What Hollywood Gets Wrong About Darfur

George Clooney wasn’t at the Oscars Sunday night. Where was he? Apparently, Clooney was in Darfur – and he was planning to report back to President Obama about his trip. So far, so good; there are many issues in Darfur that need to be addressed right now. There’s only one problem: Clooney and the Hollywood phonies don’t want to address the real problems in the region.

If you’ve ever heard my radio show (which is heard on 260+ radio stations as well as XM and Sirius), you know that I respect intellectual honesty. If Harry Reid does something right, I praise him. When George W. Bush was wrong, I showed little mercy. But being fair-minded doesn’t mean spreading criticism equally. When I watch the left engage in their politics, it is more often than not wrought with intellectual dishonesty, for which I have little patience.

Hollywood loves to spout off about Darfur. They plaster “SAVE DARFUR!” bumper stickers on their Priuses. They shout “SAVE DARFUR!” at rallies. It’s become the battle cry of the left. But do they really understand what saving Darfur entails? Do they really understand what’s happening on the ground in Darfur?

Last year, I decided to find out the truth about Darfur. I had the opportunity to go to the region to help with humanitarian aid. It was an eye-opening, horrendous experience.

First, the history you won’t hear from Clooney and his ilk. Darfur is a region in Sudan. About 30 years ago the Arab Muslims in the north decided they that wanted to implement Sharia law throughout the entire country. The problem was that there are a lot of people in Sudan who aren’t interested in Sharia law: the folks in the south are generally black Christians. So the Muslims started a war in which about 2 million people were killed or displaced. The Arabs in the north enslaved many of the blacks from the south — a barbaric practice which continues to this day. Today, the war is at a stalemate. South Sudan is working on a cession plan. The citizens of southern Sudan are much poorer than those in the north because oil revenues tend to be given much more freely to those who follow Mohammad.

But not everyone who follows Mohammed gets a slice of the pie. As the fighting in the south began to subside, the desperately poor people in the region known as Darfur – largely black Muslims — wanted to get some help too. Oil was found in Darfur, and the black Muslim citizens of Darfur asked the Arab Muslim government in Khartoum if they could share in the newly-discovered oil wealth. The Arab Muslim government answered quickly and forcefully: hell no! And because the black Muslims in Darfur had the nerve to question their Arab Muslim brothers, they were declared kuffar – ingrates and rejecters. The Arab Muslims labeled them less than human, which means that they are now allowed to be slaughtered and enslaved.

I knew this history when I visited Sudan. I didn’t know just how awful it would be. While I was there, I met thousands of people who had recently been slaves. We found a group of young men and women who had been released – and they didn’t even realize they were no longer slaves. They had the clothes on their backs and a piece of paper stating where they came from — that was it.

The heartbreaking moments that are burned in my memory are those of the children. I have two young girls, 14 and 8. They want what every little girl in America wants: computers, iPods, dolls, clothes from Hollister. You know what the status symbol of a kid in Darfur is? An empty plastic water bottle! Why? So the kid can take water with him to play.

I met a little 10 year old boy whose mother had been a slave. She had escaped with her family about 2 weeks earlier. The boy’s father was probably the slave owner. The boy had a bone that had been sticking out of his leg for as long as he could remember. He was going blind in one eye; I’m not sure if he had bathed that year. But he was happy, always smiling. He loved going to his church and singing. I had a camera and was showing him how it worked. I noticed him looking at the empty water bottles, so I reached over and gave him a full bottle and a package of beef jerky. The look on his face … it was like I gave him the greatest present anyone ever opened on Christmas morning. He was dancing and running around the area, showing his mother this gift. I just thought I was giving him some water and jerky — but to him it was something he never dreamed of. I sure hope that boy is alive today. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

That’s the situation on the ground. But why do things continue to deteriorate? Where’s the international community Hollywood is so fond of?

The international community is fostering this genocide. The Chinese receive a large percentage of their oil from Sudan, and so turn a blind eye to the slaughter. The Russians, who still want to have a role as a major superpower, supply weapons and air support to the Arab Muslim government. The Arab Muslim thugs who run Sudan receive support from Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia, all of whom want to help their Arab Muslim brothers against the kuffar.

You might recognize this unholy alliance of dictatorships, thugocracies and rogue states. It’s the same unholy alliance we fought in Iraq. If George W. Bush had listened to Clooney or Obama and left Iraq precipitously, we might be seeing Darfur-like slaughter in Iraq. Muslims killing Christians in the name of Islam. Muslims fighting Muslims over oil rights and revenues, to sell to the Chinese and Russians. There would be murder, mayhem, and slavery in a place where now, at last, peace could be dawning on the horizon.

Where is the UN, you ask? The United Nations Clooney loves so much? I asked the same question to some UN apparatchiks I met in Juba (southern Sudan). “Why isn’t the UN stopping this?” I asked. Here was their answer: “We can’t go in unless the government of Sudan invites us in.” You heard that correctly: the Arab Muslim government in Khartoum is slaughtering and enslaving their own people and the U.N. won’t stop them because the human trash committing these crimes won’t ask the U.N. to stop them.

This is the international community represented by George Clooney and Angelina Jolie. This is the UN beloved by Bono, Drew Barrymore, Selma Hayek, and Reese Witherspoon. I hope my young beef jerky-loving friend will be alive to see their next flop movies, TV shows, and rock tours. Again, I wouldn’t bet on it.

So here’s a note to George Clooney, Academy Award Winner Sean Penn and the other Hollywood morons. You’re right when you say “SAVE DURFUR.” But you’re not going to save Darfur by making movies or holding rock concerts. Here’s the hard truth: you save Darfur by following George W. Bush’s example in Iraq. If you hadn’t spent all your time and moral capital opposing George W. Bush’s war of liberation in Iraq, we might be done there by now, and we could get on with the business of actually saving Darfur.