GettingTruth

RandallJones

Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror

Review of Mahmood Mamdani book by Howard French

from The New York Times, March 29. 2009
Source http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/books/30fren.html

Clearly, the African disaster most in view today is Sudan, or more specifically the dirty war that has raged since 2003 in that country’s western region, Darfur.

Rare among African conflicts, it exerts a strong claim on our conscience. By instructive contrast, more than five million people have died as a result of war in Congo since 1998, the rough equivalent at its height of a 2004 Asian tsunami striking every six months, without stirring our diplomats to urgency or generating much civic response.

More interestingly, the author maintains that much of what we see today as a racial divide in Sudan has its roots in colonial history, when Britain “broke up native society into different ethnicities, and ‘tribalized’ each ethnicity by bringing it under the absolute authority of one or more British-sanctioned ‘native authorities,’ ” balancing “the whole by playing one off against the others.”

Mr. Mamdani calls this British tactic of administratively reinforcing distinctions among colonial subjects “re-identify and rule” and says that it was copied by European powers across the continent, with deadly consequences — as in Rwanda, where Belgium’s intervention hardened distinctions between Hutu and Tutsi.

In Sudan the result was to create a durable sense of land rights rooted in tribal identity that favored the sedentary at the expense of the nomad, or, in the crude shorthand of today, African and Arab.

Other roots of the Darfur crisis lie in catastrophic desertification in the Sahel region, where the cold war left the area awash in cheap weapons at the very moment that pastoralists could no longer survive in their traditional homelands, obliging many to push southward into areas controlled by sedentary farmers.

He also blames regional strife, the violent legacy of proxy warfare by France, Libya and the United States and, most recently, the global extension of the war on terror.

This important book reveals much on all of these themes, yet still may be judged by some as not saying enough about recent violence in Darfur.

Mr. Mamdani’s constant refrain is that the virtuous indignation he thinks he detects in those who shout loudest about Darfur is no substitute for greater understanding, without which outsiders have little hope of achieving real good in Africa’s shattered lands.

Here’s an article by Keith Harmon Snow with more information about Darfur that is not discussed in the mainstream media http://www.allthingspass.com/uploads/html-264THE%20WINTER%20OF%20BASHIRS%20DISCONTENT.htm

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April 4, 2009 Posted by | Africa, aid, charities, Christianity, Congo, Darfur, Europe, genocide, human rights, Islam, media, news, Not On Our Watch, politics, religion, SaveDarfur.org, Sudan, terrorism, Uganda, United States, weapons | Leave a comment

Bombs Away Over Iraq

Normalizing Air War from Guernica to Arab Jabour
by Tom Engelhardt

A January 21st Los Angeles Times Iraq piece by Ned Parker and Saif Rasheed led with an inter-tribal suicide bombing at a gathering in Fallujah in which members of the pro-American Anbar Awakening Council were killed. (“Asked why one member of his Albu Issa tribe would kill another, Aftan compared it to school shootings that happen in the United States.”) Twenty-six paragraphs later, the story ended this way:

“The U.S. military also said in a statement that it had dropped 19,000 pounds of explosives on the farmland of Arab Jabour south of Baghdad. The strikes targeted buried bombs and weapons caches.
“In the last 10 days, the military has dropped nearly 100,000 pounds of explosives on the area, which has been a gateway for Sunni militants into Baghdad.”

And here’s paragraph 22 of a 34-paragraph January 22nd story by Stephen Farrell of the New York Times:

“The threat from buried bombs was well known before the [Arab Jabour] operation. To help clear the ground, the military had dropped nearly 100,000 pounds of bombs to destroy weapons caches and I.E.D.’s.”

Farrell led his piece with news that an American soldier had died in Arab Jabour from an IED that blew up “an MRAP, the new Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected armored vehicle that the American military is counting on to reduce casualties from roadside bombs in Iraq.”
Note that both pieces started with bombing news — in one case a suicide bombing that killed several Iraqis; in another a roadside bombing that killed an American soldier and wounded others. But the major bombing story of these last days — those 100,000 pounds of explosives that U.S. planes dropped in a small area south of Baghdad — simply dangled unexplained off the far end of the Los Angeles Times piece; while, in the New York Times, it was buried inside a single sentence.

