Monday, January 31, 2005

Truly, "A Problem from Hell"

Wow. I just watched Peter Raymont's Sundace Film Festival Award-winning documentary on Romeo Dallaire, the general in charge of the U.N.'s peacekeeping mission to Rwanda in 1994. I'm still trying to figure out how to best articulate the thoughts/feelings that Shake Hands With The Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire has provoked in me.

The CBC is giving the film a second airing on The Passionate Eye on Wednesday--this time on CBC Newsworld.

Please. Watch. If you've seen it already, watch it again. The light it sheds not only on Dallaire, but the farce that is the U.N. (or, as Stephen Lewis put it, that "mystic, Byzantine labyrinth" [I'm paraphrasing]) and its response to genocide is both stark and startling.

In a very much related story: UN rules out genocide in Darfur: A UN report has said Sudan's government and its militia systematically abused civilians in Darfur - but it stopped short of calling the violence genocide.

"The commission found that [Sudan's] government forces and militias conducted indiscriminate attacks," the report by the five-member commission said.

It said those included "killing of civilians, enforced disappearances, destruction of villages, rape and other forms of sexual violence, pillaging and forced displacement, throughout Darfur".

The commission concluded that the Sudanese government "has not pursued a policy of genocide", but added that the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur might be no less serious.

It said some individuals - including government officials - may have committed "acts with genocidal intent". However, it did not name names.

I am so fucking disgusted with the U.N. and its semantics. Genocide is genocide is genocide.

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