God's Politics

God's Politics

Elizabeth Palmberg: When is a Genocide Not a Genocide?

Last week, U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Andrew Natsios told an audience at Georgetown University that, at present, “the term genocide is counter to the facts of what is really occurring in Darfur.”

What part of the ongoing, ethnically-targeted rape, displacement, and killing of civilians does Natsios not understand – and when will the U.S. get serious about pressuring Khartoum to stop the genocide? See Africa Action’s response for a reality check.

Elizabeth Palmberg is an Assistant Editor for Sojourners magazine.

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Kris Weinschenker

posted February 13, 2007 at 7:06 pm

If we simply ‘cut and run’ in Iraq, as the Democrats seem to be advocating, the resulting genocide there will make Darfur look like a church social.

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posted February 13, 2007 at 10:21 pm

Your logic in tackling the subject is dazzling.

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Mike Hayes

posted February 14, 2007 at 12:59 am

Kris Weinschenker, What planet are you on… I can’t imagine comparing the extreme violence that occurs daily in Iraq and that we see reported every eveing, or the suffering of the people in Darfur that we see reported on from time to time, to anything that I have ever witnessed in person… including a church social…

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John L.

posted February 14, 2007 at 2:34 am

The only thing Iraq and Darfur have in common is that both situations reveal starkly the depravity of the human heart and the sinful condition of this broken world. Instead of playing one off against the other in some conservative-versus-liberal game, we should be praying and working towards peace and the presence of Christ in both. Bringing the situation to people’s attention is a start.Some things should always transcend politics. Human suffering is one of them. Another is the sin of those who turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to it.

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posted February 14, 2007 at 1:25 pm

Having attended Professor Natsios’s speech, his point seemed to make sense to me and has been portrayed unfairly. His comment was that in 2006, the number of deaths was greatly decreased, simply because so many of the people of Darfur had already been killed or had come to reside in displacement camps which are relatively more safe. He stated firmly that genocide had occurred previously to this past year, he reiterated that the situation on the ground is incredibly tragic and needs to be stopped despite the lessened loss of life, and he expressed deep concern that it could soon get much worse if the camps start to be raided on a large scale. Whether you should still call such a tragic and fragile situation genocide, I think you can argue either way. But, in my mind, he was in no way trying in some sort of political move to diminish the necessity of acting to end the violence. He was simply acting as a professor trying to explain to students what is currently happening.

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Mike Hayes

posted February 16, 2007 at 3:38 am

To: Supporters of the values in “God’s Politics” Subject: Women and female children in Darfur The link to Amnesty International provides an opportunity for you to ask the government in The Sudan to respond to the findings of the International Criminal Court. Please consider it! Thank you!

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