Friday, April 28, 2006

Darfur Rally Update

Bush Administration Is Urged to Intervene in Sudan

An unusually broad coalition of 164 humanitarian and religious groups, including Amnesty International and the National Association of Evangelicals, is planning a huge rally Sunday on the Mall to call for intervention to end the violence in Sudan's Darfur region.

Stop Genocide rallies also are planned in Chicago, San Francisco and 15 other cities. An allied campaign, A Million Voices for Darfur, aims to deluge the White House with 1 million postcards. The goal is to push the Bush administration to support a multinational peacekeeping force for Darfur, where militias backed by Sudan's government have killed tens of thousands of civilians and driven 2.5 million from their homes since 2003.


Congressmen Olver, McGovern arrested at Darfur protest

WASHINGTON --Five Congress members were willingly arrested and led away from the Sudanese Embassy in plastic handcuffs Friday in protest of the Sudanese government's role in atrocities in the Darfur region.

"The slaughter of the people of Darfur must end," Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., a Holocaust survivor who founded the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, said from the embassy steps before his arrest.

Four other Democratic Congress members -- James McGovern and John Olver of Massachusetts, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Jim Moran of Virginia -- were among 11 protesters arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly, a misdemeanor subject to a fine.

"We must hold the Sudanese government accountable for the attacks they have supported on their own citizens in Darfur," Olver said.


Thanks to Donkelphant for this one:

U.N. Affirms Duty to Defend Civilians

The U.N. Security Council affirmed for the first time Friday that the international community has a responsibility to protect civilians from genocide, war crimes and ethnic cleansing when national governments fail to do so.

A resolution, which was unanimously approved by the 15-nation council, endorsed an agreement reached by world leaders at last year's summit that was aimed at preventing tragedies like the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

Britain's U.N. Ambassador Emry Jones Parry, who has been pressing for adoption of the resolution since November, said he was pleased that the Security Council had for the first time referred to the concept of the responsibility to protect in a resolution. "I think that is good news," he said.


Acting White

Being Secretary of State of the United States has to be the toughest job on the planet. The complexities of if, how, and when to intervene, in the affairs of other countries, is overwhelming. If you are ‘lead-dog’ of the free world, the calls for action, including ‘doing nothing’, come uninterrupted and from every global direction.

So what makes it so hard to do the right thing?

The Mighty Middle

Looks like we're going to the Save Darfur rally in DC this Sunday. I say it 'looks like' because although we have plane tickets, and hotel reservations, and have boarded the animals, one can never overestimate my family's capacity for screwing up even the most settled plans. Used to be there was a one-to-one ratio between plans and actions. As we added kids and middle age that ratio slipped to about three-to-one. Barring last minute crises, however, I'll be there with the wife and the kids and possibly some idiotic sign.