More From Alder's Ledge

October 23, 2012

Slow Death

Starvation As A Weapon
(Part of The Darkness Visible series) 

As President Obama talked about how he has helped the United States image around the world last night it became obvious that American foreign policy did not include Sudan. President Obama had brought up in the debate his supposed success in Libya (where Gaddafi was engaged in questionable actions during a spontaneous uprising against him), Obama brought up his actions in Egypt (amounting to a speech that was delivered far to late and nobody but the West listened to), and Obama talked about Syria (as though he had not called Assad a "reformer" only to later say that Assad needed to leave). It is obvious now that Obama has payed little attention to the suffering of people across the globe that he did not think would benefit his own regime in Washington. Obama failed to mention that Assad was a genocidal dictator who was using his version of Islam to justify the murdering of Sunni Muslims. Obama failed to bring up how he might stop the genocide in Burma as the Rohingya suffer under Buddhist extremist. But more importantly, Obama failed to look just south of Egypt and address the genocide in Sudan.

For nearly a decade the people of Sudan have been suffering under genocidal government that has used ethnic tensions and religion to target its victims. In the beginning the Sudanese government used bullets and bombs to clear out their victims' villages. Then the Sudanese government employed the janjaweed to carry out more extensive attacks on civilian targets. Now the Sudanese government is known to have used and still be using starvation and disease to kill off civilians. All of this has been at the command of Omar al-Bashir.

For 81.5% of the Sudanese in South Kordofan there is only one bare bone ration of food a day. 14.9% of children in this region of Sudan are determined to be critically malnourished. And only a 1/3 of the farmers' lands in this region can actually be harvested due to frequent attacks by the Sudanese military and janjaweed militias. So why did Obama fail to mention this year old war crime and the use of starvation as a weapon?

In Darfur the attacks continue as Omar al-Bashir works to kill off the last of the non-Arab Sudanese who are trapped in this region. Trees are becoming rarer and rarer as planes continue to drop bombs on any place people might hide. The devils on horseback continue to rape, pillage, and slaughter all they come across. So why did Obama continue to fail to live up to his rhetoric about "atrocity and genocide prevention"?

In the Nuba Mountains the Sudanese government has decided to use massive air strikes to clear villages and force the Nuba people out of the area. The region in which the mountains set happens to be mineral rich and oil rich. The Arabic groups in control of the Sudanese government consider the non-arabized Africans to be less than human. For this reason the term genocide is the only word appropriate for the massacres. And yet the West seems content to look the other way.

One reason appears to be the Chinese investment in this region and others in the Horn of Africa. As China has been on the rise so too has its investments in other areas of the world. It has led China to invest in Burma as the Myanmar government has engaged in genocide. So to has China decided to go after Sudanese oil as it funds the genocide of Sudanese civilians. All the while China has been buying up the debt of Western governments. This give China the upper hand in any attempt by the West to stop or prevent genocide and crimes against humanity.

In Syria the Chinese are one of the largest supporters that Assad still has left. They have taken every action they could identify that would scare or force the West to back down. This is how China has behaved when engaging the West when the issue of Omar al-Bashir's crimes comes up. It has been China that has prevented the the ICC court from fulfilling its interest in arresting Bashir (they did however issue a warrant).

In Europe the use of starvation as a tool of war can best be illustrated by Russia. During Stalin's attempts to crush his imaginary foes the Communist in the Kremlin came up with the idea to starve our the Ukrainians. This forced famine caused the death of an estimated 7.5 million to 10 million Ukrainians. It became known as the Holodomor (the combination of holod - hunger, and mor - plague).

In the Sudan this new Holodomor is being caused in much the same way. A crazed leader is once again attempting to crush his foes. And once again the genocidal maniac is using starvation to win through attrition. Yet despite it similarity to a very European tragedy and the Western vow of "never again"... the world is doing nothing once again.

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