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Pitching Sudan
March 21st, 2006

While human rights activists and others applaud New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof for his coverage (by subscription) of Sudan, some are appalled at the papers business side for accepting an eight-page advertising insert singing the praises of the government of the African nation, which is widely considered responsible for genocide against its own citizens. The supplement lauds Sudan for facing a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future,” and, according to felixsalmon.com criticizes the media for being “focused almost exclusively on the fighting between rebels and Arab militias.”

Human Rights Watch program director Iain Levine tells Daily News columnist Lloyd Grove that when he saw the ad “I practically fell off my seat on the subway . I could not believe it.

Would the New York Times run an advertorial extolling the charitable works of Osama bin Laden? asks felixsalmon. Would it run advertisements from Nambla, or from the Ku Klux Klan?

Apparently it would. Grove quotes a Time spokesperson as saying the paper took the ad because of our strong belief that all pages of the paper news, editorial and advertising must remain open to the free flow of ideas. But Mickey MacLean at World Views speculates that “it also didn’t hurt that an estimated $929,000 freely flowed into the newspaper’s coffers as a result of the section.”

By on March 21, 2006, 2:24 pm
In category: Civil Rights,Gotham City | 3 Comments »

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3 Responses to “Pitching Sudan”

  1. Femi Odutola Says:
    March 22nd, 2006 at 2:37 am

    Milosevic and the Sudan Question
    by Fẹmi Odutọla
    Milosevic has passed on. However, the humbug of many of those who malign him is laughable for almost invariably, they condone an orgy of genocide more frantic than that for which Milosevic was vilified – the long-running genocide in Sudan. Bill Clinton on Milosevics death, – “I am grateful that the United States led a coalition that stopped Slobodan Milosevic’s campaign of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Kosovo. Milosevic’s brutal policies are responsible for the deaths of countless thousands.. Clinton obviously had his own reasons to be grateful for that splendid war in which American planes were ordered to saturation-bomb Serbia into submission.
    Actually, Milosevic was not responsible for the death of countless thousands as some may have wished he did. For that would be brilliant justification for that unrelenting bombing campaign against the Serbs. He stood accused of genocide as head of the Serbian government for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of up to 8,000 Bosnian men and boys, as well as the battle for Sarajevo in which some 12,000 including Serb soldiers, were killed.

    An excerpt from Clintons 1999 victory speech to Congress goes like this – ..for the first time in 79 days, the skies over Yugoslavia are silent. The Serb army and police are withdrawing from Kosovo. The one million men, women, and children driven from their land are preparing to return home.This victory brings a new hope that when a people are singled out for destruction because of their heritage and religious faith and we can do something about it, the world will not look the other way. Though he is now out of office, how does one reconcile this with his loud silence on the festering Arab genocide in Sudan. It is in the light of this that his expression of personal failure for the 1994 Rwanda genocide continues to baffle.

    More so when, from the view-point of an outsider in these matters, Hillary Clinton literally competes with al-khaeida to champion what she sees as Palestinian rights. The odds against the black Africans in Sudan, the Zaghawa, Masalit, Fur and other black peoples in Darfur and South Sudan is formidable.

    A short list of the men and institutions with an interest in giving the cleric-backed Arab government enough time to complete the whole genocide business and have the issue swept under the carpet is formidable.

    Before following up with the list, I should declare an interest. I am a black African. Negro, and all my features say so. My people have always lived on the West African coast. I am a Yoruba man of antiquity. There are no less than 25million of us in these parts. My people number amongst those black Africans who put their own on slave ships and sold them off to distant lands they never knew. One hardly says this with pride. It was an age when, law and social customs were carefully interwoven with the religion/cults of the day. And crucially, the religion/cults could not be criticised, even if they were plainly wrong. Men who challenged the prevailing orthodoxy were hounded like criminals. So, the business continued until, the U.K., which bought slaves, because it enjoyed greater freedoms of speech, reformed itself and forcibly put an end to it. Today, the basic litmus test for identifying enlightened societies must be, if within it, you can challenge the prevailing orthodoxy.

    It was, no doubt, politically correct to sell slaves in those days. Just like it is politically correct today not to breathe out a word that could conceivably offend the Arab world.

    Sadly, todays political correctness is largely what makes mass murder respectable in the Sudan. Unless there is a biblical miracle, hundreds of thousands if not millions more are going to be slaughtered. They are going to die. Mind you, there is no vast right wing conspiracy here either. Ranged against them are the interests of these men and institutions – United Nations bureaucrats, China, the European Union, the European left, African Union, Arab League, Germany, black African rulers, Gaddafi, George Bush, Louis Farrakhan, Amnesty International, Russia, the World Council of Churches, Kofi Annan and many more.

