September 12, 2004

New Zealand Herald - Latest News

New Zealand Herald - Latest News

An open letter to President Bush: I actually sent this letter to the President today at 6:00 via the White House web mail system.
I want to applaud your administration, specifically Colin Powell and the State Department for stepping forward to declare the atrocities in Dharfor as genocide. I will always remember with shame that we did not act during the Rwandan genocide, and thousands died.

But naming the horror's taking place in the Sudan as genocide is not enough, and as you know, naming it genocide then requires us to take action.

I know that we are already stretched thin with the battle against Al-Quaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan, in Pakistan and other places. We can't stretch that military any further.

I know that the effort underway is to get the African Union to committ additional troops and this should continue to be pursued. However, this all takes time and people continue to die. All of the talk and persuasion going on seems very meaningless in the face of daily mass rapes, mass murders and mass dislocation.

I encourage you therefore to order that weapons be supplied to the people in the Dharfor region who are being slaughtered, so that at least they will have a chance to defend themselves. Dropping weapons and a few soldiers to train and counsel villages on how to defend themselves could perhaps be enough to deter these attacks and give these poor people breathing room while the international community gets its act together.

I believe this accords with republican principles. Help these people to help themselves. Don't leave them at the mercy of killers with no remorse while the AU and UN dithers. I don't know all that you know about what is going on there or all the legal and political ramifications of doing such a thing. I do know that in Iraq, we acted despite the objections of the world because it was the right choice for America's security. Here, in the Sudan, helping these people is the right thing to do because genocide is among the ultimate evils one human can practice against another. No one could credibly denounce arming the people of Dharfor sufficient to defend and deter genocidal attacks against them.

These people want to live. I know they will fight for their own lives. They have no defence against government sponsored killers with heavy weapons and backed by air power. But as we have done in many other places, we can provide them with weapons and some quick and dirty training that will give them a fighting chance until international aid can reach them. This is the right thing to do. We're not going to send troops to their aid. But we can send them guns and bullets and give them a chance, and not leave them to be slaughtered like sheep while the world convenes endless meetings and committees.

If it is genocide, and we say it is, then let us act and show the world that America is a just nation, and that our principles of freedom are not merely platitudes, but deeply held beliefs which we will act upon when necessary.

President Bush, I respectfully ask and implore you to immediately send arms and advisors to train the people of the Dharfor region in their own self defence to deter genocidal attacks until such time as international aid in the form of multinational or AU troops can reach them. We can do this and we should do it.Its the right thing to do. Help these people.

I commend you on your leadership, may God bless you and guide you and your administration, and protect your family. You have my vote in November.