Sunday, November 18, 2007

the devil came on horseback

400,000 dead, women raped and branded outside their camps, men killed or castrated or burnt in their villages, children traumatized and orphaned.
This is life in Darfur. This is death in Darfur. It’s hard to tell the difference.
I happened to be in Holland to see “Tot zover Darfur” (“Darfur thus far”), which included a series of documentaries and interviews on the subject of this region in Sudan.
Brian Steidle was an American Marine who became an eyewitness the the genocide in Darfur. He thought America would come to the rescue within a week of his photo’s reaching the West. But nothing happened. He resigned and thought of other ways to rouse awareness. Now we can see his pictures in the movie “The devil came on horseback”. This title refers to the Janjaweed, the government-trained militias which are bringing about a holocaust in Darfur. The name means “devil on a horse, with a gun”.
Meanwhile China is pouring oilmoney into Sudan, helping the government to finance the killing of the non-Arab Darfuri. And we are happily going to celebrate the Summer Olympics of 2008 in Beijing?! They say the Olympics have nothing to do with politics, so it doesn’t make a difference.
Our banks are investing their money in Chinese oil companies and other dubious firms. Have a look on to see what your bank’s investing in. I found my bank there and I didn’t like it. Even if only part of this is true, each of us is playing some part in financing activities that violate human rights.
That makes us all guilty, but you don’t need to know about it if you don’t want to.
This isn’t meant to be a sentimental entry to make you feel guilty. I write this merely because I know that I am guilty...guilty first of all of being apathatic. You may have no responsibility until you see, but you must look!
Perhaps one crisis in this world will then catch your eye and perhaps you will act. You will surely feel like a drop in the ocean (yes, I’m still with this drop), but the other drop you touch will be grateful to have company.
And the reason that this makes a difference, I believe, is that God created the ocean.

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