Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing, Rape, Looting in Sudan

Sudan is suffering from a horrific nightmare. People are dying in their hundreds of thousands. Once again, the weak (those considered to want to live peacefully) are being pulled to pieces by the strong, like hyenas attacking a wildebeest. Here are some of the statistics of the conflict in the area.

– Between 200,000 and 400,000 civilians are dead. Times that figure by ten, at least, for those who are potentially hurt, maimed, wounded or psychologically scarred.
– Five separate waves of violence by tens of militias are being perpetrated all across the Darfur region.
– 2,000,000 people have been displaced from their homes.
– 200,000 people have fled the country to neighboring countries Chad; large numbers of Sudanese refugees have also fled to Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
– Sudan is the largest country in the African continent, with Darfur itself being the size of France
– 7,000 African Union troops have been struggling to keep the peace in the region, suffering casualties themselves, being under-equipped and under-funded. These will be removed from the region, unless things change, by the end of the month.
– 17,000 U.N. Peacekeepers are proposed to keep the peace there, under U.N. Resolution 1706

The conflict stems from land rights and property issues between the Arab farmers and Africans, the Arabs in the north and to the east are systematically killing and looting their way across hundreds of villages, in a system that can only be described as a ‘cleansing’ of the area.

From Jan Pronks weblog (Special United Nations Representative for Sudan):

“Militia groups continue to operate with impunity throughout Darfur, attacking villages, killing villagers, raping women, stealing livestock and harassing IDPs (Internally Displaced People)in and around the camps. Some militias have settled in cleared villages in West Darfur and are cultivating the land. In some places they are keeping the people in virtual slavery, preventing them from leaving and regularly assaulting women. Elsewhere they beat up displaced persons who try to return to their own village in order to cultivate their land and tell them to stay away and never to come back, if they don’t want to be killed.”

Originally, conflict broke out in 2003 as rebels in the south attacked the Arab-led government, over what they called ‘unfair distribution of the oil wealth.’ Since then a peace treaty was signed, but only by one of the many militia groups, the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) which has now been reported to be fighting on the side of the government.

The Sudanese Government, led by President Omar al-Bashir has rejected U.N. Resolution 1706, which would ask for about 17,000 peacekeepers to be deployed in the region, calling it; “part of a comprehensive conspiracy for confiscating the country’s sovereignty” in comments reported by the Sudanese news agency Suna on Sunday. By rejecting the U.N. push for peacekeepers, many of the Sudanese people won’t have a hope left after the last barrier against unrestrained genocide, the AU troops, leave on September 30th. Although Resolution 1706 does not require the permission of the Sudanese government to conduct a humanitarian mission, this is obviously not an option that the U.N. wishes to pursue . With al-Bashir quoting the beginning of a ‘Holy War’ if U.N. troops do move in, you can start to see that this crisis is not one that can be solved quickly.

Al-Bashir’s government has said that they will place 10,000 troops in the region to halt violence, but the U.N. have balked at the idea. Why? My theory is that the Sudanese government has a lot to do with the killings.

According to a Reuters report, journalists have witnessed the loading up of planes with bombs to attack villages, injuring and killing hundreds of children in the process, in an area where 25% of children don’t survive anyway due to awful conditions. The pretext for these attacks on innocents is due to often very flimsy intelligence of rebel presence in those areas. To me, that kind of treatment, along with the Sudanese governments rejection of any kind of peace-keeping force, leads to only one conclusion, that the pro-Arab government is supporting this ‘ethnic cleansing’ in order to clear the whole area of Africans, making way for Arab settlement. In effect, Libestraum, ‘living ground’. This technique was one that the Nazi’s had planned for the expansion of the germanic people.

Of course, Khartoum is denying these allegations, saying that they are merely conducting “administrative operations”.

From the BBC:

“Fresh Sudanese soldiers have been arriving in the region, and rights groups, AU officials and Darfur’s rebel groups report that on 28 August a new offensive began, with reports of attacks on rebel-held villages in Darfur.

Darfur refugees, rebels and the United States have long accused the Sudanese army of backing up the Arab Janjaweed militias in a “genocide” against the region’s black African population.”


In the middle of this complicated and multi-faceted conflict, are the people, the innocents. Around 14,000 aid workers are helping feed and supply approximately 3 million people in an area the size of France, and there have been about a dozen aid-worker deaths already.

Conditions are steadily getting worse.

“Indeed, in many ways we are in a freefall in Darfur at the moment,”
-U.N. humanitarian chief Jan Egeland

From the BBC:

Rebecca Dale from the International Rescue Committee said that some of those who have returned to their homes in south Sudan have since returned to the capital, Khartoum, because they found so little infrastructure.

She said that 25% of children in the south die before they reach the age of five, there are very few schools and there is only one doctor for every 100,000 people.

In my opinion this is just the beginning. With the outbreak of war between the Sudanese government and various militias, it will prove more and more difficult for the aid to reach the people who need it most. What is needed is international pressure on the region, on the U.S., on the U.N., and on the Sudanese Government to stop this genocide before it goes any further. If the U.S. means what it says about wanting to spread freedom and democracy around the world, then maybe it should back up it’s words with actions, and not just move to those countries with economic incentives for the United States.

