By Daniel Segraves
By Daniel Segraves
America’s fighting the wrong war and the wrong terror.
In Darfur, Sudan, almost half a million innocent people have been murdered in less time than the Iraqi conflict has been making headlines. The mostly Arab group of militiamen referred to as the Janaweed is slaughtering the non-Arab tribes of the area.
According to http://www.iraqbodycount.com, there are an estimated 50,000 dead soldiers and civilians in Iraq as of Nov. 6, but that is only a shadow of a war we have chosen not to fight.
The acts taking place in Darfur are not just murder; they are far worse. This conflict is a new-age holocaust. The goal of the militia of Darfur is to completely obliterate an entire race.
John Prendergast, a former Clinton employee and now the leader of the independent International Crisis Group, told CBS news correspondent Scott Pelley last month that people’s homes were burned to the ground, leaving nothing but a crater of dust where people once lived.
According to Prendergast, militiamen ride into villages before dawn, setting houses ablaze, burning and shooting men, raping women, and slaughtering children. Anyone who attempts to escape is hunted down and murdered.
These are the conditions of a mass extermination, an abomination of human morality that is somehow going unnoticed by a disturbingly large number of people.
Currently, we are fighting in a war the U.S. government went against international allies to voluntarily wage.
Yet, somehow, the monstrous acts in West Africa go nearly unnoticed.
While George W. Bush would go as far as to push his way pass Congress to begin the assault on Baghdad in 2003, he had nothing but passive words for the people suffering in a far more hellish region of the world. He addressed the United Nations Sept. 19 on the subject of the Darfur conflict.
“To the people of Darfur: You have suffered unspeakable violence, and my nation has called these atrocities what they are – genocide. For the last two years, America joined with the international community to provide emergency food aid and support for an African Union peacekeeping force. Yet your suffering continues,” Bush told the U.N. Oct. 2.
These words served no purpose for those who suffer and proved that Bush truly does not understand the situation.
What good does a convoy of food do for a people who live in an unspeakable hell? These are a people who go to sleep fearing for their lives with legitimate reason. These are people who cannot drink their water from their wells for fear that militiamen have thrown bodies into the drinking supply, as described by Dr. Ashis Brahma, a doctor at refugee camp who is responsible for the health of 25,000 people.
The United States has decidedly turned a blind eye to a situation worthy of the Bush administration’s war tactics and is now hiding behind the same U.N. peacekeeping treaties that they ignored.
There are times when we make mistakes and must admit them to preserve our own conscience. The Bush administration lost this opportunity years ago.
But there are also times of redemption when even the most soulless of men may redeem themselves.
This, Mr. President, is your chance.
We do not live in a world where people can suffer the most atrocious acts imaginable while the world moves on as though they are already dead.
These people are very alive. For the most part, they are now living in overpopulated refugee camps under the constant shadow of their tormentors. In one camp, Brahma is the only doctor for 25,000 people.
We are currently fighting a war that only the bravest of men have admitted cannot be won. Yet, Bush swears that we will remain as long as he is in office.
At the same time, the situation in Darfur only grows worse.
These are not times to fight for what we want. These are times to prove to the world, and ourselves, that the conscience of this nation is alive and well. We have to prove that we are still the leading world power, not because we fight and win, but because we fight for those who cannot protect themselves.
To ignore this genocide any longer would be an act of immorality that we will never be able to forgive ourselves for.