The False Darfur ‘Genocide’ Numbers
Posted by musliminsuffer on April 3, 2009
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
=== News Update ===
The False Darfur ‘Genocide’ Numbers
Moon of Alabama
April 2, 2009
Headlined In Defense of Genocide the neoconned WaPo editors condemn the Arab league for hosting Sudan’s President Bashir while at the same time accusing Israel of war-crimes. The polemic includes this sentence:
There are three false claims in this one sentence. As these false claims are often repeated from the far right to the interventionist left, let me try to dispel them once and for all.
The 300,000 number is simply taken from hot air. It is based on a exaggerated statement by the UN’s humanitarian chief John Holmes:
That vague statement by Holmes is what the Washington Post characterizes as the ‘UN reported’.
Holmes extrapolated to 300,000 from a 2006 UN figure of 200,000 which itself was a not justifiable extrapolation from studies that found less excess death.
The Belgium Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) did a comparison study of the various studies done by the World Health Organization and others and concluded:
For a November 2006 report to Congress the Government Accountability Office asked twelve experts in epidemiology about such studies and concluded:
So the most acclaimed study on Darfur came away with “120,000 were excess deaths directly attributable to the conflict, 35,000 of which were violent deaths”.
From there all higher numbers are simply taken from the air by ‘extrapolating’ on the fly. Such extrapolations are not justified. Since mid 2004 the various UN agencies are fully engaged in Darfur and, while there is still strife, no major slaughter has taken place since then.
According to the Darfur timeline the major violence there took place in 2003 and early 2004. There is thereby no ground to extrapolate the excess death numbers from that time of hard violence into the time of relative calm. Would it be justified to estimated World War II casualties in 1946/47 from casualty numbers in 1944/45? Certainly not, but that is similar to what John Holmes and others are doing.
Now onto the genocide claim.
In early 2005 the Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur to the United Nations Secretary-General (pdf) found:
Still the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, tried to get President Bashir charged for genocide. Given the above report he could not claim that genocide happened in 2003 and 2004. He therefore argued that some hindrances of access to refugee camps and problems with food distribution in 2005 and 2006 were willful acts by the Sudanese government with the intent of genocide.
The pre-trial chamber of the ICC rejected (pdf, para 110ff) that view as implausible:
The pre-trial ICC chamber rules that there is not enough ‘reasonable grounds to believe’ – the pre-trial standard – that a genocide happened. A conviction in a full fledged trial in court would require the much higher standard of proof ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’.
The prosecutor now tries to have the pre-trial ruling overruled by an appeal chamber. Alex De Waal, an expert on the Darfur conflict, asked three legal experts who all conclude that the chances of that appeal are very low. There is simply no proof for any intent that is require to designate some slaughter as genocide. Still we should note that others do not agree with the pre-trial chambers arguments and decision. See for example legal scholar Kevin Jon Heller’s various posts on the ICC trial at Opinio Juris.
Bashir was charged by the ICC with several war-crimes. One day a court may decide about those charges and may find Bashir guilty. Until it does Bashir has the right to be seen as innocent. The prosecutor is only wasting time over an issue that is, in the bigger picture, irrelevant.
But back to where we started.
Likely much less than 300,000 people died in Darfur. It is possible that some 35,000 died there due do violence in 2003 and 2004 from the several sides of the conflict and more due to hunger and other circumstances. Currently there is no major fighting but a long term refugee problem that somehow will have to be solved.
The UN never ‘reported’ 300,000 death. One UN person unjustifiable ‘extrapolated’ numbers from a time of violence to a time of relative calm.
The case for ‘genocide’ was never convincing and a major UN commission as well as the International Criminal Court have found it without merit.
So why are the neocon WaPo editors still offering this claptrap?
1. There is a lot of oil under the sands of Darfur and Sudan is friendly with China – a combination that is automatically seen as hostile by an empire that strives to control all world energy resources.
2. Another possible motivation behind the hostile position towards Sudan are Israeli considerations like the “Yeor plan” which envisions water supply for Israel through pipelines from the Nile:
Supporting the suspicion that water for Israel is a motive for the false claims against Sudan is the fact that the “Save Darfur” movement is driven by Jewish interest groups. As the Jerusalem Post reported:
In reality I suspect a mixture of motives that drive the general hostile U.S. position towards Sudan, the false accusations of genocide and the overstatements of casualty numbers in the Darfur conflict. The simple fact that Sudan does not do what the U.S. says it should do is probably enough for the Washington Post editors to condemn it.
They are free to do so. But besides false numbers and wrong claims they have little to make their case.
:: Article nr. 53099 sent on 03-apr-2009 02:51 ECT
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