Monday, August 28, 2006

Flying Under the Radar

When war broke out in Lebanon cynics on the left commented that the real winner was George Bush and his effort to hide the U.S. disaster in Iraq. The Israeli-Lebanon war took Iraq off the front page and relegated it to the back of the newspaper.

Meanwhile cynics on the right claimed that Hezbollah was nothing more than an proxy for Iran and that the entire conflict was ordered by Iran to divert attention from the impending UN sanctions on Iran's nuclear program. The more the world's spotlight was directed toward Israel, the less light was left to illuminate Iranian nuclear advancements.

Using that same logic I'm quite certain that the conspiracy theorists among us will find that either President George Bush OR President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arranged to have John Mark Karr confess to the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. That story knocked everything off the front page!!

Darfur Refugee courtesty of the Associated PressBut the tragedy that really continues to fly under the radar is the on-going holocaust in the Darfur Region of Sudan.

While we are being lulled into a stupor by the continuous and detailed coverage of John Mark Karr's every champaign airline toast or jailhouse bologna sandwich, Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir slaughters a few hundred or a few thousand more refugees.

In order to do my small part to keep the spotlight firmly on Darfur, I've reorganized the Darfur Links on the right hand side my main page under the heading of Bloggers for Darfur. While the original founders of the 'Bloggers for Darfur' web based effort have been unable to stay on top of updating membership and links, the concept itself is very valid. I'm continuing to use the candle logo and I've added new links and discarded links that are no longer active. I welcome other bloggers who wish to join this effort.

I urge all readers to follow these links and read the wealth of information available. It will be a painful and humbling experience.

I especially urge readers to watch the flash movie prepared by
The Physicians for Human Rights. FOLLOW THIS LINK: Darfur: Lives Destroyed

Your continued support is needed. Here is the news you missed if you were watching Greta Van Susteren and her panel of wanna-be celebrity lawyers discussing Karr's obviously bogus claims for days on end. This synopsis is courtesy of The Physicians for Human Rights and reprinted here with their permission.

    "The Government of Sudan has announced plans to send 10,500 of its own troops to quell continuing violence in the country's western-most region, Darfur. This is the very government, along with its proxy forces, the Janjaweed rebels, that has been implicated in the violence that has wracked the westernmost region of Darfur since early 2003--resulting in the death of 200,000-400,000 people and displacement of nearly three million."

    "There are currently approximately 7,000 African Union (AMIS) troops enforcing the fragile ceasefire in Darfur, an area the size of France. The force is undermanned and under-equipped, and violence has continued, despite the signing of a peace agreement in May 2006. AMIS's mandate ends at the end of September 2006."

    "The United Nations Security Council has been deliberating about whether to send a peacekeeping force to the region, but has not yet stood up to Sudan's President, LT. Gen. Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir, who is opposed to such a mission."
The Physicians for Human Rights request that you take a moment to write to the current President of the UN Security Council (Ghana in August, Greece in September) and tell him to reject Sudan's plan, and to push forward with a peacekeeping force of at least 17,000 troops for Darfur as soon as possible.

I've sent my letter. Here's an easy way to send your's.

Before September 1, 2006, write to:
H.E. Nana Effah-Apenteng Permanent Mission of Ghana To The United Nations
19 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (212)832-1300
Email: or

Between September 1-30, 2006, write to:
Ambassador Adamantios VassilakisPermanent Mission of Greece to the UN
866 Second Avenue, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10017-2905,
Tel: (212) 888 6900
Fax: (212) 888 4440

Here is a sample letter for your consideration:

Your Excellency:

I am writing to you to express my outrage at the Sudanese Government's proposal to send 10,500 of its own troops in to "end the violence" in Darfur. The Sudanese government, along with its proxy force, the Janjaweed militia, has been systematically destroying villages and killing people in Sudan's Darfur region for the past three and a half years. We cannot trust them to protect the lives of the people there.

Your Excellency, as President of the Security Council, I ask that you urge the members of that body to:

Say NO to President Bashir's plan to "protect" Darfur with Sudanese troops and

Move ahead on the resolution put forward last week by the UK and the US for a UN peacekeeping force of 17,000 troops to be deployed no later than October 1, 2006.

A strong, robust UN force is the only hope we have to stop the violence. Time is running out for the people of Darfur.

[Your name]




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