They say what we don’t know doesn’t hurt us. Very true, as we sit tucked away in our safe little houses in our safe towns and cities, tucked up in our Slumberland comforters and chewing on a PowerBar. Many people will flick past the news, maybe dwell on a subject for a moment, then utter the familiar ‘oh, that’s terrible’, before clicking onwards, onwards, to numbness.

Well, shit happens in this world, and we can choose to ignore it, or we can choose to do something about it. What can I do, you say. Learn, learn everything you can, be aware, don’t pull the wool over your eyes, and be ready, for whatever is required of you. It’s your world, awful things happen in it.

Do something about it.

More to come.

28 thoughts on “Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing, Rape, Looting in Sudan

  1. Anonymous says:

    The first few paragraphs were for Shem, not you. I was answering every post since my last one. I know you don’t agree that Africa should handle it’s own problems.

    International politics is not based on morals, straight and simple. It is about protecting a countries interests, not protecting peoples rights.

    I do think it would be a good idea to catch Bin Laden, what i was saying (although i don’t htink i was very clear) is that catching Bin Laden won’t be winning any ‘war on terror’. Al Qaeda is responsible, not just 1 man, so it is more important to destroy the organisation than 1 man. If Bin Laden dies or is caught he will just be replaced.

    Apologies to insulting your intelligence, i was obviously just not in the right state of mind. I still cannot agree that it is hard to get information off the internet, after you find sites which are trustworthy, you can get reliable news faster and more easily than off TV radio or newspaper.

    How exactly do you propse you can stop the irrational hatred of another race? I am not saying genocide is ok, but if the people of a country are that deeply segregated, there is very little that an international peace keeping force can do except take control and keep control. I don’t see how the UN can help Africa, especially seeing as the UN has been around since WW2 and Africa doesn’t seem to be any better.

    The best way to help Africa would be to drop tarrif barriers, and seeing as you say that Americans obviously care so much about Africa, they won’ mind. Let Africa sell it’s agriculture around the world, let Africa build up it’s economy. No amount of peace keeping or aid can ghive africa what is taken away because of the first worlds refusal to let the few over-payed workers go, even though these people will still be getting social welfare, for the starving in Africa who could make an economy without a dependancy on aid if uyou just let free trade be free trade.

    Whatever you say, i don’t think there are many people anywhere outside of Africa who would actually sacrifice something for Africa (not specifically talking about you, but the Americans who you seem to think want to know about it so they can give a few cents to some charity organisation rather than trying to actually solve problems). Not that i expect them to, but if they do care, we should soon see Africa being able to trade freely with it’s agricultural goods.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Ok, I see what your saying now.

    I know international politics isn’t founded on morals; they don’t look to see if it’s moral or immoral. It is about the countries interests, but I’m saying that this is what can make a foreign policy unethical, because the morals of the principles it upholds are not taken into question. It can disregard, in general, certain people’s rights under certain conditions, which all and all, make it immoral. But I know what your saying. It isn’t based on it, which is a problem.

    I agree, we catch Bin Laden, and then another leader rises up, and it’s a mentality were fighting, which as you said, is almost impossible to win against. It won’t win a war on terror, because we can’t fight terror, its such a loose concept. All and all though, what can we do? I don’t think we should rage a war on terror, but just learn form our mistakes and catch the guy responsible for the crime.

    I accept your apology. I wasn’t really speaking about myself, but trying to take a general state of mind approach concerning the news and what people look for. I was trying to get in the mindset of people that I’ve talked to about how they get their news, and the viewpoints they see it to be as. I should have been more specific about that point. I don’t mean people like you and I, we look for things, and we don’t trust everything we read off the bat. But a lot of people think that scanning the Internet for news, and wondering what they should trust is too much work.

    The issue were talking about here is very hard, and very complex, I see what your saying and partially agree with dropping the tariff barriers. But it needs to be a combination of things. If we do that, what will they use the money on? More killing? Then they can be rich and kill one another, instead of poor. We need to do more than just lift a barrier, although that will help. We also need to bring in education, we need to make sure the money isn’t being spent on weapons; someone is supplying these people who hate one another with weapons which needs to stop, and education needs to be brought it. The best way they’ve dealt with the aids conflict so far is to educate the people, and eventually their superstitions will be lessened. Same principle with Genocide, they need to know that were all the same underneath our skin. It won’t solve the problem of hatred, but it will lessen the irrationality which when coupled with hatred, adds gasoline to the fire.

    I know what you mean about the general lack of care for other peoples and countries. And the solution again is education. It’s the technique of delivery we have the problem with here in America. It seems to be that many people care when there taught to. People aren’t being taught compassion and most especially they aren’t being taught to act. America dumbs down concepts and education plans because it cuts the funding so they can go to war, and whatever other ways they’re pocketing the cash. The more they cut the funding the dumber children get, and a lot of parents don’t have time to care because of the cost of living, and how much they have to work.

