THE BLOG
12/11/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

You and Khartoum: Why Darfur is Our Problem

There is no crisis in Darfur. This is something the American public, along with the citizens and leaders of every democratic, human rights-interested, and justice-serving nation, must understand. To date, the number of people murdered in Khartoum's campaign of death numbers well into the six figures and, all else equal, will reach the million-people mark before we know it. Millions have already been displaced and forced out of their country into neighboring Chad. The BBC reported that the Sudanese government in Khartoum has cynically ensnared relief efforts in an endless web of bureaucracy which, compounded by the abduction or killing of relief and aid workers, has brought these efforts to a near standstill.

What is happening in the world's finance markets is a crisis. What happens when gunmen hold hostages at a bank is a crisis. What is happening in Darfur is genocide. Militias connected to the Arab government in Khartoum have been targeting non-Arab black Sudanese in a campaign of murder, rape, and starvation. The effort is total. The targets are black tribes of the Darfur region, particularly the Fur tribe from which Darfur takes its name. Given that before the "crisis" began the area was impoverished and troubled, the years of violence have made the survival of Darfur tribes a near impossibility -- unless something drastic is done.

To its shame, the UN refused to declare Darfur a case of genocide. It's hard to see how this could be justified -- though the UN investigatory team that made the judgment used 177 pieces of paper to make the justification. Unfortunately, a UN report, no matter how long it is, doesn't change the facts on the ground, which is why Congress, President Bush, and the International Criminal Court have accused Khartoum of genocide.

On Sunday, Sudanese rebel groups announced their refusal to partake in a peace conference with Khartoum. Sunday also marked another event that is thousands of miles and even a few decades away. On the night of November 9, into the early hours of November 10, 1938, Germans took to the streets under the satisfied, watchful eyes of the Nazis and sacked thousands of Jewish stores and synagogues. Already by the early 1930s, Nazi persecution of Jews had been glaringly evident, though no mass wave of violence on the scale of Kristallnacht, as the infamous night came to be known, had occurred. The Nazis spent the years between 1933 and 1938 loading their genocidal guns; in November 1938 they pulled the trigger.

What was shocking to many then, as it is to many now, is that no one did anything. Kristallnacht occurred just years after the rise of the League of Nations and its internationalist commitments to justice and human rights. Had the Allies taken action against Germany on account of their moral outrage over Kristallnacht it wouldn't only have been the Jews who might have been saved. Between Kristallnacht and the opening shots of WWII, Hitler had almost a full year to further his war preparations and armament. Action against Germany at that point might have prevented WWII from being as long and gruesome as it was.

The same is true today. When speaking about the genocide/ethnic cleansing going on in Darfur, activists, journalists, and politicians seemed to have magically wished away the rest of the country. But Sudan exists. For the past 15 years or so, it has served as the breeding ground and hospitable host to the world's most nefarious terrorists. It was there, in Sudan, that Al-Qaeda was cobbled together as the world's most dangerous jihadists met in Khartoum in the early and mid-1990s to prepare a strategy for global jihad. Al-Qaeda's number two, Al-Zawhiri forged some of his most important ties in Sudan and, not surprisingly, so did Osama Bin Laden.

The reason for this was simple: Sudan is the second country in the world to come under the rule of extremist Islamists. The first is Iran. The two countries didn't fail to notice the connection. Iran funded and armed elements in Sudan for years and in return Sudan offered Iran-supported terror elements a warm, dry place to germinate and train. It was in Khartoum that Bin Laden met with the operational leader of Hizballah, which (with good reason) rivals Al-Qaeda as the world's most dangerous terror organization.

Recently, the connection between Khartoum and Hizballah ("Party of Allah") deepened as the Iran-operated, Lebanese-based terror group exchanged "declarations of support" with Khartoum this past summer. Hizballah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, declared support for Sudan's genocidal ruler, Omar Al-Bashir, and aimed his fiery rhetoric at the international community, screaming that international involvement in Darfur amounts to a "conspiracy (against Bashir) [that] aims at striking the elements of strengths in the Arab [world] and Islamic Umma."

The implication is that Hizballah will put boots on the ground in Khartoum, a move that will strengthen the Sudanese government by training and supplying its forces, provide Hizballah with new room to move, and extend Iran's reach as a string-puller of proxies.

Without doubt, one of the less seemingly sinister activities that Hizballah will kick off in Khartoum is counterfeiting of American dollars. According to Ronen Bergman's The Secret War With Iran, the regime in Tehran inherited from the Shah extremely rare and extremely valuable intaglio printing presses that are used to print government documents and money, including dollars. Iran learned it can counterfeit massive amounts of extremely high quality counterfeit currency. This kills two birds with one stone as it has disastrous effects on the American economy and, by using international distribution channels to sell the fake dollars for less than their face value, is a source of much-needed cash.

As a gateway into Africa, Khartoum could be an excellent distribution point in Iran's counterfeit dollar distribution network. One other important point in this network lies in the US. The distributors: American skinhead and neo-Nazi gangs, particularly in Southern California. These racist groups, having put aside their differences with extreme Islamists (and vice-versa), move hundreds of millions of dollars each year for terror networks like Hizballah and Al-Qaida. In return they take a small cut (which, given the volume, amounts to lots of money) to fund their own sinister, stateside operations against American minorities.

Here, the story comes full circle, as it always does. Last week, the UK allowed a Hizballah spokesman named Ibrahim Mousawi to come speak (or rather, froth) at a conference on political Islam in London. This was revealed on Sunday by the Jerusalem Post on the same day the paper carried articles about the Kristallnacht anniversary. Britain should know better. During WWII, the UK was the Nazis' number one target for economic destabilization through counterfeit currency, and it is a target of Hizballah's currency warfare today. The same game is in play, and the same players are playing.

This brings us back to Darfur. Without action from the international community against the Khartoum regime, all of these trends will deepen. Sudan will become stronger and less interested in stopping its campaign of death against the Fur and other black tribes in Darfur. Hizbollah will increase its strength and further its economy-damaging counterfeiting efforts during an economically vulnerable time for America. Neo-Nazi and skinhead groups will continue to receive large scale funding from their involvement with the funding of groups like Hizballah. Iran will be able to use Sudan for whatever purposes it wants and in exchange will at least continue discussion about proliferating nuke technology and equipment (and, possibly, bombs) to Sudan. The game will then be close to over, and not only will the West face a dire, immediate, Iranian threat in Africa, but the ravaged innocents in Darfur will have lost any hope of returning to their lives and seeing their murderers brought to justice.

We can no more talk about the events in Darfur as a "crisis" than we could have spoken about 9/11 as a "pressing issue". There is a genocidal regime in Khartoum -- and that fact must be the departure point for any real change in Sudan.