Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Well call me stupid but Women in Darfur look to ICC pretty much describes acts of genocide (democide) to me:
In the Jebel Marra town of Rokero, an international aid worker described to the Washington Post's Emily Wax the mass rape by the janjaweed of some 400 women. "It's systematic," the aid worker told the reporter. "Everyone knows how the father carries the lineage in the culture. They [the janjaweed] want more Arab babies [by African women] to take the land. The scary thing is that I don't think we realise the extent of how widespread this is yet."

And does property rights have any issue in these conflicts?

Rutherfordian ------------------------------ RDRutherford
by Ronald Rutherford (rdrradio1 -at- msn -dot- com) on Tue May 22nd, 2007 at 07:39:43 PM EST
arab is a linguistically-defined term. are not the janjaweed and the victims both arab speakers, both african, and predominantly dark-skinned?

not that it isn't horrific stuff, but the black-arab binary being set up here strikes me as false.

by wu ming on Wed May 23rd, 2007 at 04:13:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not really that simple.  The Sudanese themselves (in Darfur and out of it) use these distinctions, and refer to themselves as "Arab" and "African," "dark" and "light," even when an outsider cannot readily tell the difference.  Rape victims have, over and over since the beginning of the war, said that their rapists told them they were going to make "light babies."  In this context, however, the literal color of their skin is largely irrelevant.

The real differences between the groups are tribal, but along with the tribal lines come distinct traditions.  The "Arab" tribesmen are primarily nomadic herders, while the "African" tribesmen are primarily agrarian.  At its root, the conflict is to some degree linked to competition over land and water.

The "Arab/African" distinction may be an artificial one (yes, as you point out, both sides speak Arabic) but if so, it was "set up" quite some time back, long enough ago to be a part of how the people of that region define themselves.  You are correct that this conflict is entrenching those lines of identity rather than blurring them, but the war itself is not creating the distinction.

And it is not a distinction that is unique to Darfur or even Sudan.  

In much of North Africa, including the part where I live, "African" is virtually synonymous with "inferior."  Egyptians, generally, do not think of themselves as African.  (Or Arab, for that matter.)  In much of sub-Saharan Africa, however, many people do not think of Egyptians as "African" either, and "Arabs" are viewed suspiciously, as outsiders. and sometimes as "white people."  (So, often, are "African-Americans," but that's another story.)

At the root is the old problem of identity, of defining oneself and others, and we as a human race have been startlingly bad at this throughout our history.  We neglect the complexities of our identity and insist on viewing ourselves and others as "one thing," a proud whatever.

What is an "Arab"?  What is an "African"?  Is a white Kenyan or white Zimbabwean, who perhaps carries English citizenship but has never set foot in England, a "European" or an "African"?  Is an Algerian Berber an "Arab" or an "African" or something else entirely?  What about his non-Berber coworker?  Is an Egyptian of Armenian heritage an "African" or an "Arab" or a "European" or an "Asian"?  What do those words even mean?  Why can we not accept that identity is inherently a complex thing, and insist that people choose one "identity," one version of themselves, to the exclusion of all others?

Sorry, your comment has set me off on a tangent.  These are not questions that can be answered in Darfur, at least not in Darfur alone, but perhaps if we (and by we I mean humans) were better at dealing with them, just perhaps, we would have fewer Darfurs.

</rant>

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed May 23rd, 2007 at 04:58:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks.
by wu ming on Wed May 23rd, 2007 at 04:29:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am so confused on this...
U.S. senator calls for American troops in Darfur
U.S. Sen. Joe Biden said that he would commit U.S. forces immediately to stop militia in Sudan's Darfur region as long as there were reports of genocide.

Is Biden part of the neocons and the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy"?
Sudan's U.N. Ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdelhaleem, however, was angry at the comments, saying the senators "should first come with clean hands and apologize to the U.N. for the mess the United States did in Iraq."