    On the other hand, a lot of times the people who really want to help aren’t able to. Africa isn’t letting itself be helped, and it’s hard to help a cause that doesn’t want it. A lot of the people want it, but the governments are too proud to admit they need help when they do, at least with this Darfur conflict. It’s a multifaceted problem, and there are many solutions that could help. There are just a lot of barriers to overcome.

    Logan

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Ok, I see what your saying now.

    I know international politics isn’t founded on morals; they don’t look to see if it’s moral or immoral. It is about the countries interests, but I’m saying that this is what can make a foreign policy unethical, because the morals of the principles it upholds are not taken into question. It can disregard, in general, certain people’s rights under certain conditions, which all and all, make it immoral. But I know what your saying. It isn’t based on it, which is a problem.

    I agree, we catch Bin Laden, and then another leader rises up, and it’s a mentality were fighting, which as you said, is almost impossible to win against. It won’t win a war on terror, because we can’t fight terror, its such a loose concept. All and all though, what can we do? I don’t think we should rage a war on terror, but just learn form our mistakes and catch the guy responsible for the crime.

    I accept your apology. I wasn’t really speaking about myself, but trying to take a general state of mind approach concerning the news and what people look for. I was trying to get in the mindset of people that I’ve talked to about how they get their news, and the viewpoints they see it to be as. I should have been more specific about that point. I don’t mean people like you and I, we look for things, and we don’t trust everything we read off the bat. But a lot of people think that scanning the Internet for news, and wondering what they should trust is too much work.

    The issue were talking about here is very hard, and very complex, I see what your saying and partially agree with dropping the tariff barriers. But it needs to be a combination of things. If we do that, what will they use the money on? More killing? Then they can be rich and kill one another, instead of poor. We need to do more than just lift a barrier, although that will help. We also need to bring in education, we need to make sure the money isn’t being spent on weapons; someone is supplying these people who hate one another with weapons which needs to stop, and education needs to be brought it. The best way they’ve dealt with the aids conflict so far is to educate the people, and eventually their superstitions will be lessened. Same principle with Genocide, they need to know that were all the same underneath our skin. It won’t solve the problem of hatred, but it will lessen the irrationality which when coupled with hatred, adds gasoline to the fire.

    I know what you mean about the general lack of care for other peoples and countries. And the solution again is education. It’s the technique of delivery we have the problem with here in America. It seems to be that many people care when there taught to. People aren’t being taught compassion and most especially they aren’t being taught to act. America dumbs down concepts and education plans because it cuts the funding so they can go to war, and whatever other ways they’re pocketing the cash. The more they cut the funding the dumber children get, and a lot of parents don’t have time to care because of the cost of living, and how much they have to work.

    On the other hand, a lot of times the people who really want to help aren’t able to. Africa isn’t letting itself be helped, and it’s hard to help a cause that doesn’t want it. A lot of the people want it, but the governments are too proud to admit they need help when they do, at least with this Darfur conflict. It’s a multifaceted problem, and there are many solutions that could help. There are just a lot of barriers to overcome.

    Logan

    Like

  4. Anonymous says:

    OK, i generally agree.

    The problem with Africa is that it isn’t held accountable for it’s mistakes, people keep on sending aid to a dictatership that is ruining it’s countries economy, education and health services.

    If tarriff barriers are dropped though, it will allow poeple to gain some power, and businesses generally don’t buy weapons when the money would be better spent on upsizing etc. If the government has to keep businesses happy it is less likely to allow genocide (which destabalises the country and economy). When a country has a stable, flourishing economy, it is generally more important to keep the economy strong than to fight wars (However, with stupid ideas like racial hatred you never know).

    I do not know to much about the US education systym, i do not think that teachers should be able to politicise students though, but with a good education, the desire to know what is going on with the world should develop naturally, along wiht whatever ‘skills’ you are supposed to be taught in school to analyse and understand the news you do get.

    Basically i wasn’t talking about what is good and right, i was saying what the reality is and that a simple solution like asking the US to go in probably would not help and that you cannot expect the US to act any differently with it’s international politics than any other country (although it’s international policy has never been very good anyway).

    I just don’t like how every time a country anywhere has any problem whatsoever people either blame the US for doing something or for not doing something, and they are just so busy slagging off the US that they do not take the time to find a reasonable solution that will actually help solve the problem, not just make said person feel warm and fuzzy inside for screaming about morality (not directed at you, just the world in general and all the touchy, feely solutions that seem to end up making the situation worse)

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  5. Anonymous says:

    I think it has to be said that this level of debate and interest in another country’s problems is laudable. However, it changes nothing.

    Anyone with a reasonable level of intelligence is both aware and able to understand the problems inherent in Rwanda, Sudan, Bosnia, Iraq, North Korea, Northern Ireland etc. etc. And, it doesn’t take CNN, FOX, the BBC or any other single news service to provide us with our views and opinions. The simple truth is, those with a modicum of intellect base their opinions on a variety of sources, garnered from every corner of the globe. From blogs to news services to papers, there are a variety of sources of information on world news and we base our views on the information given by them all and we also take into account the bias of the news provider while we’re at it.

    If CNN (or Fox or the Beeb or a damn Hollywood movie) is your only source of information, then you have NO opinion, you are merely spouting the same rhetoric as another.

