Tuesday, 29 November 2005

Don't Bomb Us

Following up on my brief mention of the Bush administration wanting to destroy all dissenting voices and bomb the life out of the al-Jazeera news channel, we have further facts on the matter here, here and here. More importantly, some staff members at al-Jazeera have set up a blog, go read it to stay up to date and get a wonderful insight into life at the news agency (you may have to sift through the hateful comments left by idiots). If you want to support the cause please steal the following buttons for your own blog...

Now, onto even more pressing matters and no, I don't mean Iraq, in fact I'm tired of the Iraq obsession. I would like you to spend a wee bit of your time worrying about two other places where we should be saving lives. First up is Sudan, where, to quote Unicef (anything in bold and big letters is my emphasis):

"The conflict in Darfur is described by the UN as one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, affecting around 2.9 million people. Fighting between rebel groups, security forces and the janjaweed militia continues LARGELY UNRESTRAINED. Entire villages have been wiped out and thousands of lives have been lost. Persistent low intensity conflict and continued widespread displacement characterise the crisis, which started in FEBRUARY 2003. Around 1.8 million people are internally displaced, 1.4 MILLION OF THESE ARE CHILDREN."

If you want to learn about the effect upon the children read this article, then ask yourself what are we doing? If there was ever a nation in need of some regime change, of some allied forces wading in and saving millions of lives and averting a genocide the like of which we've not seen since the last time the world stood aside and let 250,000 people die in a month in Rwanda, then this is it. And we're doing fuck all. The US has withdrawn it's troops and cut peacekeeping spending, no doubt to cover the costs of a costly intervention in Iraq and the oil wells need protecting after all. Everyone else is just sending humanitarian aid, to quote the brilliant Get Your War On: "Well that's a relief, you hate to see people gang raped on an empty stomach".

And for all of you people who think that the best thing the Allied forces can do in Iraq is 'cut and run' I've one word for you: Afghanistan. Remember that place? Where we beat the Taliban? I don't expect you to remember as it's kinda dropped off the radar. Well, surprise surprise but Iraq has drained resources from that as well, Afghanistan has had in the region of $1.3 billion thrown at it with Iraq expecting some $30 billion, schools and other important building are un-finished or poorly built (this was done in a rush to be ready for the 2004 elections...ringing any bells here?) so regime change is on hold and guess what? Taliban forces (that's right the ones we beat by leveling mountains and dropping cluster bombs that are still removing the limbs of innocents) are increasing their attacks.

Have a good day. I'm off to see what I can do about it.


  1. Shortly after his election the president of Afghanistan said it would cost about 32Billion to sort out his country & give it a real chance at a successful, democratic future & he went cap in hand to the U.N. Oh how we laughed. After all, they've got no oil, so why should we care?

    Sudan, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Dem. republic of congo. probably all more in need of regime change than Iraq ever was. But no oil.

    Of course, we only ever go to war for the greater good of humanity, to bring peace, prosperity, democracy and justice to the world.

    oh, yeah, and oil....

  2. I wonder why the UN hasn't sent troops? Have they issued any sanctions? I thought the French were there to help. Oh, yeah, no oil.

  3. Anon: I agree that the rest of the world is standing by and doing nothing apart from sending aid. But sanctions would serve no point in Sudan where people are already starving and dying.

    You'll be glad to know that many European nations are increasing their troops in Afghanistan whilst Bush prepares to remove 4000 from the south.

  4. They got oil in Equatorial Guinea. Mark Thatcher tried to do a Dubya and orchestrate a regime change, but he got caught. A case of "I'm a Thatcher, Get Me Out of Here!"

    If we had a whipround, do you reckon we could hire some mercenaries (like the A-Team) to help us get our greasy mitts on the oil? I'd do it myself, but I ain't getting on no plane, fool.

  5. *groan* head...going...to...explode...

    Seriously, I'm in partial agreement and partial disagreement. I'd be happy to see al-Jazeera go the way of the dinosaur so I can't agree with you here.

    Where I can agree is about the Sudan. It's so sad that there are so many terrible atrocities going on in the world. But it's also sad that we simply can't fix it all. We are only two nations, and (IMHO) we are not the world's policemen. I do think it's absolutely awful, though, and don't have an easy answer.

    I am one of the people that think we should 'cut and run'. As I've said elsewhere, I think it's wise to destroy a nest of yellow jackets for our own safety, but I don't think we're obligated to sit around teaching the yellow jackets how to create a more peaceful community afterwards.

    Yeah, I know. This opinion will NOT be popular... *ducking*

  6. So what's it going to take to get you to move here, change citizenships, and run for president? :-)

    On second thought... because your head isn't in the clouds, you may not qualify.

  7. Saur,
    I think I agree with the cut and run thing. We did what we could. Now it's time to go home.

  8. For whatever it's worth, I just read/taught a decent novel about Afghanistan that would be good for a thirteen year-old niece/nephew/next-door-neighbor: The Breadwinner.

    Oh yeah, and when do you hear about the audition???

  9. Saur: al-Jazeera is a very good news agency, why and earth you want to see it go to the wall I'll never understand. Maybe you believe the US press view of it as a voice of evil. And the fact that Bush wants it destroyed by bombing is not very civilised is it?

    As for you and PC cutting and running that just about makes me wanna' puke. First off Iraq never presented a threat to the US, even so your selfish reading of getting in their to 'neutralise it' and then getting out, refusing to heal the damage seems very un-Christian and un-ethical. Having siad that thanks for being brave and putting your opinion out there.

    Jodi: if I could, I would.

  10. "Jodi: if I could, I would."

    There is a God!

  11. Thanks for the kind words on Sisyphus' website. My name ain't Kay Richardson, you got that right.

  12. Daniel, I answered part of this in your newer blog. I really like you, and I know you like me, so I'm happy to talk about it. You know I respect you and your thoughts, I just don't agree with this one. And...

    As for you and PC cutting and running that just about makes me wanna' puke. First off Iraq never presented a threat to the US, even so your selfish reading of getting in their to 'neutralise it' and then getting out, refusing to heal the damage seems very un-Christian and un-ethical.

    Well, so many people don't know what 'Christian' really means. In fact, there are as many interpretations of Christianity as there are versions of the Bible. More, actually, now that I think of it. You could tack the 'ethical' question, but I don't see how there is a valid position for declaring it to be unethical to opt out.

    I would say to Iraq:
    Sorry, you made your mess initially, we cleaned it up, now it's your turn to keep it clean. End of story.

  13. Sorry, Saur, but I think it's more like the U.S. had no business being in Iraq. They were a mess and we went over and made a bigger mess. That's the story.

  14. Saur: the Christian issue is related to the overtly Christian posturing of the US adminstration but a clear lack of Christian values and by Christian I mean the teaching of Christ.

    And Iraq didn't make a mess but if they did there are plenty of other messes out there for the US to sort out but they won't.

    The idea you can just destroy a country and then leave it is just not ethical.

  15. Nice try Daniel, but you can't have it both ways. I know you try, but it isn't working.

  16. You can have it both ways.

    Trust me.

    I'm a doctor.

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