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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 19-Jun-07
Ban Ki Moon blames Darfur genocide on global warming

Web Log - June, 2007

Ban Ki Moon blames Darfur genocide on global warming

Damn! He's blaming the Darfur crisis civil war on America!!

In one of the most remarkable explanations I've heard so far, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon claims that the people of Darfur "lived amicably" until global warming affected the climate.

His opinion appeared on Saturday in an article he authored in the Washington Post:

"Almost invariably, we discuss Darfur in a convenient military and political shorthand -- an ethnic conflict pitting Arab militias against black rebels and farmers. Look to its roots, though, and you discover a more complex dynamic. ...

Two decades ago, the rains in southern Sudan began to fail. According to U.N. statistics, average precipitation has declined some 40 percent since the early 1980s. ...

It is no accident that the violence in Darfur erupted during the drought. Until then, Arab nomadic herders had lived amicably with settled farmers. A recent Atlantic Monthly article by Stephan Faris describes how black farmers would welcome herders as they crisscrossed the land, grazing their camels and sharing wells. But once the rains stopped, farmers fenced their land for fear it would be ruined by the passing herds. For the first time in memory, there was no longer enough food and water for all. Fighting broke out. By 2003, it evolved into the full-fledged tragedy we witness today."

The Atlantic Monthly article by Stephan Faris (also available here for free) completes the picture as follows:

"Among the implications arising from the ecological origin of the Darfur crisis, the most significant may be moral. If the region’s collapse was in some part caused by the emissions from our factories, power plants, and automobiles, we bear some responsibility for the dying. “This changes us from the position of Good Samaritans—disinterested, uninvolved people who may feel a moral obligation—to a position where we, unconsciously and without malice, created the conditions that led to this crisis,” says Michael Byers, a political scientist at the University of British Columbia. “We cannot stand by and look at it as a situation of discretionary involvement. We are already involved.”

So there you have it. Darfur's genocidal civil war finally has a politically correct cause -- global warming. It's America's fault, and the Europeans' fault.

What about the other genocides? There was the 1994 Rwanda genocide, and the 1990s Bosnian genocide, and the 1970s Cambodian killing fields genocide. There were dozens of genocides in World War I and World War II. Were those caused by global warning too?

As fatuous as this reasoning is, it contains an interesting admission: That the Darfur genocide is not the Darfurians' fault. The reason I call that an "admission" is because the previous position is that the genocide was the fault of the Janjaweed militias and of the Sudan government in Khartoum. By blaming it on the Americans and the Europeans, Moon is exonerating the people involved. After all, global warming isn't the fault of these "amicable" people, is it? No, it's the fault of those venal, thoughtless Americans. How convenient.

It's worthwhile to summarize how the Darfur civil war came about, because it follows a fairly standard generational path. Here's a brief summary:

So that's the sequence of events that led to the current Darfur genocide.

In 2004, when the Darfur situation first gained international focus, I wrote that the U.N. is completely irrelevant to the Darfur genocide, and that it would not be stopped until it's run its course. That has continued true to this day. The genocide has gotten worse, and has even spread into neighboring countries Chad and Central African Republic.

So this shot out of the blue, where Ban Ki Moon is blaming it on global warming is actually hilarious. It shows just how ignorant the people in power are about what's going on in the world today. (19-Jun-07) Permanent Link
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