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Explaining Darfur

Posted by Richard on May 7, 2005

Glenn Reynolds pointed to a Joseph Britt post at Belgravia Dispatch about Darfur. He suggested reading the whole thing, and I enthusiastically echo that. This is the finest commentary on Darfur that I’ve seen. Heck, it’s the finest commentary on Arab culture that I’ve seen. I can’t help quoting big chunks:

Arabs in Darfur seem to use rape as a weapon more often than Arabs from Saudi Arabia or Ramadi, and explosives not as often. But these look like details to me, a case of different people relying on different chapters of The Savage’s Handbook.

I know all the likely rebuttals to this deliberately brutal and inflammatory language. None of them explain the Arab genocide in Darfur; the silence of other Arabs about Arab genocide in Darfur; or the Western media’s silence about Arabs’ silence about Arab genocide in Darfur. Friedman, for example, seems oblivious to the subject. Kristof, who is not, follows the conventional practice of American journalists witnessing something awful. This is to demand that the American government do something about it.

We all saw in the last decade how many people in the former Yugoslavia had to die while European powers fiddled around waiting for the Americans. Europe had the means to stop the fighting sooner, but not the will. … At the end of it all European governments had the grace to show some sense of guilt and remorse about the whole sorry business.

The Arab world isn’t even doing that about Darfur. No peacekeepers, no aid, no media coverage, and for damn sure no guilt. …

You don’t need to be a master geo-strategist or have a doctorate in comparative anthropology to figure out that a culture and religion indifferent or worse to murder on a large scale is going to be a problem for the civilized countries. Egyptian, Saudi, and other Arab Muslims who object to this characterization of them have it within their power to prove me wrong, or not, by what they finally do about Darfur.

Bravo.

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