Tuesday, November 08, 2005

HITCHENS - DARFUR RWANDA IN SLOW MOTION

He calls it "Rwanda in slow motion":
Hat tip
Sandmonkey

  • It looks as if the realists have won the day in the matter of Darfur. Or, to phrase it in another way, it looks as if the ethnic cleansers of that province have made good use of the "negotiation" and "mediation" period to complete their self-appointed task. As my friend Johann Hari put it recently in the London Independent:

    "At last, some good news from Darfur: the genocide in western Sudan is nearly over. There's only one problem—it's drawing to an end only because there are no black people left to cleanse or kill."

    By some reliable estimates, the Sudanese government or "National Islamic Front" has slain as many as 400,000 of its black co-religionists—known contemptuously as zurga ("niggers")—and expelled perhaps 2 million more.

    This appalling achievement has been made possible by a very simple tactic: The actual killers and cleansers, the Arab janjaweed militias, are a "deniable" arm of the Sudanese authorities. Those authorities pretend to negotiate with the United Nations, the United States, and the African Union, and their negotiating "card" is the control that they can or might exercise over said militias. While this tap is turned on and off, according to different applications of carrot and stick, the militias pretend to go out of control and carry on with their slaughter and deportation. By the time the clock has been run out, the job is done.

    If it were not for the efforts of a few brave journalists and humanitarian workers, and at least one American soldier attached to the African Union "peacekeepers" who went public in disgust at what he had seen, the Sudanese government might have gotten away with the whole thing. But we have more than enough filmed and photographic evidence of Sudanese planes and helicopters, flying close support to janjaweed operations, to say with certainty that the relationship between the two is the same as between the Rwandan authorities and the "Hutu Power" mobs who destroyed the Tutsi population.

    In other words, a Rwanda in slow motion, and in front of the cameras and the diplomats. What was all that garbage about "never again"? What was the meaning of Clinton's apology to the Rwandans? What did Colin Powell mean when he finally used the word "genocide" to describe the events in Darfur, just before resigning as secretary of state and becoming an advocate for more realism all round?

Read the whole thing.

6 Comments:

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At 7:53 AM, Blogger sadiq said...

War is always a bad thing, but sometimes its better than the alternatives.

There are few cases in which I personally believe that the use of force in another country on a large scale--ie, war, or as they like to call it now, "peacekeeping"--is the best thing to do. War is always messy, always dangerous, and always has disasterous consequences. But sometimes its better than the alternatives.

This, I believe, should be the primary role of the UN Bluehats. When a government is unable or unwilling to prevent clear human rights violations that are well documented, the international community should step it. This is genocide, pure and simple, and our unwillingness to address and put a stop to it, by force if necessary, is a black eye for the entire world.

On a similar note, this incident brings up a serious problem with the UN--the veto. Having five nations with veto power, all of whom often have conflicting interests, causes serious issues for the UN in its ability to do anything effectively. It may have been necessary in the post-World War II climate, but since the end of the Cold War the veto has not done anything but silence voices of dissent and reason. When France or China can veto something in our interests, and when we or Britain can veto something in theirs, we're never going to get anything DONE unless it's CLEARLY of benefit to humanity. And if this doesn't qualify, I don't know what would.

 
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