Darfur

Over the past several years, the Western world has been exposed to the incredible suffering of the inhabitants of Darfur. The U.S. has even called the actions there as genocide, thereby raising the spectre of the Holocaust and Rwanda (among others). However, the West has been impotent. This leads me to wonder..Is the lack of action in the West a sign that the troubles in Darfur have been overstated? Or is it because the Sudan is so politically important that the West cares about its opinion, or is the lack of action due to remnants of the West’s historical racism against Africans? Or some other unstated reason?
I am not saying that I have an answer to the Darfur catastrophe or that I have some inner knowledge of all the political and moral complexities.  I just have a question that I would like to find an answer to, namely, why hasn’t anyone suggested (at least publicly) a covert operation to supply the rebels with money and/or equipment and/or intelligence support in their fight against the Sudanese backed proxy army?

As the Soviet Union discovered in Afghanistan and the U.S. in Vietnam, fighting an indigenous army which is supplied and trained by a super power is an incredibly difficult war to win. The advantage to the supplying country is that its own troops don’t get involved. I suspect a 20 million dollar donation to the rebels, would help the Sudanese government recognize the need for a change of policy.  I am confident the rebels would love to get shoulder fired missiles (to shoot down the helicopter gun ships) and satellite intelligence reports of enemy movements (to plan ambushes).

There may be plenty of reasons why the West hasn’t or shouldn’t do this. Christians may find this sort of cloak and dagger policy frightening and even immoral. Ultimately, I have two questions. 1. Is it immoral from a Christian worldview (if you say yes, then do explain the immorality of King David’s actions in the Negev)? and 2. Why has it not been publicly discussed or why should it not be done? Pupils everywhere order great essays right here in this custom assignment writing site for stuents.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this complex issue.

  1. Stephen,
    Thought provoking as always.

    In answer to your first question: that would make a great assignment question!

    The second question: I guess there are several possible reasons for lack of action from the West:

    · Running out of credibility after Afghanistan and Iraq?
    · No obvious financial or resource benefit to the West?
    · Don’t want to upset Islamic factions in our own countries?
    · Low on the political priorities?
    · Etc, etc….

    But the willingness, or lack of willingness to be accurate, of people to debate is perhaps more basic than that? The internal nature of our societies, the materialistic approach that is at a loss if you can’t buy it, the equation of everything, material and immaterial, with money and wealth all seem pretty big barriers to me.
    Yes, if you ask the man or woman in the street there will be an initial burst of compassion, but with some notable exceptions, it will wither as the focus shifts back to their own sets of pressing problems and priorities.
    The recent meeting of the G8 shows something of the understanding of this by the words used by many of the leaders. I doubt that there has ever been a true western “hey day”, a time when we got it right all the time, but the swift movement away from biblical values has surely got a lot to do with national and personal attitudes to our neighbours.

    Christian Church where are you?

  2. I think the Church is involved as much as it can given that it is a war zone. I don’t think the church should take up arms. Not that I think you are saying it should. I think you are onto a good point regarding materialism. But 20 million dollars isn’t much money. Heck, that can barely buy a military ship. I suggested money because the West won’t send troops for reasons you already mentioned.
    By the way, Muslims like to talk about justice. Has anyone heard any official pronouncements about the plight of Darfur from an islamic perspective?

  3. I have found the following “moderate” Islamic web site: http://www.islamonline.net/English/In_Depth/Darfur/articles/12/article01.shtml which tells a very different version of what is happening inside Dafur to that of the reports I have heard from the Barnabas Fund, Tear Fund etc.
    But I have not heard, nor can find any serious Islamic proclamations on the situation in Darfur, or seen any true desire to solve the problem.

  4. Thanks for the link. I guess my only question with that site after a quick read was, then how do they account for the claims that tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions have been displaced? Why would people leave their homes if they felt that their government was protecting them? If it truly wasn’t a religious war, then couldn’t the government build a church as a sign that they had no objection to Christians?

  5. Stephen,
    Yes, islamonline looks terribly gentle and tolerant doesn’t it? But the evidence to the contrary is somewhat compelling….

    A friend of mine went out to Sudan in the late 80’s, it was clear then what was planned by “Radical Islam”, but the UN was not conviced and individual nations not interested.

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