November 14, 2007

Darfur

I know this will sound callous, but what's the deal with Darfur? Why are so many people in America all worked up over Darfur, when only the War Nerd has paid attention to all the other terrible African wars that have happened recently or are still happening: Congo, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Liberia, etc.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. Darfur seems (emphasis on "seems") to lend itself to a white hat, black hat view. Big bad government vs. unarmed civilians. It's hardly the whole story, but nevertheless, it's sexier than a mere civil war.
2. It is a means by which to bash the Bush administration, for not "doing something."
3. "Janjaweed" - an exotic sounding word that makes middle class liberals of modest knowledge feel intelligent for saying it.
4. Gobs of Hollywood celebrities. When George Clooney flashes that oh-so-charming grin and tells you that this is a big deal, you know we just can't resist it.

Hawnky

simon newman said...

Something to do with it being Muslims fighting Muslims? Muslim vs non-Muslim is off-limits, and non-Muslim vs non-Muslim no one seems to care.

Anonymous said...

Here are a couple of brainstorming suggestions:

- Due to perpetual famines in the area and relative lack of violence against them, a lot of Western aid workers were in the area before and during the violence as witnesses and reporters

- Due to the proximity to the Gulf, Islamic states and Isreal, it seemed the best place to play the Neocon Global Hegemon and offer an excuse for a larger military presence on the Continent

- It resonates with a PC meta-narrative of (relatively) evil modern evil societies ruthlessly oppressing pure and good by hapless pastoral societies and so gets readily picked up in Western MSM

rob said...

Weber is a Dutch name as well as a German one and there are probably English Webers too, as Webber is also an English surname.

Deducing ethnic origin from names is a tricky business. For instance, Miller might suggest English origin, but it's also the third most common Jewish surname in the U.S.

Any name that happens to be an Irish placename - e.g. Kerry - probably isn't Irish, as Irish surnames derived from placenames are very rare.

neil craig said...

My suspicion is that it is not unrelated to the fact that Sudan decided to make its oil contracts with China rather than our own patriotic oil companies.

But then I am the sort of cynic who believes that when the media start reporting outrage about human rights somebody wants us in the mood to start bombing (eg all the reporting of the, as it subsequently turned out, non-existent genocide against the democratically minded drug dealers, moslem nutters, ex-Nazis & child sex slavers from Kosovo).

Marc said...

Why do people get so worked up over Versace or Donna Karen, when plenty of companies make decent clothes?

Anonymous said...

Good question Steve. The public hyping of any war in Africa is really selective you know its never about the victims but about some emotional political and entertainment issue in the US. Maybe that saint Mandela showed up in Darfur...

Ian said...

I think that the world is interested in Darfur, relative to other African wars, because, rather than being the usual black-on-black violence, Darfur involves caucasians (very swarthy caucasians, but still) perpetuating the atrocities on black africans. As you know, in an effort to push down and install dominion over the white middle class, the world ruling class want to instill white guilt, and so the caucasian-on-black-violence narrative is promoted and enshrined, and thus the public attention becomes fixated on any small real-world examples of it. It's similar to why the aparthied regime attracted so much negative attention, despite being more just and kind to its African subjects than most neighboring black African regimes, and why Israeli soldiers shooting arab Islamicists seems to be so much more newsworthy than when Syrian or Algerian soldiers shoot several times as many arab Islamicists.

Anonymous said...

One more brainstorm suggestion:

- A counter weight to China’s growing presence on the continent. Although distant from some of the countries holding the natural resources she seeks, it’s less of a jump potentially intervening from near the Horn of East Africa.

green mamba said...

My question is rather the inverse: If an actual genocide or mass ethnic cleansing is taking place in Darfur, as we are lead to understand, why isn't U.S. or the "international community" interfering to stop it?

Anonymous said...

Darfur is the next Kosovo. If you know how America works, you know that the nonprofit foundations are a force to be reckoned with. The military industrial complex, along with other major players on the scene, are famous for using their money via nonprofit foundations and think tanks to influence policy by funding these nonprofits to generate propaganda, when is used to build an awareness of a "problem" that must be solved. For example, a "genocide" problem in Darfur or Kosovo or wherever. Then, once public awareness of said "problem" is at a certain level, the military industrial complex (or the US Chamber of Commerce or RIAA, etc) can then step into the public eye and "solve the problem."