    These brief illustrations would attempt to tell part of the story. In February 2006, a UN panel merely proposed that sanctions be imposed against a few Arab Sudan ministers and soldiers for impeding the peace efforts in Darfur. Mild sanctions, such as disallowing shopping sprees in Paris, is of course all that was proposed. The Panel immediately came under fire from within the 15-nation U.N. Security Council. China, Russia and Qatar expressed strong opposition. China pumps crude oil from the wholly black African south of the country to slake the thirst of its factories and, to a refinery it runs near Khartoum in the Arab north. Russia traditionally promotes Arab interests. Qatar is Arab.

    U.N. General Secretary, Kofi Annan is an indigenous black African. However, to make him give credence to what is currently the worlds most virulent and merciless war of racial attrition, African-American groups had to demonstrate against him. They gathered for this in Boston on June 9, 2004, the evening before he delivered a commencement address at Harvard University.

    Contrast this to events during the Iraq war : the inhabitants of Basra in Iraq, it was reckoned were without adequate electricity and good drinking water for one week. Kofi Annan, in an emotion-laden voice, repeatedly told the world of a potential humanitarian crisis. African diplomats in the United Nations competed to see who could make the most memorable speech condemning the Allied effort. Why, it was Iraq’s second largest city, and home to 1.5 million people. Hourly press-releases from UN officials thundered that some 100,000 children were at risk of disease as fighting there had continued for four days, disrupting supplies of drinking water. The German and French media were beside themselves with rage.

    Alas, 100,000 children are not at risk of illness in Dafur. 100,000 have, more likely, just been murdered as you read this. Murdered with the same relish with which Nazis killed Jewish children. Basra remains a city of 1.5 million living people. On the other hand, since 1983, over 2,000,000 indigenous black Africans in Sudan have been victims of carefully-planned state murders since the Arabs of North Sudan decided they wanted lebensraum. Kofi Annan is not alone.

    At his inauguration speech in 1999, Thabo Mbeki applauded Mandela and others who had struggled against everything that was ugly, mean, brutish and degrading of the dignity of all human beings. Those were early days yet. In an impassioned speech given on May 15, 2004, Thabo Mbeki thundered, Help us to fully restore Africas dignity as together we undertake a journey of hope. Alas, he wasnt referring to the genocide in Sudan and certainly not asking for assistance in that direction. He was asking for the rights to host the World Cup, the worlds most prestigious football tournament. Curiously, with all Mbekis deep feelings for the dignity of human beings, he thinks the rights to treat the world to a football fiesta more important than the need to put an end to the bare-faced 21st century Arab enslavement and annihilation of indigenous black people in Sudan.

