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As I was Saying About the Sudan

2004-08-02

Category: politics

In an Associated Press story, appearing in the August first Cedar Rapids Gazette, the Sudanese government has agreed to a United Nations resolution. Said Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail, "If we look closely at this matter, we will find out there is no reason to reject the resolution as it doesn't contain anything new?" So, basically they are ok with the new U.N. resolution because it was the same as earlier U.N. resolution to which the Sudan had already agreed.

If you're not familiar with the situation over there, it's like this. The Sudan is an African country with an Islamic government. In the south, there are a lot of people who still follow older, animist religions. Though the government isn't bothering these people, small bands of Muslim militant groups, called Janjaweed, have been attacking these southern groups. The southern groups have started out of country and are mostly in refugee camps in neighboring countries like Chad. (That's 'countries like Chad', not 'in other countries like that guy you know named Chad'. There's a difference.)

The U.N. is involved because, well, that's what they do. The resolutions are designed to get the Sudanese government to stop the militants groups. If the militants stop shooting the southerners then the people can go back to dying of malnutrition and disease. The Sudanese government agrees with the resolutions that they should be doing something about it. Unfortunately, as we in the U.S. have noticed, dealing with militant Muslim groups bent on violence can be a little on the difficult side. The Sudanese efforts have pretty much failed.

To help the refugees, the article says France has sent soldiers. This is important because the refugees need to get out of there quick and if there's one thing French soldiers do well it's run away quick.

Why do I mention all of this? Simple, it shows several important points. The first point is that militant Muslims are attacking everybody everywhere. Anytime someone says, "Well if us Americans weren't such bastards to the rest of the world then those people wouldn't hate us and attack us," I can say, "Well, what did these African farmers do to them?"

Secondly, it shows that the United Nations gripes about a lot of stuff but nobody actually pays any real attention. Once again, some people claim the U.S. was somehow doing something new and different when we bucked the U.N. but that's not true. Most countries don't pay attention to those wimps unless they're getting the better end of things.

Thirdly, we need to keep a close eye on some of these little skirmishes. They can easily turn big and we'll have "military advisors" over there. For those of you who are draft age (hee hee) this is really something you'll want to watch. You'll also want to learn a foreign language of some country where you would prefer to go. That way if there ever is a draft you'll be more likely to be sent to your favorite country instead of the action zone.

So, if you ever find yourself facing U.N. sanctions and thing that you don't feel like doing like you're told, you can feel comfortable giving them lip service but not actually doing anything they want.


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