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Discussion in 'News' started by TEARZ, Apr 11, 2004.

  1. TEARZ

    TEARZ Guest

    Remember Rwanda, but Take Action in Sudan

    by Samantha Power
    April 6, 2004
    Reprinted from the New York Times


    Ten years ago this week, Rwandan Hutu extremists embarked on a genocidal campaign in which they murdered some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus — a genocide more efficient than that of the Nazis.

    On this anniversary, Western and United Nations leaders are expressing their remorse and pledging their resolve to prevent future humanitarian catastrophes. But as they do so, the Sudanese government is teaming up with Arab Muslim militias in a campaign of ethnic slaughter and deportation that has already left nearly a million Africans displaced and more than 30,000 dead. Again, the United States and its allies are bystanders to slaughter, seemingly no more prepared to prevent genocide than they were a decade ago.

    The horrors in the Darfur region of Sudan are not "like" Rwanda, any more than those in Rwanda were "like" those ordered by Hitler. The Arab-dominated government in Khartoum has armed nomadic Arab herdsmen, or Janjaweed, against rival African tribes. The government is using aerial bombardment to strafe villages and terrorize civilians into flight. And it is denying humanitarian access to some 700,000 people who are trapped in Darfur.

    The Arab Muslim marauders and their government sponsors do not yet seem intent on exterminating every last African Muslim in their midst. But they do seem determined to wipe out black life in the region. The only difference between Rwanda and Darfur, said Mukesh Kapila, the former United Nations' humanitarian coordinator for Sudan, "is the numbers of dead, murdered, tortured, raped."

    A radio exchange between a Sudanese ground commander and a pilot overhead (taped by a British journalist in February) captures the aims of the attackers:

    Commander: We've found people still in the village.

    Pilot: Are they with us or against us?

    Commander: They say they will work with us.

    Pilot: They're liars. Don't trust them. Get rid of them.

    And later:

    Pilot: Now the village is empty and secure for you. Any village you pass through you must burn. That way, when the villagers come back they'll have a surprise waiting for them.

    The lessons of Rwanda are many. The first is that those intent on wiping out an inconvenient minority have a habit of denying journalists and aid workers access and of pursuing bad-faith negotiations. Thus far the Sudanese government has pursued both approaches, and Western officials have been far too trusting of their assurances.

    A second lesson is that outside powers cannot wait for confirmation of genocide before they act. In 1994 the Clinton administration spent more time maneuvering to avoid using the term "genocide" than it did using its resources to save lives. In May 1994, an internal Pentagon memo warned against using the term "genocide" because it could commit the United States "to actually do something." In the case of Sudan, American officials need not focus on whether the killings meet the definition of genocide set by the 1948 Genocide Convention; they should focus instead on trying to stop them.

    A third lesson is that even when the United States decides not to respond militarily, American leadership is indispensable. This is especially true because Europe continues to avoid intervening in violent humanitarian crises. And it remains true despite the Bush administration's unpopularity abroad. The United States often takes an all-or-nothing approach: if it doesn't send troops, it tends to foreclose other policy options.

    In Sudan, this tendency has been compounded by the administration's reluctance to risk undermining the peace process it has spearheaded between Sudan's government and the rebels in the south. While President Bush is understandably eager to show he can make peace as well as war, he must stand up to Sudan's government during these difficult negotiations.

    After all, regimes that resort to ethnic killing and deportation as a tool of statecraft rarely keep their word. An important predictor of Sudan's reliability as an ally in the war on terrorism and as a party to the American-brokered peace accord is its treatment of African Muslims in Darfur.

    What would standing up to Sudan entail? The administration has several options.

