Sunday, November 12, 2006
Mr. Kristoff, you are killing Darfur.
You move us to tears which is good. Then you despicably misdirect our attention - to Bush, the UN, Rice ANYPLACE except to the only place rescuers, and the political will can be found - we-the-citizens.
What is it with you man? Is it blindness? Cowardice - afraid of offending your readers?
For God's sake man. Point the finger at us. 10,000-15,000 strangers risked their lives and that of their families and in the process saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust.
Today, when much less need be risked by we citizens in the west to save millions in Darfur from Genocide, not 10,000 here stand up and RISK A PRICE. Not 1000, not 100, not 10. I know of Eric Reeves at Smith College. He gives all of what is left of his life before Leukemia takes it. The rest of us forgo a Luxury for a day as you did.
Pitiful. And you Mr. Kristof help us get away with it day, after day, after....
Darfur is Dying Mr. Kristoff, and you are letting we-the-people remain "dead" in our smug complacency – helping us point our fingers away from ourselves to Bush.
POINT THE FINGER AT US Mr. Kristoff. Please.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Jay's comment begin: The opening of this otherwise useful article is outrageous. To be so emotionally disengaged as are these smug writers in the face of genocide, and to be so unreservedly critical of what efforts have been mounted to stop the genocide is morally offensive, dangerous and disgracefully self serving. If you just want to enjoy yourselves gentlemen and to try and look smart, write about football not genocide, please.
The article begins: Time to Focus on the Real Choices in Darfur By J. Stephen Morrison and Chester A. Crocker Special to washingtonpost.comTuesday, November 7, 2006; 12:00 AM
The demand by American activists for U.S.-led military intervention to halt genocide in Darfur by the Sudan government and its militia proxies is a utopian diversion that has led nowhere. (click link above for full article)
Jay continues: Their opening paragraphs are also stupidly blind, entirely overlooking the fact that the efforts they so glibly criticize have served to create the energy, the political will, paltry though it may be, that can now be diverted toward the steps they recommend. How "cheap" it is to these authors to generate and disseminate the "words" of their article in comparison to the real requirement - generating the will needed to stop genocide. Arm chair quarterbacking regarding Genocide. Shame on you gentlemen.
Am I a supporter of the Stop the Genocide efforts to date? I've devoted many months now of every resource at my disposal saying "no" as emphatically as I can (www.StandWithDarfurWhiteHouseII.blogspot.com). With some exceptions the efforts have been shamefully timid (www.DarfurDyingForHeroes.blogspot.com) - serving almost as much to help Khartoum to "kill time" as to stop the genocide. But, they have been better than nothing. The massive problem has been the vast majority of world citizens acting like I presume the authors have been acting - sitting back and watching over the last 3 years as this Genocide has been going on its merry way.
Am I a supporter of the Administration's efforts? Well, Bush has arguably done more than any President in the face of Genocide, and way more than any segment of the US population including academics, NGO's, Religious, students, or we-the-people. But "no," his efforts and that of the administration have been little more than window dressing in the face of Genocide.
The ideas of the authors, once we get past the cheap shots of their opening paragraphs are fine, but, so what? Darfur is not dying due to lack of ideas. Darfur is dying for heroes - citizens in all walks of life to get out of their comfort zones and stand with whatever it costs, whatever it takes personally as individual citizens to stop the Genocide.
"Never Again" means nothing if not - never again so few Heroes in the Face of Genocide. According to Vlad Yashim more than 10,000 "rescuers," Heroes, non-Jews placed themselves and their biological family at risk of death to save a few of the 6,000,000 plus strangers facing genocide. In Sudan, now that 3-6 million have been exterminated, now that another 3-4,000,000 currently face genocide, now that we have learned the lesson of the Holocaust how many "rescuers," Heroes have emerged? Well, not these authors from what I can see, not me typing here from my comfortable suburban job, not the NGOs in DC risking little if anything most of them, not the Bush Admin…. Well, there are the aid workers on the ground and Eric Reeves of Smith College fighting genocide round the clock in the face of his leukemia. Hmmm. 10,000 heroes against the Holocaust and maybe 10 - 100 against Darfur Genocide? A negative learning curve. A Genocidal learning curve. Gentlemen, write about his, please.
Darfur is not dying for ideas gentlemen, Darfur is dying for Heroes. Can we face that? Please? In time? Will you help?
Day #38 Rescue Darfur Fast (modified hunger strike)
Friday, October 27, 2006
Week of October 23, 2006. More at DarfurDyingForHeroes.blogspot.com In our opinion the
plight of Darfur has never looked bleaker. But in the following we can find models to inspire citizens to levels of Heroism that can Save Darfur. 'Never Again' let us have too few citizen Heroes in the face of Genocide.' [Did you know that of the recognized 10,000+ Holocaust Rescurers, only three (3) were in the USA?]
Duke Groups march for Darfur awareness Carrying "Pray for Darfur" and "Don't Ignore the Crisis in Darfur" signs, students, professors and children walked last night from the Marketplace to the Duke Chapel as part of the Darfur pilgrimage walk organized by the Internationally Minded People of Faith.
Darfur Fasters Begin Week Four “Darfur is Dying for heroes,” said Rosemary, a mid 40’s conservative, Christian writer in California who is on a 400 calorie per day Hunger Strike. “During WWII, Jews saved from Genocide were saved by 10,000 plus “rescuers,” citizen heroes that risked everything, including their immediate families to save others. ‘Never Again’ means nothing if not ‘Never Again so few citizen heroes in the face of Genocide.’"
State of Humanity Forum: 'Darfur silence is lethal' In opening the inaugural State of Humanity Forum, held Oct. 17 at Valley Beth Shalom, Marcy Rainey, VBS chair of Jewish World Watch (JWW), spoke of the atrocities in Darfur, proclaiming: "Silence is lethal, and meekness is inexcusable."
City march to focus on civil war in Darfur AFRICANS in Winnipeg watching the genocide in Darfur fear conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and now North Korea are overshadowing the suffering in Sudan. On Sunday, people from African countries who've survived similar slaughters are hosting a march to draw attention to the civil war in Darfur. Protesters are leaving the University of Winnipeg at 1:30 p.m. and marching to the Manitoba legislature.
JACtivists pay attention to Darfur After doing a lot of research this past summer, Willis felt she was ready to tackle such a complex case of human rights abuses and decided to form JACtivists. Right now, the club of about 15 members is doing its first campaign on Darfur.
San Antonio Interfaith group joins die-in to raise awareness of Darfur woes The San Antonio Interfaith Darfur Coalition is one local group that on Oct. 24, United Nations Day, held a "Die-In for Darfur," an idea originated by member Ellie Pavliska as a media and educational event hosted by University Presbyterian Church... About 30 people were on hand, mostly teens in high school and adults in their parents' and grandparents' generations. Photo: http://media.collegepublisher.com/media/paper1010/stills/64xj1040.jpg
Teach-in on Darfur Sunday A "Teach-In on Darfur" will take place on Sunday, Oct. 29, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Temple Shir Tikva, 141 Boston Post Road, Wayland... Speakers will include Susannah Sirkin, deputy director of Physicians on Human Rights who provided humanitarian aid to refugees in Darfur this summer, and Dr. Alex de Waal, program director of Social Science Research Council and fellow of Global Equity Initiative at Harvard who has interviewed tribal chiefs in Darfur for 20 years.
