February 24, 2005
Important to Know, Important to Act
I have been increasingly dismayed by reports of genocide in the Sudan, and today I read an article by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times that broke my heart.
A Sudanese government-backed militia called the janjaweed is seeking to clear the area of all non-Arabs, pillaging and burning African villages, and already having killed at least 70,000 people. Horribly similar to the Rwandan genocide several years ago, this insanely brutal activity will only continue if we fail to act.
The late Senator Paul Simon said after the Rwandan genocide, "If every member of (the U.S.) the House and Senate had received 100 letters from people back home saying we have to do something about Rwanda, when the crisis was first developing, then I think the response would have been different." Former President Bill Clinton has said that his greatest regret is not having taken more action in Rwanda at that time. Genocide in Rwanda is seen in hindsight, however; the tragedy in the Sudan is unfolding right now.
We have power to help stop this, if we use it; you and I can make sure that our Congressional representatives know we care and want to see action. There are in fact various things our government can do -- from sanctions to freezing the assets of those Sudanese officials who support the genocide -- but our government will assuredly not act unless we, the people, raise our voices.
Please go to to www.congress.org is you do not already know where to email your Senator and Congressman. Tell them you want the American government to use its strongest influence to stop this tragedy. You can look on www.savedarfur.org or www.darfurgenocide.org for further information about the crisis, in which men, women and children are dying the most horrible deaths even as we speak.
This is a moment to use our democracy, to raise our voices loudly and clearly, and extend our love to those in desperate need. Let us pray for our Sudanese brothers and sisters in need, and do what we can to save them.
All my best,
P.S. Please pass this note along to your friends.
Posted by mwblog at February 24, 2005 01:14 PM
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