Alternative Insight

The Unraveling of Darfur

The misperceptions of happenings in Darfur,which have delayed a solution to the enormous tragedy inflicted on the population of Darfur, are beginning to be unraveled. More critical observers are exposing the failures of the "Save Darfur" coalition.

Excerpts from two articles highlight the need for placing the resolution for the Darfur crisis on a more credible path.

The US's War in Darfur
By Keith Harmon Snow, November 23rd, 2007
Black Agenda Report

Is the US-based "Save Darfur" movement snowing the US public on the fundamental nature of the conflict in Sudan? Are "Save Darfur" and the prevention of genocide the covers of convenience for the next round of US oil and resource wars on the African continent?

...the situation in Sudan is grimmer than ever, the Darfur conflict remains widely mischaracterized. Meanwhile, the "Save Darfur" advocates pressing military intervention in Darfur as a "humanitarian" gesture have escalated pressure in the face of mounting failures, including allegations that millions of "Save Darfur" dollars fundraised on a sympathy for victims platform have been misappropriated.

Israel reportedly provides military training to Darfur rebels from bases in Eritrea, and has strengthened ties with the regime in Chad, from which more weapons and troops penetrate Darfur. The refugee camps have become increasingly militarized. There are reports that Israeli military intelligence operates from within the camps, as does U.S intelligence. Eritrea is about to explode into yet another war with Ethiopia.

Debunking the claims of a "genocide against blacks" or an "Islamic holy-war" against Christians, Darfur's Arab and black African ethnic groups have intermarried for centuries, and nearly everyone is Muslim. The "Save Darfur" campaign is deeply aligned with Jewish and Christian faith-based organizations in the United States, Canada, Europe and Israel. These groups have relentlessly campaigned for Western military action, demonizing both Sudan and China, but they have never addressed Western military involvement-backing factions on all sides. By mobilizing constituencies sympathetic to the "genocide" label and the cries of "never again" they do a grave disservice to the cause of human rights

There is growing dissent within the "Save Darfur" movement as more supporters question its motivations and the Jewish-Israeli link. "Save Darfur" leaders have been replaced after complaints surfaced about expenditures of funds. Many rebel leaders reportedly receive tens of thousands of dollars monthly, and rebels emboldened by the "Save Darfur" movement commit crimes with impunity.

"Save Darfur" is today the rallying cry for a broad coalition of special interests. Advocacy groups-from the local Massachusetts Congregation B'Nai Israel chapter to the International Crises Group and USAID-have fueled the conflict through a relentless, but selective, public relations campaign that disingenuously serves a narrow policy agenda. These interests offer no opportunity for corrective analyses, but stubbornly press their agenda, and they are widely criticized for inflaming tensions in Darfur.

For the complete article go to:
The US's War In Darfur

The Other Article.

How to save Darfur
By William Reed, Washington Times, November 23, 2007

People want peace for Darfur; Washington wants a more pugnacious approach. To the chagrin of the Save Darfur Coalition, a group of international elder statesmen that recently visited in Darfur say, activists must change tactics and begin to "promote peace." The group included Nobel laureates, former President Carter and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu; British tycoon Richard Branson; and women- and children's-rights advocate Graca Machel, who also is the wife of Nelson Mandela. Mr. Carter said Washington's use of the term genocide to describe situations in Darfur was "unhelpful." He said: "There is a legal definition of genocide, and Darfur does not meet that legal standard... I don't think it qualifies to be called genocide."

The Save Darfur Coalition spent $15 million in 2006, and none of that money went to aid any groups or people on the ground in Darfur. They say they help the people of Darfur by "utilizing media outreach, public education, targeted coalition-building and grass-roots mobilization to pressure policymakers and other decision-makers in the United States and abroad to help the people of Darfur." Their agenda toward the Darfur issue is U.S. interference, anti-Chinese involvement and downplaying the efforts and suggestions made by countries in the African Union (AU). The movement's current activities do not illustrate it as having its abiding goal being focused on helping people on the ground in Darfur

For the complete article go to:
How to save Darfur

The media falsehoods are most obvious by presentation of inflated figures. Although every unnecessary death needs to be criticized, it is impossible for 450,000 persons to have been killed in an area that lacks military power to carry out the killings. No great famine nor virulent diseases have been reported. No mass graves or massive ground destruction have been shown. The people of Darfur suffer from a neglectful government, but they suffer most from hypocritical and misguided members of the international community.

december, 2007