An April 4 CNN.com article helped peddle the recent “Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond,” written by acclaimed “Hotel Rwanda” star Don Cheadle and former Clinton administration official John Prendergast, who is now a “human rights activist” and an advisor to the Soros-financed International Crisis Group.
In this Aspen Steib article, there is no mention of the 22-year civil war that devastated Southern Sudan when Arab Muslims targeted black Christians and Animists or the Bush administration’s efforts to end the wars in both Southern Sudan and Darfur. Cheadle’s intentions are probably good, but this article ignored many issues. Darfur’s crisis is complex, and this article’s approach had one note: it's Bush's fault.
Cheadle and Prendergast detail what they think what needs to be done (emphasis mine throughout):
"It is urgent that President Bush act ... to confront the Sudanese regime for the atrocities that it is committing and perpetuating to bring this genocide to an end once and for all," they write.
The book lists six steps for readers to get involved, beginning with raising awareness and then campaigning to bring an end to the crisis.
Prendergast, a former Clinton administration official who is a senior adviser to the International Crisis Group, urges the U.S. government to pressure the Sudanese regime to take action against the militias that have ravaged Darfur.
"These guys will respond to significant measures," he said.
Really? They will? What about the UN? Isn’t this what the UN is for? Why only focus on Bush? I thought America isn’t the world’s cop and isn’t to act without UN and world approval. I guess when Prendergast was in the Clinton administration, Southern Sudan wasn't “urgent” enough for a US President to act. Why not direct even one comment toward China, which imports up to 60 percent of Sudan’s oil and has blocked US and UN Security Council efforts for almost any kind of measures? Russia also has been a stumbling block, but no mention of anyone but Bush. What exactly do the authors think Khartoum will respond to, since they refuse even UN intervention?
The authors write about Darfur’s atrocities:
There is one image from Darfur that haunts Prendergast. He was traveling through the desert with a colleague when they came across the bodies of about 24 young men left to rot in the 130-degree heat.
"No amount of time in Sudan or work on genocide ever prepares anyone sufficiently for what Samantha and I saw in a ravine deep in the Darfur desert," Prendergast writes.
"One month before, they had been civilians, forced to walk up a hill to be executed by Sudanese government forces. Harrowingly, this scene was repeated throughout the targeted areas of Darfur."
The United States has called the atrocities of Darfur this century's first genocide.
The one-note attitude is evident when Steib mentioned that the US used the word “genocide” without the context of its significance or including that the UN still refuses to even whisper the G-word. There is no part of the article that in any way indicated the Bush administration’s engagement and level of involvement and the rest of the world’s apathy. Even though the Left is only now noticing Sudan, there were significant developments before George Clooney “discovered” the issue. If wide-spread depravity is cause for action, I wonder if Prendergast would have been “sufficiently” prepared for Saddam’s rape rooms, the hundreds of mass graves and the dead Kurds?
While the actor and Prendergast are hoping to bring about an end to the atrocities, they also acknowledge it's a daunting task.
"Preventing genocide and other mass atrocities is a challenge made all the more difficult by a lack of public concern, media coverage, and effective response, especially to events in Africa," they write.
They ignore the Right’s and the Christian efforts in Southern Sudan and Darfur that took place before the “Lunching at The Ivy” and the Soros sets ever heard about this conflict and picked up the fashionable “Save Darfur” T shirts and the trendy bumper stickers that are put right beside the ones that read “Out of Iraq” and “No Blood for Oil.” Not so long ago Lefties lumped the two conflicts together, non-African Muslims still do.
Well, it’s a good thing that Hollywood is there to protect the world.
Lynn Davidson can be reached at tvisgoodforyou2 AT yahoo.com (replace “AT” with “@” to email)