UCSF's Jason Miller Helps Pen New Sudan Divestment Editorial Often in our history college students have been ahead of governments in recognizing and fighting for important issues. In 1961 students launched a historic journey into the deep South on the Freedom Rides, risking their lives in pursuit of civil rights. More recently, students across the nation have stood alongside janitors and cooks from their campuses to fight for fair wages and other rights. Now students from across California are again proving their mettle - this time fighting to end the unthinkable genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan.Sue Baldini, Rockaway. Do something about Darfur To the Editor: I am writing in hopes that this will bring attention to the atrocious situation in Darfur....Amherst agenda includes DarfurWhile fall Town Meeting begins Monday night, a special town meeting has been scheduled for the second night of the meeting - this one transcends the business of budgets and zoning. Voters at the four-article special meeting Wednesday night will voice opinions about genocide in the Darfur Region of the Sudan....
Felciano Cast in 'Darfur Play;' Talkbacks Announced New York Times Columnist Nicholas D. Kristof, NBC "Today" and "Dateline" Anchor Ann Curry and Humanitarian Aide Worker Joann Ellen Kingsley will join playwright Winter Miller in a post-show discussion following the reading of her new play on Darfur on Friday, November 3rd at 7:30 PM at the Public Theater.
No Justice for Darfur Rape Victims Activists call on ICC to bring alleged rapists in Darfur to trial, as reports speak of a massive upsurge in rape cases. The worst case was that of a nine-year-old girl who had left the refugee encampment to gather grass for thatch and as fuel. A smiling man approached her and asked her to help him. She agreed, but as they moved further from the camp she told him her mother had told her not to wander so far... Turning ugly, the man gagged her and tied her on top of the bundles of grass before raping her repeatedly. On release, she staggered back to the camp where Laird treated her for bleeding so severe that the child was unable to walk for many days afterwards.
Call for Action to Stop Fighting in Darfur, Sudan Newspaper advertisements appeared in two major American newspapers recently (Washington Post and New York Times) calling on the international community to take strong action against Sudan's government to halt the conflict between the government and rebels in Darfur, Sudan. A private, bi-partisan, U.S. foreign policy group called "Partnership for a Secure America" says it placed the advertisement to encourage policy-makers to act to protect the huge numbers of people affected by the fighting.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I will stay on the Rescue Darfur Fast (today is day 26). I will continue to Blog but much less frequently. I will pray for, and try to be a prayer for, Darfur.
Oct 24, 2006: Yuck! :-(
Tomorrow I expect to resume the round the clock vigil in DC. Yup, it is no longer the nice warm summer months! No longer that nice stream of summer tourists. Frankly, I'm scared and deeply anguished about the whole thing!
But more than wanting to have this "cup" pass, I want to take it. That which seems to be humanity within me will accept nothing less. I see no other way for me to stand as strongly, as unequivocally, as clearly with and for Darfur.
There are several ideas that give me a bit of emotional and intellectual comfort in this:
* Every time in history that there have been substantial social gains people have willingly risked EVERYTHING. When people were unwilling to risk changes did not happen. I believe that this is an absolute fact. Without masses of would-be "rescuers" willing to put it all on the line, Darfur will be another "Again."
* Jesus, the ethical Master I most want to follow risked everything, as did Gandhi, Jesus, King, and Dellinger, Zinn... as are 100,000's of thousands of my brothers and sisters in the military as we speak.
* "Never Again!" I think this is what it means, and I've just this moment grasped the meaning!
For the first time in 2.5 years of being possessed by the Darfur Genocide I think I grasp what "Never Again" means. It means - "Never Again" so few rescuers! "Never Again" so few people that would risk their life, liberty and happiness to stop the atrocity of Genocide! More on this at:
Darfur: Never Again... What? So few "rescuers!!!!"
Your brother, jay
Day 25 of Rescue Darfur Fast
Pupils want 400,000 paper dolls to mark deaths in Darfur, By Andrew L. Wang, Chicago Tribune
The pupils started cutting and decorating the dolls in spring and soon were giving the patterns to friends and family members.
They now have about 4,000 dolls. Their goal: 400,000 dolls, one for each person who has died in Darfur in the last three years, according to some estimates...
Monday, October 23, 2006
Darfur dispatch: The meticulous cruelty of the Janjaweed (by Jonathan Erasmus)
His latest post on AlertNet's "NewsBlog"...
(See also, most recently, his story from yesterday in the UK's "Independent".)
Aid workers in Darfur are struggling to cope with a rapid rise in the number of people fleeing villages amidst increasing instability, British medical agency Merlin said today [Monday]....
Minnesotans volunteer to help Darfur
Minnesotans ramp up volunteer programs to supply emergency meals and raise money for Sudan's violence-torn Darfur region.
Sharon Schmickle, Star Tribune
Last update: October 22, 2006 – 9:46 PM
Friday, October 20, 2006
R 1. What are we hoping to accomplish and how?
The end of genocide. Safe environment for Darfur. Lavish support for the Darfurians returning to their homes, land and lives.
How? The only way, the only way, social change has ever occurred - by mobilizing we-the-people to give a clear mandate to our elected officials.
"Never think that a small group of committed people cannot change the world. It is the only thing that ever has," Margaret Mead
How? By putting our bodies where our mouths are. Actions speak louder than words. We are doing our part to pay the price, pay the ransom of Darfur. We are sharing in the Darfurians
suffering; we are sharing in solidarity what it must be like not to have food, clean water, freedom from extermination, and all of those things we take for granted.
R. 2. Do we want more peacekeepers who do nothing but watch as the Darfurians are raped, tortured, enslaved, and murdered horrendously? How are we going to stop this tyrant?
How stop the genocide? Just as we have been saying:
1. Targeted economic sanctions on Darfur;
2. Political pressure on Sudan's supporters (China, India, Russia);
3. Renegotiation between Khartoum and Darfur. The May 5, 2006 agreement was not a solution.
4. Chapter 7 (armed and dangerous) Peace Keepers.
No one with any credibility has a different plan, or suggests that this will not work.
R. 3. What specifically do we want Washington to do? I know what I would like to do. I would like to send in the Calvary!
All credible analysists agree that ferocious arm twisting is fully capable of stopping Bashir. He is a bully and can be bullied. He has been in the past.
The Calvary is essential for several reasons, and YES this is a crucial part:
1. Bashir cannot be trusted.
2. Bashir is not capable of disarming the Janjaweed by himself
3. Having the Calvalry at the ready is part of the arm twisting.
R. 4. You do know where they got that name from, don't you? :)
It is Cavelry, no? :-)
(No. It is where Jesus gave up His earthly life for all sinners. At Calvary).
R. 5. I understand we want to be antiviolent, but that does not especially mean peace. Just seeking some answers...
If my finger was cancerous I would not hate my finger; but I would ask the Dr. that violence be visited on it - cut it off, please! Gandhi would have done the same.
Jesus loved all people. Jesus was antiviolent - antidestruction. Jesus flipped the tables in the temple to Save his brothers. That was a constructive, antiviolent use of force.
