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photos show horror of genocide in Darfur

Discussion in 'News' started by Soup, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. Soup

    Soup Elite Member

    Joined: Jul 24, 2002 Messages: 4,425 Likes Received: 283
    Source SF Chronicle

    BERKELEY / Stunning photographs show the horror of genocide in Darfur / Former U.S. monitor is touring Bay Area to appeal for action

    Brian Steidle, a former Marine captain, enjoyed photography as a lark. Then he began shooting images of genocide in Sudan. Now he recalls the awful buzz of flies in a village that was looted and burned after its inhabitants were killed.

    As a U.S. representative to the African Union peacekeeping mission, Steidle had access to certain areas of Sudan's troubled Darfur provinces that are restricted to journalists. The Sudanese government reluctantly allowed him to be a witness.

    After resigning from his job last year as a neutral observer, Steidle is on a 25-city national tour sponsored by the humanitarian group Save Darfur -- showing his photographs of atrocities and imploring Americans to help stop the killing.

    "I was tired of taking pictures of dead bodies, tired of seeing maggots foam out of their mouths," Steidle said. "I was tired of hearing those stories of women who had lost everyone in their families, and then gang-raped. Tired of looking into their eyes and telling them there was nothing I could do for them."

    Steidle, 29, has made numerous appearances this week in the Bay Area, speaking at Ascension Church in Saratoga before a crowd of 350 and talking with students Wednesday at UC Berkeley. He appeared Wednesday evening at Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco, where he showed about 65 digital images and spoke.

    His riveting photographs are being exhibited at Cornell University, UCLA, and -- later this month -- Princeton, and have also appeared in the New York Times and Washington Post. He has testified before Congress, the United Nations and the British House of Commons.

    Steidle said he has also lobbied the inner sanctum of the Bush administration, but has been asked repeatedly by U.S. officials to stop showing his photographs.

    The ethnic genocide began in February 2003 after rebels in the Darfur region of Sudan stepped up their attacks against military bases. The Arab-dominated Sudanese government and Arab militias responded with a campaign of violence against non-Arab Darfurians, most of whom observers said had no affiliation with the rebels.

    During the noon hour Wednesday, he stood on the steps of Sproul Plaza, speaking into a microphone, pointing to his photos and imploring students and other passers-by to "spread the word" about Sudan's genocide.

    Some of his images capture the beauty of tribal African women and children, standing or huddling together on the stark desert floor. Other photos show crowded refugee camps. One image revealed a burned corpse.

    When several students stopped to see what was going on, Steidle told them: "Darfur is a region in Sudan, the largest country in Africa. They're killing people there. They're hacking them alive.

    "Darfurians are the nicest people you'd ever want to know," he added. "They're being killed because they're black. This is a man who was locked in a hut and burned alive. These people would give anything to be homeless in Berkeley."

    In a series of interviews, Steidle discussed his delicate assignment as an unarmed monitor in Sudan. The son of a Navy admiral, Steidle said he left the Marines in late 2003. From January 2004 to February 2005, he served as a U.S. representative to the African Union's peacekeeping mission in Sudan. Steidle said his employment was arranged through a private contractor, which he would not identify.

    According to Steidle, he wore plain khakis and traveled with African Union troops. He interviewed the victims of atrocities, including rape victims. His primary duty was taking photographs, and he took about 1,000 of them. He was tear-gassed, threatened, occasionally shot at and briefly held hostage by villagers who didn't know whether to trust him, he said.

    Steidle said he saw Sudanese government soldiers fighting side by side with Janjaweed militias, burning and looting villages. He said that the Sudanese employed Soviet Antonov planes and helicopters to bomb, strafe and burn villages, "shooting indiscriminately with their anti-personnel rockets into a village of 20,000 ... I saw 37 villages burned in one day."

    Steidle said he also witnessed complicity in the attacks by Sudanese telephone companies, which routinely shut off their service just before planes and helicopters attacked a village.

