Thursday, April 27, 2006

Clooney is going to turn Darfur into media circus.

Africa: As much as people will cheer having George Clooney about talking about Darfur, I seriously doubt he has the intellect or being politically incorrect to give out the entire story without blaming America first. Wait.. too late.

WASHINGTON – Actor George Clooney, just back from Africa, said Thursday that Americans should not “turn our heads and look away” from genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. The Oscar winner, who returned Monday from a five-day trip to the region, told a packed room at the National Press Club that he wants to use his “credit card” as a Hollywood star to highlight the plight of two million desperate refugees. He won the Academy Award for best supporting actor this year for his role in the politically charged thriller “Syriana.” “Is the American government slow to act? Of course we're slow to act, we always are,” Clooney said, referring to prior U.S. intervention in Rwanda and the Balkans. “It's something that has to start today,” Clooney said. “If we don't get to work on it today, there's a few thousand people who will be dead by the end of the week.”
Not that you want facts to get in the way of a political cheap shot. But Clinton knew about Rwanda and said to hell with it, ignoring the killings. The small bright light is that it forced him to move quicker when the Balkans came around. The Bush Admin has been pushing for action on Darfur for the last couple of years by being Multilateral with the U.N and Europe. It has gotten nowhere because you can't get sanctions on Sudan because Russia/China will block it. U.N. doesn't want to send any troops because the African Union just wants the equipment to do it themselves. The problem is they are not trained well enough or can get large numbers in there to be effective. The U.N. is a joke as resolutions get blocked and when John Bolton decided to say enough with the monthly updates, lets get something going.
Bolton, joined by China, Algeria and Russia, prevented Juan Mendez, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special adviser for the prevention of genocide, from briefing the council on his recent visit to Darfur, despite pleas from Annan and 11 other council members that Mendez be heard. "I strongly regret and deplore that Mr. Mendez ... was not authorized to brief the council today as Mr. Kofi Annan had asked," French Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere told reporters outside the council chambers. But Bolton said he had objected to the briefing to make the point the council should be "talking more about the steps it can take to do something about the deteriorating security situation" in Darfur. He gave no new proposals. "How many officials from the secretariat does it take to give a briefing?" he said, noting the council had just concluded a briefing on Darfur from Hedi Annabi, the assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations. Mendez, who visited Darfur for a week in late September, later briefed reporters on his findings. He said Sudanese officials were taking only cosmetic steps to prevent systematic human rights abuses there that might amount to genocide. crimes against humanity or war crimes.

So screw Clooney already for blaming America first when its the rest of the world that has been slow to do anything, blocking us at various points. Even food aid groups are so anti_American they accused people of hyping genocide in 2004.

American warnings that Darfur is heading for an apocalyptic humanitarian catastrophe have been widely exaggerated by administration officials, it is alleged by international aid workers in Sudan. Washington's desire for a regime change in Khartoum has biased their reports, it is claimed. The government's aid agency, USAID, says that between 350,000 and a million people could die in Darfur by the end of the year. Other officials, including Secretary of State Colin Powell, have accused the Sudanese government of presiding over a 'genocide' that could rival those in Bosnia and Rwanda. But the account has been comprehensively challenged by eyewitness reports from aid workers and by a new food survey of the region. The nutritional survey of Sudan's Darfur region, by the UN World Food Programme, says that although there are still high levels of malnutrition among under-fives in some areas, the crisis is being brought under control.
That is what America has to deal with but Clooney has to play politics and hype himself up.
Clooney said that diplomacy and security is the answer, and international efforts are needed. "If not NATO or the U.N., then who? We have to start today, otherwise a few thousand people will be dead at the end of the month."
Diplomacy has been tried and failed miserably. Try something a bit more realistic. I will give credit, very few reports are being P.C. about what is going on in Darfur.
An Arab militia, the Janjaweed, has attacked ethnic black Africans, raping women and pillaging villages. The militia is accused of widespread atrocities with the support of the government, and drought has compounded the problem. More than 200,000 refugees have fled to Chad, seeking refuge from famine and war. In 2004, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell labeled the crisis a genocide.

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