Antiviolence has to do with the heart ultimately, not this or that form of action. "Do unto others ALL that you would have them do unto you." If I turn mad and begin brutalizing innocents, shoot me! Please. Don't hate me, but shoot me.
“Salih Mahmoud Osman continues his work as a human rights defender despite great personal risk, in a country [Darfur, Sudan] which remains hostile to rights activists,” said Georgette Gagnon, deputy director of the Africa division of Human Rights Watch. “He has been an essential resource for Darfurians facing abuse by the military, security and police forces, the judiciary, and for the human rights community as we respond to the crisis.”
See complete article here:
Human Rights Watch Honors Sudanese Activist
Darfur Lawyer Defends Victims of Ethnic Oppression
(London, October 19, 2006) – Salih Mahmoud Osman, a lawyer who has defended and given free legal aid to hundreds of victims of human rights abuses in Darfur, Sudan for the past two decades will receive Human Rights Watch’s highest award on November 7....
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Issue date: 10/19/06 Section: News
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The Fast-A-Thon culminated in students breaking the fast in the EDR
This past Tuesday, approximately 400 Bentley students of different backgrounds said no to food and water from 5:41AM to 6:03PM. These students participated in the Fast-A-Thon that was sponsored by the Bentley Muslim Students Associations (BMSA.) The Fast-A-Thon was held in order to raise money for the Darfur Conflict. Students fasted to help raise money but more importantly to experience, for one day, what it is like for many others to experience daily. Sponsors contributed a dollar for each Bentley student fasting.
At 6:03PM, when it was time to break the fast, many of the participants gathered in the Executive Dining Room for dinner, prayer, reflection and speeches. One of the speakers, Imam Abdullah Faaruuq, the Northeastern Muslim chaplain said, "The problem is not the government. If we allow for this to go on and not care, the problem is the state of our hearts." He then went on to paraphrase a quote by Prophet Muhammad, "You're not a true brother, if don't desire for you brother that which you desire for yourself." The night was a learning and a solitary experience for many as hearts were opened to the issues of Darfur, the Muslim culture, and the power of fasting.
The Darfur conflict, deemed as the "worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century," has been going on for over 3 years now in Sudan. Since then 160,000 to 400,000 people have been killed, 10,000 dying every month. More than 2 million people have been forced to leave their homes and flee to refugee camps. And more than 3.5 million completely rely on international aid for survival.
People from different religious and cultural backgrounds came together for the Fast-A-Thon. There were Christians, Indians, Muslims, Buddhists and others all in one room. They were all there for one purpose: to stand together and raise awareness for what's happening in Sudan.
The experience had a strong and lasting impact on those who fasted. Many students now will use the commonly misused phrase, "I'm starving" with better discretion. Furthermore, a number of students mentioned how fasting made them more aware of their spiritual state. "Fasting makes you focus more on your spiritual condition because you have to deny the physical needs," says Nicholas Freed, a sophomore.
For many whom fast, especially if fasting for a spiritual reason, they find that it brings them closer to God. Shahzad Zia, treasurer of BMSA, says "Fasting brings a stimulation of faith and religion. We come away from fasting with a rekindled fire to increase our faith and love for God." Father Claude Grenache, the Bentley Catholic advisor, could not agree more, "When fasting is paired with prayer, you find clarity about who you are, and you get this liberation from feeling God's presence."
Fasting also allows for a person to become less self-involved. Behzad Hussain, member of BMSA says, "I find myself wrapped up in my own life and personal issues all too often. Fasting helps divert attention away from ourselves and focus on the troubles around the world such as Darfur, not only by realizing they are occurring, but also to have some sense to what those people are going through." Other students have also mentioned that this experience brought forth compassion for the Darfur situation because the hunger brought the conflict closer to home.
The amount of money raised cannot be disclosed due to the sponsor's wishes and because BMSA wants to practice humbleness and humility, but according to BMSA's treasurer, Shahzad Zia, "the event was a tremendous success in both our goals of raising funds for Darfur and raising awareness for Darfur."
For more information on the Darfur conflict and how you can help, please visit www.savedarfur.org.
Whether or not our Evangelical brothers and sisters act louder than their words will determine whether they "kill" Darfur with their kindness or "save" with their Love. More on this in yesterday's post: DARFUR: We-citizens "kill" Darfur with our kindness http://darfurdyingforheroes.blogspot.com/2006/10/darfur-we-citizens-kill-darfur-with.html
Regarding: Evangelicals Broaden Their Moral Agenda
By Alan CoopermanWashington Post Staff WriterThursday, October 19, 2006; Page A19
The time for action [on Darfur] is NOW. Sonya Springer, Philadelphia
Letters When Philly equals Darfur
On Sept. 26, people from around the region gathered in a show of support for legislation to end the proliferation of guns on the streets of Philadelphia. More than 300 people have been murdered in Philadelphia this year as the city watches.
After the Rwandan genocide, the world said never again. After young Faheem Thomas-Childs was killed, Philadelphians said enough is enough.
I commend Mothers in Charge and Men United for their persistent efforts to end gun violence in the city. The show of force during the rally in Harrisburg hopefully will be the inducement needed to spur the elected officials into action.
But what about the rest of us?
Where is the righteous indignation, the fervor, the moral outrage that our safety and very lives have been reduced to collateral damage by our fellow citizens who are fighting a losing battle to stand on corners that they don't own and sell harmful substances to our neighbors? Gun legislation can only take us so far.
We have lost our moral compass. There are those among us who have no hope or vision for the future. Children roam the streets at all hours, parents are physically or emotionally absent.
We lack the values that are fundamental to being both personally and socially responsible. As children are shot in the streets, people sell and wear shirts that proclaim "Don't Snitch." People are no longer ashamed of having criminal records.
Legislation will not solve the fundamental problem in both Philadelphia and Darfur, the loss of each individual's spiritual compass. Now that we have given our elected officials the charge, what are WE going to do in our own way to stop the violence? In Sudan and in Philadelphia, the time for diplomatic talks has come to an end.
The time for action is NOW.
Sonya Springer, Philadelphia
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Subject: hunger strke
Jay, While I appreciate that you're expressing your outrage toward the horrible situation in Darfur, I do not see how refusing to eat helps the people who need help. The people cannot eat ideas. They can't live on philosophy. They need medicine, food, and shelter. What you are doing does not do anything but feed your ego and make you prideful in your fame. Jennifer
From Jay: Hi Jennifer. I have no fame, and many, many, many months of rejection and being ignored. Having said that, as one person, I've achieved the type of focus, thinking, change, movement through my Hunger Strike and Vigil efforts since May 15th, with virtually zero $ resources as I had as a business executive with huge budgets, for which I was paid hundreds of thousands per year.
If you are certain of what you say, thank you for sharing. Truly.
If you are not certain, and want to explore whether Fasting, Hunger Striking is a valid, even potentially mighty way of bringing about social change you will find quite a lot about this at:
The lives and teachings of Dr. King, Gandhi and other antiviolent warriors would also tell one otherwise than what you state.
* One recent success was about a year ago when a handful of Georgetown U. students in less than 2 weeks on hunger strike achieve living wages for their custodial workers.
* Another: In a month of Hunger Strike a hand full of women gained an audience with the Iraq Parliament regarding the current war (do you know how much lobbyists pay for such an audience?)
