I just watched The Devil Came on Horseback last night, about the genocide going on in the Darfur region of Sudan.
If you don’t know anything about Darfur, read up on it here. Basically, the Arab-run government to the north is sponsoring a genocide against black Africans living in Darfur (located in the south-west of the country). The government has hired the Janjaweed (translated “the devil on horseback”), an Arabic militia force, to systematically wipe out the black Africans in Darfur. They burn people alive (even kids), set whole villages on fire, shoot their own countrymen indiscriminately, and use rape as a deliberate war tactic to destabilize families, bring shame to women, instigate fear and hatred, and spread STDs. What’s going on is sick and twisted beyond belief.
Since 2003, the Sudanese government has sponsored this genocide and killed possibly more than 400,000 people, all in an attempt to win a war against rebel groups that draw support among black Africans in the Darfur region. Rather than attack the armies like the rest of us do, they’ve decided to just wipe out everyone. Over 2.5 million people have been driven from their homes, many living in massive refugee camps in Chad.
The movie The Devil Came on Horseback is really well made. It follows marine captain Brian Steidle, stationed in the region as a military observer. Brian takes photos, interviews rebel soldiers, talks to Janjaweed militiamen, hears from the victims of genocide, and videos whatever he can get. The documentary pulls it all together into a nice hour and a half package. The great thing about it is that Brian isn’t some annoying, liberal, hippy pot-smoking college student jumping on the latest humanitarian bandwagon. He’s a marine, and he’s seen injustice and wants America do something about it. It gives him a lot of credibility that guys like Michael Moore don’t have.
Somewhere inside me is a bleeding-heart activist that likes to call attention to the latest international issue that needs our assistance, but I get tired of all the whiny neo-hippies just hopping on liberal bandwagons. Broad generalization, true, but I’m sure you get what I mean. Anyway, the movie is great because it’s nice to see a military guy calling attention to something like this. I feel like I can trust him.
So, moving on, watching this movie has once again caused me to think about how shallow my blog is. I give away (some might say “illegally distribute”) MP3s. I promote bands. I interview artists. I write about deep issues like “Defining Christian Muisc.” All while 400,000 people have been killed and countless women raped in a brutal genocide in Sudan.
So, to ease my aching conscience, I signed the petition here to get Bush and the UN to stop the genocide. Now who’s shallow?
Useful Sites and Links
SaveDarfur – learn about the genocide, sign a petition like me, or do something even more radical
Brian Steidle’s photos – see the photos he took while in Darfur
The Devil Came on Horseback – read up on the movie or watch the trailer
Invisible Children – some guys went to Sudan to document genocide but ended up in Uganda to document something just as creepy