    On the economic and diplomatic front, the United States has already demonstrated its clout in Sudan, which is desperate to see American sanctions lifted. So far, Secretary of State Colin Powell has rightly described the humanitarian crisis as a "catastrophe." But the White House and the Pentagon have been mostly mute. President Bush must use American leverage to demand that the government in Khartoum cease its aerial attacks, terminate its arms supplies to the Janjaweed and punish those militia accused of looting, rape and murder. The president made a phone call last week to Sudan's president, Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir, but one ritual conversation hardly counts as pressure. Mr. Bush should keep calling until humanitarian workers and investigators are permitted free movement in the region, a no-fly zone is declared and the killings are stopped, and he should dispatch Mr. Powell to the Chad-Sudan border to signal America's resolve.

    The Bush administration can't do this alone. Ten thousand international peacekeepers are needed in Darfur. President Bush will have to press Sudan to agree to a United Nations mission — and he will also need United Nations member states to sign on. The Europeans can help by urging the Security Council to refer the killings to the newly created International Criminal Court. Though the United States has been hostile to the court, this is one move it should not veto, as an investigation by the court could deter future massacres.

    President Clinton has said that one of the greatest mistakes of his presidency was not doing more to prevent the Rwandan genocide. When he visited Rwanda in 1998, he tried to explain America's failure to respond: "It may seem strange to you here, especially the many of you who lost members of your family, but all over the world there were people like me sitting in offices, day after day after day, who did not fully appreciate the depth and the speed with which you were being engulfed by this unimaginable terror."

    Today, roughly 1,000 miles north of Rwanda, tens of thousands of Africans are herded onto death marches, and Western leaders are again sitting in offices. How sad it is that it doesn't even seem strange.

    Samantha Power is the author of "A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide," which won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction.
  2. Overtime

    Overtime Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Apr 22, 2003 Messages: 13,989 Likes Received: 313
    rwanda has to be the best country name ever, hands down
  3. TEARZ

    TEARZ Guest

    the cliff notes version.

    this shit is out of control.
  4. hottnickels

    hottnickels Junior Member

    Joined: Sep 25, 2003 Messages: 178 Likes Received: 0
    i recently watched a PBS special marking the anniverasry..
    it was really disgusting to watch these various world leaders say more about why they were reluctant to label what was happening there 'genocide' than to actually talk about the events themselves..
    i bet there's probably a new circle of hell just for the lawyers.

    it's atrocious..
    and to think that first world nations are supposedly civilized.
    the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    oh yeah...
    fuck your diamonds
  5. 2 blaazed

    2 blaazed New Jack

    Joined: Jun 28, 2002 Messages: 0 Likes Received: 3
    first that i heard bout this. deff will look into it.
  6. hottnickels

    hottnickels Junior Member

    Joined: Sep 25, 2003 Messages: 178 Likes Received: 0
    some more thoughts...

    "The Bush administration can't do this alone. ...."


    we totally blew it.
    the world was finally on america's side.
    then iraq.
    no we have no credibility, and we've become the international bully.
    i dunno who the fuck is gonna sign on to help with another mission.
    or where we're gonna get the money to do something.

    go canada 2004.
  7. High Priest

    High Priest Elite Member

    Joined: Jan 1, 2002 Messages: 4,928 Likes Received: 4
  8. TEARZ

    TEARZ Guest

    circle of hell? is that like the mormon levels of heaven?

    don't use the word genocide, because it means we'll have to do something... damn. :(

  9. !@#$%

    [email protected]#$% Moderator Crew

    Joined: Oct 1, 2002 Messages: 18,517 Likes Received: 623
    i would never give the mormons enough credit to compare them to Dante.

    it's interesting to learn about how much control the u.s. oil industry has over africa..it's a perfect place for a corporation..the governments don't care about the people; the corporations only have to care about their own, and they rape the natural resources unregulated and unabated..

    the karmic debt carried by the united states is getting huge..
    how long until the empire falls?