    "In a country like that, the government has say over what the companies do," Steidle said. "That's just the way a military dictatorship works. They drive around and pick people up on the street, and you never see them again."

    Steidle said the Bush administration has not pressed Sudan authorities because of the war on terror and its desire to gain intelligence on al Qaeda, which provided a safe haven for Osama bin Laden in Sudan in the 1990s.

    "The United States is getting good intelligence from the Sudanese government," Steidle said, "and the U.S. doesn't want to destroy that network."

    The witness-turned-advocate has lobbied the United Nations to send to Sudan a multilateral peacekeeping force of sufficient strength to stop atrocities rather than simply monitor them.

    "We need a force on the ground that can stand in the way and protect these people from being killed," he said.

    Steidle chalks up the world's tepid response to Sudan's genocide as "disinterest in another African tragedy. The White House isn't feeling any heat on it. We should be taking the lead on this."

    As for photography, Steidle brought his digital camera on the multi-city tour and plans to take it with him soon to Rwanda.

    "I saw things that should never be talked about, never be seen and never be experienced," said Steidle. "I hid behind my camera and took my pictures. I'm trying to take this horrible experience and turn it into something good."

    E-mail Jim Doyle at [email protected].

    Approximately 7,000 refugees arrived in Menawashi, Darfur, in just a few days. Photo courtesy of Brian Steidle

    The Janjaweed divided the loot they had collected from the village of Um Ziefa among their families. Photo courtesy of Brian Steidle

    A bulldozer was used to level the Al Geer internally displaced persons camp. Photo courtesy of Brian Steidle

    A hut compound burns in the village of Um Ziefa after an alleged attack by Sudan government forces and the Janjaweed militia. Photo courtesy of Brian Steidle

    Brian Steidle (right) shows his photographs documenting atrocities in Darfur to Nikkya Harris at Sproul Plaza. Chronicle photo by Paul Chinn

    Mihad Hamid, a year-old girl who was shot in the back, lost her mother and a sibling who were killed in the attack. Photo courtesy of Brian Steidle

    Brian Steidle spent a year as a U.S. representative monitoring the situation in Darfur, Sudan. Chronicle photo by Paul Chinn
  2. yum

    yum Junior Member

    Joined: Sep 26, 2005 Messages: 122 Likes Received: 0
    where oh where are our champions of freedom and democracy

    KING BLING Guest

    They're in Iraq defending our investment, I mean freeing people...
  4. Dawood

    Dawood Elite Member

    Joined: May 8, 2002 Messages: 4,677 Likes Received: 147
    King bling, you know if I said that , the vultures would've jumped all over me by now.
  5. bobthedestroyer

    bobthedestroyer New Jack

    Joined: Feb 20, 2006 Messages: 94 Likes Received: 0

    They're in Iraq defending our investment, I mean freeing people...
    [post=4380097]Quoted post[/post]​

    You're a fucking idiot. There are more countries than one in this world. NOT ONE SINGLE COUNTRY is doing anything about this shit. Fuck the U.N., we need to start having a vested interest in what the fuck is going on in Africa for humanitys sake.

    ANd what have you done to help the cause, did you voulenteer for the red cross or some shit?

    There are currently some 60 wars going on in this world... many of them inlude ethnic clensing... how many can you name?

    This is bullshit. This type of shit is what really makes me want to go out there and kill motherfuckers who are responsible for such bullshit.
  6. bobthedestroyer

    bobthedestroyer New Jack

    Joined: Feb 20, 2006 Messages: 94 Likes Received: 0
    And dawood, just for the record, guess what the religious orientation is of those people who are the pieces of shit doing this. Let's rally the muslim world against that and not a fucking cartoon.
  7. Dawood

    Dawood Elite Member

    Joined: May 8, 2002 Messages: 4,677 Likes Received: 147
    actually, I can't say for sure, because i know little about it, but I beleive the religious orientation of the VICTIMS of this genocide are muslims. I know that for sure.
    As for the Janjaweed. I don't know what they are upon by way of religion, but even if they claimed to be muslims, their actions say otherwise because the prophet muhammad said

