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Monday, August 07, 2006

Darfur matters too

Why isn't what's going on in the Darfur region of Sudan important enough for the national press to write about or is it that we don't care? It's likely the latter, I'm afraid. You can say what you want about the press; it is a business and largely driven by what people want to read about. We'd rather read and hear about Mel Gibson or watch reality shows. Funny that. The networks would actually show us reality if we cared about reality. Sure, the press is hard at work in the Middle East; but it's the latest story and it makes good news...bombs are more interesting that rounding up civilians and shooting them. True, what's going on in the Middle East effects the security of the region and effects the security of the rest of the world, but this matters too.
So while war rages in two areas of the Middle East, parts of the world like the Sudan go largely ignored. The death toll in this most recent wave of genocide has topped 200,000 people. And do you know why there's no United Nations peacekeeping force in there to try to stop it? The most recent obstacle, though in many ways an ongoing obstacle, is the president of Sudan, Omar Hassan al-Bashir. He has refused to allow UN forces in his country because he claims -- get this -- that it would lead to the colonization of his country. Now there's a man who cares about his country! And he's able to get away with this because China threatens to veto that UN action. Why? Oh, don't be foolish. Oil, of course.

And where is the most powerful and generous country in the world while this is going on? We're certainly not in the Sudan. We don't even have an envoy there. I understand this is complicated and difficult. Everything on the world stage is difficult. But there must be something we can do. We certainly could use some positive image building, if nothing else. Whether you agree with the rest of the world or not, it does matter how the rest of the world views us. Now is as good a time as any to get involved in a tragic situation just for the sake of the people. Until then, I'll do my little part in trying to get this issues into as many minds and hearts as possible. Won't you join me?


Brent Kremer said...

I agree with you on Darfur. This is a major problem, and the U.S. pays lip service to it. Also, don't forget about Somalia. That country just might become another Taliban. I just might blog on it. (hmmm...)

Ingrid said...

Zeb, I've been sitting on a post re. the holocaust of the Sudan and Somalia..I will see if I can dig it up because I specifically asked permission from the author/photograhper to use his picture and story..
thx for the reminder..I noticed that Rogel (forgot his site) has a Dafur button..time to pay a bit more attention to Africa..

Lucian Niemeyer said...

Lucian said,

I am not sure that the US is doing nothing in Sudan. 80% of the food going into Sudan is US. The peace between Northern Sudan and Southern Sudan was brought about by the Bush administration. We are actively engaged in trying to obtain peace in Darfur. There has been no other country beside Great Britain that has been instramental in improving African affairs as the US. With the committment of the fortunes of the world's richest men and a 15 billion dollar subsidy to attack the health problems of the world and first in Africa, the Us is very actively engaged. Africa is vast and the problems are great.

Zebster said...

Ingrid, send me an email when you get that up, so I'll know to look for it with what time I'll have.

Lucian, thanks for the info. It seems as though we're not doing much, so maybe that fault lies elsewhere. I suspect we could do more, especially on the political and profile front. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Just got around to read this. You certainly make some good points. There are so many problems in the world that we could be helping with if we weren't pouring billions into Irag. Mom