THis is all part of the process of "manufacturing consent."


So, the military industrial complex knows that their terror game is about played out, so they need a new game. They know it is likely that the Democrats will soon be in power completely, so in order to keep those war machine revenues coming in, they need a "proper Democratic war." The Democratic base are suckers for being the white knight to stop genocide. You know, this plays on that vast reservoir of white liberal race-guilt that has already been set in place by decades of pseudoLeftist propaganda.

So, do not be surprised if in a few years from now we have a branding spanking new war in Darfur and that general area. And, Steve, if you do not support this new war, you are a racist (as opposed to be a pinko sympathizer or soft on terrorism, yadda yadda yadda...)

For more on how the nonprofits operate, read Dr Joan Roelofs book FOUNDATIONS AND PUBLIC POLICY: THE MASK OF PLURALISM.

--cryofan

Roger Chaillet said...

Darfur represents post-colonial guilt over slavery.

Congo and the other countries mentioned do not.

Why?

Bill said...

The "Save Darfur" crusade is a Soros project. The speculation is he's trying to use it as a distraction from Iran (and possible face-saving opportunity for Washington) so as to avoid another very stupid and costly war.

It's really pretty clever if this is the case, because he has managed to mobilize secular Westerners, Christians and Jews. Jews, because they see a Pharaoh/slaves situation (let my people go...); Christians, because the refugees are nominally Christian (nevermind that most are animists); and secularists because racial equality is their religion and they think the Arabs are white supremacists (in fact, they are black too).

David said...

Darfur is fresh. So the Genocide Morality Play template can be stamped on the side of its box. But as its shelf life expiry date approaches, and they begin to smell the rancid factual complications (i.e. the inevitable details emerge about dictators, politics, age-old tribal rivalries, etc.), then the liberals will go searching for another, fresher crusade with which to prove their superiority to other Whites.

As for all the neocons agitating about this latest-but-never-greatest genocide: it serves many of their interests, to wit:

1. Diversion from Middle East disasters (and from plans to start a war with Iran);

2. Promotion of the idea that America's job is to sacrifice itself for other countries (as a servant or overwhelmed policeman). We have no right to exist for our own sake and take care of our own and mind our own business; we must forever be in search of a sword to fall on;

3. Promotion of the "White Man's Burden" idea. It's allegedly the duty of White men to correct the messes of brown men all over the world at any cost. "We will bear any burden, make any sacrifice..." (But when brown men attempt to correct or resist our messes, they are labeled "the new Hitler" and subjected to cluster bombs.)

4. Maybe Christians can be inspired to adopt/steal Darfur babies and raise 'em in Utah. More diversity, less presence of and power for White Gentiles.

Just as every truth connects to and supports all other truths, so ethnic group strategems have their own synergies.

Josh said...

Because George Clooney is the "Decider",and he is concerned about Darfur? Maybe he feels his Italian villa could be targeted? :)Or maybe cuz Darfur has non-black aggressors and black victims(see below),and so is more interesting??Question:Are the 'janjaweed",the vicious militia that is causing so much trouble,with the backing of the Sudanese government,--uhm,are they Black? As in Blackety-black? Roger Ebert,the critic,in his review of a Darfur documentary,referred to them as "Arab". Wiki says they speak Arabic,but seems to say they are of the Negro race. Do the PC police want to cover that up so as to keep the Arab-bad guys,Blacks-good guys dichotomy in effect? PS:No,"janjaweed" has nothing to do with marijuana or drugs of any kind,as I had thought.Its some type of Arabic word relating to "warriors on horseback".:0

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just chance, orthat it's amongst the least ridiculous.
That is, i don't think George Clooney is up to doing a half-hour expose on the congolese army's insatiable penchant for pygmy meat, any more than CNN would want to send a reporter to Liberia in the 90's, exposing the Liberian appetite for human hearts come barbeque time.
Many things going on around there is just too dark, stupid, and unappetizing by our western standards.
So much so, that a reporter simply doing his job could be chastised as a racist by simply reporting it.
Another problem may be that reporting on some of the uglier actions that are common to some particular regions carries the strong possibility that the western audience might respond something along the lines of "for the love of all that's holy! fuck these assholes!"
So the major media news outlets may cherry pick it's human suffering coverage, casting a clear victim and a definable aggressor.
As much as they possible can, anyway.