    In January 2003, Nelson Mandela made a futile attempt to save the murderous tyrants in Iraq. In a speech he gave in Johannesburg, he found George W. Bush arrogant and said the U.S. president will cause a holocaust. For good effect, he also called Bush a president who cant think properly. Mandela should ask why Gaddafi, whom he fondly calls my brother leader has angrily offered Kofi Annan 100,000 Libyan soldiers, 1,000 tanks and 100 aircraft to patrol Darfur, so that UN troops can stay out. The blatant Arab complicity in the long-running holocaust in Sudan is clear. Mandela, may now want to think properly. Perhaps, Historian, Dr. David Starkey should be forgiven for saying, Mandela is the most over-rated figure of the 21 st century.
    Louis Farrakhan, leader of Americas black Moslems came to Sudan to hobnob with Sudans Arab military dictator. Confronted with the fact that his host, al-Bashir, according to the Wall Street Journal, personally “owns African slaves from southern Sudan”, he dismissed this. As for the long-running enslavement of black peoples in Sudan, Farrakhan dismissed this, to nobodys surprise, as the concoction of a “Jewish conspiracy.” Its alright, obviously to shake ones fists at the world only from the ambient safety of Washington DC. American Jews have been known to take up arms in Israel, once when the majority Arabs of the Middle East tried to overrun the minority Jewish state in the region. In Darfur, the Janjaweed routinely rapes black women in front of their husbands before cutting them down. This most popular of Janjaweed sport continues to this day for want of people to take up the black cause. And these are Moslem women. Nobody expected Farrakhan to speak up for the 2 million black people who were slaughtered in the Nuba mountains in the South. Those were black African Christians. A jihad was declared against those ones to give that war of racial attrition the politically correct and therefore, acceptable religious flavour.
    Two years ago, mild U.N. sanctions were proposed. Sudan immediately summoned an Arab League meeting. Two days later, on August 8, 2004 the Arab League unanimously endorsed the actions of Arab government in Sudan. By implication, it approved the mass-murder of the indigenous black population. Even before the meeting, its secretary general, Amr Moussa, predicted a “clear Arab stand on how to deal with the Darfur crisis, on the Arab countries’ support of Sudan and avoiding possible international sanctions”. Cowed, the UN took the road back. The genocide continued apace. In world affairs, Arab oil, intimidation, threats of violent demonstrations and Arab threats of a fatwa now seem to outpace everything else in importance.
    One black woman once recounted the atmosphere when the government-sponsored Arab militia, the Janjaweed, entered her own village. She said, The Janjaweed shouted, We will not allow blacks here. We will not let Zaghawa here. This land is only for Arabs. A notion with which the Israelis are surely familiar. Being infidels, it was imperative, it seems, that Arab North Sudan, should kill the indigenous black peoples, dance in their blood and push them into the sea.
    This month, March 2006, Kofi Annan has just won a major concession that Arab North Sudan badly needed. And he announced it with fanfare. The desire to keep UN troops out of Sudan for another 6 months. An ill-equipped African Union force of 7,000 men can therefore continue to pretend that it is patrolling Dafur an area, the size of France. Gaddafis desperate figure of 100,000 men, 1000 tanks and 100 aircraft is closer to what the UN will need. Gaddafi should know.
    What lies behind the exemplary stoicism of black Africans ? Well, South Sudan and Darfur, unlike apartheid South Africa, does not have a ready-made First World economy to inherit. Something to show off as the result of your own genius. With failed economies and failed societies, many black African countries are bankrolled by Arab Libyas Gaddafi. Their first duty, they therefore believe, is to the Palestinian and Arab cause. At international gatherings, they feel duty-bound to sing along with the knee-jerk anti-American chorus of deep-seated covetousness and hatred that tries to brand itself world opinion.
    On the Sudan Question, the general view from the African Union is that, all is well. The driving force behind the creation of the African Union is of course, Arab Libyas Gaddafi. His opinion is that a solution might involve the partition of the Sudan into an Arab north and a Negroid south. He has insisted that “the African leaders are unanimously opposed to the partition of Sudan as such a move will promote separatist calls in their own countries”. He regularly describes the crisis as a “tribal conflict” – the type, he said, which had been occurring in Africa for centuries. The killings of untermenschen by their superiors. A Tribal conflict should not be taken to the UN Security Council, he has concluded.
    There are many things worse than war. Slavery is worse than war. Dishonour is worse than war said Winston Churchill. Political negroes obviously do not think so. Gaddafi has spoken. Black African rulers, it appears, know their masters voice.
    Only a biblical miracle will save the black peoples of Sudan. George Bush can be forgiven for fudging issues whilst the carnage continues. When US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice visited Sudan, Arab North Sudan as usual, could not contain its blistering contempt for all black people. Her officials were manhandled. The fact that she is the American Secretary of State only met with so much sneering and sniggering. She is a prominent Sovietologist. She would now, no doubt, have taken the trouble to fill the gap in her education. When Kofi Annan visited, his security officials were roughed-up too. They couldnt help themselves. UN bureaucrats, stratified in their thinking, tow the Sudanese governments line. To the delight of the Arab Sudanese, Jan Pronk, the UN Special Envoy to Sudan insists that a NATO-led force to Darfur would be a recipe for disaster. Sudans Arab strongman, like Saddam before him, claims it will be its graveyard.

    Yet, the inexplicable American determination to splash human and material resources on Iraqis has Bush trapped. For fear of offending our Arab allies Bush must not speak too strongly against genocide in Sudan. Neither can he stop Iran from building nuclear weapons. Not even after its frenzied leader has made it clear to the world that he wants to wipe Israel off the map. It is often forgotten that Hitler too, was duly elected Chancellor of Germany. A liberal education system, enlightened plural societies in which dissent is allowed, guarantee world peace and freedoms much more than democracy does by itself.
    Sixteen indigenous African countries are included in the 57 countries listed as members of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC). Africas most populous nation, Nigeria, its population wholly Negroid, is listed as Number 37. At the OIC summit in Malaysia in October 2003, a great deal of bile was split condemning the war in Iraq. The OICs blood-curdling hatred for Israel and Jewish people was summed-up to the applause of all by Mahattir Mohammed of Malaysia. Not a word on the long-running carnage in South Sudan. The black Africans appear to have gone home happy all the same. It is not clear if the World Council of Churches(WCC) found some wisdom in Mahattir Mohammeds infamous slur against Israel, but it decided to reward Malaysia with its first meeting of the century.
    As the WCC held its August 2004 meeting in Malaysia, its website had a bag-load that was negative and unhelpful regarding the Allied effort in Iraq. Not a word on the virulent Arab genocide in Sudan. In April 2003, its ex-General Secretary, Konrad Raiser had made a spirited effort to bolster the war-position of Germanys nationalist, socialist government. He wrote in the International Herald Tribune to question the legitimacy of the US-led coalition forces’ decision to use military force to disarm Iraq. By the same logic or the logic now inverted, any action to check the genocide in Sudan will be resisted. These timorous souls and their nauseating humbug, really should be ignored.

