Friday, September 28, 2007

Is it too late?

Today I kept thinking about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and how no one has done anything to stop it. As I write this, untold scores of people are dying over there, some of disease, others of starvation, and others who are being massacred by both Sudanese government soldiers and Arab militiamen. To this day, the world has done very little to stop this tradgedy. It's rarely brought up on the Nightly news because the networks can't point the blame at President Bush or the United States. At the end of the day, the only people responsible for this genocide are rabid, Arab militias and the regime of Omar Al-Bashir, the dictator of the Sudan. Day after day and night after night we here endless reports about car bombings and roadside bomb exposions in Iraq, yet mass killings and acts of ethnic cleansing are continuing in Darfur and most of it goes by unreported. Sadly, this seems to be a pattern that has reciprocated itself for decades. First, there was the Holocaust. People did there best to ignore it and convinced themselves it wasn't their problem. Then came the Cambodian genocide, an act of mass killing that claimed the livese of nearly three million people. Of course, this happened after the Vietnam War ended and the United States "got the hell out of" that region. While people were claiming that peace prevailed over "warmongering" when Vietnam ended, the reality was that anything but peace happened. The war continued and eventually led to the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot, who began killing politcal opponents and began the Cambodian genocide. Then came Rwanda, an ethnic conflict that claimed nearly a million lives. During the height of the three month genocide, some 8,000 people were dying every day, many of whom were hacked to death with machetes. Unfortunately, the conflict spilled over into the neighboring countries of Congo and Burundi, and the violence is still going on. No one knows the exact figure, but its estimated that some five million people have died between these three conflicts. Today, Darfur is being ignored in the same way that every other African war has been. Many of the aid groups have pulled out of Darfur, and the African Union peacekeeping patrols sent to protect civilians are more concerned with protecting themselves. Just like Sadly, unless the world acts now, it looks like Darfur will be nothing but another miserable chapter in world history. But how could the world act? It's easy to say we should send soldiers into the region to crush the militias and protect civilians, but with the pressure on the United States ove Iraq, it doesn't look like its going to ever happen. After toppling Saddam Hussein to put an end to the cauldron of death he was stirring up, why should President Bush believe the world would support him in using force to counter the Al-Bashir's regime? If we woke up the next morning and saw that air strikes were being carried out in the Sudan, the world would probably be disgusted with the United States and any other country taking part in the operations. The whole "its not our problem, why the hell are we there?" argument would be heard just about everywhere, and we'd be where we are with Iraq all over again. The other option is to try and convince Al-Bashir to back of diplomatically, but that has gotten nowhere. No one seems to want to accept that he is just a terrible human being. Maybe the fact that he wants the people of Darfur to be suffering is just to frightening for most people to comprehend. They want to believe that Darfur is nothing but a tribal conflict that can be resolved peacefully, when it isn't. The Sudanese government has promised at least a dozen times to abide by a cease-fire but they never have, and probably never will. The only options here are for the world to put aside political anomosity and Unite or let Darfur become another genocide that we ignored.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The whole thing really is a shame. I just wish there was something we could do other than watch it on TV =(