Mark said...

Though having roots in a civil war, Darfur is a genocide. Arabs against blacks. The other wars are black v. black. IQ disparity.

stuart said...

The war in Zimbabwe? How are we defining war these days? Is there a war going on in North Korea?

Ian Lewis said...

I think that Darfur looked like one of those preventable situations. Many people saw that thousands would be slaughtered/killed/Left-to-die, and maybe the UN or US or Euro could have done something.

With the other wars, well, they are just old fashioned wars. The only thing an outside force can do is enter the war and hope to kill lots of bad guys. And, in the situations that you mentioned, the Bad Guys will be on both sides. No "nice" ending.

Mencius Moldbug said...

My best guess is that Darfur is the closest thing to a decent race war you can find these days.

The "rebels" in Darfur are basically, more or less, black. The Sudanese "government" is basically, more or less, white. Granted, the latter has no relations at all with the Pentagon - at least, no visible relations. But it has not bothered to keep up its bridges with the Western left, either.

It's not exactly apartheid. But it'll do. If the Pentagon still had any real men with serious balls - MacArthur pere or fils, LeMay, Sherman, or even just Ollie North - they'd be pushing back with a strong forward program of aid to the Janjaweed. Alas - the ovinization process is just too advanced.

peewee said...

I have heard people claim that Darfur is about light-skinned people killing dark-skinned people because of their skin color. In their minds, it's a white vs black war. Whereas the other wars in Africa aren't.

Anonymous said...

It is one of those chaotic social things.

Which ever fashionable issue manages to gather enough momentum steamrollers the rest.

After a while, in their zeal to be seen as sensitive to the plight of those poor, benighted Africans, everyone piles on and forgets the other horrible things that happen elsewhere in Africa or even in the world.

No point in overdoing it, eh?

Anonymous said...

I don't think you've missed anything, Steve. How do I know? Well, I myself haven't checked much of anything about Darfur, and for some odd reason I don't feel like I'd missed out on anything. And in this particular incident, my ignorance is probably as reliable as anything else.

Darfur is probably in a state-of-... err, -darfur. Which is pretty much why it doesn't show up on our "man bites dog" or "man caresses dog's bitable areas with an impish smirk on his face" maps.

...or I'm a hazard to society.


JD

Fred said...

Unlike your other examples, the perpetrators in Darfur are not sub-Saharan blacks.

Mark said...

Because in the eyes of the far left, the only wars America has any right to get involved in a wars where:

1) The victims have little to nothing in common with white Christian Americans. SO no helping white Christians, but helping blacks is OK, as is helping Muslims - so long as...

2) The nation has no oil reserves, or any other reason to be of strategic interest to the US. The war must be morally "pure." That means America can have zero interest in the outcome of the war.

As I've said before, I'm all for America getting involved in a few places where we have no strategic interest, like Zimbabwe or Sudan. I, for one, am sick and tired of hearing about those damn so-called "lost boys."

And America does have a strategic reason to get involved in Africa - to eliminate any and all excuses for those refugees to come to the West. Invade Sudan, make Darfur safe, and carve out a place for refugees from other African nations, so that when any African wants refugee or asylum status we can say "We know just the place" - and it won't be Portland or Minneapolis.

Create similar places in Somlia for Muslim refugees and one in Southeast Asia (Burma?) for Asians. All refugee problems solved.

Anonymous said...

Because its quasi-black people killing black people, as opposed to black people killing black people. Liberals jump at the chance of making a cause with the former, but simply do not want to think about the later.

EOT.

ash said...

The primary reason is that, while the destiction between genocide and war is often a fuzzy judgement call, Darfur manages to fit the genocide description well enough to attract attention, as did Rwanda in the 1990's. Remember how much attention Rwanda got? Genocide gets attention.

There are secondary reasons (like, this is post-9/11, and the Darfur bad guys are Muslims), but the reason stated above would alone be enough for Darfur to get a lot of attention.

If only Prester John's Ethiopia would suddenly solve our Darfur problem on their own, with no downside for us, like in Somolia...

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I keep hearing that this war is between sub-Saharan non-Arab Blacks and Arab caucasians, but I've looked at pictures of the janjaweed and the so-called "black" people in Darfur, and I can't for the life of me tell the difference between them. Just take a look at this guy
http://dusteye.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/janjawid.jpg

Are you telling me he's not black? Maybe I can't tell just because I'm a Westerner, but this doesn't look like a racial war to me.

