GS(3) Thunderbolt 9-14-06: Darfur Update -- Two Weeks from Rwanda II?
By Richard Power
The greatest irony is the bitterest.
Together with the right-wing political machine it now panders to, Disney's ABC television network just spent the last week propagating a grotesque lie about the Clinton-Gore national security team, i.e., that they did not pursue Osama Bin Laden and allowed 911 to happen (evidence refuting this lie is publicly available).
Meanwhile, the Bush-Cheney national security team was repeating the Clinton-Gore national security team's great error (one that Bill Clinton readily acknowledges), i.e., not acting on the genocide in Rwanda until it was too late.
The Center for American Progress warns that we are two weeks away from Rwanda II. (Progress Report, 9-13-06)
Jim Loeb reports that eighteen international human rights and humanitarian groups, including Amnesty International, Human Rights First and Physicians for Human Rights, have issued a joint appeal for the international community "to significantly intensify diplomatic efforts with the Government of Sudan while concurrently planning for the rapid deployment of an adequately funded and well-equipped U.N. force to protect the people of Darfur regardless of the acquiescence of the Sudanese government." (Inter Press, 9-13-06)
John Prendergast of Crisis Group has identified Bush-Cheney's ten "deadly mistakes" on Darfur. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 9-14-06)
Here are excerpts from these three important pieces on the impending holocaust:
The world may be two weeks away from another Rwanda. On Sept. 30, the under-manned and under-funded African Union (AU) peacekeeping force in Darfur is set to leave the country. Those 7,000 A.U. troops -- dispatched over a region the size of Texas -- are the only force moderating the attacks in Darfur, during which "civilians are usually killed, injured, raped, abducted or forcibly displaced." In the last two weeks, the Sudanese government has "dramatically intensified" its air strikes and worked "to drain the region of witnesses," including foreign journalists. If the AU forces leave on Sept. 30 as scheduled, "this is a genocidal black box." President Bush cannot let this happen on his watch. (Take a moment to sign up with SaveDarfur.org and the Genocide Intervention Network; learn about the dynamics of the conflict from the International Crisis Group; and see how your members of Congress have voted on Darfur at DarfurScores.org.)
An Army of None, Center for American Progress Action Fund Progress Report, 9-13-06
Amid reports of a growing government offensive against rebel-held areas in Darfur, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and a host of international human rights and humanitarian groups are calling on Sudan to permit U.N. peacekeepers to deploy urgently to the violence-torn region.
Annan, who has spoken out with increasing urgency against Khartoum's opposition to the deployment since the U.N. Security Council approved it late last month, raised the spectre of a repetition of the 1994 Rwandan genocide if the government does not permit as many as 20,500 U.N. peacekeepers to replace a largely ineffective African Union (AU) force whose mandate expires at the end of this month….As Annan was speaking, 18 human rights and humanitarian groups, including Amnesty International, Human Rights First and Physicians for Human Rights, issued a joint appeal for the international community "to significantly intensify diplomatic efforts with the Government of Sudan while concurrently planning for the rapid deployment of an adequately funded and well-equipped U.N. force to protect the people of Darfur regardless of the acquiescence of the Sudanese government." Jim Lobe, Rights Groups, Annan Push Hard for Peacekeepers, Inter Press Service, 9-13-06
The administration's first deadly mistake is that while it helped broker a peace agreement in May, its negotiator left after only one rebel group signed, leaving at least two other rebel groups wanting more detail in the deal….
Second, the United States and its partners did not make explicit in the peace deal the deployment of a U.N. peacekeeping operation to oversee implementation….
The third mistake was not ensuring sufficient international involvement in the dismantling of the deadly Janjaweed militia structures….
Fourth, the United States has politically supported the rebel group that signed the peace deal, including having President Bush meet the group's leader.
Fifth, after the senior U.S. official who helped negotiate the partial peace took a job on Wall Street, almost his entire team departed….
Sixth, the United States and Europeans have left the African Union force in Darfur in a state of limbo, not giving it the requisite resources and political support needed to protect the people of Darfur….
Seventh, the United States crafted a U.N. Security Council resolution that authorized targeted sanctions in early 2005, but has since imposed sanctions on only one regime official, a retired air force commander….
Eighth, the United States has not provided information and intelligence to the International Criminal Court as the latter conducts its investigation of the war crimes committed in Darfur….
Ninth, the United States invited the security chief of the regime to CIA headquarters in Virginia, thus cementing the relationship with a man believed to be the architect of the ethnic-cleansing campaign in Darfur…
Tenth, and most recently, the United States continues to offer incentives rather than pressures in its bid to change Khartoum's behavior and induce it to support a U.N. force. John Prendergast, U.S.'s deadly errors in Darfur: The Bush White House has made 10 grievous mistakes that have only made matters worse, Philadelphia Inquirer, 9-12-06
This coming Sunday, 9-17-06, is Global Darfur Day.
Hard Rain Journal 9-8-06: Sudanese Bomb Civilians & Mass Troops, But US Media Highlights Release of Salopek
GS3 Thunderbolt 8-30-06: Urgent Action is Needed on Darfur, US's Security Council Proposal is a "Sham"
Hard Rain Journal 8-24-06: Updates on Darfur & Katrina, Failures of the Human Spirit
Hard Rain Journal 8-3-06: Darfur is A Mirror Held Up to the Souls of the Great Nations, & What It Reveals is Hideous
Words of Power #25: Lost Symbols, Part II -- The Rainbow Serpent Hisses, Lessons about Sustainability & Survival from Darfur, Senegal and Ecuador
Words of Power #12: The Fallen Tree (Spiritual Challenges of the 21st Century Global Security Crisis, Part II)
Richard Power is the founder of GS(3) Intelligence and http://www.wordsofpower.net. His work focuses on the inter-related issues of security, sustainability and spirit, and how to overcome the challenges of terrorism, cyber crime, global warming, health emergencies, natural disasters, etc. You can reach him via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to www.wordsofpower.net
Darfur, Sudan, Genocide, Human Rights, United Nations, John Prendergast, Human Rights Watch, Jim Loeb