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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Secret Genocide Archive

Nicholas Kristof has writtena must read column on the Darfur Genocide. The article includes some very disturbing pictures, so be advised, but I believe that it is important to acknowledge the truth about what is happening.

This archive, including scores of reports by the monitors on the scene, underscores that this slaughter is waged by and with the support of the Sudanese government as it tries to clear the area of non-Arabs. Many of the photos show men in Sudanese Army uniforms pillaging and burning African villages. I hope the African Union will open its archive to demonstrate publicly just what is going on in Darfur. The archive also includes an extraordinary document seized from a janjaweed official that apparently outlines genocidal policies. Dated last August, the document calls for the 'execution of all directives from the president of the republic' and is directed to regional commanders and security officials. 'Change the demography of Darfur and make it void of African tribes,' the document urges. It encourages 'killing, burning villages and farms, terrorizing people, confiscating property from members of African tribes and forcing them from Darfur.' It's worth being skeptical of any document because forgeries are possible. But the African Union believes this document to be authentic. I also consulted a variety of experts on Sudan and shared it with some of them, and the consensus was that it appears to be real.
This bit at the end is also very important:
During past genocides against Armenians, Jews and Cambodians, it was possible to claim that we didn't fully know what was going on. This time, President Bush, Congress and the European Parliament have already declared genocide to be under way. And we have photos. This time, we have no excuse.
Write your Congressman and Senators, make sure that they know that it is inexcusable to ignore genocide, as we have too many times in the past, and that the full force of America's diplomacy (and military if need be) should be brought to bear to end this horror. (via Vodkapudit whose thoughts are also worth reading.)


Blogger The probligo said...

Dave, what you say is right... to a point.

The big difficulty ( and Darfur shares this with Rwanda, Cambodia, and others ) is that of the strictures of international law, and the UN Charter all of which prevent nations involving themselves in the internal affairs of other nations.

To add to my other comment, the fact that the UN intends proposing process to overcome this difficulty is good and way later than it should have been.

But too, the breaches of that code need to be remembered as well because they are as important. Both overt and covert action by foreign nations have taken place in many countries. In NZ alone in the past thirty years we have had -

The French terrorist bombing of Rainbow Warrior

Israeli espionage personnel trying to fraudulently obtain NZ passports.

2/23/2005 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

Well, international law is probably at best international custom.

Iraq proved that, as has many other interventions/invasions by several countries.

Without the U.N. becoming a World Government, with all the enforcement power that would entail (and the power of taxation) this is not likely to change.

Until the character of the U.N. (both it's beurocrats and it's membership) changes and is accountable to the citizens of the world there is no way that it will be able to become a World Government. Certainly you can count on the citizens of America refusing to submit without gaurantees that cannot presently be offered.

The other option of course for a true International law is U.S. hegemony. We certainly don't want that job, but are unwilling to live in a totally lawless world so have taken up some of that mantle. I doubt that we are well suited to the task, but at the moment we are the only game in town.

I have stated before that I think a globalized world does require a world government. We are a long way from that goal, and the path is not clear at this time.

2/23/2005 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger The probligo said...

Hmm, Dave (big grin) I just love the juxtaposition of US and "international law" that you suggest.

After all, the first picture it brings to my mind is that of the ink being barely dry on GWB's oath of office when he withdrew the US from the ICJ, stating that "...no US serviceman or woman will ever be charged with war crimes..." (the (grin) is still there but fading)

I agree that international law, and the Geneva Conventions are now pretty much in tatters. At the same time I can not help but wonder who, more than any other nations, have been tearing them to shreds. (the probligo is getting a bit like the Cheshire Cat...)

Looking a little further afield to trade laws and the situation gets no better.

But, like I have said a couple times this week, my next "nga kupu o te ra" is going to be "Newspeak". Regrettably I will not be able to lay my hands on my copy of the source until Sunday. So, next week... (big grin)

2/23/2005 10:46:00 PM  

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