Genocide in Darfur
January 20, 2006 1:15 PM   Subscribe

Genocide in Slow Motion. "[For every Genocide this century], we have wrung our hands afterward and offered the lame excuse that it all happened too fast, or that we didn't fully comprehend the carnage when it was still under way. And now the same tragedy is unfolding in Darfur, but this time we don't even have any sort of excuse. In Darfur genocide is taking place in slow motion, and there is vast documentary proof of the atrocities."
posted by dgaicun (25 comments total)
Also see here and here for previous links and discussion.
posted by dgaicun at 1:25 PM on January 20, 2006

If only they had some oil...
posted by Zorro on Doughnuts at 1:41 PM on January 20, 2006

Zorro beat me to it.
posted by S.C. at 1:45 PM on January 20, 2006

For serious: Does anyone here have any idea what an American citizen can do about this? I would like to know.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 1:47 PM on January 20, 2006

I'd re-up to stop something like this.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." - Martin Luther King Jr.

No one should be seen as outside civilization, not as a villian, and certainly not as a victim.

And most especially not in this age when there is no place on the map we can say “there be dragons.”
There should be no room for barbarism in the world anymore. There certainly is no excuse for it.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:50 PM on January 20, 2006

Great read.

News organizations have largely failed Darfur as well—particularly the television networks. A couple of decades ago, television provided genuine news about the world; today, it mostly settles for brief and superficial impressions, or for breathless blondes reporting on missing blondes.

As a result of this collective failure, the situation in the region has been getting much worse since about September 2005. The African Union has lost some of the first troops it stationed there, a growing portion of Darfur is becoming too dangerous as a place to distribute food, and the rebels have been collapsing into fratricide. The UN has estimated that if Darfur collapses completely then the death toll there will reach 100,000 a month.

Also see the blog Sleepless in Sudan which he references. She gives advice there on how to help.
posted by vacapinta at 1:50 PM on January 20, 2006

For serious: Does anyone here have any idea what an American citizen can do about this? I would like to know.

Sell everything you own, remove yourself from society as much as possible, practice civil disobedience, strike, shut down the interstates...
posted by iamck at 2:23 PM on January 20, 2006

What individuals can do without uprooting their whole lives to go there in person, is basically just donating to relief organizations.

And this is obviously inadequate. Only government action, probably amounting to a military action to replace the government there with something functional, would be capable of turning the situation around.

And speaking for the USA, there is no chance of any meaningful action, simply because it wouldn't make a profit for the corporate sponsors of the Bush administration. That's the main criterion of its policies.

So Zorro is right, in a way. But if there were oil the USG would probably just treat the natives like they've treated the Iraqis, and they would continue starving and being killed.

Excuse my cynicism. Many of us US-ians cannot even say with confidence that our votes against the Bush gang were counted.
posted by jam_pony at 2:33 PM on January 20, 2006

also as Kristof writes:

In the case of Darfur, the solution is not to send American ground troops; in my judgment, that would make things worse by allowing Khartoum to rally nationalistic support against the American infidel crusaders. But greater security is essential, and the African Union troops that have been sent to Darfur are inadequate to the task of providing it. The most feasible option is to convert them into a "blue-hat" UN force and add to them UN and NATO forces. The US could easily enforce a no-fly zone in Darfur by using the nearby Chadian air base in Abeché. Then it could make a strong effort to arrange for tribal conferences—the traditional method of conflict settlement in Darfur—and there is reason to hope that such conferences could work to achieve peace. The Arab tribes have been hurt by the war as well, and the tribal elders are much more willing to negotiate than the Sudan government and the rebel leaders who are the parties to the current peace negotiations.

