ME and Ophelia

Saturday, July 17, 2004

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On officially classing Darfur as "genocide"

The citizens of America and Britain can be proud of their governments. In humanitarian aid for Darfur the U.S. has pledged 300 million usd, and the U.K. 270 million usd. Italy has given 30 million usd. Quelle surprise: France 12 (twelve) million usd.

Myself and other British bloggers have sent letters to our Members of Parliament and church leaders. And we have interacted with the blogs of British politicians. Our voices are listened to, and do count.

Think of the trillions of words that are written and said by American and British anti-war protestors trying to condemn and pull down Bush and Blair over liberating the people of Iraq from a greedy and ruthless mass murdering dictatorship. Our political representatives need to know that our leaders have public support in sending troops into a war that will make Baghdad look like a picnic.

If genocide in Darfur is officially declared, it will trigger thousands of troops into Sudan to provide humanitarian assistance and security for the region and allow the refugees to return home. No doubt the military strategy would have to include the removal of the present unelected dictatorship in Khartoum and the capturing and imprisonment of all perpetrators to be put on trial for war crimes.

Jim Moore says the action of the U.S. Congress vote is about as important as anything gets in the United States. He explains how American bloggers can help now. All major news developments on the Sudan are posted daily at the Passion of the Present blog out of Harvard.

In short, American bloggers could make one phone call, or copy a letter sent by the Passion to President Bush and email it asap to their Senator or Congressperson to support the important step of declaring Darfur a region of genocide.

Here is an example of a letter written by Patrick Hall at The Horn of Africa blog. Patrick is hoping for a verdict on terminology next week.

Update July 18: American blogger Rebecca at Mystical Politics explains how to send a letter to the President and other public officials about Darfur, from the AJWS Action Center. AJWS is the American Jewish World Service.
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Further reading:

July 15: Passion of the Present post: Senator John Kerry calls Sudan "genocide".
July 15: BBC report on the US and prospect of international intervention: "with so much domestic concern about US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, any fresh commitment, especially in a region as large and troublesome as Darfur, would be very hard to sell."
Squeaks from the squirrel cage blog in Washington, DC.

July 16: Ref Senator John Kerry's speech on declaring genocide in Sudan, Squirrel in DC says: "First, it's easy to say what needs to be said when the onus to act remains on someone else".

Note to Squirrel: Seems to me the Bush administration is working hard at trying to resolve the Sudan crisis. Considering the bashing that many people are so unkindly giving to Bush and Blair over freeing the people of Iraq from a ruthlessly cruel and greedy dictator who attacked neighbouring Iran and defied years of UN resolutions, it would be interesting to know how many American soldiers, if any, President Kerry would send to Sudan. And, how many parents in his Boston constituency would be willing to send their young sons and daughters to Africa to fight against ruthless and savage outlaws on horses and camels in the African desert.

July 18: Jim Moore: "How to engineer a genocide"
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Warm thanks to fellow bloggers for their kind mentions and great posts on Sudan:

Ethan Zuckerman's post on "weblogs and selective uptake" and Blog Africa.

Jonathan Broad says call your Senators! Declare Sudan genocidal. And writes on Sudan.

Crazy Canuck in Canada says: "Oil in Darfur: Now the genocide by the Government of Sudan makes sense".

Gil Roth makes me laugh with his post entitled "No Genocide for Oil, you French Motherf***ers!"

Great links in Pax Vobiscum's Monday post.

See Rajan Rishyakaran's Roundup.

Gary Farber of Amygdala writes this at Winds of Change: "The Key To Helping Darfur Must Be The UN!"

Anthony Cox writes "Sudanese stand off".

Patrick Hall at Horn of Africa points to a new site by Eric Reeves. Note it promotes a "Die-In" at the White House, Thursday, July 22nd. One thousand people will lie down, as if dead, in front of the President's Mansion powerfully reminding the US Government of the number of people who are dying in Darfur each day. See Dr Reeves' new site at

Also, Patrick has a new link to Gurtong, a peace project that seeks to establish a South Sudanese Diaspora coalition for the promotion of peace and stability among South Sudanese.

And last but not least is the great Jim Moore whose latest posts explain why next week is a big week for Sudan and the UN Security Council.

Thanks to Jim for his link to Samantha Power's essay: "Bystanders to Genocide - Why the United States Let the Rwandan Tragedy Happen".

And thanks too for all the kind words and links to this blog at Jim Moore's Journal and Passion of the Present weblog.
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New York Times report from the ground in Sudan

Thanks to Passion of the Present for pointing to the NYT op-ed. Here's what some bloggers are saying (I'll list more updates as and when I come across other bloggers commenting on the Sudan).

July 15: Patrick - re John Prendergast's opinion piece in the NYT entitled "Sudan's Ravines of Death" - writes: "Prendergast travelled to areas of the Sudan that are not under the control of Khartoum (unlike the areas Powell and Annan visited), and here's what he had to say: "I was not prepared for the far more sinister scene I encountered in a ravine deep in the Darfur desert." It is all about adding mass executions to the government's "deadly portfolio."

July 15: Squirrel in DC writes: "THEY SCARCELY bother to cover their traces" - and asks: "Just one question for Mr. Prendergast: where are the pictures? What do you mean, you didn't take pictures? As the gang down at Abu Ghraib can tell you, a picture is worth not a paltry thousand, but any number of words. How do you expect to mobilize the public if you don't have any pictures?"

Note to Squirrel from Ingrid: Hi Squirrel, neatly put. I've asked myself the same question. Here you can see [see comment in July 9 post at Passion of the] that aid workers do have digital cameras and are able to email the folks back home. And here you can see [see July 11 post at Passion of the] that photos are taken by aid workers.

A few months ago there were reports that radios etc., were being confiscated from aid workers etc., for "security" reasons by customs officials on entry to Sudan, the rationale being that they could get looted and radios etc could fall into the wrong hands. I find it strange that there are not more reports - or pictures - coming from the ground in Sudan. Does anyone think there a news censorship or what? PS Sorry, today my browser can't capture the URL on individual posts at the Passion.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 7/17/2004
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