My Newz 'n Ideas

It is my intent to express my opinion and to discuss current events. Feel free to make suggestions to fields you would like to see covered, and I will consider them. Please leave your name with comments. Thank you. Arabic: عربي.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Genocide at Darfur, Sudan

The Washington Post published a letter written by a Democrat (Sen. Jon Corzine, NJ) and Republican (Sen. Sam Brownback, KS) calling on the President to step up the action against Sudan.
...the worst man-made tragedies of our lifetimes: the genocide in Darfur. It has been five months since Congress declared that genocide was occurring in that region of western Sudan. Since then, however, the situation has deteriorated. The fighting between the government in Khartoum and the rebels in Darfur has escalated. Peace talks have collapsed, and even relief organizations such as Save the Children have pulled out of the region.
This gives pause to the belief that Khartoum is at all serious about these peace talks.
history is watching, and we will be judged by only one test: Did we stop the genocide? Unless the answer is yes, then no summit, no U.N. Security Council resolution, no act of Congress or the administration has any meaning.
Precisely. When is the action coming? Have they not waiting long enough? Have they not suffered while you had your feasts? Shame on us.
The eventual number of African Union forces and their distribution around Darfur should be based on conditions, not on political expediency.
For a place the size of Texas, 900 AU Forces is just not going to be enough. We need boots on the ground, and may I dare say, if the AU can't handle it, let someone help you. Again, it is not the AU I'm concerned with. I don't care if I hurt their pride or feelings. It is the people of Darfur for which I care.
And we must formally expand the African Union's mandate to include the protection of civilians. In recent years, international peacekeepers have watched passively as atrocities unfolded in Rwanda and Srebrenica because they lacked the numbers, the resources and the mandate to prevent them. We must not allow this tragic history to be repeated in Darfur.
Excuse me? I have been following this for time now, and I know this to be true. They will stand there while men come and rape your daughter/sister/mother/aunt, beat your husband/son/brother/father to death, and all the food is stolen. Tell me, please, because I am stupid. What kind of "peace" are they keeping?
A clear signal must be sent that the United States will not reward Khartoum for progress on the north-south conflict unless there are real and verifiable changes in Darfur, including unrestricted access for humanitarian organizations and concrete actions to rein in the militias. In the meantime, we should return to the Security Council and insist on a series of sanctions, beginning with an arms embargo against the Sudanese government, travel restrictions on senior Sudanese officials and a freeze on the assets of companies controlled by the ruling party that do business abroad. There are members of the Security Council who oppose sanctions, but this time we cannot take no for an answer. Better to risk a veto than to pass unanimous resolutions that do nothing to end the violence.
China opposes us, because they are getting their ducks in a row. I suggest we do the same against them. President Bush, this is your time to shine. Either we stand against genocide or we never speak again.
We must also hold the international community to account, exerting serious diplomatic pressure on countries that oppose sanctions against the government of Sudan or that fail to support the African Union peacekeepers. We should be willing to stake our bilateral relations on these efforts in order to drive this point home.
I would love a boycott on China. We are their number one exporter. We continue to buy the bullets that are going to kill many of us. This is crazy. I say go for it.
...the American people have spoken. All across the country, they have come together to demand immediate action. Religious organizations, civic groups, student activists and many others have said, with the passion that comes with moral clarity, that the only thing that matters is whether lives have been saved. We must heed their call and stop the genocide.
I am one of those who have spoken. Will you join me? I desperately need your voice. Please call the President at (212) 456-1111, and please call your Congresspeople at (877) 762-8762. It is a toll free call, so you may speak to many Senators and Congressmen. I am counting on you. You are good people. Make sure your country knows this, too.