Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Blog for Life

The Moose asks - is the blogosphere powerful enough to stop genocide?

Much has been made about the influence of the blogosphere on our politics. So, can the blogosphere bring its power to stop the ongoing genocide in Darfur?

On Sunday,Washington Post had a important editorial on the crisis,

"In western Darfur, humanitarian groups have been unable to venture outside the main town recently; in southern Darfur, a U.S. aid convoy was attacked on Tuesday, probably by the Janjaweed militia backed by Sudan's government. More such attacks could force aid organizations to withdraw from Darfur altogether. And yet the need is greater than it was a year ago. More villages have been razed; more coping mechanisms have been exhausted; displaced farmers won't be able to plant food this spring. Last month a U.N. official estimated that the number of relief-dependent civilians could grow to 4 million, roughly double the number reported last summer.

"The best shot at breaking this cycle of violence and hunger is to put a serious peacekeeping force into Darfur. But all sides are engaged in an outrageous pretense of seriousness. The African Union, which has provided about 2,000 peacekeepers when 25,000-plus are necessary, is infatuated with rhetoric about "African solutions for African problems"; the United States and its powerful allies defer to this slogan, partly out of a virtuous desire to see Africa develop its own capacity to manage crises but mostly out of a base desire to pass the buck. The Bush administration's policy is to draft U.N. resolutions and dispatch humanitarian assistance. But it refuses to spend real military or diplomatic capital to stop killings that, by its own admission, amount to genocide."

While the old and new media has focused plenty of attention on the Schiavo case, social security privatization and Michael Jackson, ongoing genocide is hardly mentioned. That must change.

Mark Leon Goldberg writes in the American Prospect,

"To be sure, the central government tries to portray the Janjaweed as bandits beyond Khartoum’s control. But collusion between the Janjaweed and the government of Sudan has been a hallmark of a two-and-a-half-year genocidal campaign that has made refugees of 2 million Darfurians and claimed the lives of some 300,000 people. In January 2005, Antonio Cassese, a past president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, led a UN fact-finding team in Darfur that found evidence of a criminal back channel between Janjaweed commanders and the Sudanese government. The report further alleges that Khartoum entered into a joint criminal conspiracy with the Janjaweed to purge the non-Arab population of Darfur."

The blogosphere is deeply polarized between left and right. However, the crisis in Darfur would seem to be an issue that can unite blogs from the National Review to the Daily Kos. Why not have a "Blog for Darfur" day when the entire blogosphere calls for world intervention to stop the killing?

Cyberspace for life!

-- Posted at 8:19 AM | Link to this post | Email this post