Tuesday, March 17, 2009

al-Bashir just isn’t a nice man

(Caution, atrocities warning ahead.)

Is this the latest trend in negotiation tactics?

The President of Liberia, among other African countries, is making a case for begging. To quote Yahoo news: "Liberia, is also threatened, according to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. She said that it made sense for the richer countries in the world to fund the poorest now, since it would cost much less than paying for peacekeeping operations later." (BBC News) Isn't this exactly like saying: come and mow my lawn or I'll shit on your porch?

I'm not saying African countries don't need help, but at first I was offended at the syllogism. Nevertheless she understands her corner of the world and does make a good point.

And then as if to give her credibility, from across her continent…

Sudan's President-by-military-coup, al-Bashir, has ordered ousted all foreign humanitarian aid to his country. He is claiming that these organisations providing care, where his own government will not, are spies. He's probably right to a certain degree mind you. He certainly doesn't want any foreigners to deal directly with the Sudanese people. Then he says drop of your care packages at the airports or seaports and his government will take care of it. I, for one, have complete and utter confidence that the medicine, water and rations will, of course, get to where they need to go in a timely fashion. Riiiiight.

Notwithstanding that Sudan is the most war-torn country on the face of the earth, second only to Somalia (high praise indeed); notwithstanding that 1.1 Million people in Darfur will go without food or aid or water, and is actually a perfect representation of Hell on earth; and also notwithstanding that al-Bashir has an arrest warrant out on his ass by the International Criminal court for, wait for it, crimes against humanity! All this notwithstanding, get this, the quoted number of deaths is at 300,000 people and counting. Ok. So al-Bashir says, (wait for it), "this number is exaggerated." Exaggerated? EXAGGERATED? Seriously? He's admitting to mass murder, but basically saying, "yeah well, it's not as bad as all that". So tell me, my dear man, exactly how much mass murder is acceptable? I'm thinking maybe 100,000 slaughtered should be the high water mark, right? Good fucking grief.

Any kind of peacekeeping missions here would probably wind up killing off the 2.7 million people displaced into the arid western region because of warring factions from all corners, including Chad for that matter. But then al-Bashir's army isn't equipped well enough to slaughter them all before we get there, so I figure it might be worth a shot. Maybe I should revise my forecast of war with Iran. Sudan would make an awesomely expensive "playing field".

Then a peacenik from the World Health Organization chimes in, she's worried about al-Bashir's order tearing a gaping hole in the monitoring efforts that could lead to outbreaks of infectious disease going unchecked. "If they are not helping us do this very vital work, we may see the emergence of infectious diseases," said WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib. (AP)

I think that's precisely the point, honey.

Saves on bullets doesn't it?


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