Sunday, April 30, 2006

Where are they?

Over the last few days some protests have occurred related to the situation in Darfur, Sudan. As most are aware, this oversized pit of a country has had an ongoing civil war pitting the Arab government against the African rebels. In part it is religion, Moslems killing Christians, but mostly it is one set of tribes killing another set of tribes. You might ask what they are fighting over and land would be a small answer. Oil is another small answer. Sudan produces a bunch (million or so barrels) of oil a day that mostly goes to China...keep that in the back of your mind as on a rare occasion you hear that China has vetoed another resolution in the UN against Sudan. No accusations....just a comment.

Now the problem in Sudan is not new. As a matter of fact it has been going on for years. If you haven't been hearing about it regularly, you should probably be asking the peace activitists, the anti-war protestors and the media where they have been on Darfur?

You won't get much of a response. The US is not in Sudan....nothing for them to protest about therefore. Of course if we were to go into Sudan to stop the killing, would it be oil we were there about? Would we be getting in the middle of a civil war we have no business being in?

Of course the protestors over the last few days are calling for the US to do they can protest it is uncalled for, too much, too little, too imperialistic....SOMETHING....

Millions protested the US involvement in Iraq. Where are they?
Millions protested the US acts of imperialism. Where are they?
Millions protested the globalization impact of the US. Where are they?

Why they are home, planning protests on Monday in support of ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.

Maybe I am being unfair. Let us look at the situation in Darfur and what 'they' are doing about it:

Peace talks to end the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region have resumed today in Nigeria's capital. Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos.

The peace talks include representatives of the Sudanese government and rebels operating in the Darfur region. Although the negotiations have been on for about a year without success, the rebels say they are hopeful that a final agreement will be reached during this latest round of talks. The split among the rebel groups is blamed for the failure of previous talks. This time, the rebels will present a united front. An upsurge in fighting has further underscored the need to urgently end the crisis. African Union peacekeepers in the region were recently killed in the face of repeated ceasefire violations. The Darfur crisis started two years ago when rebels of Black African origin took up arms against the Arab-dominated government. They accused the
Sudanese government of discriminating against Black Africans. The crisis escalated when pro-government Arab militias started attacking the African population. Over 70,000 people have died in two years of conflict in the Darfur region and more than a third of Darfur's six million inhabitants have fled their homes. For Free Speech Radio News, this is Sam Olukoya in Lagos.

Note: this was from last November. But we need to go back a bit...

Thursday, September 9, 2004 Posted: 3:54 PM EDT (1954 GMT)
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday that "genocide has been committed" in the Sudanese region of Darfur.

An international law expert said the statement does not require the United States to act, but establishes a basis for it to intervene under international law.

"That Powell has said this is politically significant," said Hurst Hannum, professor of international law at the Fletcher School at Tufts University in Boston. "It doesn't trigger any legal consequences ...(but) there will certainly be more of a push for something to be done."

Talks are continuing in the Nigerian capital of Abuja to "resolve the political dispute driving the conflict," the United Nations said.

Talks that continued up to today! With no results. Of course the use of the word genocide has created it's own little upset. The EU thinks that the US was overstating the case (again...), that the events in Darfur are in fact only, "crimes against humanity". Isn't that nice! Tens of thousands dead and it is only a crime against humanity....

But governments are notoriously slow to commit. Often the first ones on the ground in situations like Darfur are the aid groups. And many are and have been in Darfur for YEARS. We don't hear much about them because they don't care where the aid comes from, only that it keeps coming and that hopefully, help will come with it. But some organizations are more about the politics and less about the aid...

Darfur - As atrocities occurred in the Sudan we worked with Rev. Brian McLaren and the Cedar Ridge Community Church to organize five interfaith worship services in the spirit of justice targeting Washington, D.C.'s key media and policymaking institutions to generate awareness and pressure to end the crisis in Darfur. With our support you organized more than 100 concurrent events throughout the country. We will continue to lift up Darfur in future actions until peace and security is restored.

We Can End the Darfur Genocide
Sojourners is teaming up with our good friends at the Save Darfur Coalition and nearly 100 organizations to gather 1 million signatures on postcards to President Bush.

