Sunday, December 17, 2006

'Tis the Season in Darfur

Depression, anger, frustration: take your pick of emotional reactions to this latest update on the genocide in Dafur. Before Dafur was Rwanda, and before Rwanda, were the killing fields of Cambodia.

For all those intellectuals with a distaste for armed conflict and for all those critics of US involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, my question is:what is your solution for Dafur?

The UN has proved itself to be both gutless and militarily incapable of any meaningful intervention. Whenever the West (well not the whole West, mostly just the US, Britain and Australia) step in with troops, they are roundly criticized as having ulterior motives (imperialism, globalization, Americanism, capitalism, oil) -- but I don't see any other faction stepping into the breach. Where is the coalition of peace-seeking Muslim nations bringing Sudan's rogue regime to heed? When will Africa police itself? Or is Dafur and its 2 million odd people "expendable"? And for what? What principle guides the central government of Sudan that so legitimizes its adoption of genocide as a tactic? What lesson for the improvement of humanity is it sending the rest of the world to inspire and guide our progress?

Now I have not read the Koran but I feel fairly confident that as it is a book about God's love that what is being practiced in Dafur is not what that good book says. Yet, I am unaware of any backlash amongst sound-thinking Islamists that has been vehement enough to suppress and/or curtail the genocide in Dafur. A genocide that has not unfolded rapidly in a few days, but slowly, inexorably over the better part of a decade.

No, no the world can not say "we didn't know" on this one. They can only say "we didn't care enough" and certainly not enough to intervene.

The true reason we as a species are not sustainable has nothing to do with climate nor technological impacts: it is deeply fixed in our inability to grasp and sanctify our own humanity.