Saturday, February 02, 2008

And So It Goes

While we all struggle to come to grips with the twin news stories of the economy and the election, it's easy to lose track of stories that will affect our news in years to come:
N'DJAMENA (Reuters) - Chadian rebels seeking to overthrow President Idriss Deby battled their way into the capital N'Djamena on Saturday and fought government troops around the presidential palace, diplomats and residents said.

The sound of machine gun and heavy weapons fire could be heard in the capital as foreign embassies advised their citizens to stay in doors and take cover. Fighting was reported to be taking place around the presidential palace and the parliament.

"I can confirm they (the rebels) are in the city," a foreign diplomat told Reuters. The situation was confused and mobile phone networks were not working.

"Rebels are headed for the palace and are about two blocks from here. The rebels are winning," one foreign resident said in an email sent from the compound of a western embassy in N'Djamena, adding she could hear tank and mortar fire.
OK, it's, you know, Chad! What's that got to do with the price of eggs?

Well, nothing today, but...
Chad says the rebels, who advanced rapidly this week across the country from the eastern border with Sudan's war-torn Darfur region, are armed and backed by the Sudanese government. Khartoum routinely denies such accusations.
Now, scroll back, say, twelve years and substitute Afghanistan for Chad.

That's the kind of trouble this could conceivably foment for us. The Darfur region of the Sudan is beset by Arab Islamist fundamentalists (the Janjaweed) who are attempting to drive out the ethnic Africans.

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see what happens next: Al Qaeda and its wealthy patricians ask for and are granted asylum in Darfur, Chad and neighboring regions as the Janjaweed press their "influence" outward, backed by the Sudanese government, possibly cutting a deal with Qaddaffi as well.

This would give Al Qaeda a base of operations within striking distance of Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Egypt, and yes, Israel. Iran and Syria on one side. Al Qaeda supported by Sudan on the other, and then the fist closes on the Middle East.

Where's the uproar from the rabidly anti-Islamist right in this country? Where are the more Zionist neo-cons like Pamela "Atl-ass" Geller, always screeching about Israel's security, yet never saying word one about how we have squandered our military and financial resources fighting a war against people who once looked to us as an example of what it means to be free? Where's the "you're either with us or with the terrorists" bravado of 2002?

We on the left have been screaming about the tragedy of Darfur, yet here's a strategic as well as humanitarian crisis, and all this administration can do is embarrassedly clear their throats and mutter vague words of support for some nebulous United Nations attempt at putting a band-aid on a fracture.

Truly, "and so it goes.." until it is gone and too late.