Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 29-Apr-06
UN World Food Program will cut Darfur humanitarian rations in half

Web Log - April, 2006

UN World Food Program will cut Darfur humanitarian rations in half

This continuing genocide is a very sad situation, but it can't be stopped.

George Clooney in the company of two senators. <font size=-2>(Source: NZ Herald)</font>
George Clooney in the company of two senators. (Source: NZ Herald)

There's a big movie star involved. George Clooney, who's just returned from a trip to Darfur, says "What we cannot do is turn our heads and look away and hope that this will somehow disappear. If we do ... an entire generation will be gone and then only history will be left to judge us."

Yes, Darfur is in the news again, after being mostly ignored for the last year. Suddenly there's a big push to "Save Darfur."

Darfur - southwest region of Sudan <font size=-2>(Source: BBC)</font>
Darfur - southwest region of Sudan (Source: BBC)

The conflict became genocidal in 2004, roughly around the time that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said, at a huge ceremony memorializing the Rwanda genocide of 1994, said that nothing like that must ever be permitted to happen again.

In June 2004, Annan called on the world to stop the new genocide that was occurring in Darfur, where white Muslims sponsored by the government of Sudan in Khartoum were slaughtering black Muslims in the western province of Darfur.

In an article called, "Darfur genocide: The UN is completely irrelevant," I predicted that the Darfur genocide would not be stopped, and that in the months to follow close to a million people would die.

Well, that's pretty much what's happened, though so far "only" 180,000 people have been killed. But the worst may not be over.

Some two to three million people are living in tents in camps set up by the United Nations. These people were forced to move from their homes by a combination of attacks from the air by Sudanese attack helicopters and attacks on the ground by large groups of armed Arabs known as Janjaweed militias.

Here's a typical recent scene, of the type that's been going on for two years now:

"Last month, in the town of Mershing, South Darfur, there was chaos and carnage. On a scorching day in February, four hundred Janjaweed militiamen attacked, firing indiscriminately on civilians, destroying homes, and looting livestock. Eight hours after the initial onslaught, the Janjaweed returned for a second round of mayhem, assaulting women and children and looting the town's main market. Following a terror-filled night, the 55,000 residents of Mershing fled for their lives. Thirteen infants were trampled to death and 220 children separated from their families in the exodus."

This is the kind of thing that always happens in genocidal civil wars. It happened in Rwanda in 1994, it happened with the "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia in the early 1990s, it happened in the Iran/Iraq war of the 1980s, it happened in the killing fields of Cambodia in the mid-1970s, and it happened in many places in World War II.

Whether we like it or not, what the Janjaweed militia are doing is an integral part of being human, buried deep in our "survival of the fittest" mechanism without which the human species would never have even survived this long. Genocidal war is as essential to the survival of the human species as sex is, and neither can be stopped.

Sex and genocidal war are closely linked. Genocidal war usually goes according to a standard script: The men are mass-murdered, and the women are raped. The purpose of genocidal war is to determine which of two tribes or ethnic groups or religious groups can exterminate the other. The winner gets a reward - the right to spread his genes around in the losing side's women.

There's a good reason for all this: Population always grows faster than available food. The population of Sudan has been growing at close to 3% per year for a long time, and that rate a genocidal war in Sudan sooner or later was literally a mathematical certainty.

The last few years have been a political farce in the United Nations, with every country passing the buck to other countries. The most cynical act occurred when the UN declared that the Darfur war was not genocide. According to the UN charter, such a declaration would have required the UN to act. That left only one solution: say that it isn't genocide.

And speaking of food, the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) has just announced that food rations to those 2-3 million people living in camps are about to be cut in half -- from 2000 calories per day to 1000 calories per day. This will cause thousands or tens of thousands of additional deaths by starvation.

What's going on? Because donations to the WFP are far below what was hoped for and expected. Donor governments have given the World Food Program only $238 million of the $746 million the agency needs this year.

The main problem is that the worldwide price of food has gone up substantially in the last few years. The reason is that the population grows much faster than the food supply. According to my own computations, food production increases by at most 0.96% per year, while population grows at 1.72%. Therefore, the amount of food per person keeps decreasing, and so food becomes scarcer and, by the law of supply and demand, the price of food keeps going up. In fact, the worldwide price of food has been skyrocketing in the last couple of years, thanks to massive feeding programs in China. As the price of food goes up, poverty increases in large marginal populations around the world.

The one thing we can be grateful for in the Darfur situation is that, for once, America isn't the "evil giant." The United Nations refuses to call the Darfur war genocide, but the United States has officially designated it as genocide. And of the $238 million that has been donated this year to the WFP, $188 million was donated by the United States. The European Union and China have given next to nothing.

This causes problems for people like George Clooney, who are going around saying that the George Bush administration has to do more to stop the genocide in Darfur. What more can we do? In an interview on CNN Friday, Clooney was asked what he wanted the Bush administration to do. "Do you want the administration to send American troops into Darfur?"

This is a loaded question, since Clooney is one of the critics of our war in Iraq. That hasn't stopped some people. For example, that great anti-war activist Jesse Jackson called for sending American troops to Darfur in the same interview in which he criticized sending troops to Iraq. What this goes to prove is that no one is truly against war; everyone has a war they like.

But George Clooney wasn't so dissembling. He fumbled over his answer for a while, saying "no American troops," but then saying that George Bush should work through Nato to stop the genocide in Darfur.

Well, how's that going to work? If the Europeans can't even send money to the World Food Program, are they really going to send troops to Darfur, just because George Bush asks? I don't think so.