Anonymous said...

"Darfur involves caucasians (very swarthy caucasians, but still) perpetuating the atrocities on black africans."

Google some pictures of the people involved, there is no racial difference between the two sides. One group are black African muslims who primarily speak some Afro-Asiatic language and the others are black African muslims who primarily speak some african language. Neither group appears to have any caucasian admixture.

A lot of white people probably don't realize that the strong "negroid" racial features we associate with africans are most prevailent in West Africa and less so in other parts. Many pure bantu people for example have very thin lips.

Also, people are confusing this civil conflict(Darfur) with a seperate conflict in the south of Sudan which involves Christians(who aren't all good guys).

Fred said...

"Because in the eyes of the far left, the only wars America has any right to get involved in a wars where:

[...]

2) The nation has no oil reserves, or any other reason to be of strategic interest to the US. The war must be morally "pure." That means America can have zero interest in the outcome of the war."


The Darfur region is part of Sudan, which has plenty of oil.

Fred said...

"Google some pictures of the people involved, there is no racial difference between the two sides."

The Janjaweed don't look a lot lighter than the people they are raping and killing, that is true. The president of Sudan, for that matter, who I'm sure considers himself an Arab, is quite dark. But Janjaweed don't seem to agree that there is no racial difference between them and the people they are raping and killing. Arabs, with their history of slavery combined with their tradition of manumission, have different ideas about race.

Christopher Caldwell had another great column about Darfur a few days ago in the Financial Times: An Abduction of Idealism. It's about a French entrepreneur/philanthropist who is under arrest in Chad now for trying to rescue child refugees of Darfur. It seems there is some disagreement about whether these children were refugees and whether what the Frenchman planned to do would have been a rescue or a kidnapping.

Anonymous said...

darfur is a way to "protest" iraq by daring the government to double down on humanitarianism.

since there is a quasi-humanitarian reason to be in iraq, the darfur activist plays chicken with this motivation by testing the governments desire and ability to fund another useless incursion.

the government either has to agree that humanitarianism is worth any price and go into darfur because we're in iraq, or admit we're only in iraq because of oil and we're a bunch of callous assholes.

James Kabala said...

I think anonymous 3:11 is fairly close to the truth in his final paragraph. I started hearing about Sudanese government atrocities against its Christian population over a decade ago in places like Reader's Digest and the Christian websites that existed back then. So there was already an awareness of Sudanese horrors when the Darfur war began that made people notice.

I don't think the George Clooney explanation is correct because celebrities like him jumped on the bandwagon after it was already much-publicized, not before.

Evil Neocon said...

No great conspiracy (and no we won't go to war with Iran, which in any case is already at war with us and has been since 1979). Instead GWB who is fundamentally lazy will kick the can (along with Pakistan) down the road as Clinton did with Osama for the next President. We'll hear from Iran or Pakistan or both when several US cities are in ashes, some "deniable" group makes demands. And we have to get to serious killing to forestall more attacks by others.

Darfur is a confluence of various factors. Christian groups agitated in the 1990's about slavery of Christians in the South by the Jihadi regime in the North. Darfur allows facile and cost-free moralizing by the liberal media and press, since there is no chance for anyone to do anything about it -- Blackwater has offered to stop the killing for 1.5 billion -- but no one is likely to take them up on it.

The liberal fantasy that "talk" can solve any problem allows that to take place wrt Darfur with endless rallies, conferences, etc. Bonus: demonstration of superior morality and spirituality which is key for wealth liberals.

NGOs like HRW and Amnesty trumpet it to raise money and continue their existence.

The Anon commenter talking about the Military Industrial complex does not know what he's talking about. Rumsfeld made himself the enemy of the "Big Army" military contractors when he cancelled the Crusader Artillery program on the grounds that it could never be moved to places it was needed like the ME (too big and heavy). Moreover Iraq and Afghanistan have led to within both the Army and Marines a push for more, cheaper, and smaller UAVs for surveillance, and more close-air support UAVs taking "Big Air Force" military procurement programs out of the loop.

