Our guest blogger, Tom Lantos (D-CA), is the ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee and the founding co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.
More than ever, attention is focused on Darfur. Thousands came to rallies across the country this weekend, George Clooney has added his tremendous star power to the chorus of voices, and the White House has made pronouncements on the matter three times within two weeks. But actions speak louder than words, chants, and songs. We need to harness this surge of interest in the issue and bring the suffering in Darfur to an end.
I was asked to take a prominent part in the events of the last few days because I have been pushing for NATO involvement in civilian protection in Darfur for two years, because I have been engaged in human rights causes for several decades, and because I am a survivor of genocide.
After the Holocaust, the world declared that never again would we stand by and let genocide take place. Yet, during the past three years in Darfur, the government of Sudan and its criminal militia, the Janjaweed, have slaughtered an estimated 400,000 people because of their African identity, displaced more than two million, and driven 200,000 into refugee camps in neighboring Chad.
As the Holocaust taught us, a villainous government that persecutes its own people cannot be counted on to protect them; it must be compelled to do so. Read more