    To harm a muslim is sin and to kill him is disbeleif. So, for a muslim to kill another muslim is an act of disbeleif on his part.
    as a muslims , our Islam is based on principles, speech and actions. Not on claims. Anyone can claim to be a muslim, but if they do things that take them outside the fold of islam, then their attachment to islam is merely a claim.
  8. bobthedestroyer

    bobthedestroyer New Jack

    Joined: Feb 20, 2006 Messages: 94 Likes Received: 0
    So what your telling me is: If you're a muslim, it's ok to kill everyone else but other muslims? (Don't wanna sound like a smart ass but this is the message I am getting, you are condeming the killings by the muslims for the reason that the people they are killing could indeed be muslim).

    The Janjaweed are indeed muslim. I don't think that the people being killed are... I will report to you after some research...

    Like I said in my other post... when shit like this happens in this world I pray that a huge nuclear war can erupt so we can just all be wiped off this fucking planet.

    BURLAP Member

    Joined: Jul 29, 2004 Messages: 307 Likes Received: 0
    don't worry bob, i'm sure your prayer will be answered one of these days. either that or there will be a massive and deep rooted shift in human conscience whereby hippy culture will once again flourish and peace will be upon us all....either way you're fucked.
  10. CALIgula

    CALIgula Moderator Crew

    Joined: Mar 1, 2004 Messages: 36,359 Likes Received: 1,237
    yeah....the Sudan genocide reminds me of the genocide in Rwanda....out of all the countries in the world represented in the U.N. ......VERY FEW are doing little to help... is it cause these countries just don't care about the genocides in "other" countries or is it because there is nothing over there worth intervening for (oil)....im not taking any sides...im just questioning the fact that only a few countries are willing to help..
  11. Dawood

    Dawood Elite Member

    Joined: May 8, 2002 Messages: 4,677 Likes Received: 147
    no , bob, It's not okay to kill everyone else except muslims when youre a muslim. Islam forbids all oppression and killing.
    The only permission Islam gives it's followers to killing is when it is a just killing like for instance stoning the adulterer or adultress, killing the one who killed someone unjustly.

    Al-Baqarah - 2:190
    And fight in the Way of Allâh those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allâh likes not the transgressors. [This Verse is the first one that was revealed in connection with Jihâd, but it was supplemented by another (V.9:36)]. (Al-Baqarah 2:190)

    O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allâh is Most Merciful to you. (An-Nisa 4:29)

    this verse is a refutation against the suicide bombers who blow themselves up.

    Al-Ma'idah - 5:32
    Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.

    And do not kill anyone which Allâh has forbidden, except for a just cause. And whoever is killed (intentionally with hostility and oppression and not by mistake), We have given his heir the authority [(to demand Qisâs, Law of Equality in punishment or to forgive, or to take Diya (blood money)]. But let him not exceed limits in the matter of taking life (i.e he should not kill except the killer only). Verily, he is helped (by the Islâmic law). (Al-Isra 17:33)

    Basically, As long as you are not fighting muslims and killing them, then, according to Islam, your blood is safe.
    (unless of course some maniac blows up a building with a airplane, but that's not right according to Islam)

    So, in short , muslims beleive in an eye for an eye except for when the family of the one killed unjustly forgives the killer.

    Also, the prophet muhammad said "whoever kills a person whom the muslims have a peace treaty with will never smell the fragrance of paradise" this statement is a severe threat to the people who take hostages and cut off their heads (like we saw in the news) because most of them were in those muslim countries with permission of the muslim govt. and werent there fighting muslims, so they were supposed to be under protection and fall under the category of someone who has a peace treaty with muslims, so killing them is completely forbidden according to the prophet Muhammad. Thats why these people (al qaida) and those like them are deviants from Islam and need to repent and leave their evil ideologies or they just need to be killed. Because they are making Islam look like a religion of killing and barbarism, when it is actually a religion of justice and mercy.

