Friday, November 03, 2006

Abu Ghraib worse than Darfur?

BBC News online has an interesting discussion between Professor Eric Reeves and journalist Gamal Nkrumah on the Darfur genocide. Reeves argues for international action and Nkrumah against it. Of course, reading Nkruamah's comments, you'd have no idea that genocide was taking place there. In fact, you'd have no idea anything bad was taking place there, at least nothing out of the ordinary for a conflict zone. You'd have no idea that tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and over a million displaced. You'd have no idea because his primary focus is on attacking the west.

I agree that an uninvited UN military intervention in Darfur would do more harm than good. I believe that any intervention of this would have to have an overwhelming likelihood of improving the situation. Going in against the will of the regime would ignite Sudanese nationalism and pan-Arabism. The resulting backlash would be even more bloody that what's going on now. Iraq has taught us about war almost always unleashes the law of unintended consequences

But Gamal Nkrumah could've taken other Arab regimes to task for refusing to condemn the genocide in Darfur or pressure the regime in Khartoum, but that he didn't is hardly surprising. He barely said anything about the violence himself. Instead, he bends over backward to minimize what's going on there, implying that it's merely the chaos of a war zone.

I am appalled by the Bush administration's foreign policy as most people of the world and I've expressed this countless times. But how can anyone be taken seriously who is outraged about torture (Abu Ghraib) but virtually silent about state-sponsored mass killing?

Sadly, I think too many sympathetic to the non-aligned movement are outraged by anything said or implied by any western country but virtually silent by anything DONE by any non-western country. The mentality is that anything non-western is pure and authentic, simply by virtue of being non-western. It's colonialist white supremacy stood on its head.

This self-delusion blinds millions of people around the world to great evil being perpetrated. The aggression against Iraq is a crime. But it's not the only state crime being committed in the world. Neo-imperialism is wrong but it's not the only wrong. And just because a non-western regime criticizes the US or Britain for Iraq doesn't give them blanket immunity for their own atrocities.

It's a disgrace that Nkrumah is more worried about oil than human beings.


At 11:30 AM, Blogger N.R.E. said...

It's especially a disgrace given that Nkrumah is very knowledgeable about Sudan, and that his Al-Ahram articles about the conflict in the south and political maneuvering in Khartoum have often been invaluable. His political views are very deeply Nasserist, though, and he isn't shy about wearing them on his sleeve.


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