Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Arab Aid to Sudan

A recent editorial in The Washington Post looked at foreign aid to Sudan, including it's deadly Darfur province. The facts are interesting.

This year the U.S. has provided $468 million, about 53 percent of all aid. That's proportionally about twice our size in the global economy. Other generous countries, in terms of aid contributions relative to the size of their economies, are Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and Britain.

Some nations have been much more miserly. France has given $2 million, which is statistically zero. Japan, despite its huge economy, has given only two percent of international contributions. China has contributed nothing.

The worst, however, are the Arab countries, many of which have oil money coming out of their ears. Saudia Arabia has given $3 million, and the UAE and Qatar combined have given under $1 million. That's it. The only Arab countries on the list. This, despite the fact that the victims of genocide in Darfur are Muslims, and aid to Sudan helps Muslims in general.

There isn't anything new about this. For example, Arab nations also haven't been very helpful to the Palestinians over the years. That puts the lie to much-touted concepts of Muslim solidarity and the radical concept of a new caliphate. The sorry fact is that even the filthy rich of the Muslim world won't give much help to their suffering brothers and sisters. They leave that to the Great Satan.

The editorial quotes an earlier column by Joseph Britt:

We've heard a lot since Sept. 11, 2001, about how Arabs feel humiliated, ashamed, resentful at being regarded by the West as inferior in some way. Perhaps it is time to say plainly that the way to earn respect is through deeds worthy of respect.



Blogger Amal said...

I cannot be any more clear than to say that the Arab nations like to talk but not back it up. When Lebanon was going through it's devastating civil war, they were denying us visas. When Lebanon started to rebuild, we had to go begging. Until our martyred Prime Minister Hariri came to power, no one would help us. Then, they only helped us because of the clout he had.

The Arab nations are not worthy of respect nor will they be until the Arab street rises up against the corrupt leaders and stop blaming all of our problems on the west.

I know that some of our problems can be laid at the door step of the British, French and Americans but really, instead of whining about it, get over it.

7:36 PM, August 16, 2005  
Blogger Kevin said...


I could not agree more. Actions are what is important, not empty promises.


5:34 AM, August 17, 2005  
Anonymous Kevin @ PK said...

Well... I suppose it's a good thing you didn't fact check with the Rabid Right. Some of them seem to think that the group being slaughtered in Darfur are Christians.

In general I think Amal hits the nail on it's head. Although, I do think that some of the issue between Lebanon and her Arab neighbors might stem back to when Lebanon flatly refused to join Syria, Jordan and Egypt in making war with Israel. Still, that doesn't negate his larger point.

3:26 PM, August 17, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

Kevin, that's a pretty amazing site. Seems like ignorance knows no bounds.

Lebanon, I guess, has always been a special case, and it's always been my perception that the Lebanese people are a cut above their neighbors. Too bad it always seemed to be the battleground in one kind of fight or another.

5:08 PM, August 17, 2005  
Blogger sygamel said...

Tom, your facts are off. The government of Sudan is using the Arab Janjaweed militia to terrorize the black Sudanese in Darfur.

6:26 PM, August 17, 2005  
Anonymous Kevin @ PK said...

Tom, the American rabid right can take consolation from the fact that that blog is part of the Canadian rabid right. LOL

As far as modern times I share your perception of Lebanon and her people. Archaelogy, particularly of the Middle East, has long fascinated me and there I'd defer to the ancient high civilizations wherever they occurred.

Scott, Wikipedia has a section on Darfur which you might find interesting. It seems that the distinction between "Arab" and "non-Arab" in Darfur is heavily disputed. It's more a situation of tribal-based ethnic conflict than anything. And some of the violence is between various "black" groups.

I suspect that the lukewarm response from the wealthy Gulf states has it's roots in the same basic tribalism.

Consider the "Arabs" in Northern Sudan. Compare a picture of the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir with the late Syrian President Hafiz al-Assad. Both are Arabs. Yet they don't look alike at all.

11:42 PM, August 17, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

The facts are correct, Scott. This is pretty basic stuff. According to one source,

The ethnic Africans of Darfur, unlike those of the South, are Muslim. And not just Muslim: deeply, devoutly, unshakably Muslim.

According to another source,

Though the tribes of Darfur are Muslim, they are not of the hardline Salafist movement favored by Khartoum's National Islamic Front government, an offshoot of the radical Muslim Brotherhood (now is based in Saudi Arabia after being crushed in Egypt, its birthplace). The Darfur Muslims do not speak Arabic, their women wear colorful African garb, and they do not follow the strict criminal code of Khartoum's Wahhabi-style sharia, which calls for the flogging of those who drink alcohol, the body-part-amputation of thieves, the stoning of adulterers, and the execution of blasphemers.

For years Khartoum has treated the black, Sufi Muslims of Darfur as second-class citizens, systematically discriminating against them in providing development opportunities, government services, and positions of power. When they rebelled against this policy of extreme marginalization, they became — in the view of a regime that conflates religion with politics — "apostate." Under Islamist rules, apostates are to be put to death or taken as slaves.... It is likely that slaves have been taken in Darfur.

You can also go to The World Factbook for basic information.

The Muslim government of Sudan has murdered and enslaved it's people in the south, where most are Christian and animist, for a long time. In the Darfur province, the victims of genocide are Muslim. Given Muslim victims and a murderous Muslim government, you'd think the rich Arab Muslim countries would feel some special impetus to intervene and influence events, particularly given their willingness to speak about and attempt to intervene on Muslim issues in the rest of the world.

4:16 AM, August 18, 2005  
Blogger sygamel said...

A little bit of confusion...I was questioning just one point of yours, Tom. I was pointing out that the Janjaweed are Arab, thus not all Muslims in Sudan are suffering in Darfur. Some of them are causing the suffering themselves.

10:48 AM, August 18, 2005  
Blogger sygamel said...

Regardless, the Arabs need to step it up in their part of the world. Their abdication of responsbility for the problems in their midst is pathetic.

10:50 AM, August 18, 2005  
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