Army and Marine forces want their own Predators with Hellfires for close-air-support rather than the Air Force "maybe" having an F-22 on station (or not). If anything the ubiquity and rapid development of UAVs, new small arms, and anti-IED measures are oriented to small, politically ineffective vendors. Not "big Army" vendors or the guys responsible for the F-22.

Military spending will likely go up, under any administration, but it's like to go for: lots of UAVs, better small arms, better armor, something better than the useless in combat Humvee, Camelbak hydration systems, etc. Not a whole lot of markup there folks.

If ANYONE has been paying attention instead of putting the tinfoil hats on during the Ron Paulnut rallies, say reading Defense Weekly, the Navy-Airforce response to Iraq (where they've largely sat it out) and the threat from Iran and Pakistan has been "let us handle it -- now give us more ships/F-22s" and argue that the US can "win" a combination of Desert Fox (Clinton's 98-99 Iraq bombing campaign) and Kosovo-Serbia. Presumably with 100% fewer Chinese Embassies bombed! But the services are careful to note they don't have the "capacity" now and need a whole lot more stuff to get it done (which is likely true).

If there was money to be made in getting rid of the Iran-Pakistan nuke problem it would have bipartisan support and would have been already done. Instead both are a threat, a big one (due to factionalism-tribalism in both nations) but no money to be made only saved. And generally people will exert themselves to make a penny but not get off the couch to save a buck.

Mark said...

One more rule to keep in mind: if it's whites oppressing blacks, i'll get lots of attention (apartheid era South Africa). If it's blacks oppressing whites, like Zimbabwe (and the future OSuth Africa) it gets no attention at all. The far left doesn't like the idea that blacks can oppress anyone - it contradicts and disporves their whole belief system.

We will continue to hear absolutely nothing about Zimbabwe. If we do it will only be about some "famine" which magically appeared out of nowhere and was caused by nothing.

Anonymous said...

Actually, very few people are worked up over Darfur. It's just that the people who are worked up over Darfur have really large megaphones.

Jews are always looking for an opportunity to pit the Western world against the Muslims, and Darfur is an opportunity to do this.

Also, Jews are concerned that liberals might oppose the Neocon agenda because of pacifist tendencies. Darfur is an opportunity to generate blood-lust and war-mongering among liberals.

Mark said...

The Darfur region is part of Sudan, which has plenty of oil. - fred

Indeed, Fred. I had forgotten. If memory serves, however, Chinese companies now having the drilling rights. So America can be asked to get involved without having any national interest. And, of course, we'll be expected to allow the Chinese to keep their drilling rights.

I say call their bluff. Say to the left "We'll send troops, if we can seize (or tax) drilling rights to fund the operation." Then see what they say.

Anonymous said...

Because in the eyes of the far left, the only wars America has any right to get involved in a wars where:

1) The victims have little to nothing in common with white Christian Americans. SO no helping white Christians, but helping blacks is OK, as is helping Muslims - so long as...

2) The nation has no oil reserves, or any other reason to be of strategic interest to the US. The war must be morally "pure." That means America can have zero interest in the outcome of the war.


I disagree. I don't think that its the "far left" as much as the center-left liberals (as well as neocons and evangelical Christians) who are pushing for war with Sudan. Those who call themselves "leftists," as opposed to liberals, generally oppose wars of "humanitarian intervention." Chomsky, for example, vigorously opposed the bombing of Kosovo. Just take a look at this article from Counterpunch which opposes U.S. intervention in the Sudan:
http://www.counterpunch.org/frank05112006.html

I punched "darfur" into the search engine at Counterpunch and couldn't find one article which advocated U.S. intervention, or even sanctions or a no-fly zone or something of that nature, and I found many articles opposing such proposals.

No, its not leftists who are behind the Darfur agitation. Instead, its a bizarre alliance of
liberals, college activists(who tend to be liberals), neocons, and Jewish and Christian groups. I have to say this is one of the strangest coalitions I've seen in a while.

Anonymous said...

If it's blacks oppressing whites, like Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is black elites oppressing poor blacks. Despite the narrative that you hear from(ironically) both the Western media and the Mugabe dictatorship, whites have very little to do with whats going on over there. Most of the white farmers have already left. Mugabe's primary victims are black.

Mike said...

