The new year, 2008, has arrived and the killing, raping and pillaging continues in Darfur, Sudan.
Basically, the world is full of it when it comes to halting this war.
In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, actress and activist Mia Farrow wrote about Darfur – a place she has visited seven times – that “the world seems content to look on in silence. The diplomatic pressure needed to end [Sudanese President Omar] Bashir’s pattern of obstruction is nowhere to be found.”
Farrow, in referring to a “pattern of obstruction,” is speaking about United Nations Resolution 1769, which authorized the deployment of 26,000 peacekeepers to defend the millions of people who are in danger in Sudan’s Darfur region.
Bashir has stated categorically that he will deny entry to peacekeeping troops offered by Nepal, Norway, Sweden, India and Thailand. “Even if there is a shortage of troops from the African continent,” he has said, “we are not going to accept those people.”
Bashir’s reasoning is that the UN resolution requires the peacekeeping group to be African in character. It does not say, however, that it needs to be exclusively African. Bashir clearly has no interest in ending the war against the Darfurians, and it seems that the rest of the world can’t be bothered, either.
China holds great sway over the government of Sudan, being one of its biggest purchasers of oil. Yet China has refrained from putting any diplomatic pressure on Sudan or contributing troops to protect the men, woman and children of Darfur.
Farrow informs us that Sudan has refused to give the UN mission land or water access to Darfur, or a place to base and sustain its troops. She states, “It places restraints on UN helicopter flights. It denies landing rights to transport aircraft. It refuses to allow night flights essential for civilian protection and medical evacuations.”
During the Rwandan genocide, Canadian general Romeo Dallaire, who commanded the UN’s peacekeeping force in Rwanda, asked for a few thousand troops to end the orchestrated, pre-planned, genocidal slaughter of Tutsis by Hutus. The request was denied. Since then, books and movies have been written and produced about the refusal of the world community to respond to his simple request. Tears have flowed and apologies have been forthcoming from major political figures.
I figure that more than $1 billion has been spent on apologizing for Rwanda. What a waste of money.
And guess what? Gen. Martin Luther Agwai, commander of the proposed UN mission to Darfur, is now begging for 24 helicopters that he says are “essential for security and protection operations.”
But not a single helicopter has so far been offered by one single nation. Not one!
In 1994 in Rwanda, over a 100-day period, the world watched silently as children were slaughtered in front of their parents. as women were gang raped and subjected to unspeakable acts before being killed, and as men, if they were lucky, were hacked to death by machete wielding thugs.
Today, in January 2008, a mere 13 years after words of regret and apology started to flow from the lying pens of politicians and citizens alike, the same barbarism is occurring in Sudan.
The carnage in Darfur continues, and the world seems to be no more compassionate today than it was during the Rwandan crisis, or for that matter during our crisis, the Holocaust.
The world is full of it.
Children, little tiny creations of God, are being murdered before our very eyes, and we’re watching it happen all over again. And guess what? It will happen again and again and again.
Any ideas? “Never again” doesn’t seem to be working.
Discuss this column at avrumrosensweigideas.blogspot.com, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.