During the recent conflict in Lebanon there was much gnashing of teeth about the failure to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution No. 1559 which, inter alia, required the disarming and removal of all armed groups (other than the Lebanese Army) operating in Lebanon. Despite the resolution Hizbullah was allowed to build up a considerable armoury and presence in the country unchallenged by Lebanon and with the U.N. standing by idly before the militia ultimately attacked Israel on 12 July 2006 to start the five week long war.
That war claimed the lives of an unknown number of Lebanese and around 160 Israelis. I say "unknown" because Hizbullah has never issued its casualty list and the official number of 1,000 Lebanese dead hasn't been authenticated while the claim that the majority of them were "civilians" is dubious - but that's another story.
The reality is that, despite the fact that Israel was defending itself against a genocidal mass murderer who used his own people as human shields, it was Israel which attracted the ire of a certain politicians and media commentators. I dare say that this is because those people apply different standards to the Jewish state than they do to others - but that's another story.
Well here's another story and it's about another United Nations Security Council Resolution.
This one happens to be numbered 1556. Like 1559, it was passed about two years ago and called upon the disarming of an Arab militia:-
"The Security Council today, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, demanded that the Government of the Sudan disarm the Janjaweed militias, apprehend and bring to justice its leaders and their associates who had incited and carried out violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, as well as other atrocities in the country’s Darfur region."
Again, like 1559, it was largely ignored by all concerned, the U.N. sat on its hands and the atrocities continued. We don't really know the actual death toll but a study by Scientific American.com recently concluded that the "number of dead in Darfur should be counted in the hundreds of thousands, not the tens of thousands that are often reported". That's probably, at least 400,000 in recent years.
Many of the muders committed by the Janjaweed militias were aided and abetted by Sudanese government troops. While U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan is concerned about the situation, which has also resulted in the dispacement of 2,000,000 civilians. he has been taking care not to offend the Sudanese government in the way he rushed to judgement to condemn Israel everytime an Israeli soldier sneezed in Lebanon.
And the media has been kind to the Sudanese government while the corpses pile up at a daily rate greater than its equivalent during the entire five week period of the war between Israel and Hizbullah.
One would think, given the word "proportionality" became a media buzzword when Israel retaliated to Hizbullah's 34 day long missile attacks on its civilians, that the media might catch on to what's happening over there. So far however, it hasn't come near to matching it on a word for word basis let alone in proportion to the death and suffering being meted out by the Arab militias on the helpless people of Darfur.
Why can't the Melbourne Age for instance, open its hearts to the victims and send its Middle East correspondent Ed O'Loughlin to the region again, but this time for the duration of the conflict as it did when he was sent to Lebanon?
Judging by this report from Associated Press, there is a lot of room for him to exercise his fertile imagination:-
SUDAN BLAMES ISRAEL AND JEWS FOR MANY OF ITS WOES
This is what Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir told a news conference on the sidelines of a ministerial U.N. General Assembly session after making the outrageous claim that most of its problems were due to Israel and that the West wanted to dismember his country in order to help the Jewish state:-
"The main purpose is the security of Israel. Any state in the region should be weakened, dismembered in order to protect the Israelis, to guarantee the Israeli security," he said.
Asked about Sunday's rallies Darfur peace rallies from Rwanda to San Francisco, Bashir said they were "invariably organized by Zionist Jewish organizations."
On second thoughts - that may not be another story after all.