* Another success is happening as we speak - Santa Clara U. students are achieving $10,000's thousands worth of press for Darfur through their 1,000 calorie per day fast this week: DARFUR HEROES: Santa Clara Univ Vigil &Fast
Your brother, jay ...ALSO...
FROM THE BLOG: Addison Road A DIALOG...
2 Jay McGinley Oct 18th, 2006 at 8:38 am
Your mentioning Darfur in your blogging is imperative. And as doubtless you have noticed, blogging volume regarding Darfur has plummeted. Thank you for your efforts.
We are hopelessly stalled in Saving Darfur. But it is only hopeless if we-the-citizens continue to be bystanders risking little or no cost to ourselves.
Please help promote what must fast become our role models:DARFUR HEROES: Santa Clara Univ Vigil & Fasthttp://darfurdyingforheroes.blogspot.com/2006/10/darfur-heroes-santa-clara-univ-vigil.html
More Darfur Heroes at DARFUR Dying for Heroeshttp://darfurdyingforheroes.blogspot.com/
Thank you. Rosemary, Dave, Mary Rachel, Jay coming up on week three ofRescue Darfur Fast-Till-Genocide-Stopshttp://darfurdyingforheroes.blogspot.com/2007/09/join-rescue-darfur-fast-till-it-stops.html
Jay McGinley email@example.com
3 Chad Oct 18th, 2006 at 9:09 am
Wow. We didn’t see that coming!
4 harmonicminer Oct 18th, 2006 at 9:59 am
No, the word is not Al Qaeda, though there is a relationship…
I went to the links above. I am so very sad. The problem in Darfur is not solved by fasting, and the problem is not too little aid from the west. A few college students sending a few bucks from lunch money will make no difference. The aid that IS available is simply not getting to the need.
Raising awareness is a good thing if it leads to the right kind of political/military action. But that is unlikely to happen while the UN is unable to deal effectively with its own members.
How many of you think the US should invade and replace the government and disarm the militias? Or should the US wait until the UN says it OK?
1 Jay McGinley Oct 18th, 2006 at 10:53 am
Be not sad, I think. Anyway, this is why I think you should not be -
ps: Darfur is dying from a disease - neglect - and the symptom is Genocide. Honest, intelligent compassion / Love / Brotherhood is the cure, the yeast, the health that if spread will eradicate the disease. The form is secondary. The quantity, intensity and purity is paramount.
During my two years Masters Degree study of psychology one of the more useful concepts I encountered was that of the "double bind." This is understood to be one of the most mentally and spiritual destructive conditions to which the human being can be subjected.
The "double bind" is exemplified by the lust-filled father telling his daughter while he is abusing her, "I love you." The "double bind" crushes and destroys the spirit, the conscience, the "still small voice within" if anything can.
Darfur: We-the-citizens "kill" Darfur with our "Kindness." We-citizens want to believe that our token efforts are better than nothing - a letter here, a phone call there, one day without luxuries.... But this is not true.
Unless we actually behave with sufficient commitment, with sufficient sacrifice-of-our-selfishness-in-the-face-of-genocide we are authors of the killing double bind: "Darfur is Genocide!... I'll take my steak medium rare please, and no onions! And, please hurry our order, we are going to be late for the movie...." As such authors we kill consciene in ourselves and in those around us. Conscience, our conscience is the only hope that family Darfur has. We must raise conscience not kill it.
Our actions must speak louder than our words. Darfur is Genocide. We must have the humanity and courage to be silent, or to act as though it were genocide. In between is the killing double bind.
This site believes that Darfur is Dying for Heroes, not for more policy and plans. So, why a post that is about policy? The policy is the subtext. It may be a valid, necessary attempt. Tut the text is John and those working tirelessly with him, out of Love for family Darfur. jay.
Plan B for Darfur, Sudan Times
Monday 16 October 2006 23:28.
Canadian International Peace Project
Plan B for Darfur
October 15, 2006 — At a time of heightening crisis in Darfur, when its peoples and cultures face the violent diminution that most call genocide, two of Cornell University’s most active anti-genocide and humanitarian groups invite you to a unique conference entitled "Plan B for Darfur/Option B pour Darfour/Opcija B za Darfur".
Plan A, the sum total of international efforts to stop the destruction of life, property, and culture in the western Sudan, has clearly failed. The recent refusal of the Sudanese regime to allow the intervention of a suitably equipped and mandated United Nations force tasked with protecting civilians and establishing an atmosphere of security permitting victims to return to the sites of their homes is only the latest case of such blockage of "Plan A" rescue policies.
The conference project will have two phases:
1. Phase One: An international internet/fax/postal exchange of commentary on the public version of a Three-Part Plan that has been developed over the past year in dialogues with 26 civilian and military experts from 9 countries. The current version of this plan, upon which you will be asked to comment, with a single sentence or extended essay, is available at the following websites: www.weaversofthewind.org (available now) or www.darfurinternationalaction.com (coming soon). This Three-Part Plan is also printed in the fourth section of a booklet, DARFUR: THE FINAL SOLUTION ----AND HOW TO STOP IT, which is currently being distributed in its English version in North America and Europe and in its English/Arabic version in Sudan, Egypt, and other countries.
Phase One has already begun and will continue through 13 November, the date of the International Citizens Tribunal on Sudan, planned for New York City. An earlier, shortened version of the Tribunal’s Indictment is printed in the booklet mentioned above. Complete information about this latest move in the struggle against the crimes of the Bashir-Taha-Gosh regime can be found at www.judgementongenocide.org.
2. Phase Two: Simultaneous on-site conferences at Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and Tuzla, Bosnia, 27-29 October. Each of these on-site conferences, which will examine the full range of commentary produced in Phase One up to that time, is designed to accommodate up to two dozen participants.
By means of this two-phase conference we hope to focus the expertise, imaginations, and experience of those whom the organizers have judged to be the individuals best equipped to shape a strategy that allows the most rapid and thorough recovery from the Darfur disaster. The implementation of this strategy will place Darfuris themselves in control of their own destiny for the first time since the nineteenth century. We wish to neglect no one who might contribute to this project, however, so we solicit your suggestions for other possible participants in Phase One or Phase Two.
In order to modify the behavior of the Sudanese regime as quickly as possible, it is important that every means be used to alert them to the existence of this Plan B project and to provide them with details about its progress. We thus would most appreciate your supplying us with a brief set of biographical data that will establish your ability to contribute to the discussion of Plan B. If the Khartoum regime did not know who you were, the impact of your participation upon them would be diminished, unnecessarily delayed, until they read the public part of your comments posted on the website. Some examples:
The Victoria on-site conference will be chaired by David Kilgour, longtime Secretary of State for Africa and Asia in the Canadian Government, member of the Canadian House of Commons for 27 years, and generally considered one of the most effective human rights activists in the world. Kilgour will also be a member of the prosecution team at the International Citizens Tribunal that concludes Phase One of the Plan B project.
Walter Slocombe, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy during the time of the intervention in Kosovo in which, acting without UN authorization, a coalition of Europeans and North American forces successfully stopped a genocide-in-the-making, will participate in Phase One. Mohamed Hassan Haroun, President of the Darfur Association of Canada, who was forced to leave Sudan after being arrested and tortured for his opposition to the policies of the Khartoum regime, has already contributed comments and suggestions to our Plan B data base. Lieutenant General (now Senator) Romeo Dallaire, commander of UN forces in Rwanda at the time of the genocide there and currently a leader of the Canadian movement to save Darfur, agreed to participate in Phase One during a scheduled debate about Darfur in the Canadian House of Commons on 3 October.
