Gold in them thar hills

Darfur has undiscovered water! Water you say? In The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Humphrey Bogart discovered that no fortune in gold could buy what he really needed in the desert, water!

Precipitating a gold rush has been a traditional underhanded mechanism to conquer and settle new lands, for America’s westward expansion especially, at the tricky impasse of land already deeded to the Indians.

Facing troops and lawmakers showing a moral reluctance to annihilate his red-skinned foes, George Custer played up claims of gold in the Black Hills and the land grab was on, poor white opportunists scrambling to invade Indian lands without anyone being able, if they wanted, to stop them. The betrayed Sioux were all but goaded into war and were soon displaced.

Now someone’s rallying the carpetbaggers to mine the water of Sudan. True, the circumstances are more complex. It’s not our greed they’re preying upon, but our eagerness to see a humanitarian solution. It’s been all to easy to feel there’s nothing to be done to help the Sudan because Africa’s troubles appear perpetual. But with water of course salvation is at hand, even though it’s a panacea.

The march to drill wells in the Sudan may not seem to be for our immediate gain, but let’s not forget that the real fortunes made in gold discoveries weren’t made by miners, but by those who sold them the pick axes and shovels. The drive to Drill 1,000 Wells For Darfur will reap a lot of pick axes and shovels.

Plus we’ll need to protect those projects, to make sure the new water supplies don’t fall into the schemes of evil warlords, so we’ll be authorizing troops to protect, not the black people, but our wells. And amid the militarized destabilization, the west will be able to wrestle China for Sudan’s proven reserves, oil.

Is there water in Darfur? Of course there is. Is there a subterranean reservoir the size of Lake Erie? Five thousand years ago. Experts are skeptical as to what remains. Professor Farouk El-Baz’s previous water divinations in the 80’s yielded 350 wells drilled in Egypt, but no accounts mention finding a rush of water.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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