    Simply, the problems in Rwanda will NOT be solved by the average citizen of the UK, the US or any other Western country knowing or understanding the facts about the confilct. Nor will the military might of the self-proclaimed “policemen of the world” help in the slightest. There is, after all, nothing to be gained from an invasion of Sudan, therefore, one will not take place.

    Pity those poor bastards in the Sudan by all means, feel guilty for living in a world where one human can treat another human like shit, hate the murderers and terrorists and despise your own government for selling them the arms to achieve their goals. But don’t, for fuck’s sake, patronise us by pretending like your knowledge, your concern, your words will ever, EVER, change a thing.

    Those 400,000 civilians will remain dead. The UK and the US will remain rich and corpulent. And the happy-go-lucky citizens who’re sat in their comfy-chairs behind their expensive computers in their pretty little houses with their pretty little gardens will continue to write blogs and comments about how much they care, about how sensitive they are… And nothing will change.

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  6. Shem says:

    I ask any commenters on this site who insist on remaining anonymous to leave a name of some kind so when people respond they can direct the comment to the right person. Leave a false name, symbol, whatever, just something other people can identify you with when responding.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Any responses to the post that criticised the patronising nature of the previous posts should be directed at me. Or, to help you out of a pronoun predicament, you can call me ‘Tater Salad…

    Hope that helps.

    Like

  8. Shem says:

    In response to the last comment before mine.

    QUOTE: ‘If CNN (or Fox or the Beeb or a damn Hollywood movie) is your only source of information, then you have NO opinion, you are merely spouting the same rhetoric as another.’

    I take my sources from many places, not just the BBC or CNN. That much must be evident. I take information from U.N. reports, Human Rights Watch reports, independent news organisations, agencies, among other sources and I research extensively before I write an article. If I’ve made a mistake, or my information is incorrect, let me know.

    I am inspired by the messages in some film and documentaries. I don’t think movies can be described as a historical record, and even if it did claim to be so I would check alongside other sources. However, its message as a dramatization of events that took place can be powerful enough to move people into researching further, then perhaps taking action. I think therefore it is a useful medium. Not the only one, but useful enough.

    QUOTE: ‘Pity those poor bastards in the Sudan by all means, feel guilty for living in a world where one human can treat another human like shit, hate the murderers and terrorists and despise your own government for selling them the arms to achieve their goals. But don’t, for fuck’s sake, patronise us by pretending like your knowledge, your concern, your words will ever, EVER, change a thing.’

    My concern in of itself will achieve nothing, that’s right, but my knowledge, other people’s knowledge will change everything if applied in the right direction. I can only assume that by you saying that knowledge will never change anything, that you are advocating ignorance? What else changes things but knowledge and the application of that? I do give a damn, enough to do something about it, to donate money, whatever I can. Easing my little conscience maybe, but hopefully doing something.

    QUOTE: ‘Simply, the problems in Rwanda will NOT be solved by the average citizen of the UK, the US or any other Western country knowing or understanding the facts about the confilct. Nor will the military might of the self-proclaimed “policemen of the world” help in the slightest. There is, after all, nothing to be gained from an invasion of Sudan, therefore, one will not take place.’

    I never said that the U.S. or the U.N. or anyone should ‘invade’. Due to misguided U.S. foreign policy, the U.N. has no political clout in suggesting it move into another nation even if only to protect aid workers. Intervention is not invasion, but that’s hard to accept in the current political climate. The U.N.’s job is infinitely harder because of it.

    I also think you study more about the subject, if you care enough to do so. There was no direct benefits to sending peace-keepers into Congo, or Macedonia or many other places, but there were still sent. Any benefits? No.

    Now I’m confused, is it ‘my words’ that won’t matter? Or anyone at all? I say that only because your tone was accusatory towards me for writing that article in the first place. I’m not that egotistical to think that I can alone change the world through writing my little blog in the midst of millions of others, but if it causes conversation with just a few people then it’s been worthwhile. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and all that. With your negativity towards any actions, I’d be surprised if you could hold any kind of meaningful conversation, let alone build Rome. What’s the point, you cry, as you let everyone else do the work, support you, and make a difference. That apathy is worse than anything. I’m not a die hard activist, but at least I’m trying to make a frikkin difference, mate. Lie down, and when the bastards come to your door, just tell them you’re not in. Someone else will do something about it.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Okay, I can see how my comments might have been misinterpreted as being aimed only at you. That wasn’t the intention. Therefore:

    QUOTE: “‘If CNN (or Fox or the Beeb or a damn Hollywood movie) is your only source of information, then you have NO opinion, you are merely spouting the same rhetoric as another.’

    I take my sources from many places, not just the BBC or CNN. That much must be evident.”

    My point was in reference to the person who ‘realised’ how awful things were in Rwanda after watching the movie ‘Hotel Rwanda’. It was not specifically aimed at you. I was using the 2nd person plural (‘you’) to indicate anyone and everyone.

    QUOTE: ‘My concern in of itself will achieve nothing, that’s right, but my knowledge, other people’s knowledge will change everything if applied in the right direction.’

