As The World Burns: A False Justice For Darfur – 3/9/2009

Anyone who remembers that little “Save Darfur” fad back in 2006 might be glad to know that the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir, president of Sudan, on charges of genocide and war crimes.

For those who missed out, “Save Darfur” was a movement to bring awareness and, hopefully, an end to the genocide in Darfur that was being perpetuated by militias supported by the government of Sudan.

Those who were involved in the movement ranged from human rights activists (like Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize) to Hollywood stars (like George Clooney).

Then the fad went away, probably because supporting the monks in Myanmar became cool or the movement no longer had any of those plastic wristbands to offer.

However, for those who were actually dedicated to the cause (like Wiesel), the ICC warrant could be seen as a righteous act of justice. One could even rank this proof that there is justice in this world, next to Bernie Madoff house arrest.

It’s time for a reality check. The ICC can issue warrants for arrest and try war criminals, but it has no real power to go after them, thanks to the fact that not many nations are members (this includes the United States).

Let’s top it off with looking at the ICC track record: 13 warrants issued for individuals since it was founded in 2003 with only four captured and tried since 2009.

On paper, the ICC may sound like an international governing organization that is dedicated to upholding the moral principles of human rights. But in reality, it’s the biggest joke since Dan White’s Twinkie defense.

But that’s only a tip of the iceberg compared to the international reaction or handling of the genocide. Most world leaders only acknowledged the genocide and placed a few embargos on Sudan just to show they’re taking action.

Why is it every time that a nation is committing horrendous acts against its people, Western leaders feel that a mediocre embargo that is barely enforced will push the ruling power to end its crime against humanity?

Let it be reminded that even after the most barbaric crime against humanity, civilization has witnessed countless genocides. Yet the world only acted during one murder while ignoring countless others.

It’s even sadder that the only righteous leaders who are willing to act based on the moral principles are those that appear in works of fiction. Just ask why no real-life leaders have made the same moral decisions as Cherry Jones’s character did in the seventh season of “24.”

Finally, what has to be the coldest reaction to the atrocities are the millions of people whose compassion has been nothing short of a fad. It appears that being made aware of human suffering has become less of an act of humanity but more of the “it” thing.

If one needs proof, just look around to see if there is anyone still bringing awareness or campaigning for more action. Now it appears that being eco-friendly is the new social awareness fad, while “Save Darfur” became so last year.

A rational person should have an epiphany if they question the ethics of a society where justice is a joke, leaders consider noticing a genocide as taking action, and a culture is aware of an atrocity because it’s simply the new trend.

One could imagine if current trends continue to the point where one is outlasted for not being aware of what’s happening because they are not keeping up with trends while all the leaders have to say is, “I saw dead people” to count as an action against the crime.

In the end we might as well sit back and enjoy the style of genocide as the world burns.

Written for La Voz Weekly
Original Article: As The World Burns: A False Justice For Darfur


About Stan Rezaee
I'm a writer from San Jose who has contributed to several online and print publications.

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