and to protect its victims. Yet they opposed military action in Iraq to oust a regime, in that of Saddam Hussein, that had engaged in ethnic cleansing of Iraqi Kurds and Shiites and had rained scud missiles on Israeli cities.
end of quote
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