Around the World

Osama and Arafat

I am wondering what has happened to Osama? He has made some pretty big threats on those blasted red states (Now, being from a “blue” state and also living in Canada I should be ok, how lucky am I??). The lack of terrorist “happenings” on US soil since the elections should be a pretty clear indication of the “power” bin Laden has. I am actually wondering if some of his followers are pulling a “Weekend and Burnies” type thing, possibly really advanced 3d animation that they have been working on the their caves?

Either him being dead or just inept, doesn’t seem to be much of a concern right now. Him and the rest of his cronies will eventually be tracked down. I am sure they all wept for Yasser Arafat.

Speak of the devil… as a Christian I do indeed mourn for his lost soul. I can’t say the world won’t be a better place without him but it is sad to see a soul lost to the Evil One. Mr. “Peace Prize” Arafat has been a horrid ruler. I agree that with the history of the Palestinians, they deserve their own nation. But Israel does as well. Both sides have been brutal in their “interactions” with each other so neither are blameless. But Arafat made peace impossible. Even with the peace talks under Clinton, Arafat essentially said its not enough. For him it was all or nothing, taking the notion of “jihad” to the extremes, just as Osama does. They only way there can be peace there is if both sides recognize that they are both going to be there. Peace can not come if one wants to completely rid the other from the planet. Both Israel and Palestine should be their own state, they don’t have to get along, they just have to exist together. Hopefully Arafat’s replacement will attempt to make peace instead of pretending to be for it. Bush seems to be ready to help if both parties are serious about it. I guess we shall see what happens.

Shalom

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is from a previous blog so the original comments no longer exist.

Sudan Part 3

I have been talking with a friend at work who is from Cameroon (2 countries away from Sudan on the west coast of Africa). She has filled me in an the way people see things in Africa. Now this is from her standpoint and she will have her own biases, but still much more informative than CNN or even the BBC I think.

In my previous post I stated that 70% of the population consider themselves Sunni Muslim. I also made the comment that I don’t really trust those numbers because they (they is the CIA world Factbook) also say 80% of the US population consider themselves Christian. My friend from work puts it this way: the Blacks live in the southern part of Sudan and are Christian, the Arabs live in the north and are Muslim. The Muslim Arabs are in the minority but are in control of the government / militia because the French put the Arabs in power in 1956 when Sudan become independent. The Christian blacks do not have any power. Hence the turmoil.

The problems I had thought to be largely racial both because of how the news has reported and also from trying to figure some of it out on my own. Apparently it is more than that. It really is a religious issue, which is directly related to race as the blacks are largely Christian. My friend did make the point that if there were black Muslim there, they would not be killed.

Even though the blacks have no power there, they are still the majority of the population and are needed because the southern part of Sudan is more rich in resources. The majority of the conflict is taking place in the western region of Darfur where there is the “ethnic cleansing” of the Christian blacks.

I will have to keep looking into this, but I have to get back to work.
Shalom

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is from a previous blog so the original comments no longer exist.

Sudan Part 1 and 2

(Part 1) I just started looking into what is happening in Sudan and in particular the Darfur region (that is in Africa for all those geographically challenged). I have only had a few minutes of reading. Sounds like things are looking pretty bad over there. Check out this article from the BBC for some of the more current info.

I will have to read some more stuff (when I am not at work) and post more when I can actually make sense of it all (or at least some of it).

Editor’s Addition (Part 2): I found another good primer – a Q&A on the conflict – from the BBC. Check it out.

Here is another article from CNN. The BBC article is quite a bit better, go figure…

Shalom

Addendum (Part 2):
I need help here: So the Sudanese government is basically Arab-Islamic centered / favored militia. The population is roughly 52% black and 39% Arab (and others) [it is odd that one of the minority groups (the Arabs) are the ones in control of the government militias]. That seems to be a somewhat significant difference in numbers. Now 70% of the population consider themselves Sunni Muslim (how accurate that is, I don’t know, I mean they say 84% of the US population considers themselves to be Christian and it may be un PC of me to say this, but 84% of US citizens are NOT Christians. But I digress.) This % of Muslims obviously implies that a good portion of the blacks are also Muslim. If there is “Ethnic Cleansing” – genocide – going on this must mean that there is division within the Sunni group, yes? They don’t seem to care that they are Muslim, they only seem to care that they are black. Is this what I should take from this or am I missing something? Wouldn’t this be like me wanting to kill off all the Asian Presbyterians? This does not make sense. Ok, genocide is bad, but the militia in Sudan seem to be ok with it none the less, but shouldn’t there be some logic to their killings? Do they just not like blacks or do they not like the fact that they are not “true” Muslim because they are black. Someone help me out here. Am I just reading into things and it is really only a racial issue not a religious one?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is from a previous blog so the original comments no longer exist.