Yes that's right! Postcards to President Bush! $.05 a card, $.39 a stamp. One million cards...that is almost $500,000 that could actually be spent on AID to Darfur....but that would not get as much attention. Nor would the politicians have to respond to the aid, but they would have to met with the leaders of the 'movements'. And of course, a million postcards will of course go a long way to stopping illiterate tribesmen from killing illeterate villagers thousands of miles away...

Still, you do have to wonder about everyone else...where are they? has a coallition of over 100 organizations devoted to Darfur. Over 90 of them are based (listen for it...) in the US!

An NPR report on last night's episode of The World notes that crowds are taking to the streets in Khartoum to protest a US proposal to deploy UN troops to combat the genocide in Darfur.

To a backdrop of protesters chanting "Down With US" in Arabic and (conveniently) English, correspondent Jonah Fisher noted that people seemed to be condemning the United States for its suggestion of involvement, including bits with various Sudanese Moslems professing a desire to fight the US and the UN. The report conveys the impression that there's a groundswell of anti-American fervor among Sudanese, who just want to keep a Sudanese problem as a Sudanese issue.

Even the suggestion by the US that more needs to be done is met with protests. This is what the left has wrought. Anti-Americanism: Right or wrong, America is bad. Motives are suspect, aid is tainted, even positive suggestions evil. The protesters currently demanding action by the US are ignoring the will and wishes of the people that are the subject of their demands. Are not the Sudanese capable of making their own choices...and if those choices are mass slaughter, well, anything America is against, the protestors have to be for.....right?

What is the will of the Sudanese people? "Leave us alone!" So what are the protesters clamoring for? Imperialism??

Where are they? The protestors we have heard so much from:

BURUNDI AND EASTERN CONGO: Horror and hope from the heart of Africa

13 October 2005
by Eric Schiller
[Note: Schiller is a part of a four-person Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) exploratory delegation to the Great Lakes region of Africa.]

I am now in the heart of Africa in the Eastern Congo, just across from the border of Burundi. So many horrific acts have been committed here in the past years. But people are also rebuilding hope.

Opps....not in Americans or Brits to save them if they should happen to, you know, piss someone off.

The UN has been such a stinker when it comes to action. But they can pass resolutions:

UN Resolutions

Resolution 1593 passed March 31, 2005 referred the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court. The Court can now begin investigating and prosecuting those responsible for committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Resolution 1591 passed March 29, 2005 imposes an arms embargo on the government of Sudan, imposes targeted sanctions (travel ban and asset freezes) on those determined to be responsible for, and “demands” that the government of Sudan stop using air attacks against villages in Darfur.

Resolution 1590 passed March 24, 2005 establishes a 10,000 member peacekeeping force in Southern Sudan to enforce the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The accord was signed in January, ending more than 20 years of civil war between northern and southern Sudan. In addition to 10,000 military personnel, the United Nations Mission in Sudan will also include 715 civilian police and is set to have an initial six-month mandate. The resolution does not directly address the situation in Darfur, but the Security Council is hopeful that effects of a lasting peace in southern Sudan will spill over into the troubled western region.

September 18, 2004
Resolution 1564, passed on September 18, 2004 called for the creation of a Commission of Inquiry to determine whether genocide has occurred and threatened possible sanctions against the government of Sudan if it does not stop the violence.

Resolution 1556, passed on July 30, 2004, gave the government of Sudan 30 days to disarm the Janjaweed and threatening economic and military sanctions if the orders were not carried out.

Notice that the UN force isn't going to Darfur, they just hope that if there is peace in the region, it will make the murderers more peaceful...ah come on guys, play nice...

Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on Darfur
May 10, 2005
A large number of internally displaced persons in the western Sudanese region of Darfur are unlikely to return to their homes in the immediate future, according to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s monthly report to the Security Council

Report of the Secretary-General on UN assistance to the AU mission in Darfur
May 3, 2005
The report states that prevailing insecurity continues to impede the delivery of humanitarian assistance and inhibits those displaced from returning home

UN Commission of Inquiry Report
January 25, 2005
The UN dispatched a commission of inquiry to investigate the situation in Darfur and “reports of violations against international human rights law and international humanitarian law.” The commission found that “Government forces and militias conducted indiscriminate attacks, including killing of civilians, torture, enforced
disappearances, destruction of villages, rape and other forms of sexual violence, pillaging and forced displacement, throughout Darfur on a widespread and systematic basis.”

