From a Washington Post online discussion: Our Question
Posted at 12:10 AM ET, 09/22/2006
Should regional solidarity be allowed to trump human rights needs? What could be done to pull away support from the Sudanese regime and enable UN troops to enter?
This question, the one you have posed above, and those like it (the only kind in the news) are central to why the genocide is not ending!!! YOU ARE CAUSING THE DEATH OF 4 million with such questions. Why? Because such questions are a profound distraction from the problem!!!! Don't blow me off yet. Hear me. Please.
Harvard's Samantha Power's "Problem from Hell," my reading of it anyway: THE BATTLE TO STOP GENOCIDE HAS ALWAYS BEEN LOST ON THE FIELD OF US PUBLIC OPINION... THE US PEOPLE HAVE NEVER STOOD UP!!!! Duh!!! And questions like this (yours above) continue to distract attention from SOLVING THIS PROBLEM - getting us to stand up! We are not standing up! Instead, we are sitting around our computer screens, sipping our Starbuck's in smug complacency, enjoying playing "State Department," or "UN" in conversations like this.... Doesn't anyone else think of the M word in this context? What we need to do is get off of our butts, and get our bodies, get our "skin in the game!" No?
We the people, press, activist community have NO MORAL RIGHT TO BE TELLING ANYONE WHAT TO DO, UNTIL WE STEP UP TO THE PLATE! Sure, we have the legal right, the constitutional right. So what? MORAL RIGHT. Lipservice is what we are paying so far! Who currently is paying more than lip service? Who is fighting with the real commitment that we've seen before: Civil Rights movement, Suffrage, stopping Vietnam war.... Ok, Eric Reeve, Samantha did, maybe John Prendergast did, probably a dozen others are now, BUT NO ONE CAN SEE IT!
I am reminded, to my horror, of All Quiet on the Western Front - of the townspeople fanning the flame so that OTHERS could go get slaughtered in a hopeless WWI.
Make no mistake, I THINK WE-THE-PEOPLE, THE CITIZENS OF THE WORLD SHOULD BE GIVING OUR LIVES if that is what it takes TO ESTABLISH OUR POLITICAL MANDATE LOUD ENOUGH, AND FAST ENOUGH to execute BOTH aspects posed by your question: Maximal political pressure (targeted sanctions, ICC, travel restrictions AND Troops on the ground now (with or WITHOUT Bashir's acceptance) AND solemn, explicit proclamation to the world, NOW, that THE WEST WILL NOT TOUCH CHINA'S PREFERENTIAL ACCESS TO SUDAN OIL. Duh. But BOTH will happen - Bashir's acquiesce AND troops on the ground - and they will happen instantly that we pay the price - we the people of the US and world. The policy options are NOT why Darfuries are dying. LACK OF WILL ON THE PART OF WE THE PEOPLE is why they are dying. It is so obvious.
In summary? We, including we in this dialog, are guys in bar Monday Morning Quarterbacking - at the expense of 4,000,000 being exterminated in Darfur. We are spectators, Monday Quarterbacks. WE NEED TO GET ON THE FIELD OF PLAY WITH OUR BODIES.
Gentlemen and ladies of the press, in the name of God, point the finger at we-the-people. PLEASE. Help us wake up and get us out of the stands as spectators, and onto the playing field. Please. We are headed toward extermination rates of 25,000 per week (six 911's per week.)
Jay McGinleyDARFUR VIGIL DAY 119 (currently in NYC); 56 DAYS HUNGER STRIKE since July 4, 2006 (water only) www.standwithdarfurwhitehouseii.blogspot.com