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Musings and Meanderings

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Fact check before exclaiming: Darfur and The Tsunami

I've been recently thinking some pretty "un PC" thoughts regarding the relief effort in South East Asia. Don't get me wrong, I think it is unbelievable the help and relief aid that has been brought to bear from governments to private citizens across the Globe. But something has been irking me for a few days now.

How come we can mobilze practially the entire planet to help out from a disaster that has claimed nearly 200,00 human lives, and will claim probably many more from disease, but we cannot bring our self to affect the latest genocide on the African Continent?

The reason for my subject heading was that until I did the research last night I was under the false impression that the genocide in the Darfur reigon of the Sudan had claimed more lives than the Tsunami in South East Asia. I was wrong. The count seems to be around 50,000 dead and rising daily with a few million homeless.....

But the point is still sound. Indeed Les Medicines sans Frontiers (Doctors without Borders) are urging people to donate to their general relief fund which goes to their work in Darfur now that they say they have enough funds to cover their work in SE Asia.

So my question is why is there such a vastly different global reaction to these two disasters?

Is it because one is the might of Mother Nature, an act of God so to speak, and one is the cruelty of man against man? Or is it because one area (albeit a bigger one) is more strategic for the world at large, while the other is ignored? (Remember what the world did for the Ruwandan Genocide, ie Nothing)

Either way the Tsunami Relief effort shows that the Global Village is willing to help out it's fellow man when faced with appalling destruction and death. The destruction of the indigenous peoples of Darfur is just as appalling, though if we are strictly counting bodies (I warned you that this would be "un Politically Correct") the SE Asia disaster has a higher count.

However, the child who has lost their parent through murder by Arab Bedoins or drowning by a Tsunami really doesn't see a difference. The family that has lost their home through flooding or haveing it forcibly pillaged does not see a difference.

How come the world does see a difference?
posted by Mike 11:40 PM


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The musings and meanderings of an overworked and underemployed mind