Thursday, November 30, 2006

Darfur or "Wrap Rage"?

It's easy to be self-righteous and cranky when comparing media coverage of the trivial with reporting of consequential matters. Let me try to resist the urge to leap on the soap box and present just the facts.

On its front page today, The Washington Post carries a story on "wrap rage": consumer anger at the hard plastic packaging that now surrounds many toys and that is nearly impossible to penetrate. The article quotes a local consumer proclaiming, "I hate it. I hate it." Another gripes, "It takes at least 40 minutes to get all the packaging off all the toys" on Christmas morning.

This, I repeat, is front-page news.

On page A16, there is a small piece headlined "U.N. Official Calls Violence in Darfur 'Horrific.'" It notes:

The U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Louise Arbour, told a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva that the Sudanese government and an allied militia called the Janjaweed were "responsible for the most serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law."

"The atrocities must stop," she said.

Arbour's rebuke came a day after the 47-member Human Rights Council rejected a resolution from European countries and Canada calling on Sudan to prosecute those responsible for the violence. The council instead adopted a resolution urging all parties involved in the conflict to "put an immediate end to the ongoing violations" with a special focus on "vulnerable groups."

The conflict began in early 2003 when rebels rose up against the government, which responded by arming and supporting the Janjaweed, human rights groups say. As many as 450,000 people have died from disease and violence, and 2.5 million have been displaced.

The U.N. Human Rights Council decides not to pursue the practitioners of mass-murder in Darfur, and the news of this decision appears deep in the paper. People are plagued by the difficulty of unwrapping toy packages, and their plight is featured on page one. Oh, did I mention that already?

Posted by David Corn at November 30, 2006 04:09 PM


capt said...

2.5 million people have already been driven from their homes in Darfur, Sudan. The refugees now face starvation, disease, and rape, while those who remain in Darfur risk displacement, torture, and murder. We must act quickly and decisively to end this genocide before hundreds of thousands more people are killed.

Fill out the form below to add your name to petition urging President Bush and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to take immediate steps to stop the killing in Darfur.

Sign Petition HERE

capt said...

National "Mandate for Peace" Call-in Day: Monday, December 4

Call your Representative and Senators and tell them:
"Stop Funding War! Bring Our Troops Home NOW!"

On Election Day, voters signaled to Congress that we want a new direction and we are ready to bring our troops home. Members of Congress return to Washington DC on Monday, December 4, to determine their legislative priorities for the session. Let's greet Congress with a flood of phone calls to remind them that we want our troops to come home from Iraq. We need to make sure that Congress puts Iraq as a top priority for the new session-- together we will make sure this is an issue that Congress cannot ignore!

WHAT: Call your members of Congress to tell them to stop funding the war-- bring the troops home NOW!

WHEN: Monday, December 4

HOW: Call the Capitol Switchboard (202-224-3121) and ask for the office of your members of Congress

WHO: Click here to find your Representative and Senators.

Can't wait until Monday? Do you want to help convince House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she needs to make Iraq a top issue for the Democrats? Email Pelosi today to tell her you want an Iraq withdrawal on her priority list for the first 100 hours!

The death toll and carnage in Iraq is increasing at an alarming rate. Our soldiers are caught in the middle of a civil war unleashed by an administration that refused to plan for postwar reconstruction and failed to understand Iraqi culture and history. Congress has the power to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and if it fails to do so, we will hold them responsible for the continued violence in Iraq.

The current congress and the administration have used too many excuses for inaction. They have sat and waited for the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group report, the Pentagon study group report, the White House study group... the excuses go on and on. We already know what we want, so let's tell them they can no longer delay bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq.



Saladin said...

So, my first question is, Does Darfur have oil? If not they are not candidates for regime change. If so, they are not candidates for REAL regime change. We are all drowning in an ocean of blood, god I hate to count the cost and wonder what the repayment will be. Too much plastic on your stuff? STOP SHOPPING IDIOTS! You are just feeding the beast.

Hajji Rants said...

Has anyone checked out the wave of comments at Washington Post regarding UberSnob George Will's snark at Senator-elect Webb today?

I don't know what kind of traffic Will usuall gets, but there's more than 1000 comments so far, almost every single one calling him out for his petty arrogance and pithy, limp-wristed attempt to slap a man who dared to speak truth to the asshole-in-chief.

It warms my heart to read such an outpouring. Almost 70 pages and still climbing.

Far past time for all to cry "Naked Emperor!" in unison!


capt said...

War of the Future:
Oil Drives the Genocide in Darfur

A war of the future is being waged right now in the sprawling desert region of northeastern Africa known as Sudan. The weapons themselves are not futuristic. None of the ray-guns, force-fields, or robotic storm troopers that are the stuff of science fiction; nor, for that matter, the satellite-guided Predator drones or other high-tech weapon systems at the cutting edge of today's arsenal.

No, this war is being fought with Kalashnikovs, clubs and knives. In the western region of Sudan known as Darfur, the preferred tactics are burning and pillaging, castration and rape -- carried out by Arab militias riding on camels and horses. The most sophisticated technologies deployed are, on the one hand, the helicopters used by the Sudanese government to support the militias when they attack black African villages, and on the other hand, quite a different weapon: the seismographs used by foreign oil companies to map oil deposits hundreds of feet below the surface.

