Friday, March 10, 2006

Guantanamo and Darfur

I don't think I've met anyone who doesn't think that the Guantanamo Bay camp should be closed, and that the inmates should be tried or released (of course, there's a 'but' coming).

But while I don't have a team of researchers to do this for me, I bet that - if someone were to do a comparison of column inches and the viewership concentrated on Guantanamo compared to those covering the genocide in Darfur, ...... that is the detention without trial of 650 suspected combatants, compared to the murder of around 200,000 people and the ethnic cleansing of around 2 million people, along with the attendant brutalities, rapes, destruction and theft....
.... I think I know which has had more coverage.

As Nick Cohen puts it,

Why isn’t every liberal newspaper and liberal party fulminating? Because genocide is out of fashion, dear. It may make a retro return in 2008, say, or 2009. Books called We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed will win literary prizes. Lachrymose documentaries will appear on BBC2, probably narrated by Fergal Keane. The Church of England will apologise, as it invariably does. They will all cry: ‘Never again!’ And at that precise moment, it will be happening again.

3 comments:

MatGB said...

To an extent, it's one of those "can do something"/"can't do much" things I suspect.

The policies of a democratic(?) govt we're allied to can be changed via pressure, directly. Genocide takes intervention and/or extreme pressure on the govt there and its neighbours by lots of govts/donors.

I don't write about Gitmo, I chose to keep the blog concentrated, but it's something that could be changed by democratic pressure. I don't think Darfur can, directly, be changed, it's not a policy of an elected govt.

That's a partial explanation for bits of it, beyond that? Reform the UN, reformt he EU so it's a genuine beacon, an example to follow, and try to get a real world Govt with power to act.

50 years time? Maybe.

Paulie said...

"I don't think Darfur can, directly, be changed, it's not a policy of an elected govt........ reform the UN, reform the EU so it's a genuine beacon, an example to follow, and try to get a real world Govt with power to act.

50 years time? Maybe."

Sorry Matt - is that really a defensible argument?

MatGB said...

Defensible argument?

No. I've answered in your follow up; I suggested a possible reason why people write about one more than the other. Didn't defend, just attempted a possible explanation to answer your unwritten question.

Systemic problem; needs a short term solution, but the systemic issue it highlights also needs to be addressed.