Afraid To Say That Arab Muslims Are Slaughtering Thousands In Darfur

It is amazing to me how when it comes to labeling or identifying people, the only time it's really done by the MSM is when they want to point out that conservatives are guilty of something; if it's a liberal that's guilty, they tend to leave off the Democrat or liberal label. It's even to the point where the MSM won't even say that Arab Muslims are slaughtering hundreds of thousands of innocents in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Today's case in point is an editorial entitled "A new secretary-general, a new day on Darfur". It is about the new U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and his comments last week about the situation in Darfur.

"The suffering of the people of Darfur is simply unacceptable."

Those were South Korea's Ban Ki-moon's words Thursday in his first news conference after being sworn in to succeed Kofi Annan as the United Nations' secretary-general come January. They're not particularly exceptional words or meaningful words -- the world generally says the suffering is unacceptable yet continues to accept the suffering there -- but they're still important and hopeful words.

Why? Well, we'd like to believe that Ban will move heaven and earth and the hell unfolding in Darfur to end the U.N.'s acceptance of what the United Nations itself says is the world's worst humanitarian disaster, and the United States says is genocide. We also find it difficult to believe he could do worse than Annan has done since the killing and dislocation began in 2003.

The editorial goes on to talk about the horrors in Darfur and how he is saying the right things about doing something to end the genocide.

Darfur is a scandal of a different order -- an epic and moral scandal not only in terms of what's happening there, but also what hasn't happened in terms of the U.N. and the world's response to the death and dislocation in Darfur. The U.N. itself estimates that some 200,000 people have died and more than 2 million have been forced to flee their homes.

The incoming U.N. secretary-general said last week he plans to "make himself directly and personally engaged" in the search for a Darfur settlement. Excellent. The more engagement the better. As Ban recognizes, there's "no military solution" to the problem. His burden will be to find some way to overcome the Sudan government's objections to allowing U.N. forces into Darfur, where rebels and government-backed militias are fighting. The troops there now from the African Union are simply not up to the job.

In the end, saving Darfur would probably do more to make Ban Ki-moon's "Operation Restore Trust" a success than any institutional reforms he might put in place at U.N. headquarters. However belatedly, it would show the United Nations can be trusted to end mass genocide and a humanitarian catastrophe.

However, after reading through the article, I couldn't help but notice how certain important things were left out. The most glaring omission was that of identifying who is doing the slaughtering - Arab Muslims. The Christian Science Monitor has a good background history:

Sudan, like most African postcolonial states, is partially a victim of imperial cartography. Thoughtlessly carved out by the British during the 19th-century scramble to claim Africa, Sudan is a forced crucible of Muslim Arabs and black Africans. The blacks in the south either hew to their ancestral traditional African religions or have converted to Christianity. The fact that black Africans in Darfur are exclusively Muslim has not stopped the Arab Janjaweed militias and the government from exterminating them.

Race - not religion - is the fundamental fault line in Sudan, though religion has certainly added fuel to the fire in the south. Indeed, since independence from the British in 1956, the demon of Sudan has been race. The Arab north, except for brief periods when token Africans were included in government, has exclusively held political and military power. To protest political exclusion, military repression, enslavement, and economic exploitation, Africans in the south rose against the state several years after independence.

Since 1983, the armed insurrection in the south has drawn a scorched earth response from Khartoum. President Omar Bashir and his fundamentalist Islamic government declared a holy war against African groups in the south - the Dinka, Nuba, and Neur peoples. More than 2 million people have been decimated, millions more have been internally displaced, and hordes have been exiled.

Khartoum's genocidal policy in Darfur and the south is also a grab for resources. The Arab north is arid and barren, but the south is arable with vast oil deposits Khartoum covets and badly needs. In the west, in Darfur, Arabs seeking to escape the spreading desert kill and displace Africans for more productive land.

So basically, the Arab Muslim government oppresses and exploits the black Christians and animists in the south, and when the southerners get tired of it, the Sudan government sends armed militias - called Janjweed militias - to slaughter hundreds of thousands of innocent people. And when the U.N. actually gets off its duff and tries to send in relief, the Sudan government blocks those efforts.

But you don't see any of that mentioned in the editorial. Instead, it's just generic descriptions of "suffering", "mass genocide", and "humanitarian catastrophe." In all those words, why is it so hard to mention that it is Arab Muslim's doing the slaughtering? I would be willing to bet that if it was Christians doing the killing, the labels would be applied fast and furious.

P.S. There are tons of articles on Darfur, but two very good sites with lots of links are Darfur Genocide and Save Darfur.

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