    And which direction might this be? The direction in which our governments allow us to stagger blindy, bleating like the aimless, neutered sheep that we are? Knowledge may very well be power, but in the hands of the few it is mere rhetoric, useful only to those who wish to seem superior and intellectual. Let’s boil it down… How has your knowledge of their suffering helped anybody in Sudan? How has your vitriolic essay fed the starving, clothed the poor, re-housed the homeless, soothed a child that has lost its parents, funded rebuilding, or reincarnated the corpses that lie rotting in the midday sun?

    Answer: It hasn’t changed a damned thing.

    QUOTE: ‘I can only assume that by you saying that knowledge will never change anything, that you are advocating ignorance?’

    No. I have never advocated ignorance. I’m just willing to accept the fact that most people are idiots. An egocentric view of the world, you may think, but true enough if you just take a quick glance around you. Ignorance is part and parcel of the world. Sure, learn all that you can, be all that you can be, live the dream, fight the power, don’t let the man get you down etc. etc. When all is said and done, however, my fifty pounds to Amnesty International will achieve nothing other than buying them a few more stamps so they can leaflet-bomb my neighbourhood one more time. My knowledge, your knowledge, the PM’s knowledge, the President’s knowledge, none of our collective knowing changes a single thing. People still die, atrocities are still committed, rape still occurs, famine runs rife, death stalks our already blood-stained streets and not a God-damned thing changes, despite us being able to see this suffering in all its Technicolour glory, despite us being able to listen to the screams of the dying in glorious Dolby 7.1 surround sound. Our knowledge of their pain is nothing more than a voyeuristic pleasure on our part. A desire to see the blood on the tarmac.

    No, I don’t advocate ignorance. But I also take a dim view of this flowers-by-the-roadside, candle-lit-vigil, social-outcry, guilt-mongering attitude that seems so damn prevalent in our society. Would I protect a Sudanese child from a grown man with a gun? Yes, and little fucking good that would do me or the child. Can I help the Sudanese child that died this week with a bayonet rammed through his eyeball? No. He’s dead and neither my interminable rambling nor your happy-shiny-people routine nor the various other comments from people who ‘really care, really understand, not like the rest of us bastards’ will ever change that.

    QUOTE: ‘I also think you study more about the subject, if you care enough to do so. There was no direct benefits to sending peace-keepers into Congo, or Macedonia or many other places, but there were still sent. Any benefits? No.’

    No direct benefits? Isn’t that an interesting phrase. No ‘direct’ benefits. Maybe someone should look into those ‘interventions’ a little more closely and see what the ‘indirect’ results of them were for various authorities. I could offer some insights, but why waste my time, they would merely be dismissed as the rambling of ‘someone who needs to study more’. Again, patronise away, but do take a moment to realise that maybe there are people out there who know as much, if not more in some wild, strange cases, about the world and all its weird and wonderful inhabitants than you.

    QUOTE: ‘With your negativity towards any actions, I’d be surprised if you could hold any kind of meaningful conversation, let alone build Rome.’

    Is this not a meaningful conversation? No, I guess not, I am, after all, just a young padouin. Still, let me persevere…

    I’m not negative towards ‘any’ actions. I’m negative towards the pat-yourself-on-the-back, won’t-somebody-think-of-the-children, I-gave-fifty-pence-to-[insert faceless, beurocratic charity here] kind of ‘actions’. Your blog hit the tone spot on: “Well, shit happens in this world, and we can choose to ignore it, or we can choose to do something about it. What can I do, you say. Learn, learn everything you can, be aware, don’t pull the wool over your eyes, and be ready, for whatever is required of you. It’s your world, awful things happen in it. Do something about it.”

    Let me paraphrase that last quote.

    “I discovered something awful about [insert random country/cause here] and now I realise how wrong and terrible it is. I’m shocked and appalled that nobody else realises it, you should all feel horrible and guilty because you’re allowing it to happen. You should do something, just like I am.”

    Yeah, because if everyone posted just one blog a month the poor, needy and abused of this world would have something to read while they die cruel and horrible deaths.

    QUOTE: ‘What’s the point, you cry, as you let everyone else do the work, support you, and make a difference. That apathy is worse than anything. I’m not a die hard activist, but at least I’m trying to make a frikkin difference, mate. Lie down, and when the bastards come to your door, just tell them you’re not in. Someone else will do something about it.’

    No one supports me. I make a difference to those people I care about because that is all anybody can do, no matter what the scare-mongers and guilt-harvesters say. Those close to you are the ONLY people that can feel your love, your sympathy, your pity, your charity, your desire to help. Sure, send money to charities if you like, volunteer for some charity work if you feel like it, but don’t patronise others by pretending as though your soul has been washed clean through your good deeds.

    I repeat my question, what difference have you made? You seem so sure that trying is all that matters, so sure that anyone who disagrees with your views is nothing more than an apathetic wastrel and probably a lazy son-of-a-bitch to boot. In answer to my own rhetorical question, you have done nothing other than spout puritanical nonsense that you garnered from various ‘free-thinkers’ in an effort to sound intelligent and understanding. The only outcome is more whiny nonsense from folk who should probably know better.

