Knee Jerk Hysteria

Most Sudanese citizens of all religious affiliations are desperately poor. As in most other African countries early deaths through malnutrition and disease are so rife that many just count themselves lucky to be alive, let alone benefit from the wonders of Western consumerism, fun culture and post-modern enlightenment (the kind of fuzzy thinking that endows us with some kind of moral superiority over all things ethical). But Sudan has a hidden jewel, the oil reserves in its Southeastern corner known as Darfur. Anglo-American multinationals are keen to gain the lion`s share of the oil extraction business there and more important stop the Chinese from striking deals with African governments bypassing Western multinationals altogether. While it seems improbable that a Chinese-led world would be any more humane than an American-led one, the lives of millions of human beings and billions of dollars of oil revenue are at stake. For more see:

Yet the media focuses on the plight of one woman, sentenced for letting her pupils name a teddy bear Mohammed. That she should endure a jail sentence is obviously absurd, but it is equally inconceivable that the Sudanese government could gain any propaganda advantage through a rigid interpretation of Islamic law.

Has everyone somehow forgotten the 1998 bombing of a Sudanese pill factory, manufacturing antibiotics badly needed in a country with poor sanitation and rampant malnutrition, causing an estimated 10,000 excess deaths through disease due to disruptions in the supply of life-saving medication (not the lifestyle drugs people take over here). Instead we let the liberal media dictate whose human rights are being abused by whom. In their simplistic model the Muslim government and its militias are baddies and a Christian minority in Darfur are the goodies. Hence we need Western intervention, Kosovo-style, to save the oppressed minority from near certain annihilation by fanatical Muslims. As usual, the human situation on the ground is much more complex, but the economics are wonderfully simple. On the economic front the Sudanese government in Khartoum would like to strike a deal with the Chinese for the exploitation of oil reserves in a distant corner of their fiefdom, whose borders were drawn by their former colonial masters, the British. Oil reserves extend into neighbouring Chad and the Central African Republic, both with close economic ties with France, but the former also has a special relationship with neighbouring Libya. What unfolds is complex chess game in which the human rights cause is just a strategic pawn in a propaganda campaign to win hearts and minds behind US-led intervention.

The BBC`s Have Your Say forum is moderated allegedly to guard against spam and hate speech, but most of my posts remain unpublished and 6 that were published only appeared several hours after my posting, while others more favourable to the US/UK establishment, appeared almost immediately. If the BBC really censored discussion to avoid hateful speech, this post would never have appeared at around 18:30 01/12/07:

If the government nuked all Islamic countries and gave lethal injections to all Muslims. The world would be a much better place to live. And you know it's true, that's why you won't show this comment.

Matt

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This pretty much reflected the general flavour of the reaction. Now how should Brazilians have reacted when plain clothed London police officers shot dead an innocent Brazilian electrician, Jean De Menezes. Everyday the London underground is teeming with people carrying rucksacks, wearing unseasonal clothing and exhibiting behavioural oddities. The chance that anyone of these shifty characters, in the eyes of brainwashed antiterrorist officers, may be about to detonate a bomb is less than a million to one. More to the point if De Menezes were a genuine suicide bomber, which he was not, and had just wanted to kill people he could have detonated his explosives at any stage in his long flight down the escalator and through a tunnel. How many Brazilians reacted by suggesting their country nuke London or intervene to overthrow the despotic regime there?

1. I'd say stop feeding those idiots. Stop feeding them. Stop educating them. Stop helping them in any way.

2. Let's agree that Islam is the religion of hate. Islam teaches nothing but hate and intolerance. Stop being so PC, and admit it. They hate us, and they want us dead. There are no just "bad apples" in Islam.

daniil, Minneapolis USA

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These brainwashed posters are totally convinced of the moral superiority of their ruling classes and totally mesmerised by a media spectacle that mixes news with violence-themed entertainment.

Added: Saturday, 1 December, 2007, 18:16 GMT 18:16 UK

Not OK to call a toy bear Mohammed but OK for the Sudanese government to massacre many thousands of innocent Muslims in Darfur.

Well, I'm glad that's cleared up.

Tony Fisher, York

I suppose we can just let over three centuries of Anglo-American imperialism, the last century of rapid resource depredation and the 1998 bombing of a Sudanese medicine factory go down the memory plug hole. The word that dare not speak its name in this whole media frenzy is oil. It ended up under their sand, but our enlightened supercool fun lifestyle needs it. That`s the hard truth. The Sudanese Muslim obsession with the abuse of prophet Mohammed`s holy name is as absurd as our obsession with celebrity deities, simulated violence. commercialised sex, gambling and gadgetry, except we use up more resources to sustain our enlightened lifestyle.

Author: 
Neil Gardner
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