Alternative Insight

Why Only Darfur?

There is no doubt that the people of Darfur are suffering and that severe atrocities have been committed against them. A volatile mix of insurrections, border incursions and fighting from neighboring Chad, internal social and economic problems, farmers versus cattle herders, banditry, political maneuvering and irregular militia operations have spread terror in Sudan’s western Darfur. The conflict in Darfur begs for a solution, but as in all difficult situations, a proper understanding of the conflict, rather than a purposeful and misleading interpretation, is required to prepare a meaningful and lasting solution.

It is obvious that, other than the violence in the Middle East, the violence in Darfur receives more attention in the media than equivalent situations. Advertisements in prominent newspapers throughout the world define the strife as "genocide" and continually plead for external interference. Knowledge of equally important violent situations throughout Africa (Uganda, Congo, Somalia and others), Asia (Kashmir, Sri Lanka ) and South America (Columbia), have prompted the question: "Why Only Darfur?"

The suspicion of ulterior motives for emphasizing Darfur in deference to other tragedies has been heightened by the attachment, if not the lead, by pro-Israeli forces in the clamor to "stop the genocide in Sudan." In contrast to the UN definition of the conflict, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has arbitrarily attached the label "genocide" to the conflict and, while ignoring other equally violent situations, has taken an active role in informing America of Darfur. Pro-Israel groups, such as the World evangelical Alliance, which has elements of Christian-Zionism, and pro-Israel synagogues throughout America, which have saturated their lawns with "Stop the Genocide in Darfur," concentrate on Darfur and ignore the tragedies occurring elsewhere.

What is the reason for the suspicion that pro-Israel groups have ulterior motives for making Darfur their cause ? The answer: Sudan, a potentially strong Arab nation is not friendly to Israel, and dismemberment of Sudan or maintaining it in continuous turmoil, similar to Iraq, will greatly benefit Israel.

Anne Applebaum, a Washington Post columnist, in an article titled: "Why Only Darfur?" Washington Post, Nov. 21, 2006 posed an answer to the puzzling question. Ms. Applebaum's dissertation is more of a confused attempt to convince readers there is no ulterior motive in the emphasis on Darfur rather than being a honest and well organized explanation to the question. Some brief statements from the article:

Indeed, it is fair to say that were it not for the Christian, Jewish human rights, genocide-prevention groups and others that have been talking about Sudan with such dedication, the massacres in Darfur might not be on the international agenda at all.

I can offer no scientific explanation as to why the tragedy of Darfur conjures up the specter of history's judgment and why other tragedies do not.

Taking stand against genocide in Sudan does not require anyone to take a parallel stand on communism, the war on terrorism or the war in Iraq.

Ms, Applebaum's article has doubtful veracity. Reasons are:

Jeff wrote on November 25, 2006 10:49 AM: "In Darfur, we YET AGAIN see Islam, the religion of peace on display, doing what it does so well; culling souls at the point of terrorism, the sword, and news media propaganda."

Several notable individuals have described the difficulties in resolving the conflict in Darfur:

Former US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick stated immediately before he suddenly left the U.S. State department:

"It's a tribal war. And frankly I don't think foreign forces want to get in the middle of a tribal war of Sudanese." (ABC News [on-line], November 9, 2005)

UN Secretary General Koffi Anan has never characterized the strife in Darfur as genocide.

Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, in a report to the United Nations Security Council, 22 Nov 2006.

Militia attacks and banditry had rendered more than 95 per cent of all roads in West Darfur “no-go” areas and an increasing number of camps were cut off from adequate and reliable assistance. Large new militias were being armed. The youngest and most reckless received weapons. Government forces, militias, a plethora of rebel groups, and an increasing number of Chadian armed opposition groups roamed around freely inside and outside the camps. New displacement was fueled by cross-border raids of armed groups. All of that was happening with total impunity. Large parts of Darfur are seeing a meltdown of law and order.

UN envoy Jan Pronk says Darfur peacemakers must listen to legitimate Arab concerns.

CAIRO, Egypt: Darfur peacemakers must take into account the legitimate concerns of the region's Arab population, distinguishing regular Arabs from the "criminal Janjaweed" militia responsible for atrocities, said Jan Pronk, the expelled head of the UN operation in Sudan.
The Associated Press: November 22, 2006

It's apparent that "Why Only Darfur?" is due to the agenda of groups who favor the destruction of the Sudan. Many tragic situations throughout the world are being disregarded, while others are not being resolved, because institutions and media skew the realities of a world in endless strife and constant turmoil.

A question: Why don't the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the World evangelical Alliance and pro-Israel synagogues campaign against preventing the violence In Iraq and against the Palestinian people? Why only Darfur?

december, 2006