This is what makes it a war of the future: not the slick PowerPoint presentations you can imagine in boardrooms in Dallas and Beijing showing proven reserves in one color, estimated reserves in another, vast subterranean puddles that stretch west into Chad, and south to Nigeria and Uganda; not the technology; just the simple fact of the oil.


*****end of clip*****

Oil is the thing, eh?


capt said...


1 - 2 - 3



capt said...

It is part of the moral tragedy with which we are dealing that words like "democracy," "freedom," "rights," "justice," which have so often inspired heroism and have led men to give their lives for things which make life worthwhile, can also become a trap, the means of destroying the very things men desire to uphold. Sir Norman Angell (1874 - 1967), 1956.

No one is more dangerous than one who imagines himself pure in heart; for his purity. by definition is unassailable: James Baldwin (1924 - 1987) Notes of a native son, 1955

When faced with a choice between confronting an unpleasant reality and defending a set of comforting and socially accepted beliefs, most people choose the later course. W. Lance Bennett.

Read this newsletter online

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

Alberto Gonzales Can’t Name A Mistake He’s Made

Today on CNN’s Situation Room, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was asked if he could think of a single mistake he’s made during his service to President Bush during the last six years. He couldn’t do it.

Gonzales told Wolf Blitzer, "I think that you and I would — I’d have to spend some time thinking about that." He added, "Obviously I’ve made some recommendations to my client. Some of those recommendations have not been supported in the courts. In hindsight, you sometimes wonder, well, perhaps, perhaps the recommendation should have been something different." Watch it (at the link)

Full transcript:

BLITZER: Looking back on the decisions that you’ve made, at the White House, now at the Justice Department, anything jump to mind? Anything that you deeply regret, a decision that you made?

GONZALES: Oh, I think that you and I would — I’d have to spend some time thinking about that. Obviously I’m not going to say that I am perfect and that I’ve been perfect in doing my job. Obviously I’ve made some recommendations to my client. Some of those recommendations have not been supported in the courts. In hindsight, you sometimes wonder, well, perhaps, perhaps the recommendation should have been something different.


*****end of clip*****

A common trait in megalomaniacs.


O'Reilly said...

Republican political leaders these past six years have built up a massive, unprecedented credibility deficit, such that even their most straightforward assertions invite close bullshit inspection. By contrast, Democratic bullshit tends to center more around hypocrisy and political cowardice. link

Dan Froomkin

erling krange said...

Here is a good site about Darfur

Saladin said...

Financial firms warned of Qaeda cyber attack

By Kristin Roberts
Thu Nov 30, 11:10 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government warned American private financial services on Thursday of an al Qaeda call for a cyber attack against online stock trading and banking Web sites beginning on Friday, a source said.
The source, a person familiar with the warning, said the Islamic militant group aimed to penetrate and destroy the databases of the U.S. financial sites.

The Department of Homeland Security confirmed an alert had been distributed but said there was no reason to believe the threat was credible.

The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued a "situational awareness report to industry stakeholders," said Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke.

The warning said the threat called for attacks to begin Friday and run through the month of December in retaliation for the United States keeping terrorism suspects at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba.

"Denial of service is what it called for," said a Homeland Security official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Yes indeedy, OBL still has that magical cell phone with him in the cave with which to inflict dreadful damage upon our economy! Apparently he is not satisfied with our loss of freedoms to date.

Saladin said...

Hideous Kinky - The
Genocidal Fury Of
Thomas Friedman
By Chris Floyd

Comes now before us the portly, fur-lipped figure of Thomas Friedman, Esq., who today has penned what must be the most morally hideous and deeply racist column ever to appear in those rarefied journalistic precincts: "Ten Months or Ten Years."

It seems that this very enthusiastic promoter of the unprovoked war of aggression against Iraq - which he proudly called "a war of choice," apparently not realizing that he was parroting the propagandists of the Nazi regime that killed millions of his ethnic kindred-has now discovered that Iraqi Arabs are hopeless, worthless barbarians, broken by "1,000 years of Arab-Muslim authoritarianism" and can only be held together by an "iron fist." (He got all this from reading a new book, apparently. Well, a little literacy, like a little learning, is a dangerous thing, I reckon-and as anyone who has ever exposed themselves to the dull, flat buzz of Friedman's prose can attest, his literacy is little indeed.)

In fact, the only thing America did wrong in its "effort to bring progressive politics or democracy to this region" was not coming down hard enough on this darky riff-raff: "Had we properly occupied the country, and begun political therapy, it is possible an American iron fist could have held Iraq together long enough to put it on a new course. But instead we created a vacuum by not deploying enough troops." Instead, we took it easy on them-I mean, Jesus H. Jiminy Cricket Walker Christ, we only killed 600,000 of them; what kind of pussyfooting around is that?-and look what happened. A Sunni insurgency sprang up, whose only goal-whose ONLY goal, mind you-was to make America look bad: "America must fail in its effort to bring progressive, etc., etc. America must fail-no matter how many Iraqis have to be killed, America must fail." What was their "only one goal" again, Tom? Oh yeah: America must fail. Not a single ding-dang one of them ornery critters ever had any other motive whatsoever to take up arms against an army of foreigners who had invaded and occupied their country.
Mr. Floyd can always be counted on to give the harsh truth.

capt said...

New post!