He said Sudan would decide on a peacekeeping force of more than 20,000 troops and police after the United Nations and the African Union had agreed on a plan and sent it to Khartoum.

"There is good momentum in the region," he said, calling Biden's remarks "unwarranted and out of context."


Yes luckily no one remembers all the blocks on allowing even humanitarian aid and aids workers in the areas.


Rutherfordian ------------------------------ RDRutherford
by Ronald Rutherford (rdrradio1 -at- msn -dot- com) on Wed May 23rd, 2007 at 04:25:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The United States, acting through surrogate allies in Chad and neighboring states has trained and armed the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army, headed until his death in July 2005, by John Garang, trained at US Special Forces school at Fort Benning, Georgia.

By pouring arms into first southern Sudan in the eastern part and since discovery of oil in Darfur, to that region as well, Washington fuelled the conflict that led to tens of thousands dying and several million driven to flee their homes. Eritrea hosts and supports the SPLA, the umbrella NDA opposition group, and the Eastern Front and Darfur rebels.

To add to the complexity, in Somalia Eritrea backs the Islamic Courts Union, to whom the US is very hostile. Lots of "enemy of my enemy" going on here.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue May 22nd, 2007 at 08:07:15 PM EST
Yes, I caught that little implied conflicting allies.
Which I have yet to see the US supporting Eritrea in any way.

And everything from Uganda lately has been more concerned about negotiating deals with the Lords Resistance Army and not wanting to start any more civil wars (internally, or externally).

Rutherfordian ------------------------------ RDRutherford

by Ronald Rutherford (rdrradio1 -at- msn -dot- com) on Tue May 22nd, 2007 at 09:19:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Scramble for Africa's Oil

We begin today's broadcast with a look at Africa and oil. It's a little known fact: the United States today imports more oil from Africa than from Saudi Arabia. More than $50 billion in foreign investment in African oil is expected over the next three years.[...]

The situation in Nigeria is now as bad as I think anyone can remember it. Many of your listeners and viewers will be aware of the struggles of the Ogoni in the 1990s against Shell, and so on. That was really child's play compared to what's been going on in the last couple years in Nigeria, and ironically we hear less about it.

But, you know, I was just there a couple weeks ago. Just in the sort of four or five days I spent in the Delta, there were twenty-nine foreigners taken hostage, kidnapped by militants. You know, it's the same story, basically. It's a battle over access to oil money and for resource control, and it hasn't gone away, and it's not about to go away.

[...] at the bottom of the issue, basically, is that for more than forty years, international oil companies have, you know, pumped billions of dollars worth of oil out of Nigeria. $400 billion has gone into the pockets of the Nigerian government, and most of that money, frankly - a lot of that money - has been salted away into foreign bank accounts by corrupt politicians and then, of course, has gone away, disappeared in the form of profits to multinational oil corporations.

Who has not seen the profits from oil exploration is probably the real question, which is the people of the Niger Delta. You have people living in stone age squalor, in mud huts, you know, in swamps with no roads, no electricity, no running water. I spend a lot of time in the Delta, and I've seen the way people live there. And, you know, through their backyards you have thousands of miles of pipelines, ultra-modern, multi-million-dollar, air-conditioned, state-of-the-art facilities going up, and people just haven't seen any benefits from the oil exploration. And over time, that has turned into a fairly nasty sort of militant insurgency, as I think shouldn't surprise anyone, really [...]

In his sweeping contempt for the indigenous (there's that "stone age" meme again) lifestyle, the interviewee forgets to mention that the oil companies also poison the waters, kill the fish and bird life, run their roads right over productive food-farming land, etc. -- it isn't just that the indigenes are envious of the high-tech goodies of the invaders, it's that their livelihoods, their health, the health of their children, are all being threatened or destroyed... they are being expropriated, Enclosed, and plunged into a deeper poverty and distress than they experienced prior to colonial occupation.

Amy Goodman: John, we just have thirty seconds, but do you think oil is a secret motive with US relations with Sudan?

