Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

May 9, 2005

Through Children's Eyes

"We were running from the burning houses. Janjaweed and soldiers with guns and planes and bombs came, all together, quickly. They were shooting... my uncle was shot. I saw them taking women and girls away. All of us_ my family_ we were screaming and running from the Janjaweed to hide in the wadi [riverbed or oasis]...holding each other by the arms to keep together. Here in camp we are safe, but my father he was lost."

Human Rights Watch compiled several drawings by Sudanese children who witnessed the ethnic cleansing in Darfur.

With the blessing and support of the Sudanese government, Janjaweed militias are still killing, raping and torturing fellow Muslims suspected of supporting the rebel insurgency. The Coalition for International Justice estimates that about 400,000 Sudanese have been killed since 2003.
In spite of its crimes against humanity, Sudan's Bashir regime is enjoying a cozy relationship with the Bush Administration, as laid out in a must read article by Ken Silverstein for the Los Angeles Times :

The Bush administration has forged a close intelligence partnershipwith the Islamic regime that once welcomed Osama bin Laden here, even though Sudan continues to come under harsh U.S. and international criticism for human rights violations.

The Sudanese government, an unlikely ally in the U.S. fight against terror, remains on the most recent U.S.list of state sponsors of terrorism. At the same time, however, it has been providing access to terrorism suspects and sharing intelligence data with the United States.

Last week, the CIA sent an executive jet here to ferry the chief of Sudan's intelligence agency to Washington for secret meetings sealing Khartoum's sensitive and previously veiled partnershipwith the administration, U.S. government officials confirmed.

Further evidence of the White House's soft stance on Darfur:

• Though former Secretary of State Colin Powell declared the Bashir regime complicit in genocide, Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick in his Darfur visit last month not only lowballed the death toll estimate but also refused to call the atrocities "genocide".

• Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice sent a letter to the Bashir regime calling for steps to end the conflict in Darfur, even though merely "asking", as Colin Powell knows, doesn't change anything. She added that "the [Bush] administration hoped to establish a 'fruitful relationship' with Sudan and looked forward to continued 'close cooperation' on terrorism.

• The White House tried to kill the Darfur Accountability Act, which "appropriates $90 million in U.S. aid for Darfur and establishes targeted U.S. sanctions against the Sudanese regime, accelerates assistance to expand the size and mandate of the African Union mission in Darfur, expands the United Nations Mission in Sudan to include the protection of civilians in Darfur, establishes a no-fly zone over Darfur, and calls for a presidential envoy to Sudan".

In exchange for temporary intelligence and counter-terrorism cooperation, the White House is willing to ignore the atrocities in Darfur, satisfied with the mild scoldings it gives the Bashir regime which suffers no consequence for its genocidal activities.

Meanwhile, thousands continue to get slaughtered.

posted at 12:13 AM by Wonky Muse

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Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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