Here is an e-mail I received today:
While I generally attempt to refrain from sending out emails like this as much as possible, sometimes there is no compelling reason not to. Sometimes I can't not.
Most likely, very few of you know about what is currently happening in Sudan. The only real word to describe it is genocide. I'll spare you the details (check out Nicolas Kristof's numerous articles in the New York Times if you're curious), but suffice it to say that the death toll is slowly approaching that of the tsunami with fatalities far more gruesome.
In this case, however, we can change the course of history. While Congress and the U.N. have officially recognized the acts in Sudan as genocide, there seems to be a lack of interest in actually stopping them. A critical push is needed if we are to do anything but write reports about it and take pictures of the damage.
That is where you come in.
As Senator Paul Simon said after the Rwandan genocide, "If every member of the House and Senate had received 100 letters from people back home saying we have to do something about Rwanda, when the crisis was first developing, then I think the response would have been different." Rwanda, if you don't know, was a genocide that occurred in the mid-1990's where millions and millions of people were systematically killed using machete's and sticks and something that the U.S. could have stopped with ease.
Straight from the horse's mouth: If we write enough letters, something will get done. I've drafted a form letter and supplied you with all the necessary websites to contact (our senators and representatives). Please take less time than you spend brushing your teeth everyday to send out a cheesy letter. Generally I'm pretty apathetic about sending letters to senators and representatives, but this situation is so disgusting and so stoppable that, as I said earlier, I can't not.
Here's my letter:
I am writing in regards to the terrible situation occurring right now in the Darfur region of Sudan. As I am sure you know, the Sudanese government is supporting militias who are trying to completely remove non-Arabs in a genocidal manner.
The U.S. government must not repeat the mistake of inaction that we made during the genocide in Rwanda in the mid-1990s. In that case, the U.S. had the power to change the course of events, but did nothing while millions were brutally murdered—a sequence of events that makes Saddam Hussein look trivial. Today, we can prove our ability to learn from our mistakes and stop the atrocities occurring at this very second. If we are to be the police of the world and strive to bring democracy and freedom to all as the Bush Administration purports, then we cannot pick and choose our engagements. The people in Darfur are being robbed of much more than their their lives.
Your assistance with ending this genocide is much appreciated—not by me, but rather the men, women, and children who are maimed and killed daily. As an elected member of the most powerful nation in the world, the ability and puissance necessary to stop this lies solely in your hands.
Thank you for your time and assistance.
To contact your senators, click here
. You might paste the letter into their web form.
And to contact your representatives in the House, click here