Sudan genocide 2: Where’s Sean Penn when you need him? Where’s the ISM?

August 09, 2004

* “Where are the Rachel Corrie types? Are there going to be any human shields laying down in front of the Janjaweed to protect the black farmers?”

 

CONTENTS

1. I see the next decade’s “never again” story is here
2. Where’s Sean Penn when you need him? Where’s the ISM?
3. Genocide is alive and well in Sudan
4. “Blame the UN cheerleaders” (By Mark Steyn, The Australian, July 26, 2004)
5. “Genocide is alive and well in Sudan” (By Yaakov Ahimeir, Ma’ariv, July 26, 2004)


This is the second of two emails today on Sudan. The first dispatch can be viewed here. This dispatch is split into two for space reasons. I attach three further items concerning Sudan, with summaries first.

-- Tom Gross

 

SUMMARIES

I SEE THE NEXT DECADE’S “NEVER AGAIN” STORY IS HERE

“Blame the UN cheerleaders,” (By Mark Steyn, The Australian, July 26, 2004)

I see the next decade’s “Never again” story is here. Just as we all agreed the 1994 Rwandan genocide should never be allowed to happen again, so in a year or two we’ll all be agreed that another 2004 Sudanese genocide should never be allowed to happen again. But right now it is happening, and you can’t help wondering where all the great humanitarians are. Alas, Sudan doesn’t seem to have much appeal to them, lacking as it does the crucial Bush angle and affording little opportunity for use of words such as “neocons” and “Halliburton”.

... But, to the average progressive columnist in the Western world, what matters is who killed you. 30,000 dead Sudanese don’t equal one Iraqi prisoner being led around Abu Ghraib on a dog collar. But the minute the Yanks go in and accidentally blow up a schoolhouse, injuring an eight-year-old girl, the Mannes of the world will discover a sudden interest in Africa.

... The USAF could target and bomb the Janjaweed as effectively as they did the Taliban. But then the Not In Our Name crowd would get their knickers in a twist and everyone would complain that it’s unlawful unless it’s authorised by the UN. The problem is, by the time you’ve gone through the UN, everyone’s dead.

... The UN system is broken beyond repair. The Security Council was unable to agree even on a resolution merely expressing some criticism of the Sudanese Government China, Pakistan and Algeria scuppered that. In May, even as its proxies were getting stuck into their ethnic cleansing in Darfur, Sudan was elected to a three-year term on the UN Human Rights Commission...”

[Mark Steyn is a subscriber to this email list.]

 

WHERE’S SEAN PENN WHEN YOU NEED HIM? WHERE’S THE ISM?

Andrew Korvin, of Vancouver, British Columbia, writes in relation to Mark Steyn’s column on the Sudan.

Getting away with murder:

Where are the 10 million protesters? Where’s the ISM? Where are the Rachel Corrie types? Are there going to be any human shields laying down in front of the janjaweed to protect the black farmers? Is it true that Sean Penn is planning a trip to the Darfur region to see if the Janjaweed are really as bad as the right-wing press claim?

What’s Kofi doing? Is he going to bring back the heavy guns to help out ... like Boutros-Boutros Ghali? I’ve heard so many rumours about an upsurge in leftist condemnation of the Arab imperialism and genocide that something must be brewing...

Some of my friends are really cynical and claim that leftists and Islamists aren’t particularly roused by injustice if they can’t blame it on the US or Israel, but I think that’s being unfair. I know you’re in touch with both sides of the Atlantic... can you confirm the rumours I heard that there’s a wellspring of enlightened pacifists ready to denounce the Sudanese gubmint?

Just wondering, thanks.

Andrew Korvin
Vancouver, British Columbia

 

GENOCIDE IS ALIVE AND WELL IN SUDAN

“Genocide is alive and well in Sudan,” (By Yaakov Ahimeir, Ma’ariv, Israel, July 26, 2004).

“Perhaps the world’s timid reaction to the genocide in Sudan is because there is no Israeli angle, both the perpetrators and the victims are Moslems. Arabs killing blacks is less spicy than Israel building a barrier... Thousands Moslem Africans are fleeing in the desert heat from Sudan into neighboring Chad. Every single man, woman, child and grandparent, scarred and hungry, has a personal tale of horror suffered at the hands of Arab oppression in Darfur.