    Now, the WCC has some good company. Europeans who are positively shrill about human rights whenever Israel tries to protect itself, have precious little to say about the Arabs of North Sudan. In the second week of August 2004, the European Union said its fact-finding mission to Sudan had found widespread violence in Darfur, but that there was no evidence of genocide. Returning from Darfur, Pieter Feith, an adviser to the EU’s foreign policy chief Javier Solana, told reporters in Brussels that “it is clear there is widespread, silent and slow killing going on, and village burning of a fairly large scale”. But this did not amount to genocide, Reuters reported him as saying.

    That was in 2004, when as many as 30,000 people had reportedly, become recent victims of the frenzied murders, and one million people had been forced to flee their homes in that region alone. Arab Sudans foreign minister, Mustafa Osman Ismail, gleefully told fawning reporters in Cairo that the murder count was exaggerated. “The maximum of our estimation for those who died until now doesn’t exceed 5,000. Must we now assume that the EU approves of Peter Feiths widespread, silent and slow killing ? Then, one supposes 5000 bodies are still no more than 76 lorry-loads for a fair-sized furnace in a concentration camp. As for the village burning of a fairly large scale, surely, Saddam himself would approve. When it was thought that Arabs might complain over the high-handedness of Milosevics soldiers in Bosnia, Javier Solana as NATO Secretary General did all the tough talking. We havent heard from him on this. This is typical of the European left.

    And Amnesty International ? On its website, it has a ton-load of material on Iraq. The frenzy in its offices would have been palpable when news broke that 3 or 4 Iraqi prisoners had been abused. It has had very little to say on the campaign of genocide by the Arabs of North Sudan.

    Nothing illustrates the humbug of politicians better than this contemporaneous with the bombing of Serbia, a memo to the UK House of Commons chronicled the use by Arab Sudan of chemical bombs against civilians in the Nuba mountains of Sudan. In this same period the Arab Sudan government told Clinton it considered US food aid to the bombed-out and deliberately starved black people in the Nuba mountains an unfriendly act. The US duly complied.
    Yet, the United States is the only country that has paid quality attention to the genocide in Sudan. It does not need a United Nations Security Council resolution to force issues in Sudan. It is unlikely ever to get one. Eagerly comparing Milosevics soldiers to the Nazis, CNNs Iranian reporter, Christiana Amanpour once used every trick in the book to claw at Americas conscience. Thus did a scandal-propelled Bill Clinton save her kinsmen in Bosnia and Kosovo from Milosevics ultra-nationalist Serb soldiers. She has led a CNN crew to Dafur. 2 million people have been killed in the past 20years in Sudan and the CNN crew has yet to discover one mass grave ! The coverage was all about how the relief agencies could do better. The knowing smile, was unmistakable. Black African or African-American journalists would of course be exceedingly foolish to roam freely in Darfur.
    Now, where are all those who marched against the war to remove Saddam ? It seems doubtful now that they were largely motivated by decent, thoughtful and high-minded moral principles. Many sought to preserve Saddam because they were loath to see the demise of that particular regime. A regime they could trust, without any direct prompting from European anti-semites, to procure nuclear arms and repeatedly strike Israel without any hesitation. Anti-semitism has always been protean. They have a new champion in Iran. No doubt they will take to the streets again to protect him. Their unrelenting chorus against that war was not informed by any love for humanity. Amongst their leading lights are the worlds worst racists.
    Those who smugly connive at genocide in Sudan only need to wait a little while. Allowing evil appetites to range unfettered has its results. Osama bin Laden lived in Sudan from 1992-96. Encouraged by its exemplary success in Sudan, Arab Sudans appetite for mass murder has been greatly aroused. By air, Sudan is only a few hours away from Strasbourg.

    Femi Odutola
    Odutola & Co. (Solicitors)
    19 Club Road Tel : 234 1 269 6081 / 2 , 482 9158 / 9
    Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria Email : femi_odutola_ctct@hotmail.co.uk

  2. Pie and Coffee » NY Times Accepts ad from Sudan Government Says:
    March 23rd, 2006 at 1:20 pm

    […] Some commentary here: The supplement lauds Sudan for facing a “peaceful, prosperous and democratic future”… […]

  3. jeroen Says:
    March 28th, 2006 at 5:02 pm

    the ad: http://www.summitreports.com/pdfs/sudan.pdf

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