5.04.2005

i know! let's invade!

'If only we had known' --by David Batstone It's a phrase we use commonly in Western democracies once the horrific stories of a genocide reach the light of day. The Nazi "final solution" in Europe, the Cambodian killing fields, and the Bosnian "ethnic cleansing" all serve to jar our trust in human decency. It stuns us that humans could act so brutally toward a people in a sustained, calculated way. "If only we had known." We utter it as a moral statement that if we learned of a genocide in progress, we would do something to stop it. In 1998, then-President Bill Clinton visited Rwanda and made a historic apology to the Rwandan people that the United States under his leadership virtually stood by in 1994 while up to 800,000 people lost their lives to rampant militia violence. Here is Clinton speaking with perhaps more candor than at any other time in his presidency: We did not act quickly enough after the killing began. We should not have allowed the refugee camps to become safe havens for the killers. We did not immediately call these crimes by their rightful name: genocide. We cannot change the past. But we can and must do everything in our power to help you build a future without fear, and full of hope.... We owe to all the people in the world our best efforts to organize ourselves so that we can maximize the chances of preventing these events. And where they cannot be prevented, we can move more quickly to minimize the horror. That chance - or better put, moral demand - to do the right thing in Africa has come. Genocide is taking place in Darfur, Sudan. Government troops and their allied militia, known as the Janjaweed, have committed atrocities across Darfur that have displaced close to 2.5 million darker-skinned African villagers. U.N. and U.S. officials claim they have evidence that the government in Khartoum has backed the Janjaweed militia and supplied it with weapons. Human rights groups and aid workers calculate that more than 400,000 people may be dead, and that gruesome total grows by the day. On Sept. 9, 2004, the Bush administration acknowledged this fact, but frankly it has failed to take sufficient action to stop the violence. We must now urge the Bush administration to take every step necessary through the United Nations to 1) Establish a mandate for an international force to protect civilians; and 2) Deploy such a force in support of existing African Union efforts in Darfur. The urgency and gravity of what is taking place in Sudan requires people of faith to build new alliances. Both the National Association of Evangelicals and the National Council of Churches have made strong calls on the Bush administration to make concerted efforts to bring an end to the violence. Both the Vatican and the World Jewish Congress are speaking loudly and clearly for their communities to act now to save Darfur. Our good will must turn into strategic political action, together. Sojourners is joining in an effort to gather at least 400,000 signatures - to give voice to those in Sudan who have lost their lives in the violence - calling on President Bush to take immediate action, through the U.N., to support international intervention to stop the genocide in Darfur. In the movie Hotel Rwanda, a journalist remarks that when Americans watch TV images of the massacres, "They'll say, 'Oh my God, that's horrible!' And then go on eating their dinners." We cannot allow genocide to take place on our watch. Take a stand and tell the world: "Not this time."

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

e

i appreciate the honesty of your post. i agree 100% that this areas is quite chaotic and needs to have some world intervention to stop the genocide immediately.

i think bush is in a tough spot. my favorite newspaper, the "IBD" devotes an editorial every 2 weeks to sudan and central african issues. they have been talking about this for over a year. a complexity is that when bush does initiate foreign policy decisions he acts quickly and this means people usually die on both sides. (i dont agree with this administations proclivity for a military solution to problems.) futher, once people realize that "plate techtonic" or some other forces are shifting oil from near egypt and the congo region to sudan and surrounding territories, they will call bush greedy and question his original motives.

my personal belief is that bush will focus his efforts on a missle sheild. some poeple dont believe this, but america would be vulnerable to an electromagnetic pulse bomb attack much more so than an nuclear attack. iran, syria and n. korea have this technology and it is pretty clear they dont like us. (i am not advocating war with these countries.) imagine an emp bomb placed in a satelite that detonates over kansas. with sufficient strength, it could render all non-leaded protected microelectronic chips useless from coast to coast. your slick apple would be a nice paper weight and our cars, bank info etc will all be irrelevant. talk about a crisis.

please, no one take this out of context. it makes me sick to read or hear about genocide. i would prefer washington to work on humanitarian issues over military any day. what concerns me is that both parties can agree there is a problem, but a non-warfare solution is rarely in concensus. i find it disgusting and ironic that our history is filled with killing to stop killing.

matt

5/05/2005 6:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

e

thought you might like this...

http://www.richardcassidy.com/tigersprout/2005/04/27/beer-server/

it is a g3 turned into a beer tap. great minds think alike

mtg

5/05/2005 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

e

sorry for putting links on your blog. dont know how to send it to you.

this one is for child-gps security.

http://spatialnews.geocomm.com/dailynews/2005/may/04/news6.html

matt

5/06/2005 8:25 AM  
Blogger brian estabrook said...

Unfortunately, this sort of issue is exactly the kind of thing that our country has ignored repeatedly.

I hate to bring up this issue, but there may be something to the idea that Sudan doesn't have alot of oil.

We claim to be a country who values life, and all life, BUT we clearly value our own lives much more than those in Africa, otherwise we would've already intervened here. Since there are no threatened 'self-interest' issues waiting for us in Sudan we won't approach this with any degree of urgency. However, if there was a mass genocide going on in western Europe, you can bet your booty we'd be there in about two shakes.

5/08/2005 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

brian:

the points that you make about valuing life are right. if you get a chance, see hotel rwanda. i think every american should see it. a central issue it treats is the sad reality of how the genocide was ended in 94.

as far as the oil goes, sudan does have some oil for mining. where there is natural gas, oil is below. north sudan is seeing some natural gas wells popping out of the ground. i mentioned plate techtonics earlier, but there could also be that detecting natural gas is getting easier.

regardless of the presence or absence of valuable resources, the sudanese genocide problem is over 20 years old and getting worse. the world has turned the other way and this is very sad.

i wonder if we should start a small letter campaign to our congressmen?

matt

5/09/2005 8:07 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home