DARFURGENOCIDE INTERVENTION INITIATIVE
By Samuel Totten and Eric Markusen
"If every member of the House of Representatives and Senate had received 100 letters from people back home saying we have to do something about
, when the crisis was first developing then I think the response would have been different." - Senator Paul Simon Rwanda
Genocide is raging in
Darfur. The Government of Sudan (GOS) and Arab militias the GOS supports are killing Sudanese black Africans of all ages simply because of their ethnic identities. Nearly every black African village in Darfurhas now been destroyed. The GOS intends to crush black African rebel groups and to rid Darfurof black Africans once and for all. The estimates of deaths in Darfurnow range between 100,000 and 350,000. While the international community frets, makes idle threats (such as sanctions that are never imposed), and engages in talk about whether this is really genocide and what should be done, hundreds of innocent victims continue to die daily. Meanwhile GOS troops and their Arab militia allies (known as the Janjaweed or devils on horseback) attack, rape and murder with impunity.
The international community is not only comprised of individual nations, regional organizations and intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations. Every single human being is a member of the international community. We are all our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers when genocide erupts anywhere at anytime for any reason. Those nations, organizations and individuals that do not act to stop the genocide become bystanders to genocide.
We, Samuel Totten and Eric Markusen, feel a particular sense of responsibility because, as members of the Atrocities Documentation Team sent by the U.S. Government to the Chad/Sudan border to investigate allegations of genocide, we personally witnessed the suffering of refugees and listened to their heartbreaking stories of being raped, injured, losing loved ones to mass murder, and facing disease and hunger.
A POSSIBLE SOLUTION
: "Make more noise!"
In her Pulitzer-prize winning book, "A Problem from Hell":
in the Age of Genocide, Samantha Power surmises that America
The real reason the
did not do what it could and should have done to stop genocide [in the past] was not a lack of knowledge or influence but a lack of will. Simply put, American leaders did not act because they did not want to... United States
The executive branch has felt no pressure from the home front. American leaders have been able to persist in turning away because genocide in distant lands has not captivated senators, congressional caucuses,
lobbyists, elite opinion stop genocide has thus been repeatedly lost in the realm of domestic politics. Although isolated voices have protested the slaughter, Americans outside the executive branch were largely mute when it mattered. As a result of this society-wide silence, officials at all levels of governments calculated that the political costs of getting involved in stopping genocide far exceeded the costs of remaining uniformed. ...It takes political pressure to put genocide on the map in Washington [D.C.]. When Alison Des Forges of Human Rights Watch met with Washington two weeks into the National Security Adviser Anthony Lake genocide, he informed her that the phones were not ringing. "Make more noise!" he urged. Because so little noise has been made about genocide, Rwanda decision-makers have opposed U.S. intervention, telling themselves that they were doing all the could -- and , most important, all they should -- in light of competing American interests and a highly circumscribed understanding of what was domestically "possible" for the U.S. to do (pp. 508-509). United States
In the same book, Power reported the following -- and we think, revelatory -- statement:
Senator Paul Simon (D.Ill.) [now deceased], chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee believes public pressure might have alerted the
response [to the outbreak of the Rwandan genocide in 1994]. "If every member of the [ U.S. ] House of Representatives and [ U.S. ] Senate had received 100 letters from people back home saying we have to do something about U.S. , when the crisis was first developing then I think the response would have been different" (p. 377). Rwanda
THE ACTIONS WE URGE YOU TO TAKE
With ever fiber of our being, we urge every person who receives this message or reads it on this website to take action as follows:
Simply write a short note to your U.S. Representative and your
Senators and e-mail it to each of them. The note can be as simple as "I implore you to act to stop the genocide in U.S. Darfur, and to do so now.” Please send a copy of your e-mails to Samuel Totten at email@example.com so we can keep track of how many e-mails are sent.
You can easily obtain the addresses of your representative and senators by using the search engine: www.congress.org When you reach the website, simply type in your zip code and you will be given names and e-mail addresses. For postal address, phone, and fax numbers, just click on “more info.”
We also ask that you consider sending a copy of your letter to President Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org , to Secretary of State Condolezza Rice at this recommended State Department webpage, to United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour at email@example.com , to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan at firstname.lastname@example.org and to his Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Juan Mendez at email@example.com
(see mailing addresses below)
As with your letters to elected officials, please send copies to Samuel Totten at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of the dead and dying of
Darfur, we thank you.
, Southwest Minnesota State University , Minnesota; Marshall
The Honorable Kofi Annan
Secretary-General, United Nations Secretariat, Rm 3800, New York. New York 10017, USA
President George W. Bush
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA
High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations Office at Geneva, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice
U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520, USA
President Juan E. Mendez
International Center for Transitional Justice, 20 Exchange Place, 33rd Floor, New York, NY 10005, USA
For Elected Officials in countries other than the USA, see UK (Westminster): Fax Your MP or TheyWorkForYou.com Canada (Ottawa): MP Look Up Australia (Canberra): AEC Also: Websites of National Parliaments
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