I think the NGO angle is the strongest. Wherever you have refugee camps you are going to have hundreds of bleeding hearts all with a piece of the action, including the security companies, the reporters and cameramen, the bush pilots to fly to and fro, the water suppliers, the food suppliers, those who set up clinics, those who set up schools, and those who ship all the people out and replant them from Minneapolis to Maine and Dublin to the banlieus of Marseilles.

A fundamental requirement is someplace SAFE. That place is the internationally managed refugee camp. At the camp they have a concentrated group of pathetic souls, each guaranteed to have a sound bite story, mouths to feed, Western food and medicine nearby (for them), a pool of pathetic humanity they can gather and pimp to the world, international flights relatively close to bring in celebrities and politicians, and , in general, a place where they meet up and mingle like it was old home week.

If you don't have a camp, if you don't have a safe place for westerners and their contractors to gather, you will not have the critical mass of bleeding hearts and bleeding heart industries form and coordinate. And the camp guarantees that they are victims and not perpetrators.

Filled with starving women and chidren, you never see the camp-dwellers toyi-toyi with calls for blood, you never see them necklace a captured janjaweed or cut up their attackers for muti. They are presented as defenceless martyrs.

Anonymous said...

"It's really pretty clever if this is the case, because he has managed to mobilize secular Westerners, Christians and Jews. Jews, because they see a Pharaoh/slaves situation (let my people go...); Christians, because the refugees are nominally Christian (nevermind that most are animists); and secularists because racial equality is their religion and they think the Arabs are white supremacists (in fact, they are black too)."

Both the "Arabs" and the Africans in the Darfur situation are Muslim. The "Arabs" (actually Arabized Africans of mixed Arab and sub-Saharan African background) have been terrorizing the African population there for quite some time. The only difference is now the Western media and Western “cause junkies” have decided this situation merits attention and needs to be solved by Western governments based on a cursory understanding of what’s happening down there.

There is another conflict in the Sudan involving the Arab Islamic government and the secessionists in the south who are Christian and animist. The secessionists are resisting the imposition of Islamic law, Islam, Arabization, and slavery on their society. I think that is the conflict to which you are referring.

Mark said...

Jews are always looking for an opportunity to pit the Western world against the Muslims, and Darfur is an opportunity to do this.

Well I'm with them on that one...

mercer said...

I have to give it to Mike for a compact indictment of self-serving NGO types. An additional factor in this mess is the foundations and government agencies that sustain these NGO’s when the pickings are slim. Before this money was available there was much less of this kind of disaster careerism. Each humanitarian crisis was dealt with in an ad hoc manner and everyone went home.

Now in contrast we have various “refugee camps” that have been home to 3 or 4 generations in some cases and that have been extant far longer than the wars that spawned them. Is it a wonder that the pity party never ends?

Anonymous said...

"Now in contrast we have various “refugee camps” that have been home to 3 or 4 generations in some cases and that have been extant far longer than the wars that spawned them. Is it a wonder that the pity party never ends?"

This is true specifically of the Palestinians (who have their own separate UN bureaucracy to handle them versus another UN bureaucracy to deal with the rest of the world's refugees). Is it true of anyone else? Is there any other group that is still considered "refugees" decades after their grand parents became refugees? I can't think of one.

Bill said...

There is another conflict in the Sudan involving the Arab Islamic government and the secessionists in the south who are Christian and animist. The secessionists are resisting the imposition of Islamic law, Islam, Arabization, and slavery on their society. I think that is the conflict to which you are referring.

-anonymouse


Writing something smart and using an "anonymous" handle should be a crime.

That said, check the links. The conflicts in Sudan are mixed up by the sources, and I think they may be unconsciously correct in doing so, because pretty much anywhere you go in Africa, no matter what various "causes" you can extrapolate from one disaster after another, they all play out in a very familiar and predictable manner.

tommy said...

I think the focus on Sudan was initially sparked by those interested in the conflict between the Christian south and the Muslim north (and the notorious slave trade that resulted). As that conflict began to wind down, attention began to center on Darfur.

chastity said...

Deducing ethnic origin from names is a tricky business. For instance, Miller might suggest English origin, but it's also the third most common Jewish surname in the U.S.

Really, Rob, you just throw this stuff out there. As a Miller of unknown origin who almost married a Muslim, this information offers a disturbing possibility. It's becoming more and more clear why fathers used to lock their daughters away until they were safely married (and the responsibility of some other poor sap).