Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Time for Omar el-Bashir to join Radovan Karadzic behind bars.

Sudanese president Omar el-Bashir calls for peace and reconciliations with and among all of the parties to the conflict in Darfur is little too late. He should stand trial as war criminal and retire behind bars.

Omar el-Bashir who came to power in a military coupe and who aligned himself with the “Islamist” Hassan el-Turabi in his first few years of taking power in Sudan have led the country from one disaster to another. From one massacre to another. Like all Arab and African generals who failed as generals and failed as soldiers, he and his military regime proved unfit as a political leader of a nation that has been at war with itself and its people for over 35 years. Time for Omar el-Bashir to retire behind bars.

Both el-Bashir and el-Turabi failed to deal with the “Christian and Animist” South wasting precious human and material resources with their commitment to implementing “Sharia” in the South adding years to the conflict and adding several hundred thousands dead and wounded not to mention the billions that could have been used to rebuild the broken and almost no-existing infrastructure in Sudan. Both partners, evil doers, conspired against the nation and fooled the people with their false commitment to “Sharia” as if cutting a head or an arm or stoning a sinner will solve the problems of Sudan. It seems that both evil partners where too commitment to dispatch the Sudanese to the hereafter and heaven since they have miserably failed to bring about a decent “heaven” on earth. This is the story of all Arab and Muslim leaders when they fail to deliver a decent life to their citizens they dispatch them to “heaven” in the hundreds of thousands if not in the millions.

For over 10 years el-Bashir and his circles of military governors have waged war directly and indirectly against the people and tribes in Darfur arming and supporting the Janjaweed desperado causing the murder of some 100,000, causing the death of over 200,000 directly and indirectly and of course causing the displacement of some 2.3 million of the poorest of the poor in Africa. Rather than use whatever little resources he has to rebuild his nation, el-Bashir like other criminal dictatorship engage in civil wars to cover up for his incompetence, and failure as a leader.

As such it was not surprising that the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court filed three counts of genocide, five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes against Omar el-Bashir. This charge comes not so soon after the same court brought charges against Sudanese official Ahmad Harun and Janjaweed leader Ali Kushayb. Both of these remain at large.

Too bad former leaders like Saddam Hussein, Mobuto Sese Seko, P.W. Botha, Hafiz Al-Assad, David BenGurion Ariel Sharon, Menachem Begin, Suharto, the Shah of Iran and sitting leaders like George Bush and Dick Cheney escaped prosecutions for crimes committed against their own people and crimes committed against other people.

However there is some hope. The arrest of the Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic after years in hiding bring some hope that world criminals will sooner than later will be caught and brought to justice to answer for the wrongful death and murders of hundreds of thousands. The crimes committed by former Serbian leaders like Slobodan Milosevic, General Ratko Mladic are a reminder that in even in modern “civilized” Europe war crimes are committed under the watchful eyes of the European Union, under the watchful eyes of the United Nation. We need to remind ourselves that that crimes and genocides are also commitment in the Arab World and Africa under the watchful eyes of the Arab League and the African Union.

Of course we all remember the mass murder of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims, young boys and men that took place in Srebrenica in 1995, abandoned by the United Nations the organization that was to protect them, and abandoned by the Dutch Battalion that chose to run and get drunk in Zagreb rather than provide protections for the unarmed Bosnian Muslims. The Dutch historian Henry Beunder best described what happened when he wrote” While the Bosnians were standing up to their knees in blood, the Dutch soldiers in Zagreb where standing up to their ankles in beer being applauded by the Crown Prince Wilhelm Alexander, Prime Minister Kok and Defense Minister Voorhoeve” More than 20,000 Bosnian Muslims were massacred and murder in UN designated safe areas.

As a reward to the very same man who was in charge of protecting the lives of people in UN designated zones, Kofi Annan who was the head of Department of Peace Keeping Operations for the United Nation decided not to cut his vacation and attend to the massacres taking place under his watch, and as a reward for his failure to protect the lives of innocent people he was plucked by the United States to become the next Secretary General of the United Nation. Perhaps former president Clinton and former secretary of state Albright were too unhappy with Botros Botros Ghali and his attempt to open an investigation into the Israeli mascaras of Lebanese civilians in the town of Qana, of course in designated safe areas protected by the United Nation.

Perhaps Radovan Karadzic and in his defense seek the testimony and prosecution of UN officials who are equally responsible for the failures to protect the lives of hundreds of thousands of Bosnian Muslims.

The Arab League must never provide any political and legal cover for the war crimes of Omar el-Bashir as it covered the crimes of Hafiz Al-Assad and Saddam Hussein. It is time for world leaders, especially Arab leaders to know that they could never get away with murder.

I was one of the very first and few Arabs and Muslims who dared to speak out on the crimes committed in Darfur. Too bad Arab human rights organizations are not taking the lead in defending the people of Darfur leaving it and abandoning the fight to American Jewish organizations to step in and seek the protection of the “people” of Darfur. It is a shameful failure for both Arabs and Muslims not to take the lead and fight for the people of Darfur.

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