My "big fundamental" is that being _left_ means working for a more egalitarian, democratic society, but also for fairness, not ethnic or other kinds of favoritism. Because the left has turned away from fairness it is lost and unpopular. I'm a small voice hoping to push the left back toward its basics and its natural popularity.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Darfur: No Genocide Or Humanitarian Crisis

The following is a "reality-based community" response to the latest harassment of Sudan by Secretary of State Rice and Illinois Senator Obama.
It does not take very much research to find out that there definitely is no genocide in Darfur now, if there ever was. Simply read the World Health Organization website. In June, 2005, the WHO surveyed more than 3000 Darfur families and found the mortality rate had dropped more than three-fold from a year earlier. It was now "below the threshold... usually observed in humanitarian crises." The WHO report duly credited its own efforts and the public health efforts of Sudan's government. There has not been an increase in these mortality numbers since that time. So, the facts tell the WHO that not only is there no genocide, there is not even a humanitarian crisis anymore. As the WHO website reports, and as needs to be recognized, the great improvements in the Darfur situation "clearly demonstrate that international humanitarian assistance has made a dramatic impact in Darfur."

The 2004 charges of genocide appear to be based, at least in part, on exaggerated estimates of the number of people who have died in the region. In October of 2004, the WHO estimated that 70,000 had died up to that time in the crisis. Read also the press conference by a USAID official in July of 2004, who estimated that 30,000 had been killed in acts of violence (by both sides in a brutal civil war), and another 50,000 had died from malnutrition and related causes. Darfur's population is an estimated 6 million, and since late 2004 the situation has dramatically improved. Based on these facts, where is the genocide? Finally, note that both the UN and the European Union investigated the Darfur humanitarian crisis, and neither found genocide had taken place.
It's a matter of life and death that the genocide charge be refuted when it is at radical and documented variance with reality. As I'm sure you will all understand, the rest of the world suspects ulterior motives and hears the rumbling of the deadly American war machine when the US ignores the facts and persists with incendiary charges.


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