... When one observes the tireless efforts invested in solving the conflict here, one needs to ask the following, almost inevitable question, “Where are the proportions? We hear that in Darfur alone, more Moslems have died over the last two months than have died in the “100-year conflict” in this region. Where are all the solutions and road maps, not those exclusively regarding the land of Israel between desert and sea, but regarding a million refugees and tens of thousands of victims murdered by the Arab militia.

... When light-skinned Moslems terrorize and murder dark-skinned Moslems, as their slave trading forbears did, Arab spiritual leaders, poets, co-religionists and the general Arab public sees nothing and hears nothing. And there is no one to cry out, ‘End the slaughter! End the burning of villages!’...”


FULL ARTICLES

MARK STEYN: BLAME THE UN CHEERLEADERS

Mark Steyn: Blame the UN cheerleaders
The Australian
July 26, 2004

I see the next decade's "Never again" story is here. Just as we all agreed the 1994 Rwandan genocide should never be allowed to happen again, so - in a year or two - we'll all be agreed that another 2004 Sudanese genocide should never be allowed to happen again.

But right now it is happening, and you can't help wondering where all the great humanitarians are. Alas, Sudan doesn't seem to have much appeal to them, lacking as it does the crucial Bush angle and affording little opportunity for use of words such as "neocons" and "Halliburton".

In the Fairfax press, Robert Manne is still too busy fighting the last war - "Iraq is the greatest disaster in the recent history of US foreign policy. Nothing is more important than to try to understand how this catastrophe occurred." And if that means rehashing the same old column backwards and sideways for another two years - WMD, Andrew Wilkie, neocons, Cheney - he's prepared to do it.

There's an old, cynical formula for the prominence accorded different disasters by American editors. It runs something like: one dead American equals 10 dead Israelis equals 100 dead Russians equals 1000 dead Africans. But, to the average progressive columnist in the Western world, what matters is who killed you. 30,000 dead Sudanese don't equal one Iraqi prisoner being led around Abu Ghraib on a dog collar. But the minute the Yanks go in and accidentally blow up a schoolhouse, injuring an eight-year-old girl, the Mannes of the world will discover a sudden interest in Africa.

Manne's big gripe about Iraq seems to be that it was an "unnecessary, unlawful and unjust war". Each to his own. The Steyn Doctrine, such as it is, is that there's never a bad reason to take out a thug regime. Unfortunately for the beleaguered villagers of Darfur, the Americans so far are playing by Manne's rules. The USAF could target and bomb the Janjaweed as effectively as they did the Taliban.

But then the Not In Our Name crowd would get their knickers in a twist and everyone would complain that it's unlawful unless it's authorised by the UN. The problem is, by the time you've gone through the UN, everyone's dead.

The UN system is broken beyond repair. The Security Council was unable to agree even on a resolution merely expressing some criticism of the Sudanese Government - China, Pakistan and Algeria scuppered that. In May, even as its proxies were getting stuck into their ethnic cleansing in Darfur, Sudan was elected to a three-year term on the UN Human Rights Commission. This isn't an aberration: Zimbabwe is also a member. The very structure of the UN, under which countries vote in regional blocs, encourages such affronts to decency. The Sudanese representative immediately professed himself concerned by human rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.

As the Canadian columnist George Jonas put it, the UN enables dictators to punch above their weight. All Elfatih Mohammed Ahmed Erwa, the Sudanese Government's man in New York, has to do is string things out long enough to bog down the US call for sanctions in the Gauloise-filled rooms. "Let's not be hasty", Erwa told The Los Angeles Times. And, fortunately, not being hasty is something the UN's happy to do in its own leisurely way until everyone's in the mass grave and the point is moot.

A few days ago, the Australian Red Cross announced that three nurses from NSW were among those trying to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. Good for them. But, if we were really serious about alleviating it, we'd stop using that pathetically evasive word "humanitarian". "Humanitarian crisis" is fine for a hurricane or a drought, but not a genocide.

The death and dislocation in Sudan is a political crisis, worsened by political decisions every step up the chain - from the blood-drenched militia to their patrons in Khartoum to their buddies in the African Union to the schemers and cynics at the UN. It's "multilateralism" that magnifies some nickel and dime murder gangs into a global player. As for the West, if it's only "lawful" when it's sanctioned by the UN, then the almost inevitable "failure to get agreement in the Security Council" is the perfect cover for governments who would rather sit things out.