This two-phase conference can make far better use of detailed critical comments or constructive suggestions for implementation than it can of blanket endorsements or dismissive condemnations. We offer, moreover, a Research Service to help you locate sources you may wish to incorporate into your criticisms.
We must also address the matter of non-public comments. We will examine all contributions intended to be posted or sent to participants in Phase One to insure that they do not contain details that might compromise the safety of individuals. At the same time, we are currently searching for secure ways for you to discuss some of the more sensitive Plan B subjects.
For further information, please contact:
John H. Weiss Associate Professor of History Founder, Darfur Action Group-Cornell firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark M. Persaud, LL.B., LL.M President and Chief Executive Officer Canadian International Peace Project 1027 Finch Avenue West P.O. Box 30088 Toronto, Ontario M3J 3L6 Canada. E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.canadianipp.org
The Canadian International Peace Project ( CIPP) is a novel and unique non-partisan organisation that has brought together diverse groups and individuals to work on issues and projects relating to local, national and international peace, security and development . Through partnership on events and projects, the CIPP fosters mutual respect and sustainable relationships among diverse groups including those in conflict with each other.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
B.Mid 20s, married, Catholic, retail store manager
C.Cherry Hill, NJ
"I always believed if I were faced with the Holocaust in my lifetime, I would take a stand and try to stop it. Today, I am faced with the Genocide in Darfur and
I must stand. Although a small effort, this fast connects me to my family in Darfur and it may be the loudest way I can fight this atrocity."
"During the fast, I will be maintaining a caloric level similar to what is provided in the refugee camps aid workers can reach in Darfur and Chad (about 1000 calories."
* 25 years old
* Retail storeoperator
* Loves food, fun and helping people
* Joined the worldwide fast for Darfur at 1000-1300calories/day taken in two very light meals to express his respect solidarity and support for those individuals suffering in the area of Darfur Sudan with the hope that this action might in some way assist worldwide movement for positive change there - "It is a first step in understanding the pain of those in need. I pray for change in Darfur soon!"
Darfur, Sudan is one such place which needs our help immediately. Today is October 7, 2006, and the genocide in Darfur is alive and well. I have been writing about it, calling Washington about it with suggestions, crying about it and now I am going to do something about it.
I have decided to join with my brothers and sisters in a nationwide hunger strike - >> JOIN RESCUE-DARFUR-FAST-TILL-IT-STOPS. I have lowered my intake to less than 1000 calories per day. I realize this is not an all out hunger strike, but I am medications that will not permit me to fulfill a full-out goal. I promise to be careful.
It really isn’t that bad. If you go to an old bookstore, they should have a nutrition book that can tell you the calorie contents of almost anything! There is also the ease of looking on the label of the products you buy. Did you know, to my shock, there are only 180 calories in a one half cup of vanilla ice cream?! (No. I haven’t eaten any. It’s too tempting.)
Many may wonder, “Why are doing this? Who will know you are on a hunger strike?” You will, if you are reading this. More importantly, God will know. Whoever you believe is God or some form of energy or nothing at all, you will know, shall you pursue this endeavor. Imagine sacrificing something of yourself for someone you do not even know? Is there a greater love than this?
You can write Washington at:
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500.
You may also call at 202-456-1111.
I am not doing this for the glory. As can be verified, I wanted to remain anonymous. I was asked to write a press release to encourage others and to prove to you that you are not alone. Neither are our brothers and sisters in Darfur, Sudan. They are more important than any discomfort I may feel.
Please consider my plea that you join us in this hunger strike. They have run out of time, and this is our last measure of hope we have to offer. Thank you for reading this, and I pray you have a very nice day.
Darfur Tents Pitched At Santa Clara University
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KCBS) -- This week many students plan to move from their warm dorm rooms into tents where they will fast to call attention to genocide on another continent.
Sophomore Beth Tellman is one of the students who will occupy a replica of the tents being used by refugees fleeing from the violence in the Darfur region in eastern Sudan, where ethnic violence has claimed the lives of more than 200,000 and forced more than 1 million from their homes.
“It’s not going to stop unless there is international outcry,” Tellman told KCBS reporter Matt Bigler, “so part of that effort, we have to make ourselves aware, make our local community aware.”
President Bush has called for U.N. troops in the region, a measure opposed by another member of the Security Council, China, on grounds that it would violate Sudan’s sovereignty. China is one of Sudan’s largest oil customers.
Tellman and the other students also plan to limit themselves to 1,000 calories a day while they sleep out on the campus green, trying to emulate the average diet of most Darfur refugees.
“It’s going to be a hard week, but I’ll get through it,” she said, “with lots of coffee.”
The students plan to donate the money they would normally have spent on food to international relief organizations.
Copyright 2006, KCBS. All Rights Reserved.
Students take to a tent for DarfurSan Jose Mercury News, USA - 3 hours ago... McKenzie and about a half-dozen other Santa Clara University students this week are fasting and sleeping in a replica of a tent used by Darfur refugees to show ...
Students raise money, awareness for genocide in Darfur, sleep in ...Media Newswire (press release), NY - 20 hours ago... 16, 2006. Students at SCU are taking a stand against the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. ... Students at SCU are taking a stand against the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. ...
Monday, October 16, 2006
Darfur Activist: Eric Reeves
The transcript of the "Cover Story" from this week's "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly" (video linked from source page); thanks to Eugene...
RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY Cover Story Transcript: "Darfur Activist" Show #1007, PBS National Feed Date: October 13, 2006
BOB ABERNETHY, anchor: This week the United Nations humanitarian chief called on the international community to pressure the leaders of Sudan to accept UN peacekeepers in the troubled region of Darfur. The Sudanese have so far rebuffed the peacekeepers, while aid workers say the violence in and around refugee camps has gotten worse. Lucky Severson has the story today of an American scholar obsessed with the Darfur tragedy and the need to keep the world from forgetting it. His name is Eric Reeves.
Dr. ERIC REEVES (Professor, English Language and Literature, Smith College): Not only are cattle killed or looted, not only are people killed or made to flee, but water wells, precious in this very arid region, are poisoned. They are piled full of corpses.
LUCKY SEVERSON: Images of despair in Darfur in western Sudan -- moms and kids starving, sometimes raped and often murdered. They are victims of a civil war and of what the U.S. government is calling genocide. Few have heard of Eric Reeves, but he has been and early an unrelenting voice of alarm, determined not to let the world look the other way.
Dr. REEVES: These people are at the bottom of the geopolitical pecking order. They're black. They're poor. They're Muslim. They sit over no national resources. They have nothing going for them in the geostrategic scheme of things. But they are human beings, and they're suffering terribly, and they're being destroyed at an unconscionable rate.
SEVERSON: Reeves is an unlikely player in a modern day tragedy. He's a scholar of the Renaissance, a professor of literature at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. But when he speaks of suffering in Darfur, it is with the passion of a crusader.