John Ghazvinian: Possibly. I mean, yes and no. I mean, look, I think China is much more transparent about oil in Sudan. The US relationship with Sudan is a complex one, and for the last few years it's had a lot to do with cooperation on counterterrorism and intelligence gathering, as well. The Sudan conflict is a lot more complicated than it tends to get presented out as in the media, to be honest, especially the Darfur conflict. And oil kind of plays a part, but it's not the main driving factor.

So, I'm not sure how much credence I place in this guy's analysis...  just more info-grist for the collective mill.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Tue May 22nd, 2007 at 08:58:32 PM EST
And is that why most hostage taking in Nigeria result in demands for money and JOBS?

Rutherfordian ------------------------------ RDRutherford
by Ronald Rutherford (rdrradio1 -at- msn -dot- com) on Tue May 22nd, 2007 at 09:15:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The case of Darfur, a forbidding piece of sun-parched real estate in the southern part of Sudan, illustrates the new Cold War over oil, where the dramatic rise in China's oil demand to fuel its booming growth has led Beijing to embark on an aggressive policy of--ironically-- dollar diplomacy. With its more than $1.3 trillion in mainly US dollar reserves at the Peoples' National Bank of China, Beijing is engaging in active petroleum geopolitics. Africa is a major focus, and in Africa, the central region between Sudan and Chad is priority. This is defining a major new front in what, since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, is a new Cold War between Washington and Beijing over control of major oil sources. So far Beijing has played its cards a bit more cleverly than Washington. Darfur is a major battleground in this high-stakes contest for oil control.  

Where are our geo-strategic/geopolitical experts when we need them. Oh that is right, we get their advice on G/G only when it involves the USA.
So why is China not described in terms of the Evil Empire? They are in control of the global imbalances and thus have a supposed power over the USA and the world economy, but no words of criticism of that. Imagine if the USA had that power...
Are we to assume that if a battleground is going to occur then both sides will not hold up human welfare as the prime motive?

Rutherfordian ------------------------------ RDRutherford
by Ronald Rutherford (rdrradio1 -at- msn -dot- com) on Wed May 23rd, 2007 at 03:17:52 AM EST
whn the rwandan war still burning in the congo, with millions of vctims, is noone's pet tragedy. this seems like more cold war business, with an extra bonus of distracting from the 650,000+ iraqis that we've managed to kill (does that count as a genocide?).

my hunch is that if the major arms dealing nations (ie. permanent security council members) just put a moratorium on all weapons and ammunition sales to regions where there are ongoing wars, a lot of this would end pretty fast. but where's the money in peace?

by wu ming on Wed May 23rd, 2007 at 04:16:37 AM EST
I received an odd bit of correspondence the other day

hello European Tribune

You have posted a story on your web site by F. William Endahl about
the Cold War and Darfur and China :

DARFUR?  ITS THE OIL STUPID.

Mr. Endahl lifted parts of his story directly from my writings, in
particular, this paragraph:

>>US military objectives in Darfur--and the Horn of Africa more
widely--are being served at present by the US and NATO backing of the
African Union  troops in Darfur. There NATO provides ground and air
support for AU troops who are categorized as "neutral" and
"peacekeepers." Sudan is at war on three fronts, each country--
Uganda, Chad, and Ethiopia-- with a significant US military presence
and ongoing US military programs. The war in Sudan involves both US
covert operations and US trained "rebel" factions coming in from South
Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia and Uganda.

You can find the original on my web site in teh article WAKE UP AND
SMELL THE OIL -- in the Uganda/ Sudan section of my web site.

I expect you to contact Mr. Endahl and correct this on your web site
to properly attribute   my work to me.

kind regards,

keith harmon snow

--
All things pass, so too will i

keith harmon snow
USA: 413-626-3800

This is the guy's website which actually looks kind of interesting.  The specific article to which he refers is posted there in PDF form.