Neither paper has (as far as I know) returned to the subject, though this is undoubtedly the most extensive use of air power in Iraq since the Bush administration’s invasion of 2003 and probably represents a genuine shifting of American military strategy in that country. Despite, a few humdrum wire service pieces, no place else in the mainstream has bothered to cover the story adequately either.
Continued at http://www.uruknet.de/?p=m40642&hd=&size=1&l=e

Note: the article mentions what happened in 1937 Guernica; here is an article that points out that Western countries were already bombing Arab and Muslim countries before 1937. See http://www.brushtail.com.au/july_04_on/bombing_arabs_history.html

January 31, 2008 Posted by | agent provocateurs, Europe, genocide, Iraq, media, news, politics, Uncategorized, United States | Leave a comment

Meaningless Resolution Regarding the Armenian Genocide

Is there an example of more extreme, hypocritical arrogance than the U.S. Congress, and other politicians, as well as newspapers columnists and human rights activists attempting to have a resolution passed acknowledging the Armenian genocide by Turkey? http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/12/26/america/NA_GEN_US_Armenia_Genocide.php

How about asking the U.S. Congress to put an end to the genocide it is committing in Iraq? Most politicians only acknowledge the deaths of American soldiers, but have nothing to say about the deaths of the Iraqis. Even the political left pretend that what is going on in Iraq is just a civil war and the U.S. is an innocent, helpless bystander. This is no different from Turkey. “The Turkish government has said the toll [of 1.5 million] is wildly inflated and that Armenians were killed or displaced in civil unrest during the empire’s collapse.”

It was the United States that helped Saddam Hussein into power and supported him strategically and financially, when he was committing his worst atrocities. The U.S. has bombed the infrastructure of Iraq during two invasions; no one really knows how many were killed during these bombings or due to the use of chemical weapons and depleted uranium. Thousands of Iraqis are put in jail without justification. Reconstruction projects are benefiting foreigners more than the Iraqis. American agent provocateurs are fueling the violence between the different religious and ethnic groups; but no one is investigating this.
Millions of Iraqis have fled their country in fear for their lives. The Iraqis are scapegoats for U.S. foreign policy.

For those who have no sympathy for the Muslims in Iraq (and Afghanistan), let’s look at what the United States did in Vietnam and Cambodia. Three to five million Buddhists were killed when the U.S, bombed and used chemical weapons on these countries. Where is U.S. acknowledgment of this genocide?

What about how the United States preaches human rights and democracy, yet it engages in regime change, supporting brutal dictators and kings who do its bidding?

The fact that the U.S. Congress wants to pass a resolution regarding the genocide that Turkey has committed, but has not said anything about the genocides the United States is responsible for, shows that passing these type of resolution is completely meaningless.

Why don’t the United States and Europe set the example by acknowledging their genocides?

It wasn’t only the Armenians that were killed in large numbers. Read here about what the Europeans (with Americas’ help) were doing in their former colonies
See http://www.brushtail.com.au/july_04_on/bombing_arabs_history.html

I suspect there is much more history that has yet to be revealed about the atrocities Europeans committed against former colonies.

October 20, 2007 Posted by | agent provocateurs, Armenian, civil war, Europe, genocide, Holocaust, Iraq, Turkey, United States, Vietnam | 1 Comment

Crocodile tears for Darfur flood the civilized world

More celebrities are joining the crocodile tears for Darfur band wagon. See http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/celebrity-women-speak-with-one-voice-on-darfur/2007/09/16/1189881341251.html

Organizations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Save Darfur Coalition are silent on the role of the United States and other democracies in fueling the violence in Sudan.

See http://allthingspass.com/journalism.php?jid=165
And http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net/Geopolitics___Eurasia/Oil_in_Africa/oil_in_africa.html

For some strange reason these activists are not too concerned about the Congo were a larger number of killings and rapes have occurred. Can it be because the United States, Israel and Europe benefit from the diamonds, other natural resources, and sale of weapons, that the death of millions of black Africans in the Congo is not so tragic?
See http://worldpolicy.org/projects/arms/reports/congo.htm

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=9832

http://zmagsite.zmag.org/JulAug2007/snow.html

September 17, 2007 Posted by | Africa, Congo, Darfur, Europe, genocide, human rights, Israel, media, natural resources, Not On Our Watch, oil, politics, SaveDarfur.org, Sudan, United States, war, weapons | 3 Comments

More sympathetic media coverage given to animals than the suffering people in the Congo

See http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1329443.html
How come the same amount of attention is not given to the people of the Congo as the gorillas of the Congo? Is it because Western countries benefit from the diamonds and natural resources; as well as the sale of weapons to the Central Africa region?
Here are some articles about it, in case you are not aware of it.

http://worldpolicy.org/projects/arms/reports/congo.htm

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=9832

http://zmagsite.zmag.org/JulAug2007/snow.html

July 31, 2007 Posted by | Africa, Congo, Europe, genocide, Israel, natural resources, politics, United States | Leave a comment