Dr. REEVES: There are many people who believe that somehow African lives are less valuable. Human suffering is human suffering. Human destruction and loss is human destruction and loss. I refuse to accept that these lives are any less valuable than our lives.
SUSANNAH SIRKIN (Deputy Director, Physicians for Human Rights, pointing to map): Every single little red flame here is a destroyed village in Darfur.
SEVERSON: Susannah Sirkin is with the relief group, Physicians for Human Rights. She's worked with Reeves for years.
Ms. SIRKIN: He lives their lives from afar, and he is completely seized with their dilemma and with their tragedy, and as if it was his own life and his own family that is being attacked on a daily basis.
SEVERSON: Sirkin says when she first met Reeves, she was skeptical he had much to offer.
Ms. SIRKIN: His information is extraordinary. He has a vast network of informants and contacts and research sources and material, and it's enormously informative, and certainly it's also a voice of conscience for all of us.
SEVERSON: Reeves has spent so much time championing the cause of Darfur, he has had to take unpaid sabbaticals and refinance his house. But when he has the time, he keeps up his wood turning, in which he lathes beautiful objects of art that sell for hundreds of dollars, which he donates to relief agencies. He says his intense involvement has caused some strains with his family but that they fully support his work.
Professor Reeves has a history of activism. He could have dodged the draft for Vietnam but chose instead to be a conscientious objector. Over the years, he's given thousands of dollars to the international relief agency Doctors Without Borders -- enough to fund three cholera field hospitals at over $20,000 each. He found his calling in 1999 when the U.S. head of Doctors Without Borders lamented the world's short attention span when it comes to the misery and violence in Sudan. Reeves took that as a personal challenge.
Dr. REEVES: And I said something to the effect, well, I'll see what I can do about that. And I had no idea, honestly, no idea of what that meant at the time. But those were the words that I uttered, and I felt obliged to make good on them, and that's what the last eight years, I guess, have been about.
SEVERSON: He says at first it was difficult getting people to take him seriously, but he gradually built up a network of Web and media contacts. Now he sends out a 5,000-word Darfur update each week and peppers major papers relentlessly with op-ed pieces that are both authoritative and compassionate. He says the government in Khartoum has spent thousands of dollars to discredit his reports.
Dr. REEVES: They know who I am, and they don't like what I do, and they don't like people helping me.
SEVERSON: For years, the Sudanese government has attempted to cleanse the country of unwanted ethnic and religious groups. It began in the oil regions of southern Sudan, where the targets were Christians like Panther Alier.
PANTHER ALIER: The attack was in my village. The houses were set on fire. People were shot dead. I saw people falling down, so my life was in great danger.
SEVERSON: Today in Darfur it is the Arabs, the janjaweed militia who are killing the black Africans. To them it is a war over scarce resources like water. But to the Khartoum government it is a chance to exploit traditional differences among tribes.
Ms. SIRKIN: The tribes that we're talking about that have been attacked are settled people. They're farmers. They have lived on their land and in these villages for generations. They're very attached to their homes, and they are being attacked by and large by nomadic people who have cattle.
SEVERSON: The nomads who are seeking to expand their grazing land include the janjaweed militia, which is sponsored by the Arab government in Khartoum. Reeves says the aim of the government is to destroy every living thing in Darfur that could possibly support the rebel groups fighting for a greater role in the Sudanese government. And, he says, they've been successful.
Dr. REEVES: By my calculations, some half-a-million people have already died from the direct and indirect consequences of genocidal warfare.
SEVERSON: Reeves was one of the first to label the violence in Darfur as genocide. His estimates of casualties are high compared to some others, but he stands by them and says it's important not to underestimate the bloodletting.
Dr. REEVES: Because if we don't understand how many people have died, we won't have a good understanding or an adequate understanding of how many people are at risk and are likely to die.
SEVERSON: And it's not only those who die, it's the two million people who have had their villages razed and have been forced to live in the squalor of refugee camps. And then there is what he calls the systematic rape of Darfur women.
Dr. REEVES: Rape is used as a terrible weapon of war. All the evidence suggests there have been tens of thousands of rapes committed against women and girls, girls as young as eight years old.
SEVERSON: It is not that the world has sat idly by. The African Union has 7,000 troops in Darfur, but most everyone agrees they are underfunded, undermanned, and powerless to stop the carnage.
Dr. REEVES: These people in the camps say to all who will listen, "If we are abandoned, if we are left with only the African Union force, we will be slaughtered." They know it.
SEVERSON: Critics say the Bush administration has done more than most European countries, but not enough. In September, President Bush lobbied to send over 22,000 UN troops to Darfur, something Sudan's president Omar al-Bashir has repeatedly refused to agree to.
CONDELEEZA RICE (U.S. Secretary of State, speaking at press conference): None of us want to see this situation in Darfur continue and/or worsen.
SEVERSON: Reeves and other relief officials say the administration needs to pressure China, a major oil customer of Sudan, not to veto the deployment of UN troops.
Mr. ALIER: It's a matter of life, and some members on the Security Council don't understand that. For them it is a matter of oil and economy.
SEVERSON: It's not that there haven't been rallies and demonstrations with religious leaders and celebrities like George Clooney trying to spread the word.
Ms. SIRKIN: No one can say they didn't know, because everyone knows.
SEVERSON: Among those most engaged and enraged about Darfur are the young.
UNIDENTIFIED YOUNG MAN: What's at stake is our humanity. If we don't respond to genocide, what does that really say about us?
SEVERSON: Panther wears a Save Darfur bracelet to remind him constantly.
Mr. ALIER. I always have it. I sleep with it. I always have it, and I will always have it until the issue is solved.
SEVERSON: The only time Eric Reeves has been in Darfur was in 2003, and when he returned he thought he had an infection, but doctors discovered leukemia.
Ms. SIRKIN: I visited Eric in the hospital when he was receiving chemotherapy, and he was, every single day, working on Darfur. When I happened to see him he had IV lines in his arms, but he was on the phone talking about the crisis in Sudan with a radio reporter, and he had his laptop in front of him, and he was typing up his regular missives on Sudan.
Dr. REEVES: I live day-to-day with the knowledge of how much people are suffering and how many people are being destroyed because of who they are. This is intolerable, and it never leaves me.
SEVERSON: The last we heard, Eric Reeves's leukemia is in remission, but not his indignation.
For RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY, I'm Lucky Severson, Northampton, Massachusetts.
ABERNETHY: Reeves told Lucky, "I have no gift of faith, although I admire those who do." His motivation is moral outrage. He said, "I can't stand to see human suffering."
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Is "taking out" Bashir an acceptable option?
A Conversation between Rosemary and Jay
A prefatory comment by Jay: If we wind up taking Bashir out, as opposed to politically arm-twisting him into acquiescence through sanctions, criminal proceedings and show of military force; it will be a testament to the failure of will on the part of we-the-citiziens. We will have failed to stand up and mandate our governments worldwide to force this coward and bully into accepting what needs to be done.
R: I'm just curious. If the only way to save, truly save, the Darfurian people were to remove Bashir, would you be for or against that?
Gandhi was profoundly and absolutely for what I call antiviolence (think matter-antimatter), Heroic Unconditional Love in massive pure doses at any personal price including the ultimate price. However, he also told us that if an innocent is being brutalized and the only way to stop it is to even to kill the hooligan, that is what should be done. I agree with Gandhi.