    .dead meat.
  10. !@#$%

    [email protected]#$% Moderator Crew

    Joined: Oct 1, 2002 Messages: 18,517 Likes Received: 623
    America Eyes the Next Piece of His Empire

    Africa: Oil, al-Qaeda and the US military
    By Ritt Goldstein

    Africa's Maghreb and Sahel regions recently exploded into world view with allegations that the Madrid bombers were tied to those areas' "al Qaeda" groups. And while United States concerns about terrorism in the region have been increasingly voiced, critics of the administration of President George W Bush say that the ongoing US pursuit of energy resources lies behind them. As early as the fall of 2002, Britain's Economist magazine charged that oil "is the only American interest in Africa".

    In a fall 2003 interview with Asia Times Online, noted US security analyst Michael Klare, author of Resource Wars, had warned of America's potential African involvement. When queried as to where the next oil flash point might be after Iraq, Klare replied: "I've been looking at Africa. It's heating up over there."

    Illustrating the basis for such statements, in 2001 Vice President Dick Cheney's report on a US National Energy Policy declared Africa to be one of America's "fastest-growing sources of oil and gas". By February 1, 2002, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Walter Kansteiner, declared: "This [African oil] has become of national strategic interest to us." And a December 2001 report by the US National Intelligence Council, Global Trends 2015, forecast that by 2015 a full quarter of US oil imports would come from Africa.

    During this past February, a handful of top US generals visited Africa in separate and far from usual trips. They included the US's European commander, Marine General James L Jones, as well as the European deputy commander, Air Force, General Charles Wald. And excluding the region known as the Horn of Africa, the US European Command oversees the US's African actions.

    The trips occurred against a widely reported backdrop of increasing pressures from US industry and conservative policy groups to secure energy sources outside the Middle East.

    Over the past several months, the US has been in the process of dispatching Special Forces troops to the countries of Africa's Sahel - Mauritania, Chad, Mali and Niger. The effort is part of a program dubbed the Pan Sahel Initiative, designed to provide anti-terrorism training to the region's military. Others have termed it a program to train regional armies.

    Involved US Special Forces groups are operating out of Germany, where an investigation of the Madrid bombers is also ongoing. And military cooperation with Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia has reportedly been increased as well. But it is the fairly recent and substantial oil discoveries that are said to be fueling this effort, and as the Washington Times declared in a headline on February 26: "US eyes terrorism networks, oil in Africa."

    In Colombia, similar US undertakings to train local forces have been previously pursued to secure that country's oil infrastructure, particularly its pipelines. There, the leftist group known by the Spanish acronym FARC has long waged a guerilla campaign, pipeline sabotage being a favored tactic. Similarly, ongoing pipeline sabotage in Iraq is reported as substantial. And in a surprising revelation of US Defense Department candor, a December 2003 report referred to the "open-ended imperial policing" that Iraqi involvement now means.

  11. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    Shit I haven't heard a damn thing about this. It figures they would be staking more oil there since the environment seems to be conducive of oil reserves.

    This turmoil within sudan? What is the turks still in control since the ottoman empire?
  12. Poop Man Bob

    Poop Man Bob Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Nov 16, 2000 Messages: 10,259 Likes Received: 18
    I am disgusted with my complete lack of knowledge with the geography and political climate of, well, most of Africa.

    Thanks for the article and the information, Tearz.
  13. Poop Man Bob

    Poop Man Bob Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Nov 16, 2000 Messages: 10,259 Likes Received: 18
    Go here, scroll down to Interactive Features, then click the first one entitled "Interactive Feature: Recalling Atrocities."

    It's a good interactive feature from the NYTimes about the massacres [genocide] in Rwanda ten years ago. It has some pretty graphic images, so consider yourself warned.
  14. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    I agree. There is a book called "Invisible Governance - The Art of African Micropolitics" By David Hecht & Maliqalim Simone that I have been meaning to read. It's published by Autonomedia. Looks like something of essential reading. Alot of factors at work in africa.... talk about quagmire....
  15. timemachine

    timemachine Banned

    Joined: Mar 21, 2004 Messages: 773 Likes Received: 0
    ya the sudan is bad, i have a few friends from there, its a terribly forgotten place man