Thursday, March 24, 2005

Hollywood types continue to annoy me.

Sudan: Don Cheadle, you ignorant slut. He and Jon Prendergast co-wrote a piece about Darfur and not surprisingly, America gets 99% of the blame for the situation. They go with a 10 point list that could have only been made up if you are unaware of basic facts.

"First, when former Secretary of State Colin Powell famously called what was happening in Darfur "genocide," he said we were already doing all we could to counter it. In the six months since he and President Bush used the term, however, not one punitive measure has been imposed on the orchestrator of the atrocities--the Sudanese regime. And as the African Union (AU) struggles to deploy 2,000 troops to Darfur, a region the size of France, the French government recently announced that it will deploy 41,000 police in Paris if it is chosen as the Olympics site for 2012. Doing all we can?"
The United States has had sanctions on Sudan since 1997, and have continued to add sanctions since then. The problem is no matter what sanctions we put or propose, other countries carry on business as usual. The leadership doesn't care.
Aljazeera: "Reacting to the US bill, Sudan's chief negotiator in the Abuja peace talks with Darfur rebels, Majdhub al-Khalifa, told Aljazeera: "The US legislation would not harm the Sudanese government, and would not benefit the Darfur rebels, but would harm the interests of US companies." Al-Khalifa said the "so-called Comprehensive Peace in Sudan Act passed by the US Congress has not deterred Sudan from continuing its economic development, with the help of other countries such as China and a number of Southeast Asian countries, and even some European countries".

The other security council members have fought every substantial resolution made by America and the EU is cancelling debts by the Sudanese government so they can sell them Airbus planes. The French police deployment analogy is ridiculous unless you expect them to send 41,000 police to the region. Now add to that the African Union who you say is struggle is demanding Western countries stay out of the conflict and just send logistical support.

Reuters: "...Bashir said after the talks in Chad that he would respect all previous ceasefire accords. "We want this problem to remain African, in the hands of the African Union (AU), that the AU assumes its responsibilities and has the confidence of the international community," he said."
Scotsman: "...But Mr Konare said that while African nations are willing to offer troops, the international community must be willing to provide logistical support. An AU mission returned from Darfur on Friday where it carried out an assessment on troop numbers needed. Officials expect to release details of the assessment later this week."

You have America willing to put sanctions and everyone else saying meh.

"Second, U.S. officials say that if they pressure the regime any harder, it would implode and the consequences would be grave. Graver than what this administration has called genocide? Regardless, this is specious, as the regime is one of the strongest governments in Africa and in no danger of collapse."
The major flaw in this piece are the charges Cheadle throws out without actually citing a specific person. It's not just U.S officials saying the country could implode.
SPLM/A leader John Garang: "...Warning that Darfur was "rapidly degenerating into chaos and anarchy," Garang said "this overall situation, if left unchecked can eventually cause Sudan to implode and degenerate into statelessness and serious insecurity."

As for being one of the strongest governments in Africa, considering it is Africa, it's the same as saying this ant is the biggest of a whole colony. The Ivory Coast was considered strong and look how that turned out.

"Third, U.S. officials have said since the beginning of the Darfur war that they needed to first focus on nailing a deal between the regime in Khartoum and southern-based rebels, which would in turn have immediate and positive impacts on the situation in Darfur. This approach led Khartoum to delay signing until the beginning of this year; since then the situation in Darfur has only deteriorated. Fourth, the U.S. has repeatedly said, to its credit, that justice must be done for the crimes that have been committed in Darfur. But it has sliced the legs out from under that sentiment by opposing referral of the Darfur case to the International Criminal Court, the ideal locus for timely and cost-effective accountability. Fifth, the U.S. has said that the Darfurian rebels, not the government, have recently been the biggest obstacle to forward movement. Evidence of continued government aerial bombing and Janjaweed raping has largely silenced this excuse."

