Nicholas Kristof has a moving Op-Ed in the NY Times today about Darfur . The piece describes several photos that accompany the column. Kristof has been given access to an African Union archive describing the genocide in Sudan with documents and more photos.
The archive also includes an extraordinary document seized from a janjaweed official that apparently outlines genocidal policies. Dated last August, the document calls for the "execution of all directives from the president of the republic" and is directed to regional commanders and security officials.
"Change the demography of Darfur and make it void of African tribes," the document urges. It encourages "killing, burning villages and farms, terrorizing people, confiscating property from members of African tribes and forcing them from Darfur."
It's worth being skeptical of any document because forgeries are possible. But the African Union believes this document to be authentic. I also consulted a variety of experts on Sudan and shared it with some of them, and the consensus was that it appears to be real.
The U.S. has publicly declared the massacre in Darfur genocide, but at the same time we are not willing to let the International Criminal Court handle the situation. Without our backing any attempts to prosecute these killers would be futile. The U.S. needs to jump on board. If the ICC is not a viable option, then what about setting up Tribunals similar to those used to prosecute the killers in Rwanda?
In his inauguration speech and in the State of the Union Address President Bush went on about freedom being on the march and it is our duty to spread liberty throughout the world. If this is what he truly believes then he needs to put the rhetoric into action and begin to support the world community in coming together to stop these atrocities.
Organizations such as www.darfurgenocide.org and www.savedarfur.org need our support. We need to let our Senators know that we are ashamed at the fact that we have let this continue and that something needs to be done.
During past genocides against Armenians, Jews and Cambodians, it was possible to claim that we didn't fully know what was going on. This time, President Bush, Congress and the European Parliament have already declared genocide to be under way. And we have photos.
This time, we have no excuse.
I couldn’t have said it any better.