Flint and de Waal give a telling account of the chief of the Baggara Rizeigat Arabs, a seventy-year-old hereditary leader who has kept his huge tribe out of the war and who is quietly advocating peace—as well as protecting non-Arabs in his territory. It would help enormously if President Bush and Kofi Annan would jointly choose a prominent envoy, like Colin Powell or James Baker, who would work with chieftains like the head of the Baggara Rizeigat to achieve peace in Darfur. Such an initiative is the best hope we have for peace.

posted by vacapinta at 2:38 PM on January 20, 2006

You can start by contributing to the Genocide Intervention Network (formerly Genocide Intervention Fund) to aid African Union peacekeepers. More about GIN here. (full disclosure: started by former peers of mine, but they're doing amazing work.)
posted by youarenothere at 3:35 PM on January 20, 2006

Also, contact your representatives to call on a passage of the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act.
posted by youarenothere at 3:39 PM on January 20, 2006

If only they had some oil...

The Sudan has quite a lot of oil; major investors include China. I wonder if you can guess why nobody is censuring the Sudanese?
posted by aramaic at 3:41 PM on January 20, 2006

From Oingo Boingo:

Nothing bad ever happens to me
Nothing bad ever happens to me
Nothing bad ever happens to me
Nothing bad ever happens to me
Why should I care?
posted by longsleeves at 3:57 PM on January 20, 2006

The situation in Sudan is bad, and probably will get worse.

But the Congo war is much worse. Probably three million dead since the war started in 1998, with no end in sight.

Sadly, I doubt there is much the US can do about either. Sanctions would be ignored by a world that wants the resources in both countries.
posted by Marky at 4:04 PM on January 20, 2006

As in several past instances, we need to ask, as Samantha Power does:

"Does 'never again' simply mean 'never again will Germans kill Jews in Europe between 1939 and 1945?'"
posted by sindark at 5:55 PM on January 20, 2006

Sadly, I doubt there is much the US can do about either.

I disagree. There are 6,000 African Union “monitors” trying to cover an area the size of France we are an incredibly wealthy nation. We need a stronger force to deter attacks and protect civilians combined with international sanctions targeting the people keepig Darfur from peace.
posted by Cassford at 7:26 PM on January 20, 2006

Maybe you guys didn't notice, but all the dead people are black.

Who cares?
posted by I Love Tacos at 9:26 PM on January 20, 2006

They were white in Bosnia. We didn't care much either.
posted by vacapinta at 9:27 PM on January 20, 2006

Three times as many people are talking about that bimbo Paris Hilton on this very website.

I think that speaks volumes.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:33 PM on January 20, 2006

They were white in Bosnia. We didn't care much either.

Bosnia, Herzogovenia, I can't spell that shit.
posted by I Love Tacos at 12:32 AM on January 21, 2006

The controversial and sad, but probably true, reality is that western aid is responsible for a lot of the horrible things happening in Africa. I'm not talking about how rogue governments siphon off most of it and use it to buy hot tubs and hookers, I'm talking about subsidising a rapidly expanding population through food aid. What is the more moral course of action?: (a) let 5 million starve today, or (b) give food aid, which will support an increase in the population, and lead 10 million to starve in the future? Of course those 10 million most likely won't starve - they'll just go to war with each other over scarce land and water resources and kill each other off like we're seeing here.

I'm genuinely not trying to be a bastard here, but the cold harsh fact of the matter is that overpopulation will continue until people realise that if they have any more children, they'll starve.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 2:12 AM on January 21, 2006


...extermination is not a bad idea if it helps regulate a population that is growing too fast. Experts decry "surplus population" Brazil, where there are seventeen inhabitants per square kilometer, or in Columbia, where there are twenty-nine. Holland has four-hundred inhabitants per square kilometer and no Dutchman dies of hunger...Haiti and El Salvador are the most over populated countries in the Americas - just as overpopulated as Germany.
--Eduardo Galeano in Upside Down
posted by youarenothere at 9:17 AM on January 21, 2006

Yup, give 'em some of that American-brand democracy and capitalism. That'll civilize 'em.
posted by mischief at 9:25 AM on January 21, 2006

...what if it were happening here?
posted by deusdiabolus at 1:46 PM on January 21, 2006

wait - Eduardo Galeano is pro-extermination? help me out here.

i'm assuming he's paraphrasing people who he is criticizing, right? just want to clarify.
posted by poweredbybeard at 8:26 PM on January 21, 2006

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