    No doubt this post will be torn apart piece by piece and I’m willing to accept that. But, while you (2nd person plural, again) dissect my little rant, ask yourself one thing…

    What good has all your whining and moaning actually done?

    Me? I don’t have to provide iron-clad proof of my good deeds, I’m not claiming to have done any.

    Like I said… Nothing changes.

    ‘Tater Salad

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  10. Shem says:

    is that you James?

    I just guessed it might be you, because you have such a stylish way of describing corpses, a talent that only comes from writing horror for so long.

    I have done ‘stuff’, the peace rally we organised as you can see in a later article, but it’s nothing that can’t be picked apart by yourself as ‘pointless’ or ‘self-righteous’. You’re right, it did little. And writing does little too. So why bother huh? I think it raises awareness, and if it’s written well, it affects people, maybe to do something. Maybe not. Maybe it’ll just stop them from ending the conversation at the dinner table because it’s uncomfortable. Who knows. I write about it because I’m passionate about it. I think other people would be too if they wanted to be. And enough passionate people get things done. Like you said, knowledge is only powerful in the hands of the many, not the few, but I can’t help if my readership is a tad low. That’s just how it is at the moment, but I think this site is growing. I think have something important to say. Other people seem to think the same way. Not you, but that’s fine.

    You made some good points. But please don’t paint me as some righteous holier-than-thou preacher who admonishes all who don’t follow whatever crusade is popular that week. And don’t paint me as someone who doesn’t see the hell in the world, because I do. I’m not naive. Just trying to do something about it, however pointless and pathetic. The apathy bothers me, and I don’t want to give in to it.

    QUOTE: ‘In answer to my own rhetorical question, you have done nothing other than spout puritanical nonsense that you garnered from various ‘free-thinkers’ in an effort to sound intelligent and understanding.’

    – and that is downright insulting.

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  11. Shem says:

    is that you James?

    I just guessed it might be you, because you have such a stylish way of describing corpses, a talent that only comes from writing horror for so long.

    I have done ‘stuff’, the peace rally we organised as you can see in a later article, but it’s nothing that can’t be picked apart by yourself as ‘pointless’ or ‘self-righteous’. You’re right, it did little. And writing does little too. So why bother huh? I think it raises awareness, and if it’s written well, it affects people, maybe to do something. Maybe not. Maybe it’ll just stop them from ending the conversation at the dinner table because it’s uncomfortable. Who knows. I write about it because I’m passionate about it. I think other people would be too if they wanted to be. And enough passionate people get things done. Like you said, knowledge is only powerful in the hands of the many, not the few, but I can’t help if my readership is a tad low. That’s just how it is at the moment, but I think this site is growing. I think have something important to say. Other people seem to think the same way. Not you, but that’s fine.

    You made some good points. But please don’t paint me as some righteous holier-than-thou preacher who admonishes all who don’t follow whatever crusade is popular that week. And don’t paint me as someone who doesn’t see the hell in the world, because I do. I’m not naive. Just trying to do something about it, however pointless and pathetic. The apathy bothers me, and I don’t want to give in to it.

    QUOTE: ‘In answer to my own rhetorical question, you have done nothing other than spout puritanical nonsense that you garnered from various ‘free-thinkers’ in an effort to sound intelligent and understanding.’

    – and that is downright insulting.

    Like

  12. Anonymous says:

    So if what were saying is puritanical nonsense, than what do you call the propaganda your wasting your time to write?

    Because that’s what this is about isn’t it? You cant find a purpose in your own life, you feel like nothing will be accomplished? Wouldn’t it be great if everyone felt like you did? Lazy and without the will to fight for something when they see it, yes we have to pick our battles, but you seem to be the type to sit around on the internet for hours and hours, learning big words, and reading up on the current affairs. You read about it, think how bad it is and how of an injustice it all is, and then you switch off the computer and sit at the TV to watch a movie and not do a damn thing beside give your two bit opinions at blogs, where you can hide behind a screen and some words.

    You’re a coward. It doesn’t matter where you get your news from, your not doing anything with the information your gathering besides finding the uselessness in action. So your saying that we should be overwhelmed with the problems of the world as much as you are?

    Oh, yes it’s ok to think all you want, I guess that will be good enough. I can’t imagine if everyone just did what your doing, sit around and think. You might not be advocating ignorance, but you sure are advocating laziness. If you think its wrong to get information from art, to be inspired by it, than so much for the last 4,000 years of human history. So what, I realized there was a problem after I watched a movie, it was a situation that happened when I was 12, how politically aware were you when you were 12? I don’t even care to know, the point being, art is meant to inspire, and inspiration infers an action of some sort, but since you don’t seem to be about action, I can see why you don’t like the idea of being inspired.

    Ok, so people died, people die all the time, and yes, your not telling us anything different about the fact that there is not a thing we can do about the people already dead. Nor is there much we can do about the state of various governments. No surprise, I don’t see how on one hand you criticize people for being motivated and spreading awareness, but at the same time, turn around and berate us for not thinking that its all useless. If a candle light vigil makes someone who before it, didn’t know the name of Darfur, realize what’s going on in the world, then I think the vigil was worth it. Whatever it takes to get people the news, because god forbid TV run something educational without a gimmick.

