Monday, March 26, 2007

Unbearable, Unless You Choose to Bear It

Sir John Holmes is the newly established humanitarian guru at the United Nations, an unenviable job. Speaking of the refugees in Sudan, John said humanitarian efforts could fail if the situation deteriorates. Not to worry, Sir John, the situation couldn’t possibly worsen. Armed bandits roam Darfur, the western portion of the country, at will.

Sirjohnholmes Sir John Holmes is the newly established humanitarian guru at the United Nations, an unenviable job. Speaking of the refugees in Sudan, John said humanitarian efforts could fail if the situation deteriorates. Not to worry, Sir John, the situation couldn’t possibly worsen. Armed bandits roam Darfur, the western portion of the country, at will.
Sudan is the largest country in Africa. I didn't know that. It's also the 10th largest country in the world and I didn't know that either.
It’s another failed British colony and its 37 million people are being eviscerated by a madman dictator. The fascinating thing is, no one in the west (other than Nicholas Kristof) gives a shit.
Janjaweed What happens during a genocide, when you are a people no one cares about, is that you die in huge numbers. There is rape and chaos and anyone who comes along with a gun is likely to kill you and there are many people who come along with guns. The most popular rapists with guns are called the Janjaweed and they were given the killing and raping franchise by Omar al-Bashir.
Omaralbashir Omar is Sudan’s president. He is also a dictator and madman on a par with Idi Amin. Idi used to eat people. I don’t know if Bashir eats people or not, but he may as well. It’s his purpose to drive the indigenous black Africans from Sudan and turn it into just one more Arab nuthouse. Thus far, he’s been, if not entirely successful, largely unopposed.
European leaders are currently meeting in Berlin and they're smoldering, as the slow-to-ignite Europeans usually are. They called Sunday for new international sanctions against Sudan over its treatment of civilians in Darfur.
The old sanctions apparently weren’t up to the job, nor were the old carryover Brit habits of governing Islamic north and Black south as essentially separate governments, working very well. An historic tour of most of the world’s failed governments has an unavoidable British stench to it. They did okay at governing and produced some world-class polo fields and cricket pitches, but were an abject failure at turning over the keys on their way out of town.
Tonyblair Tony Blair called for a new U.N. resolution expanding sanctions against Sudan. Maybe feeling a tad sulky about the Iraq pullout, he said a no-fly zone over the Darfur region should be considered.
Right, Tony, U.N. resolutions have brought peace and tranquility to so much of the world. No-fly zones made both Brits and Americans feel we were doing something about Saddam after he’d already killed off most of his opposition. Stiff upper and all that, Tony.
Angelamerkel Not to take a back-seat to Blair, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the suffering of people in Darfur "unbearable." I wonder what her personal definition of that is?
Amazingly, when it comes right down to it, we all bear what we have to bear. She squared her shoulders and bore the unbearable for the otherwise occupied Germans, agreeing that sanctions are the way to go.
A little recent Sudanese history.
Civil war broke out a year before the Brits pulled out in ‘56. Does that sound familiar in a country half Islamic and half ‘un' Islamic?’ It went on for 20 years, took a 10 year breather and is playing the second half now.
Trust me that black Sudan is more than a field-goal away from parity. So far, they’re a slaughtered half-million down. Sudan’s ancient history is pretty grim as well. They’ve been a country of tribes and kings, fractured, then coalescing and back-stabbing their way through a couple thousand years. There doesn’t seem to have been a time of peace.
In 1992 the al Bashir's current dictatorship held the first of many conferences that would be held in Kartoum throughout the nineties. You’re gonna love the guest list:
•    the NIF of Sudan (Bashir’s group)
•    the FIS (Algeria’s militant Islamic front)
•    Gamaat Islamiya (jihadist) of Egypt
•    Islamic Jihad
•    Hamas and Islamic Jihad of Palestine
•    Islamic school graduates, that later become the Taliban
•    the Islamic Republic of Iran
•    Hezbollah
•    Saddam Hussein's Baath party
•    and Lebanon's jihadist Salafists
Nice group And now you know the end of the story—why the United Nations and the world’s most powerful countries are outraged, but bearing the unbearable.
Nicholaskristoff The losers are who the losers always are; farmers, nomadic herders, various tribes and those without guns, mostly without men now that the Jinjaweed have killed them off.
They are Kristof’s people and he writes eloquently of their plight, but Europe isn’t about to become engaged in Sudan.
They will instead call for additional sanctions.
Sanctions will drive the Islamists to ever more brutal solutions. Radical Islam’s memory is long for those who brought difficulty instead of collaboration to the table.
Stephanie McCrummen writes;
Now in its fifth year, a military campaign by the Sudanese government to crush a rebel movement in Darfur has almost completely reordered the region's demographics. The conflict is complex but comes down to one in which the government has armed and supported certain nomadic Arab tribesmen against the region's farming villagers, who are predominantly black Africans.

At least 450,000 people have died from disease and violence in the conflict, and more than 2.5 million -- around half the area's entire population -- have fled to vast displacement camps whose numbers continue to swell.
Mainstreamislam I don’t think radical Islam can be defeated by outside forces. But it can fail from a simple lack of oxygen from mainstream Islam. Iran is headed in that direction, if we would only leave it alone and stop poking sharp sticks in the Iranian eye.
Islam has a billion and a half adherents to its basic beliefs, but the basis of Islam is not jihad. It’s not even any longer sharia, as mainstream Islam moves forward through modern times. 2.5% of the religion isn’t sufficient radicalism to hijack Islam.
But the lesson, if there is a lesson, is that Nick Kristof isn’t going to move Tony Blair or Angela Merkel beyond an acknowledgment of unbearability. If Iraq has left a taste in the mouth of the West, it’s the bitterness and impossibility of solving ethnic, religious and tribal strife by outside force of arms. I don’t know how we solve it.
Sudanrefugee We probably won’t, it will have to solve itself from inside itself. The great majority of Muslims are not willing to live in the 10th century and, if there is any hope of reconciliation with Western culture and religion, that is where it lies.
So Sudan, like Somalia, will lie at the edge of our consciousness and the dying will continue because the dead are not important to us. That’s a tragic admission. But refusing to work that into the equation doesn’t make it any less a truth.
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