Image: UNICEF Child Alert
Darfuris who fled their homes during a 4-1/2 year revolt are urging a joint U.N.-African Union force to deploy rapidly to protect them from attacks and allow their safe return to their villages. After months of talks, threats and negotiations, Khartoum finally agreed to the 26,000-strong force, which will incorporate a struggling 7,000 AU force that has failed to stem the Darfur violence. The joint mission is expected to fully deploy by next year, but Darfuris say that is too late. "We want them to come immediately," said Yahya Osman. He lost everything when he fled his village west of Nyala town in South Darfur to Otash camp, where some 62,000 people have sought refuge from fled rape, looting and killing. But they say violence continues even there. Reuters, 8-20-07
Crisis in Darfur Update 8-24-07: Disturbing New Themes in The Human Race's Spiritual Failure on Darfur
By Richard Power
The news from Darfur is that there is no news. Only the stink of hypocrisy from the US, Chinese and Israeli governments.
The Chinese are the Chinese. But we must demand better from ourselves and our allies.
Israel is engaging in hypocrisy concerning the genocide in Darfur.
Fifty Darfuris a day are crossing the border from Egypt, where they are being persecuted, and now Israel has begun to expel them.
What would Shindler do?
PM Olmert says the deportations are in accordance with Israeli law.
What if Shindler had said that what was being done to the Jews of Europe was in accordance with German law?
ISRAEL has begun deporting refugees from the massacres in the Sudanese region of Darfur despite claims that the legacy of the Holocaust imposes a special responsibility on the Jewish state to protect fugitives from genocide. ... The office of the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, said the forced return of the 50 refugees complied with Israeli and international law. ... Human rights groups say there are already about 2 million Sudanese refugees in Egypt, where they complain of discrimination and state brutality. This month an Israeli television channel said that it had footage shot by Israeli border guards of two Sudanese refugees being beaten to death by Egyptian border guards. It said it would not show the footage to avoid a dispute with Egypt.
Sydney Morning Herald, 8-21-07
Rep. Rahm Emmaneul (D-Ill), the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights (American Jewish Committee), and a majority of the members of the Israeli parliament, including even Netanyahu, are calling on Olmert's government to change its policies.
But, of course, the hypocrisy of Israel on this issue pales in comparison to that of China and the USA.
Consider the issue from a fresh perspective --
There are two great geopolitical fantasies floating around in the heads of the planet's pundits: one is that the 21st Century will be the Chinese Century, the other is that it will be the American Century.
Well, after seven years of Neo-Con dementia in the West Wing, it might seem that the Chinese Century scenario is the more plausible of the two; until you ask yourself how long a nation that exports poison food, clothing and toys on a massive scale will remain on the ascent.
The fates of the USA and China are tangled up together with the barbed wire of a bitter irony.
China has chosen to build its future on unbridled capitalism wedded to totalitarian control of the political process and the news media; and the USA is, sadly, struggling to match it in both unbridled capitalism and totalitarian control.
The problem both great nations will confront sooner than later is that the whole force of nature, history and the human spirit is against such greed and oppression.
But what do these geopolitical fantasies have to do with the wretched circumstances of the Dafuris? Everything.
Darfur is the number one refugee crisis on the planet. But Iraq is number two and gaining on it.
And what do Darfur and Iraq have in common?
The short-sighted, self-defeating thirst for oil.
The number of US political leaders who have denounced the Bush-Cheney cabal's drive to privatize the Iraqi oil industry, and turn the profits over to the cabal's sponsors (e.g., Exxon, etc.), could be counted on one hand (you might even have a finger or two left over):
If passed, the Bush administration's long-sought "hydrocarbons framework" law would give Big Oil access to Iraq's vast energy reserves on the most advantageous terms and with virtually no regulation. Meanwhile, a parallel law carving up the country’s oil revenues threatens to set off a fresh wave of conflict in the shell-shocked country. Subhi al-Badri, head of the Iraqi Federation of Union Councils, said last month that the "law is a bomb that may kill everyone." Iraq's oil "does not belong to any certain side," he said, "it belongs to all future generations." Joshua Holland, Alternet, 8-9-07
The Chinese are in bed with the thugs in Karthoum, and the aphrodesiac is a lethal cocktail of oil and arms sales:
The Small Arms Survey said China's financial support to Sudan indirectly helped finance its wars, lifting Khartoum's income to at least $1.3 billion a year from oil revenues. Chinese companies have controlling interests in Sudan's largest oil blocks and 50 percent of its largest refinery. But Chinese investment was larger than just oil, the report said. "China is now northern Sudan's most important trade partner," the report said, adding investment was in construction, dams and railways as well as the energy sector. On arms, the report said Chinese-Sudanese military relations strengthened from 2002 with high-level exchange visits. While little information is available, it cited U.N. figures showing China as the largest military weapons and parts supplier to Sudan in 2004 and 2005, overtaking Iran. Reuters, 8-20-07
If you want to help save Darfur, here are sites that will show you how:
Enough: The Project to End Genocide and Mass Atrocities
Genocide Intervention Network
Click here for a Words of Power Archive of posts on the Crisis in Darfur
Darfur, Africa, Israel, China, Genocide, Iraq, Sudan, UN, Richard Power, Words of Power