Thursday, August 24, 2006

End Genocide in Darfur

The latest from John Edwards...

Dear Friend,

Many times I have asked for your help, and you've come through every time. Never before have I asked for your help on a matter of life and death. Before one more child is tortured, before one more woman is raped, we must urge President Bush to lead the effort to create a NATO force to stop the genocide in Darfur.

Sudan began a genocide against tribes of small farmers in its Darfur region three years ago. Militia groups backed by the Sudanese government have slaughtered an estimated 400,000 people and driven 2.5 million people from their homes. U.N. troops are on their way, but will take at least five more months to arrive in Darfur. NATO forces -- if the U.S. stepped up to moral leadership -- could end the conflict immediately.

Tell George Bush to lead the effort to create a NATO force for Darfur NOW.

America was once trusted and respected around the world. People around the globe expected us to provide moral leadership and inspiration to make their lives better. It's no secret that our reputation has been tarnished over the past six years. The Bush Administration put our country's military strength and vast resources behind a reckless war in Iraq and turned a blind eye to people around the world that desperately needed our help. The U.S. military's unique assets -- our airlift capabilities, logistical support and intelligence operations -- can and must be used to assist NATO peacekeeping in Darfur.

The Save Darfur Coalition, an alliance of over 100 faith-based, humanitarian and human rights organizations, has already sent one million postcards to President Bush asking for the immediate deployment of a robust peacekeeping mission. Clearly, many, many more voices are needed to get his attention -- we cannot allow the Bush Administration to stand by for five more months while thousands of civilians are dying in Darfur every month.

In May, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Weisel called Darfur "the capital of suffering." He called on all of us to "tell the victims they are not alone." And just last week a senior United Nations official alerted the Security Council that Sudan seems to be preparing a significant military operation in the Darfur region that will leave aid workers increasingly in danger and hundreds of thousands of lives at risk.

Please speak up for them and urge President Bush to take quick and decisive action.

Tell George Bush to lead the effort to create a NATO force for Darfur NOW.

The people of Darfur cannot wait five more months for U.N. troops to arrive. At the current rate of violence and destruction, another 30,000 civilians will die and another 300,000 people will become refugees over the next five months. In addition, as the international community stands by, violence and chaos is spreading to neighboring Chad and the Central African Republic. More than 100 Chadians were hacked to death in a single incident earlier this year.

I admire the African Union troops stationed in Darfur. They have done their jobs courageously and deserve the world's gratitude. But they need help. The African Union peacekeeping troops, which number just 7,000, have been unable to protect civilians or enforce a 2004 ceasefire. In the meantime, security has deteriorated dramatically.

At a time when the world is questioning U.S. sincerity and motives, what better way for the Bush Administration to show that we still believe in human rights and still have the moral authority to lead, than to step up and do our part to stop the genocide in Darfur? Tens of thousands of lives hang in the balance. So does our nation's moral credibility.

The time to act is now.

Thank you,

John Edwards

P.S. We need to raise every voice possible against the genocide in Darfur. Please
forward this message to friends and family and urge them to contact President Bush immediately.
I thought this was an interesting post on John Edwards, by the way (hat tip to Atrios).

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