Saturday, October 22, 2005

Lest we forget . . .

While this blog is primarily concerned with national politics, occasionally I like to throw something up to remind us all what goes on in places where the U.S. has very little 'national interest'.

FIFTEEN months after the United Nations' Security Council issued an ultimatum to the government of Sudan to clean up its act in Darfur or face action, shocking new evidence of atrocities is emerging. Various governments have labelled the campaign of murder and forced displacement in Darfur as genocide and the UN last year described Darfur as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Yet according to the UN's own situation reports and accounts of investigations by African Union (AU) peacekeeping forces, the black African farmers targeted in the initial wave of violence continue to face the daily threat of violence.

[. . .]

Aid agencies say that without security in the region, they are powerless to help those most in need. Oxfam operates in 16 camps in Darfur but is currently unable to reach five because it is too dangerous to use the roads.

[. . .]

Unfortunately, ladies and germs, the health of Africa is in our national interest. For a bunch of folks who yell and scream about morality, our neglect of the Dark Continent is one of the most immoral positions we can hold.

We've used every excuse in the book to invade Iraq, a place that was relatively peaceful and no threat to us in the least (no, I'm not absolving Saddam of any of his sins, but sanctions were working, as Hans Blix and the U.N. proved three years ago). One line of bullshit passed by the Bushites was we were liberating the Iraqis from tyranny. What about the Sudanese? These people are dying wholesale at the hands of tyrants and we sit back and do nothing. A tenth of the expenditures in Iraq would probably be sufficient to keep the peace there and affect 'regime change', something sorely needed; a situation which should have been resolved long before we entertained any thought of invading Iraq.

And just a note to those folks who say we spend too much money on other nations. The U.S. spends a paltry .04% of our GDP on foreign aid. The international standard is .07%.

Thanks to Coalition for Darfur

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