This para

US military objectives in Darfur--and the Horn of Africa more widely--are being served at present
by the US/NATO backing of the African Union. In Darfur, NATO provides ground and air support
for AU troops ever categorized as "neutral" and "peacekeepers," but AU troops are another fighting
force involved in the conflagration. Sudan is at war on three fronts, and each involves countries
with a significant US military presence and ongoing military programs: Uganda, Chad, and
Ethiopia. War in Sudan involves both US covert operations and U.S. and Israeli trained "rebel"
factions coming in from South Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia and Uganda...
does appear in that PDF.

And this paragraph

US military objectives in Darfur--and the Horn of Africa more widely--are being served at present by the US and NATO backing of the African Union  troops in Darfur. There NATO provides ground and air support for AU troops who are categorized as "neutral" and "peacekeepers." Sudan is at war on three fronts, each country-- Uganda, Chad, and Ethiopia-- with a significant US military presence and ongoing US military programs. The war in Sudan involves both US covert operations and US trained "rebel" factions coming in from South Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia and Uganda.

appears in Engdahl's essay headlined above.  However, online sources don't datestamp either document so it is hard for the uninformed observer to say who cribbed from whom.  It is interesting that the reference to Israeli training of "rebel" factions is omitted from Engdahl's (or added to Snow's?) version.

I am not in a position to say authoritatively which author first penned the text, but it seems clear that someone's citing someone else w/o proper attribution and w/o even admitting that it's a direct quote -- and that is naughty.  Can anyone establish the dates on these documents?

Journos have been known to steal each other's dispatches before now;  as scandals go it's minor-league, but since ET gave Engdahl's work a headline, perhaps we should look into it?

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Wed May 30th, 2007 at 01:48:40 AM EST

Hello

Whomever wrote that "ITS NOT CLEAR WHO SNIPPED WHAT FROM WHOM " look again. My article WAKE UP AND SMELL THE OIL was published in October 2006, while Mr. Engdahl published his in May 2007.

Look here:
http://www.allthingspass.com/journalism.php?catid=24

And you will find not only the original article, with the original "snipped" paragraph, but maps, storie - look at the long and detailed article:

OIL IN DARFUR? COVERT OPS IN SOMALIA?
The New Old Humanitarian Warfare in Africa.

I dont like plagurism, but even worse is the false accusation or false infrence that I have plagarzed.

If you look at my site -- Sudan and Somalia section -=- its clear where the authority on this subject originated. I'm pleased that Mr. Engdahl was able to learn something and write an article, but it seems he hasn't learned anything yet about footnotes, references and proper attribution.

It's common courtesy, stupid.

blessings
keith harmon snow

keith harmon snow allthingspass.com

by allthingspass (keith_at_allthingspass_dot_com) on Thu May 31st, 2007 at 03:29:34 PM EST
Another followup from Snow:
Did you post that comment taht says ITS HARD TO SEE WHO CRIBBED FROM WHOM?

Sorry, my article was posted in October 2006, which it makes clear in
the listing here:

http://www.allthingspass.com/journalism.php?catid=24

If you read that article yu can see that it was about an event that
occured in Massachsuetts in October (or September?) 2006.

Also, on my web site is a 75 page document OIL IN DARFUR? COVERT OPS
IN SOMALIA? published in January 2007 and all kinds of oil maps and
other articles. I'd say Mr Engdahl read this one also -- which is
great! -- but even if he didnt it established quite clearly where the
authority on this subject comes from.

I only ask that my work be given proper credit.

I've explained to Mr Snow that dates on electronic documents are far from conclusive due to their falsifiability... but felt I should let him make his case just for the online record.

Snow's web site is quite interesting, lots of detailed material on oil industry in the 3rd world and related issues.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu May 31st, 2007 at 04:53:39 PM EST
For what it's worth, I emailed keith about his articles on Darfur from December to February and I would be more than willing to take screen shots or even videos of these emails if there is still any doubt in your mind that keith was not the one who did the plagiarizing.
by Proto on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 04:34:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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