Friday, May 12, 2006

Who's counting?

An article on the BBC website from the 6th of April quotes civilian casualty figures from a website called Iraq Body Count. The count is 39,296. A terrible toll.

Much harder to find, a body count for Darfur, Sudan. As of 15th of Sept 2005, the figure was 370,000. God knows what it is now, in May 2006. The body count for the Democratic Republic of Congo, is 3.9 million people, according the Lancet, journal of the British Medical Association. Interestingly, Iraq Body Count is the only dedicated website for casualty figures for these three ongoing wars.

Huge amounts of web space are dedicated to discussing those 39,296 deaths in Iraq. As far as I could tell, there is one professor (Eric Reeves, Smith College) counting the casualties in Darfur. Its very difficult to find anyone other than the Lancet who can give even a vague estimate of the DRC casualties. Which I think goes to show that one casualty is very much different from another casualty.

Muslim casualty murdered by a muslim in Iraq? Very Interesting! Black Muslim casualty murdered by an Arab Muslim in Darfur? Not very Interesting. Black African murdered by another black African in DRC? Yawn. The utterly disgusting thing about lefties and anti-war idiots is that they really don't care about Darfurians or Congolese or Rwandans or Sierra Leonians or Liberians. Can't get them to talk about them AT ALL. Doesn't make it onto their radar. They can discuss every nuance of Palestinian oppression with eery intensity. They can witter on for hours about US tactics in Ramadi or Mosul or Kut. But ask them how many times they've marched for the poor pitiful wrecks in the eastern provinces of Congo? How many times have they 'spoken truth to power' over the massacring of defenseless tribesmen in Darfur?

I have lived in Africa, and know first hand how much the people I spoke to long for what we have- safe, prosperous, interesting lives. And how they feel trapped and threatened and disempowered by their own criminal governments and the warlords who run most African countries. Anybody on the left care? Absolutely not. Unless there is some screeching anti-Bush or anti-Blair mileage to be made, those poor folk can just go hang.

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