Here's another line for "multilateralists" to ponder, from a report by W.F. Deedes from Darfur in Britain's Daily Telegraph: "Aid agencies have found it difficult to get visas."

The UN confers on its most dysfunctional members a surreal, postmodern sovereignty: a state that claims it can't do anything about groups committing genocide across huge tracts of its territory nevertheless expects the world to respect its immigration paperwork as inviolable. Why should the West's ability to help Darfur be dependent on the visa section of the Sudanese embassy? The world would be a better place if the UN, or the democratic members thereof, declared that thug states forfeit the automatic deference to sovereignty. But, since that won't happen, it would be preferable if free nations had a forum of their own in which decisions could be reached before every last peasant has been hacked to death. The "coalition of the willing" has a nice ring to it.

One day historians will wonder why the most militarily advanced nations could do nothing to halt men with machetes and a few rusting rifles. Just over a century ago, after Kitchener's victory over the dervishes at Omdurman, Belloc wrote:

"Whatever happens

We have got

The Maxim gun

And they have not."

We've tossed out the Maxim gun for Daisycutters and Cruise missiles. In Darfur, meanwhile, the Janjaweed on their horses are no better armed than the dervishes were. But we're powerless against them because we have fetishised the poseur-multilateralism of the UN as the only legitimate form of intervention. And, because of it, in Sudan as in Rwanda, hundreds of thousands will die.

 

GENOCIDE IS ALIVE AND WELL IN SUDAN

Genocide is alive and well in Sudan
By Yaakov Ahimeir
Ma'ariv (Israel)
July 26, 2004

Perhaps the world's timid reaction to the genocide in Sudan is because there is no Israeli angle, both the perpetrators and the victims are Moslems. Arabs killing blacks is less spicy than Israel building a barrier

A New York organization presented documents proving the connection between the genocidal Arab Janjanin militia and the Sudanese government, which is using the militia to ethnically cleanse Darfur province from non-Arab inhabitants.

Thousands Moslem Africans are fleeing in the desert heat from Sudan into neighboring Chad. Every single man, woman, child and grandparent, scarred and hungry, has a personal tale of horror suffered at the hands of Arab oppression in Darfur.

Tens of thousands of people have died in Darfur and in refugee camps in Chad, and the general impression seems to be "And the world remains silent". Yet, in truth, this is not the case. Bush, Blair, Joschke Fischer and Colin Powell have all spoken out. "Yad Vashem" has also published notices in the written media.

Norwegian and other volunteers are not able to save the lives of skeletal babies, as food is not getting to them and they are starving.

In New York the UN General Assembly convened to discuss the Palestinian issue, and Sudan is a member of the UN Human Rights Committee. EU Foreign Minister, Senor Xavier Solana, has just finished sparring with Ariel Sharon and Silvan Shalom in Jerusalem.

When one observes the tireless efforts invested in solving the conflict here, one needs to ask the following, almost inevitable question, "Where are the proportions? We hear that in Darfur alone, more Moslems have died over the last two months than have died in the "100-year conflict" in this region. Where are all the solutions and road maps, not those exclusively regarding the land of Israel between desert and sea, but regarding a million refugees and tens of thousands of victims murdered by the Arab militia that goes by the name of Janjaweed.

The international community is currently enjoying its summer recess. Anti-globalization protestors (not to mention those against fur coats) also deserve their well-earned rest. The Khartoum mountains are not as conducive to demonstrations and vandalizing fast food restaurants as are Seattle or Venice, two of the venues that hosted representatives of industrialized countries that in fact assist the refugees, to a certain extent.

Air transports and water carriers are not able to land in the Chad desert. The situation in neighboring Darfur is extremely grave. There is no summer recess for terror and suffering. When light-skinned Moslems terrorize and murder dark-skinned Moslems, as their slave trading forbears did, Arab spiritual leaders, poets, co-religionists and the general Arab public sees nothing and hears nothing. And there is no one to cry out, "End the slaughter! End the burning of villages!"

Who knows? Perhaps there should be a demonstration outside the Sudanese embassies in Cairo and in Damascus, led by Arab League Secretary-General and former Egyptian foreign minister Amru Moussa, one of the most virulent haters of Israel.

I apologize. I wanted to end off with a bottom line. But there is no bottom line to those written above. This is simply the situation as seen by the writer of this article.


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.