Archive for August 1st, 2004

SOS for Sudan


I’m writing because I really really need your  help. The genocide in Sudan has taken a much worse turn, militias are
burning people–children and adults–in what can only be described as
mob psychology. What was a “Rwanda in slow motion” because the genocide
was being carried out by an engineered famine and epidemic, is no
longer going slowly. This is starting to feel like Rwanda all over
again, as the frenzy builds up.

Obasanjo of Nigeria flew last night to Sudan. The betting is that he
will give the Sudanese government an ultimatum: either you “invite” the
African Union in now, with substantial troops–or the AU and allies
will enter against your will.

It is very important today that the world show support for getting
in and stopping this genocide process now. The resources are in place.
The African Union has an initial group of 300 troops ready to go, with
Dutch planes flying them in. Nigeria and Rwanda have pledged more. The
French military started patrolling the border of Chad yesterday, to
stop the militias from raiding the refugees camps serving those who can
escape from Sudan. The British have 5000 troops on alert. The US
administration has, we are told by insiders, approved funding for a
military/humanitarian rescue, has approval from congressional leaders,
and communicated this to Kofi Annan last weekend.

What is not happening is anyone pulling the trigger. If Obasanjo
cannot get Sudan to accept troops–and/or if Obasanjo cannot get the
African Union members to approve troops against Sudan’s wishes, then
someone will need to act, and act very very fast–like in the next few

Passion of the Present is posting updates every few hours:  It also has links to news sources
that are current to the minute, are  are sourced both here and in

Zephyr Teachout is doing the posting right now. If you want to connect with her,
put comments on the site. If you want to read one post that says it
all, read her’s here:


Money in Politics..


From Micah Sifry by way of Dave Winer, here is a link
on the money behind the Democratic Convention.  I want to write
more on this when I have  the time.  I was talking to a cop
at one point, who said, “hey, there is a room upstairs for the folks
who gave more that a million dollars.”  I was  scratching my
head trying to figure out how one does that–given “campaign finance
reform.”  Yesterday a friend told me–“Oh, you just give it to the

The convention, to me, seemed produced by someone who had worked on the
Emmys and then been a “development officer” and raised money. 
Somewhere we lost (1) the democratic process [not Democratic process],
and (2)  the recognition that the MTV awards are a lot more fun
for the viewers than the Emmys.  When was the last time you
watched the Emmys?

BTW one of the best parties was given by the RIAA.

And then you wonder why real issues don’t come into the hall? 

My pet issue, the genocide in Sudan, is heating up today.   The Holocaust Museum just put out its highest level of alarm–first time in the eleven years the Museum has existed.  The bad guys in Sudan are burning children–confirmed–and
working hard to starve a million people.  And by the way, Sudan is
the country that harbored Osama during the years he invented the modern
al Qaeda, and that still harbors his money.  

I know I keep harping on this, but I really need your help.  Today and Monday. 
Here is a link that you can get behind.  It explains how we can
act now, and why we will have influence if we do. Basically, the
help–including military–is all lined up. No one will pull the
trigger. At the Convention I spoke at some length with a congressman
who is involved.  He said that the web interest helps a great
deal–more than we know–because people who want to act can point 
to it as evidence of public support–and it [now, newly] has great
credibility. So here is the link.  Thanks for your help: 

A failure of will

 He quietly slipped out to Sudan today.. (found by Zephyr, who is blogging for Passion of the Present)