There's going to be a major rally in Washington DC on Sunday, led by Clooney and a coalition of 160 religious and political groups, to demand that Bush press for a stronger multinational force in Darfur. They're hoping that tens of thousands of people will attend the rally -- we'll have to see if anything like that happens, or whether only a few thousand will show up.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, what's going on in Darfur is a "generational crisis war," and generational crisis wars cannot be stopped. Since its founding, America has had two crisis wars, the Civil War and World War II. Neither of those wars could be stopped, and neither will the Darfur war be stopped until it runs its course.

Now, 61 years after the end of World War II, when all the people in the generations that fought and lived through WW II are almost completely gone, Generational Dynamics predicts that we're headed for a new world war, a "clash of civilizations" war that will involve almost every country in the world.

This war might begin this year, next year, or after that, but each year the probability of war that year is higher than for the year before. In a 2004 article called "The six most dangerous regions in world," I did a rough calculation that the probability of a new world war beginning in 2005 was a little less than 21%, that it's a little more than 21% in 2006, and that it goes up a little bit more each year.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, we can only give a probabilistic estimate of when the world war will begin, but we can say with certainty that it can't be stopped, any more than the war in Darfur can. (29-Apr-06) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

Web Log Pages

Current Web Log

Web Log Summary - 2016
Web Log Summary - 2015
Web Log Summary - 2014
Web Log Summary - 2013
Web Log Summary - 2012
Web Log Summary - 2011
Web Log Summary - 2010
Web Log Summary - 2009
Web Log Summary - 2008
Web Log Summary - 2007
Web Log Summary - 2006
Web Log Summary - 2005
Web Log Summary - 2004

Web Log - December, 2016
Web Log - November, 2016
Web Log - October, 2016
Web Log - September, 2016
Web Log - August, 2016
Web Log - July, 2016
Web Log - June, 2016
Web Log - May, 2016
Web Log - April, 2016
Web Log - March, 2016
Web Log - February, 2016
Web Log - January, 2016
Web Log - December, 2015
Web Log - November, 2015
Web Log - October, 2015
Web Log - September, 2015
Web Log - August, 2015
Web Log - July, 2015
Web Log - June, 2015
Web Log - May, 2015
Web Log - April, 2015
Web Log - March, 2015
Web Log - February, 2015
Web Log - January, 2015
Web Log - December, 2014
Web Log - November, 2014
Web Log - October, 2014
Web Log - September, 2014
Web Log - August, 2014
Web Log - July, 2014
Web Log - June, 2014
Web Log - May, 2014
Web Log - April, 2014
Web Log - March, 2014
Web Log - February, 2014
Web Log - January, 2014
Web Log - December, 2013
Web Log - November, 2013
Web Log - October, 2013
Web Log - September, 2013
Web Log - August, 2013
Web Log - July, 2013
Web Log - June, 2013
Web Log - May, 2013
Web Log - April, 2013
Web Log - March, 2013
Web Log - February, 2013
Web Log - January, 2013
Web Log - December, 2012
Web Log - November, 2012
Web Log - October, 2012
Web Log - September, 2012
Web Log - August, 2012
Web Log - July, 2012
Web Log - June, 2012
Web Log - May, 2012
Web Log - April, 2012
Web Log - March, 2012
Web Log - February, 2012
Web Log - January, 2012
Web Log - December, 2011
Web Log - November, 2011
Web Log - October, 2011
Web Log - September, 2011
Web Log - August, 2011
Web Log - July, 2011
Web Log - June, 2011
Web Log - May, 2011
Web Log - April, 2011
Web Log - March, 2011
Web Log - February, 2011
Web Log - January, 2011
Web Log - December, 2010
Web Log - November, 2010
Web Log - October, 2010
Web Log - September, 2010
Web Log - August, 2010
Web Log - July, 2010
Web Log - June, 2010
Web Log - May, 2010
Web Log - April, 2010
Web Log - March, 2010
Web Log - February, 2010
Web Log - January, 2010
Web Log - December, 2009
Web Log - November, 2009
Web Log - October, 2009
Web Log - September, 2009
Web Log - August, 2009
Web Log - July, 2009
Web Log - June, 2009
Web Log - May, 2009
Web Log - April, 2009
Web Log - March, 2009
Web Log - February, 2009
Web Log - January, 2009
Web Log - December, 2008
Web Log - November, 2008
Web Log - October, 2008
Web Log - September, 2008
Web Log - August, 2008
Web Log - July, 2008
Web Log - June, 2008
Web Log - May, 2008
Web Log - April, 2008
Web Log - March, 2008
Web Log - February, 2008
Web Log - January, 2008
Web Log - December, 2007
Web Log - November, 2007
Web Log - October, 2007
Web Log - September, 2007
Web Log - August, 2007
Web Log - July, 2007
Web Log - June, 2007
Web Log - May, 2007
Web Log - April, 2007
Web Log - March, 2007
Web Log - February, 2007
Web Log - January, 2007
Web Log - December, 2006
Web Log - November, 2006
Web Log - October, 2006
Web Log - September, 2006
Web Log - August, 2006
Web Log - July, 2006
Web Log - June, 2006
Web Log - May, 2006
Web Log - April, 2006
Web Log - March, 2006
Web Log - February, 2006
Web Log - January, 2006
Web Log - December, 2005
Web Log - November, 2005
Web Log - October, 2005
Web Log - September, 2005
Web Log - August, 2005
Web Log - July, 2005
Web Log - June, 2005
Web Log - May, 2005
Web Log - April, 2005
Web Log - March, 2005
Web Log - February, 2005
Web Log - January, 2005
Web Log - December, 2004
Web Log - November, 2004
Web Log - October, 2004
Web Log - September, 2004
Web Log - August, 2004
Web Log - July, 2004
Web Log - June, 2004

Copyright © 2002-2016 by John J. Xenakis.