Thursday, November 08, 2007

Save Darfur Now!

Superman saw Save Darfur now and naturally it made him very sad. The movie definitely brought the conflict home. Superman was very inspired by the individual stories of the people trying to help, but wonders if they have actually improved the situation and if they should focus in another direction.

First, Superman is skeptical of the effectiveness of divestment. It requires many people in a long chain to jump on the rational logic train and be driven by economic forces. People probably would not be getting raped and murdered if everyone was truly riding this express.

Second, the ICC guy who jacked the Sudanese interior minister is certainly a hero, probably even a super one. This act, however, has not brought justice but rather probably pushed the Sudanese government to act more hostile towards humanitarian aid workers. If the U.N. can't back claims up with legitimate military force then there is no law. What is the point of having a UN, if you cannot stand up to a dictator in Sudan.

The problem in Sudan is very simple. The people are farmers. They live in one of the harshest deserts in the world. Farming the desert is as futile as an Oakland Raiders fourth quarter comeback, it will never be a path to economic freedom. While the people are in total poverty, there will always be violence, killing, corruption, and instability. The people need macro not microfinance help, the World banks needs to stop giving them super new seeds to buy on micro loans and instead build them roads, utilities, and factories. The people also need to be trained in how to make things etc.

Superman hopes that the people in Darfur will get U.N. protection. That means, paramilitary force sufficient to protect refugee camps, food shipments, and any attacks on civilians. The U.N. (if it actually had a legitiamte force) could take offensives against military leaders using child soldiers. A child soldier is useless, if it brings U.N. tanks going the other way. Superman also would have liked the documentary to contrast the conflict in Darfur with the violence in the Congo.

Last, Superman was impressed and appreciative of Clooney and Cheadle's efforts to use their influence to make a difference. Clooney definitely does not get elevated to superhero status, though, because of Superman's jealousy for his success and all the attention he gets from women.

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