Today the Stop the War Coalition will be marching in London against the “war”. I wonder how many of those caring sharing people will have even registered “the worst humanitarian situation in the world” (the words of the UN co-ordinator for Sudan).
20Mar04 — 1
The left is beginning to argue the case of genuinely humanitarian intervention, and that’s a good thing – because that’s the best hope of progressing this debate. Most of the people who supported the war Iraq, even for humanitarian reasons, have had to give fairly uncritical support to the Bush administration. I posted a report Human Rights Watch and you described their requirement that interventions be primarily for humanitarian reasons as “well intentioned but optimistic”. That being the case, you really don’t have any right then to complain about what is happening in Sudan. You made a powerful case with regards to Sierra Leone by saying that you didn’t care if the Brits were motivated by diamond mines, so long as your Aunt didn’t have her limbs chopped off. Fair enough, but by that measure your Aunt’s limbs a worth some smidgen of diamond somewhere, just as an Iraqi is worth some quantity of oil, but the lives of women in Southern Sudan are worthless. And that’s intolerable. This is where capitalism really sucks!
You’re also right that Al-Qaeda cite the example of East Timor as a justification for suicide attacks. What irks many Muslims is how readily australia and the West supported the option of complete independence in the case of East Timor. Personally, I think that was the right decision given the crimes that were committed by the Indonesian military. However, why the silence in the case of Chechnya? The Chechens have been fighting for independence a lot longer than the East Timorese. Far from independence being an option, their struggle is dismissed as terrorism and Putin is given a free hand to raise Grozny, a city of 50,000 people, and for the russian military to commit all manner of abuses. These double standards matter! And as Muslims we understand precisely what they mean. We don’t miss the irony of ariel sharon describing Shaykh Yassin as a mass murderer and the american refusal to condemn his actions. This is why the so called war on terror will be an abject failure and why we despise america’s government and foreign policy.