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The Devil Came on Horseback: Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur [Paperback]

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Item Number 440928  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   237
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.25" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.62 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 3, 2008
Publisher   PublicAffairs
ISBN  1586485695  
EAN  9781586485696  

Availability  1 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 21, 2016 02:38.
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Item Description...
A former United States Marine, hired by the African Union to monitor the cease-fire agreement between the Government of Sudan and Darfurian rebel groups, offers an account of the ongoing genecide in Darfur and criticizes the international community's failure to intervene.

Publishers Description
Former United States Marine Brian Steidle served for six months in Darfur as an unarmed military observer for the African Union. There he witnessed first-hand the ongoing genocide, and documented every day of his experience using email, audio journals, notebook after notebook and nearly 1,000 photographs. Gretchen Steidle Wallace, his sister, who wrote this book with Brian, corresponded with him throughout his time in Darfur. Fired upon, taken hostage, a witness to villages destroyed and people killed, frustrated by his mission's limitations and the international community's reluctance to intervene, Steidle resigned and has since become an advocate for the world to step in and stop this genocide.

"The Devil Came on Horseback" depicts the tragic impact of an Arab government bent on destroying its black African citizens, the maddening complexity of international inaction in response to blatant genocide, and the awkward, yet heroic transformation of a formerMarine turned humanitarian. It is a gripping and moving memoir that bears witness to atrocities we have too long averted our eyes from, and reveals that the actions of just one committed person have the power to change the world.

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More About Brian Steidle & Gretchen Steidle Wallace

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Brian Steidle, a former Captain in the Marine Corps, worked for the African Union where he served in Darfur. He has made several return trips to Africa and now gives lectures across the country, including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and UCLA, about Darfur. Gretchen Steidle Wallace, Brian's sister and the founder of Global Grassroots, has a BA in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College. They live in New Hampshire.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Well-written, deceptively easy to read  Dec 1, 2008
Worthwhile, but ultimately the reader feels the same frustration as the author: What good is this doing? Why can't I really help?
shocking and infuriating  May 6, 2008
This is only the second book to make me furious and wanting to go out and take action. To allow the kind of atrocities he witnessed to continue to go on goes against the phrase "never again" which was said after the holocaust. He witnessed things a person should never have to see, and he bore witness well. I just hope that someday SOON we will do something or else it will be like rwanda, in which we ignored a cry for help. He wrote his story well, and I wish him peace for what we saw.
The Devil Came on Horseback - The resource war of Darfur  Apr 3, 2008
It has been over 3 years since Brian Steidle was introduced to Darfur, but sadly, nothing has changed. As atrocities continue in Sudan, the world leaders continue to contemplate whether it is genocide, China continues to provide massive shipments of AK 47s to the Sudanese government and Sudanese president symbolically got his hand slapped once again when his quest to lead AU was snubbed in January.
Darfur is not only about Arab Muslims wanting to exterminate Black Muslims. It is mostly about resources. Death, famine and disease cause by endless wars of land, water, oil and racial conflicts have taken their tolls and it can only get worse as the area continues to go through desertification. Nevertheless, this book is a must read because it gives you the first-hand accounts of the atrocities. It doesn't offer any solutions but it creates awareness. After reading the book, you will be faced with thousands of haunting images and one daunting question: Can Darfur be saved?

Is the devil a mythical creature or us?  Jan 31, 2008
In September 2004 Colin Powell officially labeled the atrocious killings in Darfur as genocide. The author, a former United States Marine, was one of only three Americans hired by the African Union to document those killings. He had neither a mandate to protect civilians nor the directive to fight back if aggressed. His job was only to observe and take pictures. He remained in Darfur for over 6 months, longer than any other observer, and was regarded by many Sudanese as family. When he finally left back to the States, many were saddened by his departure.