    And as for the Janjaweed and their religion, I'll say it again, even if they claim to be muslims, their actions show otherwise. And as for the people being killed, they look like muslims to me (with the women wearing headscarves and the men wearing white Islamic thowbs) But , Still, i'll have to look more into it. May Allah ease the burden of the oppressed ones and destroy the oppressors, Ameen.

  12. <!--QuoteBegin-Dawood
    @Mar 14 2006, 09:19 AM
    it is actually a religion of justice and mercy.

    [post=4384683]Quoted post[/post]​
  13. Dawood

    Dawood Elite Member

    Joined: May 8, 2002 Messages: 4,677 Likes Received: 147
    oh, ok, point out the CLEAR contradictions in what I said so everyone can know how much of a idiot I am. thanks, Mamerro, great, good lookin out, bro.

    Anyway, stoning to death for adultery is something that has been revealed by God and practiced in numerous generations and is a HUGE mercy on the people who practice it. The goal in implementing capitol punishment is not to actually kill and punish people. It's to ward them away from something even more harmful. Adultery and promiscuity. Think of the millions and millions of broken homes, crackheads (crack babies), prostitution, diseases, rape, child molestation,
    and all of the sicknesses that these things spawn that could potentially be prevented if people simply abstained from pre-marital promiscuous sex. And the law actually was against it. Most of us know it's wrong, although, our desires tell us it's ok and western society is cool with it nowadays.

    So, the law of stoning the adulterer is not to line people up and kill all of them, because according to Islamic law there has to be 4 sane , trustworthy witnesses to the adultery in order to establish capitol punishment and it seems to me that would be a difficult thing to do.

    Also, the reasoning for such strict punishment is to make people realise how much of a calamity it really is.
    I know to the average American or European promiscuity is a way of life, but if you reflect on the damage it does to our societies , I mean really reflect, how many of us hasn't dogged out a woman or two or three or four in our lifetimes?
    well, think about if that was your daughter getting dogged out and treated like a slut? And how many of us have kids floating around somewhere that we hardly know or don't know at all? How many of us don't even know our own fathers? I'm sure LOTS of us. And that's a direct result of pre-marital sex. So, yes, Stoning adulterers and adultresses is in my book a MERCY on a society that chose to implement this punishment, not to kill everyone, but , to prevent them from killing themselves by catching the ninja or to prevent them from too many other ways of oppressing themselves.
  14. KaBar2

    KaBar2 Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 27, 2003 Messages: 2,128 Likes Received: 66
    Gosh, it sure is a good thing these people in Darfur don't have any guns, because two wrongs don't make a right and we all just need to learn to get along with each other. Just because someone has murdered your entire family and gang-raped you doesn't give you the right to acquire an AK47 and a large quantity of ammunition so that you can go shoot their sorry motherfucking asses into pieces.

    Oh, what Am I saying? Let the UN handle it. Maybe what the murdered men and castrated boys of Darfur need is some Dutch and Canadian UN peacekeepers to come tell them how to live in peace.

    Ya think?

    BTW, the victims are Christian and animists, the attackers are Muslim. The Darfur women get gang-raped, the men get a bullet to the head, the boys get castrated and along with the little girls too young for sex, hauled off into SLAVERY. But at least nobody is a "racist", because none of these people is white.

    It's hard for me to understand people like this. I'd be doing my best to even the score, and I'd be sharpening a stick on both ends. Sorry motherfuckers would end up with their heads decorating my camp, their horses in my ramada and their rifles buried out in the desert to arm the next generation of murderous KaBar progeny.

    KING BLING Guest


    Almost 300,000 Dead -




    President Bush has much more work to do on Darfur. Either he will provide the necessary leadership, or historians will someday record that Bush, like Clinton, failed to halt a genocide on his watch and once again made mockery of that familiar post-Holocaust pledge: "Never again."