...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004
      ( 12:50 PM )
The Lost

There is so much to discuss with the ongoing crisis in Iraq - but as usual, Americans can remain blissfully unaware of a genocide taking place against our fellow human beings - and blissfully unaware that we are doing nothing to stop it. For over a year, the radical Muslim-controlled Sudanese government has sponsored the displacement of millions and the genocide of hundreds of thousands of people in Sudan. The horrendous rate of rape and torture of women and children has gone unabated now and unchecked by the international community.

In fact, NOT ONE COUNTRY in the world community has labeled what is happening in Sudan as genocide. And this week, Colin Powell travelled to Sudan, presuming to engage in "dialogue" with the very government that is conducting the genocide that Powell and Bush refuse to name. Africa Action, which has tried to get the truth out about nations of Africa for decades, has called the trip of Powell and Kofi Annan to Sudan for what it is: a farce.

This week’s visit to Khartoum and Darfur by Secretary Powell and United Nations (UN) Secretary General Kofi Annan has been rejected by Africa Action as "dangerously naive." Executive Director Salih Booker said today, "The Khartoum government is clearly responsible for the genocide taking place in Darfur, and yet it continues to deny its role and to obstruct humanitarian access to the region. Rather than traveling half-way around the world to hold talks with this murderous regime, Powell could achieve much more by simply uttering one word - genocide."

Africa Action notes that the US, and all permanent members of the UN Security Council, are parties to the 1948 Convention on Genocide, and are bound to prevent and punish this crime under international law. Genocide is described as the commission of acts with "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group."

Why do we continue to ignore the plight of these fellow human beings who suffer and die under this regime? What have we to gain from being friendly with a despot committing acts that we accused Saddam Hussein of doing, and in fact invaded and occupied his country because of those acts? What can Sudan give us that we must ignore the call of millions begging for rescue from certain and horrible death? Two guesses - no, just one. It rhymes with "toil" and is also known as black gold...Texas tea... yep. Once again our oil and corporate interests far outweigh the lives of a few million poor people of color in Africa.

Ironically, the international community's unwillingness to intervene results--at least in part--from concern that a fragile peace deal between north and south will be jeopardized. Across several administrations, the United States has been involved in promoting peace in Sudan, and the Bush Administration is eager to claim credit for its diplomatic efforts. ... The Administration had hoped that such an agreement would allow it to lift sanctions on Sudan. This, in turn, would permit US oil companies to pursue a share of the country's recently developed oil wealth.


The Security Council continues to hesitate on Darfur, largely because of the economic and diplomatic interests of its permanent members, who don't wish to antagonize Khartoum.

If there is no military intervention on behalf of the people of Sudan, a million or more could die in the next year.

Why can't we even call it what it is? Why can't we even talk about it? Why do we not know?

The racism that is entrenched in our country, the institutionalized power of the minority in the world (the white people) continues to hurt us and hurt others. We must begin to think differently. We must begin to pay attention. The historically racist treatment of the countries in Africa must stop. And it should stop with us. The question is twofold: will it? And will it be soon enough?

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