    Im not helping Darfur for any other reason than for myself, its selfish, I don’t care. I know there are horrible crimes committed in the world, and if I was witness to one going on, and had the means to stop it, then yes I would. Are you racist? I ask because according to your line of thinking, it really doesn’t matter if you are or aren’t right? It won’t change anything? What point does it make to not be racist, there are too many racist people in the world, we can’t stop it, we can’t change it, lets just give up.

    I’m not racist, and I’m not, not for the sake of opposing races, but for myself, I’m not ignorant, and I think that my thoughts and actions make a difference to the people around me. So is the same for this instance with Darfur. I stay current (as best I can) for myself, I tell people about Darfur for me, so that I can have people around me who know things, and aren’t ignorant to what’s going on in the world. The more people know of things the better, and if I have to explain to you the reasons why, then you don’t disserve the brain you were born with.

    Self righteous, I love how people who justify to themselves that its ok to be lazy such as you are, call others who take action “self righteous,” and how many self righteous acts are being committed for horrible, disgusting causes? Our government is a good example.

    God forbid more people commit to good causes because they’re self-righteous. Call me self righteous, I could care less, its people like you I apply your own philosophy to, call me what you want, but I get out of my house and I do things, I learn things and I act with the knowledge I have gained. Martin Luther King Jr. was one man who decided not to sit around, I cant imagine what it would have been like if you were around him then. How about Einstein, he was one man, Newton, Michelangelo, etc. take any amount of singular men, who have changed our world with their ideas and actions, take any example, and with what you’ve written, they would have done nothing, and we would be a lesser species because of it. One person can do a hell of a lot when they want to, and I cant believe that I continue to meet people who blend into the masses and believe that they alone aren’t capable of doing anything.

    No one here is patronizing people for not knowing what is going on, that’s the point in this, it’s to let people know. Nor has anyone said that they should feel bad for not sending money, or going to a vigil. You’re making blind attacks, that aren’t warranted, now if this is because you know someone here, then take your childish antics elsewhere.

    The very fact that your wasting your time writing this negates the point of what you’re writing. If nothing will be solved, then stop writing it. You don’t care right? So what’s posting your meaningless opinion, (in the end its meaningless isnt it?) going to do for us? You think were going to be given to some revelation by you’re pessimistic insight? No, its people like you who sit around while the problems go on, thinking that there isn’t anything to be doing, while the people who are busy spreading knowledge are making more people aware so that things can get done. Your static, your existence means nothing if you don’t take action in your life.

    If you don’t have to provide iron-clad proof of your good deeds, than neither do any of us, I certainly am not going to explain myself to someone who doesn’t care about the world. Reading up on things, doesn’t mean you care, it means you can read.

    Logan

    Like

  13. Anonymous says:

    Sorry for the delay… Life marches on outside of our little, virtual sparring match.

    QUOTE: ‘Is that you James?’

    Apologies, but I think we have a case of mistaken identity. My name isn’t James, I’m not a horror writer and my ‘stylish’ way of describing corpses is just the remnants of too long reading pulp novels as a child.

    Without going through your post (or Logan’s) point for point and arguing against each thing that bothers me, I’ve decided, now that I’m a little calmer and have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, to just write a brief (as brief as I’m able, at least) explanation of what I meant by what I said and why I said what I said. I’ll try to not ramble on because this has taken way too much of all our time already.

    Please, bear in mind as you read this that they are my views. Nothing more than my perspective on your words, your actions. Disagree (as you must if you wish to remain safe and comfortable with your thoughts and beliefs) but please do not dismiss them as an attack on you or your character. My mistake with the last two posts was to allow the anger and insulting nature of them to override the message. Therefore, I cannot blame anyone of you for missing the point. The error was in my tone, not in my message. If you are willing to accept that, then we can move on and I will try and explain my meaning. If not, then please stop reading here, because what I am about to say is liable to offend, perhaps not as badly as my previous comments, but badly enough if you approach my words with a closed mind.

    1) Yes, my comments were meant to offend. That was not their only reason for being, but offense was intended. The reason for that level of anger in my text is very simply because that was (is) the level of anger that I felt (feel) towards the original post. I called the original post patronising and I still honestly believe that. The assertion that something has been acheived and that anyone who doesn’t agree with the post’s tone or content is scum made me see red, and still does.

    2) To call me a coward, to accuse me of accomplishing nothing, to accuse me of being lazy and uncaring and uninspired, to accuse me of racism, to suggest that I don’t deserve the brain I was born with, is fine. You’re wrong, but I’ve got no problem with that. You don’t know me, you don’t have any understanding (or interest) in my beliefs, my actions, my history, my desires. If I wanted to maintain my anger and fiercely debate those points, I would have to allow myself to be offended by someone who, at the end of the day, I disagree with on an utterly fundamental level. The tone and nature of your posts and comments highlight the fact that you believe that what you do and say will change anothers’ way of thinking and viewing the world, highlights that you believe your way is the only way. I think I was justified in calling that puritanical and patronising. You are stating, as fact, that your views, your actions, your beliefs are better than anothers. I found that offensive and allowed myself to rail against that. You may say that you are FOR free thought and free speech. In actual fact, you are only for it in the sense that it allows you to say what you say and damn anyone who disagrees.