Taking care of #3 and #5 , it seems that the rebels have made themselves an obstacle a couple of times. Southern Sudan peace deal scares Darfur rebels

"KHARTOUM, Sudan, Oct. 25, 2003 (PANA) -- Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) in the western region of Darfur fear government troops could wipe them out once Khartoum signs a definitive agreement to end the 20-year civil war in the south. The government is "negotiating with the south because of pressure from the international community and military pressure in the south, in the west and in the east" of Sudan, SLM secretary general Mani Arkoi Minawi is quoted as saying by the London-based Arabic Alhayat daily Friday. A peace accord with the southern Sudan People`s Liberation Army (SPLA) "will be a way for the government to regroup to suppress the other marginalized areas, including the west and our movement in particular," Minawi is quoted as saying. Taipei Times June 2004: "The factionalism of the (rebel) leadership almost derailed talks in N'Djamena and set back the talks in Addis Ababa," said one African Union official working on the Darfur issue. A Western diplomat based in Khartoum said: "I doubt they are both reading from the same hymn sheet." Other analysts say that as international pressure on Khartoum builds, rebels are content to drag their feet in peace negotiations in the hope of winning greater concessions."

Dealing with #4, All you have to do is read up on the nonsense that happened when Belgium had it war crimes law to see why the ICC will be used for petty uses. BTW, how are you going to get the people responsible to the ICC in the first place? Sudan is not going to bow down and send them.

#6

"Sixth, U.S. officials say the deployment of the AU troops is all that is needed. But AU monitors in Darfur themselves say they are largely spectators in the face of continuing atrocities, and every Darfurian we talked to on the ground believes a much larger force with a much stronger mandate is needed to truly protect civilians."
I refer everyone back to the top where the African Union itself said they agreed this is an African problem only. All they want is the resources. You going to try and force former colonies to say okay? Again, I can't verify these U.S. officials, if someone can send links that would be helpful. #8 shows Cheadle lacks any sense and has no clue what has been going on.
"Eighth, the U.S. often argues that it cannot do more because China and Russia will veto more potent multilateral action on Darfur. But no one has tested this threat. It is time to play diplomatic chicken with Beijing and Moscow. The U.S. and U.K. should press for a vote on a strong U.N. Resolution with real consequences and dare anyone to support crimes against humanity by vetoing it."
It has been tested and re-tested (Google Results 1 - 50 of about 51,400 for china russia veto sudan . (0.34 seconds) You think China and Russia give a damn? They can always turn it around and say these sanctions will do more harm than good. Cheadle does not understand how world politics works. The U.K. has tried as well and been turned back. #9 and #10 also make very little sense if you keep up a little with the situation.
"Ninth, the U.S. has argued that constructive engagement needs to be employed with Khartoum, rather than a punitive and isolationist approach. However, tough policy has a proven track record with the Sudanese regime: In the 1990s, the Security Council briefly punished Sudan for its support of terrorism, and the regime quickly changed its behavior. Despite this evidence the Security Council has dithered over the past two years to sanction the regime as the crisis in Darfur has intensified. This week's move by the U.S. to repackage a resolution it's tabled since mid-February will only delay action in Darfur further. Tenth, and most insidiously, the U.S. is arguing that the circumstances in Darfur are actually getting better. Facing increased incidences of rape and pillage, continuing aerial attacks, and, worst, a credible threat of famine, most Darfurians would beg to differ."
It had to repackage the resolution into 3 parts because it wouldn't past otherwise and even that got delayed as France wants to use Darfur to push the ICC. I wish they would cite where these US officials comments were taken from, since most of it is the opposite of what I have been reading about over the last year. The conclusion to this piece is a call to arms.
"The only antidote to this searing truth--the only way the U.S. will take the kind of leadership necessary to end the horrors for Fatima and her people--is for there to be a political cost to inaction. As American citizens increasingly raise their voices and write their letters about Darfur, the temperature has indeed risen. But not enough. We need to make it a little warmer, a little more uncomfortable for those politicians who would look away. Just a few more degrees. Just a few more thousand letters. It is, frankly, that simple."
Okay, great, now find the addresses to write the rest of the security council since it has been America who has lead the charge in trying to put more pressure on Sudan, only to be turned back time after time. This piece should have never made it to the editorial pages of WSJ. It is poorly written and thought out exactly the way you expect a Hollywood actor to think, 10 miles wide and half an inch deep. It casts blame on the one country that has been doing much of the work to get something done, while ignoring the others that deserve it the most.

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