A commission of inquiry...2 years after the mass murders began. But hey, ya need to know what the problem is before actually doing something.

This is the problem with peaceniks. They want to TALK. Even if it means standing in front of a bulldozer, TALKING stops everything bad from happening. A dialogue. Can't we just sit and talk like rational human beings and work it out? NO, apparently. Cutting up children and tossing the parts into wells is preferred to talking. So, if all you want to do is talk and all they want to do is kill, where are WE?

Amid the negotiations, the plight of 3 million refugees in Darfur has worsened. The U.N. World Food Program said Friday that it was cutting rations in half, citing a lack of funds.

Yep. Postcards good, aid, well, postcards good, Bush BAD.

Annan's latest appeal for funding reflects growing frustration as the United Nations has failed to collect even half of the $350 million it requested in March to run its relief operation in Darfur, a violence-torn, impoverished province roughly the size of France. In an effort to reach that goal, Annan will send private letters asking Japan, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Belgium -- which have provided a total of just over $11.5 million in contributions since March -- to increase their funding for the United Nations' operations.

TOTAL $11.5 million! Are not the protesters against imperial America always complaining that we don't give enough? That other countries give more of their GDP in aid than we do? Where are the protesters complaining that the aid flow is running a little thin from a few of the BIG donors.

But it is not just Japan and the silly Europeans...

A senior U.N. official said that contributions from the four richest Gulf states -- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates -- which will also get a plea from Annan, have been "totally insignificant."

Why should these countries be funding aid? Nominally, the government of Sudan is Moslem and they are just wiping out a few infidels. What's the problem?

"Surprisingly, it's been an uphill struggle to get normally generous donors to wake up to this unfolding catastrophe," said Jan Egeland, the U.N. emergency relief coordinator. "It would be a tragedy if now that we have finally broken down this Berlin Wall created by the Sudanese government around Darfur, we would lack the resources" to address the humanitarian crisis.

Egeland said that the bulk of the U.N. operations have been sustained by the United States, which has underwritten 45 percent of the U.N. budget for the issue, and Britain, the Netherlands and Norway.

It must kill him to admit that the US is funding 45% of the aid for Darfur. When we don't send troops, we send money. Of course, things might have changed since 2004....listen to Jose Barroso...

The U.S. and the EU: A Bilateral Partnership for Global Solutions
Speaker: Jose Barroso, President, European Commission

May 13, 2005

Council on Foreign Relations, New York, N.Y.

BARROSO: Oh, we are doing, we are by far the largest donor to Darfur. Once again, I’m sorry to speak about dollars or euros, but we are by far the biggest contributor now to Sudan and to Darfur in terms of aid. And we are supporting that process. We are supporting generally that process.

Now, we are doing it directly to those involved, and also to enhancing the capability— institutional capabilities—of the African Union. So they can provide themselves security. So, we are not considering at this stage foreign troops sent by the European Union, as the operation that is taking place in Congo, in Democratic Republic of Congo. So we are very much in favor of working in the framework of the United Nations or of the international organizations on those— or the regional organizations on providing security. Because security is the first issue.


Since 2003, the US has provided $545 million to Sudan for humanitarian assistance in Darfur while the EU has provided $290 million (Euro) SINCE 1993.

The number comparisons for 2005 are equally lopsidded, see:

So, where are they? The millions of protesters against Bush and the United States? Well...they are home...sending postcards....or they are somewhere else, safe. Darfur is an unsafe place and well, there is nothing there and if they want to slaughter themselves, if Bush is against it...WAIT, IF BUSH IS FOR GOING INTO SUDAN AGAINST THE SUDANESE WISHS, LET'S GET A PROTEST GOING!!

A short comment about George Clooney. He took a risk, he is speaking out. Bravo for him. Thank you sir. (Hope you don't mind if I reserve just a wee bit of my enthusiasm to see what you do later...)

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