Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Devil Came On Horseback


Brian Steidle isn’t your usual world-saving Peace Corp member, not the kind of guy you might expect to make a movie like this. He’s an ex-Marine, and got a job with the African National Congress to be an unarmed observer in the south of Sudan, trying to keep the peace. Later he gravitated north and west, toward Darfur, and the things he saw there changed him forever. I put off watching this because we often watch DVDs as we’re eating dinner, and I didn’t relish stuffing my face while looking at skeletal African children. Well, there weren’t any of those. The displaced people we see in Chad look adequately fed and sheltered, though they have nothing but the clothes on their backs. It’s the 100,000 to 500,000 left behind (who really knows how many?), burned alive and butchered by a bunch of thugs called Janjaweed, armed and supported by the Islamic regime in Khartoum, who don’t look so good. There are plenty of pictures of those, and don’t bring a weak stomach. Steidle tries to shows these pictures to people in the west, who are properly disgusted. Some actually try to do something about it. To no apparent effect. International organizations spend a lot of time trying to define “genocide.” Does all this sound familiar? Can there be such a thing as genocidal burnout? Just in recent memory there has been Cambodia, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and now Darfur—which is happening as I write this, ladies and gents, while our “leaders” sit around with their thumbs up their asses. The only one anyone did anything about was Bosnia/Serbia, and that was too little and too late for many thousands. (That was white people. Coincidence? Discuss …) And guess who controls the oil in Sudan, the oil that—this time—is badly wanted by China and Russia? Why, it’s those lying Islamic cocksuckers in Khartoum, who see the mostly black, Christian or animist southerners as less than human. Jeez. I’m so tired.