R: You do know he would not leave willingly, don't you? That was a stupid question. Of course you do! lol.
Bashir's downside is being forced out of office by factions in his country, being "taken out" by the
However, one article rightly and shockingly asserted that in the last several weeks he has pulled off a political coup, overthrowing the will of the
R: I am just so worried that no one will ever do anything to him so he will keep doing what he is doing.
It will take an absolute miracle to stop him. All indications are that we lack the will in any corner or segment of the world to stand up for these people. We have kilotons of lip service to apply but just a few ounces of life service, commitment and real sacrifice. Jesus’ life was dedicated to working miracles. "Love as I have Loved," He told us. I guess that means we are to try to be used to try and work that miracle.
R: How much slavery must they endure? No, that is not the question. How much slavery are we willing to sit back and allow? Yes, that is the question. I did not accept it as a child, a teenager or as an adult. It is wrong. It is evil. It cannot stand.
Jesus would not have stood for slavery, brutalization, nor Genocide. Why? Because their body is His Body. We are supposed to learn to experience others the same way, and act the same as Jesus would. Or Gandhi, Dr. King, Rachel Corrie, Steven Beko. Personally, I am now convinced that only "dead" people, dead in the soul, can live normal lives in the face of Genocide, with the exception being folks that already are Heroically standing against some other horrible evil. Jesus saw that we were such dead men walking and tried to raise us from the dead. You, sister, would be viewed by Him as a success - alive.
R: Anyway, I was just curious. I will let you know where I stand. If he does not allow the UN peacemakers into his country? I am for removing him by force. See, sometimes we have to realize that if we do not act, people WILL die.
For me, one of the most wonderful, inspiring humans of the last 100 years is Dietrich Bonhoeffer. PBS did a documentary that is miraculously inspiring. Some breathtaking, must read quotes are at: How does an outsider live in the face of... , easily one of my most important posts ever. Bonhoeffer was a fair haired Lutheran Theologian and minister. He died being executed for his attempt to assonate Hitler.
R: Is it not more noble to die fighting for the freedom of your fellow brother's freedom?
Gandhi said - absolutely - and I agree. Jesus said so and did so. To do less is to be dead men, walking.
R: Or is it more noble to allow your brother to die a horrible murder, because it is against what one believes? That is what I do not understand.
The most important insight in my life happened several months ago as I was sitting on this Vigil in front of the White House: DARFUR: THERE IS ONLY ONE SUCCESS POSSIBLE. "Do unto others ALL that you would have them do unto you" is the only possible success in life. The only failure is to fail to do this.
R: Even Martin Luther King Jr. knew that there would be violence from the status quo. But he did what was right. He gave his life so that others may be free. Not so they could separate themselves as the whites did! It is so sad to see this trend.
Jesus' way was not to avoid violence but to avoid doing it to others. Same with Gandhi, King. "Unearned suffering," was King's term. Jesus way was allowing himself to be sacrificed for the cause. This is what a healthy mother or father does. It is what a good soldier does. By God, we are to be soldiers, antiviolent - Christian soldiers, Jewish soldiers, Muslim soldiers. Or we are dead men walking.
R: I pray for everyone, even Bashir. I pray he would soften his heart towards
that he would truly come to know the One and Only True God! Amen!
Rosemary, almost no one can even say what you've just said, let alone practice it as you are. "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." Allow ourselves to be abused or others to be abused? No. Shoot a rabid dog? Of course! Hate the dog? Only at the cost of our soul and the cost of our world. You dear sister make me weep with hope.
I am very honored and humbled you believe so. *blush*
Friday, October 13, 2006
* A GRASS ROOTS, $0, 190% HEART / LABOR OF LOVE EFFORT JUST LIKE the Suffrage, Apartheid, Civil Rights... like every human rights movement. Don't look for flash and frills, because there are none. LOOK FOR HEART, LOOK FOR LOVE... THERE IS LOTS. SOLIDARITY/LOVE/SELF SACRIFICE ARE THE ONLY THINGS POWERFUL ENOUGH TO SECURE HUMAN RIGHTS. ORGANIZATIONS CAN'T DO IT. MONEY CAN'T DO IT.
* For a more detailed explanation: RESCUE DARFUR FAST-TIL-IT-STOPS
* COMMITMENT TO STAY ON AN EVERY-DAY-FAST-OF-SUBSTANIAL-SACRIFICE-UNTIL -
1. THE GENOCIDE IS CLEARLY STOPPING,
2. IT BECOMES CLEAR THAT THE WORLD HAS CHOSEN TO ABANDON DARFUR,
3. SUBSTANTIAL HEALTH RISKS PRECLUDE CONTINUING (YEAR END FOR MOST OF US)
0-1000 CALORIES PER DAY FOR MOST PARTICIPANTS
1000-1500 FOR THE MOST ACTIVE OF US (COMPETITIVE SPORTS, CONSTRUCTION, ETC.)
HOW TO JOIN:
1. USE THE "COMMENTS" SECTION BELOW TO TELL US THE FOLLOWING (CUT AND PASTE THESE ITEMS INTO YOUR "COMMENT". NOTE, WE WILL NOT PUBLISH ALL OF YOUR COMMENT (PHONE NUMBER, EMAIL - WE NEED THESE TO WORK WITH YOU).
Questions, things to discuss, etc? Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone W: H: Preferences:
Reason for fasting (as detailed as you would like. Details can help others join and sustain):
Encouragement for others:
2. TELL YOUR FRIENDS, AND GET THEM TO JOIN.
3. WEAR A BADGE. CHECK THIS PAGE AND WITHIN SEVERAL DAYS THERE WILL BE A FILE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD TO PRINT OUT A "NAME TAG" TYPE BADGE.
4. WE WILL CREATE A BLOG PAGE FOR YOU. YOU WILL UPDATE US IN THE COMMENTS SECTION, AND WE WILL DO THE POSTING FOR YOU.
5. HAVE THE JOY OF KNOWING THAT YOU ARE DOING ALL THAT ANYONE CAN DO TO SAVE 4 MILLION OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
Bangladesh Banker Wins Nobel Peace Prize By DOUG MELLGREN
OSLO, Norway (AP) - Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank he founded won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their pioneering use of tiny, seemingly insignificant loans - microcredit - to lift millions out of poverty.
Through Yunus's efforts and those of the bank he founded, poor people around the world, especially women, have been able to buy cows, a few chickens or the cell phone they desperately needed to get ahead.
The 65-year-old economist said he would use part of his share of the $1.4 million award money to create a company to make low-cost, high-nutrition food for the poor. The rest would go toward setting up an eye hospital for the poor in Bangladesh, he said.
The food company, to be known as Social Business Enterprise, will sell food for a nominal price, he said.
``Lasting peace cannot be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty,'' the Nobel Committee said in its citation. ``Microcredit is one such means. Development from below also serves to advance democracy and human rights.''
Yunus is the first Nobel Prize winner from Bangladesh, a poverty-stricken nation of about 141 million people located on the Bay on Bengal.
``I am so, so happy, it's really a great news for the whole nation,'' Yunus told The Associated Press shortly after the prize was announced. He was reached by telephone at his home in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.
