...elsewhere in Sudan, things are carrying on as normal. I say 'normal' when what I really mean by that is 'it's business as usual in the genocide'.
The amount of press coverage given to Gillian Gibbons's case is staggering, yet I'm left wondering if the fate of one white western woman, appallingly treated though she has been, really does outweigh the pain, starvation, torture and murder suffered every day in that same country. That doesn't mean that she deserved to be treated so badly by the Islamo-fascist government, obviously.
The usual suspects have been chuntering away in the background, though I have a fair idea that Mrs Gibbons wouldn't have appreciated Melanie Phillips' brainiac idea to sacrifice her by withdrawing all aid to the country in a fit of pique. As Rhetorically Speaking points out, such a course of action is hardly likely to have got Mrs Gibbons freed from jail - it would probably have made things a whole lot more unpleasant for her.
Not that that bothers Mad Mel, obviously, who still somehow manages to hold down a job in journalism despite being the most poisonous sow in Fleet Street. Mind you, you wouldn't know that if you just looked at her photo byline. Have you seen it? Go and have a look at it. Isn't it bizarre? That big, beaming grin looks like it belongs to a cuddly auntie who's about to bring round a plate of sandwiches. She looks quite pleasant. You wouldn't imagine, looking at that face - unless you'd been exposed to the horrors of Phillips on the Moral Maze or Question Time, or had had the misfortune to be stuck on the Tube with just a copy of the Mail for comfort from the tedium - that she was the vilest witch on planet earth, a one-woman war against reason and intelligence, who'd probably think that unless you're in favour of blowing up all Muslims and throwing their children into a vat of acid and dancing around it laughing and singing, then you must somehow be in favour of the terrorists and the international takfirist jihad. No, quite the opposite. She looks a nice enough person. Maybe she is. I often wonder if these rabidly aggressive right-wingers aren't just churning out the same old bile for the sake of it. Surely they can't really believe it, can they? No, I have a theory. Phillips is in fact a double-agent. She's decided to erode the credibility of right-wing arguments and Bush-Blair foreign policy from within by taking it to its logical conclusion in Der Sturmer and spouting out hate-filled nonsense, thereby making reasonable people realise the inherent intolerance, bigotry and aggression required to maintain such a stance. She's a sly one, old Mel. I think she's probably one of us really. She's just deep undercover. One day I fully expect her to come out and say: "You didn't really think I meant all that horrible shit, did you?"
Well, the only other option is that she really believes it. And that would mean she's a fucking idiot.
Back to the genocide, though, which is one subject that the BBC is covering brilliantly, unlike most of its colleagues in the media, who only really looked it up on an atlas, and dug out the Ladybird Book of Stereotypes, when Gillian Gibbons was arrested. The UN reports that peacekeeping efforts could fail unless the world pulls its finger out and actually does something about thousands of people dying and being slaughtered. I know, I know, it's a tough call.
I can't pretend to understand everything about Darfur, and I think most of us are the same. It's been presented badly by a lot of the news media and I'm playing catch-up as we speak, trying to work out what the hell is going on. There seems to be conflict over China's role in the whole affair, with pressure being exerted on sponsors of the Beijing Olympics to make a stand. This could be an interesting tactic; the sponsors wanted publicity at all costs, hoping to take a ride on the good wave of publicity and opening markets in Asia, but now they're faced with a different problem. These 'new markets' might not be run by especially pleasant or moral people. While all this is going on, the violence is continuing, spreading and getting a whole lot worse.
Here's a real crime going on in Sudan, right now, worse than a crime against Islam, worse than a crime against any God: a crime against human beings. The question is: Do we care about it as much as we do about one white woman who had her liberty taken away for a few days? Our response will tell us a lot about ourselves.
No related posts.