Over the weekend, the group I have been working with to draft suggestions for Congress to deal with the crisis in Darfur was invited to speak at Dartmouth College about the issue. (Read the entire report here that was submitted back in April)
I was really impressed with the turn out. We had people of all ages, and from all around the North East attend the event. There were even High School students who had driven up from Massachusetts to hear the panel discussion. It was heartening to see that while Darfur has seemed to slip from the MSM coverage and President Bush's attention has waned on the issue, so many average Americans were still concerned about the tragedy.
There are currently many bills and resolutions in the Congress that have been stalled in conference since March of this year that would not only give Bush the authority to enact new economic sanctions on the Government of Sudan, but also give Bush the authority to deploy troops and/or use other military tactics to bring an end to the killing in Sudan.
Unfortunately, Bush has removed Sudan from the list of the worlds most heinous human rights abusers, and even given Sudan the right to hirer lobbyist in D.C. Sudan has just entered into a $500,000 contract with an American PR firm to represent the Sudanese government.
While many have used the argument that Saddam Hussein has murdered upwards of 300,000 people over his 20 year reign, close to 400,000 Sudanese have died in the Darfur area in the last 2 years with many many more expected to die not only from bullets and bombs, but from starvation as well. Over 2 million people have been forced from their homes by islamic militants into camps where not nearly enough food is being distributed.
Please take the time to contact your Congressmen to tell them that you want these bills to come out of conference and to be passed as soon as possible (S 495, S 1462, HR 1424, HR 1435, HR 3127)
This is a link to the Senate and House web sites where you can contact your elected representative. We need to keep the pressure on. Thanks to anyone who takes the time to do this.
US official heads to Sudan on Darfur peace mission