Wednesday, August 31, 2005

What It is All About

A Coalition for Darfur Post

Last weekend, the blog Blue Girl, Red State wrote a post about a regular blog commenter who went by the name "Shameless Hussy."

Blue Girl reports that "Shameless Hussy" went to Darfur in June as a humanitarian volunteer and was traumatized by what she saw

What she dealt with daily goes beyond the pale...beyond the nightmares of most people; Children with all four limbs hacked off right above the knee or below the elbow. Twelve year olds who died in childbirth after being gang-raped by the Janjaweed. Women who gave birth to rape-babies who were then cast out by their families for shaming the family name, leaving only one avenue of survival for themselves and their children after the camps: Prostitution.

What is f**ing her up is the desperation, and the fact that she worked herself to death for over a month, and she still didn't really save anyone. Now that she's gone, it's like she was never there. Even the ones she helped keep alive, she didn't save. You try dealing with that reality.

And women are the preponderance of victims. Men do not leave the villages to go to the countryside to gather firewood and other necessary items of sustenance. Women venture out, even though every time they leave their villages, they are at horrific risk of being beaten and raped and disfigured. The reason they go instead of the
men? The women are only attacked, the men are killed.
This post receive a fair amount of attention within the blogosphere (as far as posts about Darfur go) mainly due to the fact that Kevin Drum linked to it. And while getting bloggers to pay attention to Darfur, if only for a minute, is a minor miracle, it is worth asking why it takes a post about traumatized aid workers to generate any interest in genocide.

This situation in Darfur has existed for over two years and, if people were interested, they could find accounts of death, disease, rape and torture occurring there on an almost daily basis. 400,000 people have died and nearly 3 million have been displaced and yet nobody - not politicans, not the media, not bloggers - really seem to care.

To anyone who has been paying attention, the atrocities witnessed by "Shameless Hussy" are, sadly, well-known. If her story generates concern for the people of Darfur, then for that we should be thankful. And if people who were moved by it are really interested in Darfur, then they should start reading the analyses produced by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Eric Reeves and the International Crisis Group, supporting organizations like Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children, Save Darfur and STAND, reading blogs like Passion of
the Present
, Sudan Watch, the Coalition for Darfur, and Sleepless in Sudan and demanding that their elected leaders do something about it.

Our thanks goes out to "Shameless Hussy" and all those who sacrifice to help those in need. But we must keep in mind that Darfur is not about them - it is about this

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