Merchant of Death
Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Blood from Stones

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Darfur (Again)
To the surprise of no one, the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government of Sudan is making it impossible to deploy the promised peacekeeping mission in Darfur, a senior UN official says.

Jean-Marie Guehenno told the United Nations Security Council that excessive demands from Khartoum "would make it impossible for the mission to operate".

Among other demands, Sudan wants advance notice of troop movements and to be able to shut down communications.

That is handy, to be able to shut down communications and know where troops are, especially when those responsible for the vast bulk of the genocide are operating under government protection.

The UN knows, and has reported on, the growing presence of al Qaeda in training camps in the Darfur region, something that my Western intelligence sources tell me is a growing problem.

The camps, some dating to the time Osama bin Laden was an honored guest of the regime, are small, but expanding. Al Qaeda has publicly stated its ambition to return to Sudan and expand in the Horn of Africa. The regime of Omar Bashir and his thugs are quite accommodating.

For an interesting look at who Sudan plays the outside world like a fiddle, see this Le Monde Diplomatique piece.

The author notes Bashir objections to a real peacekeeping for force are "astonishing. He accuses the UN of wanting to re-colonise the Sudan, and claims that the force is merely a cover for the West to enable it to get hold of Sudanese oil. He also says the international forces have “peddled Aids” and he has threatened to use special Iraq-type suicide units against the peace troops."

Now, there is a man who wants peace!

This is a combination of terrorist and humanitarian issues that have completely baffled the outside world. It is a test that every major constituent group that should, on humanitarian and counter-terrorism grounds, be working to halt the genocide, has failed, and failed miserably. The human cost of the failure has been staggering, and the political/strategic costs will not be known for several more years.

No one, from the fundamentalist Islamist regimes in the region who share Sudan's radical beliefs, to other African nations who defined Darfur as an "African problem" to be solved by Africans, to the West to China and its oil interests, has made much difference.

It is utterly inconceivable to me that, more than two years after President Bush declared Darfur a genocide that we are still dithering with this radical Islamist regime that has reneged on every promise it has ever made in relation to the mass murder. The administration, if you can believe it, is still piddling around the edges of further economic sanctions, freezes and half measures. They have allowed it to drop off the public agenda.

Equally appalling is that no Islamic nation has provided any moral leadership at all on the issue. Islamist regimes must hang together, or they will surely all crumble together, but one would think that condemning genocide would be within the theological writ of some of these leaders.

Africa? Thabo Mbeki, as he has with Zimbabwe, has been utterly unwilling to use his influence and moral authority to create a better world, the kind he and Nelson Mandela fought for for so many years. Imagine if it were a white regime in full genocide mode. The reaction would (and should) be withering.

What is the result? The UN's Guehenno outlines the likely outcome of any deployment under the current Sudanese regime:

"Do we move ahead with the deployment of a force that will not make a difference, that will not have the capability to defend itself, and that carries the risk of humiliation of the Security Council and the United Nations, and tragic failure for the people of Darfur?"

The tragic failure has already occurred. The question is how long we will tolerate this failure.
POSTED BY DOUGLAS FARAH
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