Saturday, January 26, 2008

Kristof on China's "Genocide Olympics"

Nicholas Kristof's latest rant in the New York Times excoriates China's continuing sale of A-5 Fantans, helicopter gunships, and light weapons to the Sudanese government - what Musa Hilal, the former janajweed leader recently appointed by Khartoum to a senior government post has gratefully called "the necessary weapons and ammunition to exterminate the African tribes in Darfur."

Kristof writes: "China is crucial. If Beijing were to suspend all transfers of arms and spare parts to Sudan until a peace deal is reached in Darfur, then that would change the dynamic.

Without his Chinese shield, Mr. Bashir would be more likely to make concessions to Darfur rebels and negotiate seriously with them, and he would no longer have political cover to resume war against South Sudan. That would make long-term peace more likely in Darfur and also in South Sudan."
Kristof hopes that the "Genocide Olympics" campaign, global civil society's response, will exert a moderating effect on Beijing sooner rather than later. But without a genuine boycott, what are the chances?

1 comment:

Cleitus the Black said...

My dear doctor, I hope you are not suggesting that the Janjaweed, a bunch of nomadic Arab tribesmen, have forsaken their traditional horses and camels for jet fighters and attack helicopters!

And since everyone knows that the scurrilous knaves who imperil the poor victims of the (dare I say the word?) genocide in Darfur are simply these roving bandits, what good would it do for China to stop the sale of aircraft to the country's legitimate (it's difficult to even read that with straight face, imagine the pains I am suffering as I write it?) government?

Unless, of course, you are suggesting that perhaps the Sudanese GOVERNMENT is involved in the persecution of the luckless inhabitants of Darfur, but - by Jove, that would be madness. I mean, the UN would be charter-bound to step in, to stop Herr Hitl- err, I mean President al-Bashir from carrying out this final solution...

I am reminded of my old friend, Marcus Aurelius, who once said that "Injustice lies as often in the omission as commission."

Considering that the UN cannot even provide a modicum of supply helicopters for humanitarian purposes, perhaps instead of criticizing Chinese military aid, we might at least match it with a dollar for dollar and aircraft for aircraft augmentation of the token peacekeeping force. Or distribute a few hundred Stinger missiles to the inhabitants of each camp; for a fraction of the cost of an attack helicopter, I seem to recall they were quite a good deterrent to that aerial menace during the Soviet war in Afghanistan...

So I should advise you to cease belaboring the poor Chinamen, and raise the hue and cry with our own government, and those vassal states of the UN - or perhaps send ol' al-Bashir a copy of Chirot & McCauley's book...

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