The title of the book refers to the "Janjaweed", a tribe supported by the Sudanese government, who attacked not just rebels, but black African civilians. The civilians referred to them as the devil on horseback. According to the author, the Janjaweed, together with government troops, murdered the black African civilians because their skin color was blacker, or darker, than the Arab blacks. The government wanted to get rid of all the `black' non-Arab Africans living in Sudan. When I read this, I had to pause and ask two Sudanese friends of mine if this was true. "Could the Sudanese government be killing its own citizens based on skin color?" I asked. The answer I got was one I did not expect.

The following might just be a conspiracy theory, who knows. According to my two Sudanese friends, the situation in Sudan is political, not racial. Darfur is rich in oil and other minerals. China is in Sudan drilling for oil and mining for other natural resources. The US is not too happy about this situation, and wants China out of Sudan (and out of Africa). So my friends think that the US is behind these killings. Remember the saying, "divide and rule"? The US is not doing the killings itself, but supporting various groups and turning tribes against each other to instill chaos.

I do not believe this could be possible. Still, I lost a lot of sleep over what my two Sudanese friends had told me. After all, the CIA is notoriously known for supporting rebels when it suits its purposes. For example, it supported the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation; its support for rebels in Cuba and Nicaragua; its role in the overthrow of governments both in Africa and in the Far East during World War II and the cold war. In the book, `Charlie Wilson's War', for example, the author describes how the US was helping the Mujahedeen secretly, and how they had to give them Soviet made weaponry as well as unconventional weaponry tinkered by the CIA in order that no trace points back to the US. In other words, the US would always be in a position to deny any support for the Mujahedeen, and no proof could ever be found indicating the contrary.

The author describes in detail the horror he saw in Darfur: the mutilated bodies; children crushed to death; eyes plucked out; limbs chopped off; decaying bodies in the sun...the real work of the devil. How could anyone do such atrocities? Worse, how could anyone allow such atrocities to happen?

The author published this book to make us aware of what is really happening in Darfur. He wants the world to act to stop this genocide. However, he does not say in his book why the world is not acting. After all, we acted against Iraq during its invasion of Kuwait. We later removed an unjust leader, Saddam Hussein, though for the wrong reasons. Why don't we do the same in Sudan? What is stopping the US and the world in acting against Sudan? The author does not give us the answer.

The author complains at how surprised he was that so few in America know about the genocide happening in Darfur. One bartender, when told the story by the author, said, "What's in it for us if we help them?" This feeling seems to be echoed by many, and this was the main reason the author decided to publish this book.

The author says that many foreign observers in Sudan were angry at the publication of this book, and accused him of just wanting to financially profit from the book as the sole reason for its publication. They also complained that since its publication, their job in Sudan has become tougher and more dangerous for they are no longer trusted by the Sudanese government.

There are a few black and white pictures in the book. Two pictures were of a decaying body; another of a skeleton. Some pictures portrayed the destruction in the villages; others were of people posing for the camera. I think it was probably inappropriate to include more pictures of mutilated bodies; but to make the author's case stronger, I think more pictures should have been included. He does say he took over 1,000 photographs. Many books nowadays come with a CD or DVD attached to the back cover (or inside the book). I think it would have been a good idea to include a CD with more pictures of the atrocities. A warning could be placed on the CD for the faint of heart. Pictures speak louder than words!

I was a little disappointed that the publisher decided not to include an index. However, I am really happy to have read this book. I am motivated to do more research on the situation in Darfur in order to learn what is really going on there. I am not interested in the politics of the situation, but rather at the psychological and moral side of the situation. What drives people to become devils? When do we cease to differentiate between good and bad? Do we all have evil in us? Is it worth all those killings when life will end up killing us eventually, whether we like it or not?
Darfur  Jan 22, 2008
If you agree that these atrocities should not happen on our watch, but do not know the facts about what goes on when the news is focusing on celebrities, please read this book. A concerned global citizen took the time to report on the events that transpire in Darfur every day. There is also a documentary of the same name. Read and decide how to act. Let's hope that this book will be defunct soon because Darfur is no longer in turmoil.

Write your own review about The Devil Came on Horseback: Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur

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