Issue 7: Feb 2009

HOPE vs. Action

President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and Ambassador Rice have made several statements on Darfur in the past several years. President and our Secretary of State, most noticeably, made a joint statement on May 28, 2008 that ended with:

“If peace and security for the people of Sudan are not in place when one of us is inaugurated as President on January 20, 2009, we pledge that the next Administration will pursue these goals with unstinting resolve.”

United Nations Ambassador Rice said this in July 2008:

“The Bush administration has remonstrated for five years about the genocide in Darfur. Yet we have imposed only the mildest of sanctions, and we have given only lip service to standing up a [joint] African Union-United Nations force. The imperative has to be to pressure the regime to stop the killing, and to allow the A.U.-U.N. force to deploy effectively. The second part of the challenge is to help the U.N.-African Union with the resources it needs to be an effective force.”

On February 13, Obama will have been in office for 25 days, only a few days longer than Rice and Clinton have held their posts as representatives of this nation. This administration found victory through the hearts and minds of American on a platform of HOPE, and that we can work together towards change. Hope Darfur?

But, nothing has changed on the ground in Darfur, Sudan. Khartoum asked UNAMID to desert their post in Muhajeriya, they refused, but aerial raids and fierce attacks by Janjaweed ensued. Government troops and the militias are still on the move in Darfur, as peace talks once again are under with little expectation that anything will come of them.

I am frustrated that Obama and his team have not done more for Darfur. And I am asking for your help. There are many situations that are heating up in the world: the Congo, Somalia, Sri Lanka. If we can help Darfur after six years, how can create a platform of change for other places, such as these?

I applaud those of us who have taken action for Darfur by calling, faxing, emailing, and even the small group of students who have protested at the State Department.

And I am asking, begging, that even if you have taken action in the last week or month, we must keep the phone lines at the State Department and White House jammed. We must continue to fax and email our thoughts. After all, Obama has asked us to step up and participate. We must participate on behalf of all our friends we have met through i-ACT. We must not let up.

Please Act. Today. On President’s Day, February 16th. The Next Day. And EVERYDAY until Obama takes action for Darfur. It only takes 5 minutes, and it could save a child from rape or death.

tired, inspired, and in need of your help,

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