    3) To suggest that a candlelight vigil is anything more than an easing of your own conscience is wrong (in my opinion). Yes, it may, as a by-product, inform someone of the horrors being perpetrated in Sudan, but that is not its driving goal. People who are interested enough in the rest of the world will already know what is going on out there (just as I am aware) because we ‘care’ enough to find out about the rest of our planet. People who aren’t interested will remain uninterested even when you tell them what is happening. Because it doesn’t affect them, because their lives are so full of infromation and terrible things happen every day, to them, to their loved ones, to family, to friends, to neighbours, to people just up the road. To berate them for not knowing, to barrack them for not caring, is both wrong and patronising. You should not force your own beliefs onto others. Just because you believe something to be terrible and wrong shouldn’t mean that you look down at others who either don’t understand enough to ‘get it’ or who are too tied up panicking about their wife’s cancer or their mother’s dickie heart or their child’s drug abuse. Life is hard. You say it’s harder for others out there in the wider world and no one can argue with that statement. But, you go onto say that if you don’t do anything about it then you don’t care and you are an idiot. That’s vitriolic and patronising, again, in my opinion. It’s downright wrong.

    4) To compare what you are doing to Martin Luthat King, to Einstein, to Newton, to Michelangelo, is… how can I put this?… big-headed, to say the least. You suggest that in a world populated by men and women like me, none of these great people would have acheived their great deeds. I think your logic is spurious at best. All of those people listed went out and actually did something, actually achieved something because they not only believed that that something mattered enough to do, but they had the passion and strength to do it. They had a fire burning inside that wouldn’t be extinguished by anything or anyone. Their ideas did not change the world. Their achievements did. Sure, those achievements stemmed from those ideas, but the ideas themselves were useless without the blood, sweat and tears. Arrogance in your certainty holds you back from achieving anything (again, my opinion). Those people agonised over their actions, their decisions, their beliefs in an effort to improve themselves, in an effort to make the world a better, more interesting place. You say that a candlelight vigil, that a brief blog entry is of the same ilk. I say that you are trying to foist your newly-formed opinions and beliefs on another. Which, if I remember correctly, Martin Luthar King fought so hard against. The segregation of the blacks stemmed from a continued, systematic, viral belief that they were less than the whites. Certainty in that belief was the cause of that terrible chapter in our history. Einstein fled Germany during the Nazi regime because of their certainty. Your certainty in your beliefs IS of the same ilk (though on a much smaller scale) as those others, be it a benign belief or not. And to compare your deeds to those greats does them a disservice.

    5) Simply put, you are correct in saying that I am wasting my time writing this. I can do nothing to change your belief because you are so certain that you are right. I let my anger get the better of me and I responded to something which offended me in an offensive manner. Right or wrong, that’s all it was. My point still stands, however. Who gave you the right to patronise (disagree with that word if you like, but please go back and check the tone and nature of the original post and the comments that followed before you do so) others and to act as though something ‘great’ and ‘good’ has been achieved by your ‘actions’ when you cannot show that anything, anything at all, has come from it? I believe you said at one point that if it created conversation over the dinner table then you have done your job. No. That shouldn’t be the end goal of anything like this. Either you honestly believe that what you are doing will change something for the people who you say you are doing it for, or you should edit your posts with a less biased eye. Because, yet again, in my opinion, being smug at knowing more than another, caring more than another, doing more than another isn’t charity, isn’t sympathy, isn’t any damn thing other than self-satisfaction.

    As I stated above, I am under no illusion that some of you will find what I have said offensive. I’d apologise for that, but you probably wouldn’t accept it and I’m not entirely sure how honest the apology would be. Anger can sometimes be the only way to make your point. Maybe not in this case, but I felt that it was.

    So, please, please, please, before you write a point for point response that is intended to negate everything I have said, please try and search out the message of my words and try not to focus on the words themself. I’m still not sure if that will solve anything, I’m pretty certain, in fact, that we will never see eye-to-eye on this subject, but, if for one second you can see what I’m saying, then maybe, just maybe all of this ranting and raving won’t have been in vain.

    I have re-read all of the posts previous to this and, while I still stand by my message and my words, I DO understand why you all said what you said. I do. I disagree, but I understand. Here’s hoping that this is a two way street. Because I’m not chasing converts here, I’m making a point. Just as you were all making a point.

    I will be back to see what kind of response this message gets, purely out of interest. I will not, however, take part in any more debate. Not because I am closed-minded, but because I don’t believe anything will be achieved by our words. Call it lazy, call it uncaring, call it the coward’s way out, but realise one thing… No one can convince another of anything, they can only convince themselves. So, say what you will, get angry and blow off some steam, feel as though a victory has been won, if you must, but don’t be offended when no response comes.

    Later from the ‘Tater

    Like

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