Grameen Bank was the first lender to hand out microcredit, giving very small loans to poor Bangladeshis who did not qualify for loans from conventional banks. No collateral is needed and repayment is based on an honor system.
Anyone can qualify for a loan - the average is about $200 - but recipients are put in groups of five. Once two members of the group have borrowed money, the other three must wait for the funds to be repaid before they get a loan.
Grameen, which means rural in the Bengali language, says the method encourages social responsibility. The results are hard to argue with - the bank says it has a 99 percent repayment rate.
Since Yunus gave out his first loans in 1974, microcredit schemes have spread throughout the developing world and are now considered a key to alleviating poverty and spurring development.
Yunus told The Associated Press in a 2004 interview that his ``eureka moment'' came while chatting to a shy woman weaving bamboo stools with calloused fingers.
Sufia Begum was a 21-year-old villager and a mother of three when the economics professor met her in 1974 and asked her how much she earned. She replied that she borrowed about five taka (nine cents) from a middleman for the bamboo for each stool.
All but two cents of that went back to the lender.
``I thought to myself, my God, for five takas she has become a slave,'' Yunus said in the interview.
``I couldn't understand how she could be so poor when she was making such beautiful things,'' he said.
The following day, he and his students did a survey in the woman's village, Jobra, and discovered that 43 of the villagers owed a total of 856 taka (about $27).
``I couldn't take it anymore. I put the $27 out there and told them they could liberate themselves,'' he said, and pay him back whenever they could. The idea was to buy their own materials and cut out the middleman.
They all paid him back, day by day, over a year, and his spur-of-the-moment generosity grew into a full-fledged business concept that came to fruition with the founding of Grameen Bank in 1983.
In the years since, the bank says it has lent $5.72 billion to more than 6 million Bangladeshis.
Worldwide, microcredit financing is estimated to have helped some 17 million people.
``Yunus and Grameen Bank have shown that even the poorest of the poor can work to bring about their own development,'' the Nobel citation said.
Today, the bank claims to have 6.6 million borrowers, 97 percent of whom are women, and provides services in more than 70,000 villages in Bangladesh. Its model of micro-financing has inspired similar efforts around the world.
The success has allowed Grameen Bank to expand its credit to include housing loans, financing for irrigation and fisheries as well as traditional savings accounts.
One of Yunus' aides, Dipal Barua, said the award was an ``honor for millions of poor women who have made this possible.''
Ole Danbolt Mjoes, chairman of the Nobel committee that awarded the prize, told The AP that Yunus's efforts have had visible results: ``We are saying microcredit is an important contribution that cannot fix everything, but is a big help.''
Mjoes said at least three previous prizes have recognized the need to alleviate poverty and hunger.
Those were the 1970 prize to American agriculturalist Norman Borlaug for his program in Mexico to feed the hungry by improving wheat yields; the 1969 award to the Geneva-based International Labor Organization for its efforts to ease poverty; and the 1949 award to Baron John Boyd Orr, as head of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization who worked to persuade nations to make it a public policy to feed the poor.
The peace prize was the sixth and last Nobel prize announced this year. The others, for physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and economics, were announced in Stockholm, Sweden.
Associated Press writers Julhas Alam and Matt Moore contributed to this report.
On the Net:
10/13/06 11:27 © Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Yet in hind sight, the Wright Brother’s pitiful plane was so devastatingly powerful that it fundamentally transformed the world forever. The World was Dying for a Plane. Was that seen clearly at the time? Once even their crude model was visible, the genie could not be put back in the bottle, the world was forever changed. The world began feverishly changing itself in the direction the model set in motion.
Those we activists wish to help, our family Darfur in my case, are Dying for Heroes. We citizens and activists ourselves are Dying for Heroes, even if these Heroes are to be merely rough, early models. This is true whether the cause is Darfur Genocide, ending Abortion, the Environment, Iraq democricy, Stopping the Iraq sufferering by all parties, ending Terror in the world, ending poverty, ending the many thousand deaths per day due to easily preventable causes, justice for Haiti, you name it.
We are Dying for Heroes. This is what I’ve learned these months and years of activism. For me this realization is unexpected, shocking, disturbing, and unwanted. However facing and satisfying our need for Heroes is essential to achieving success within the causes we serve:
1. Activism without Heroic Love (antiviolent action) is hopeless, kills time, and wastes resources. Antiviolence is the term I use where others say nonviolence. The translation of Gandhi’s central idea typically is “nonviolence.” This is a hopelessly misleading term.
Think matter–antimatter, violence-antiviolence. Gandhi also described “nonviolence” as Infinite Love, and as the Love of a mother for her child. What Gandhi described is called Antiviolence, Heroic Love here. Teresa of Calcutta described it when she wrote, ‘Love cannot remain passive in the face of suffering.’ It is that type of unavoidably Responding, Heroic Love. Antivilent action, nothing less will succeed.
Has this always been true that we are Dying for Heroes? This has been true in the face of suffering throughout history and when enough Heroes emerged, society changed.
Just try to think of an exception. For example, “Some of us are going to have to get our heads kicked in…,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told us. When enough Heroes did so, Civil Rights emerged.
2. The War of Love (antiviolence) to displace Hate & Neglect (violence.) is really the only war for the activist regardless of her/his specific “cause.” The first job, really the only job of those seeking real social/global change, is to spawn creation of Heroic Love / courage / otherishness…. Asley Montegue told us fifty years ago, ‘the problem is not the absence of love, it is the presence of tribal love.’ We are dying for models of Heroic, Global Family Love that can be copied by millions, or life as we know it begins to perish. Our individual causes are crucial because they are the stimulus for generating this Heroic Love as much as for their achievement of the objective of the causes themselves.
3. How to create Heroes? Heroes Beget Heroes Beget… There is only one strategy / approach / tactic of any hope – Be a Hero, Make a Hero – Be Heroic in pursuing your cause. “Be the change you want to see,” Gandhi told us. The explicit objectives of our individual causes are the prospective symptoms when Heroic Love is applied abundantly, and the present conditions we revile are the manifestation of a profound deficit of Heroic Love.
Is it crucial that we focus on the production of even crude models of Heroic Love in pursuit of our causes? Was it crucial for the Wright Brothers to produce their prototype?
We need living models of Heroic Love now more than at any time in history because it is vastly harder to do so today. It is harder to see the enemy clearly (our killing neglect is much harder to see than a lynch mob). The necessary elements of Heroic Love - Humanity, courage, selflessness, brotherhood, morality - are in shorter supply. And, the heroism now must be more powerful than ever because it must transcend immense distances (cultural, geographic, nationality, race, religion, economic…) far greater distances than Love ever has had to span before.
My focus is 110% Darfur, but the ideas of this article you are reading apply to all of our causes to better the world for all, I feel certain.
How important is to face that We are Dying for Heroes? I think I would give my life if that would help the effort to save Darfur. But I realize to my amazement, that I would also give (will give? am giving?) my life just in the hopes of establishing a Model of these ideas, of Heroic Love, of what is required to Win the battles we are fighting – Heroic Antiviolent Love in service of a cause. After more than 100 days of round the clock Vigil for Darfur at the White House, 60 days of water only Hunger Strike, I am now, along with some brothers and sisters, calling we-the-citizens to a worldwide Rescue Darfur Fast-Till-Genocide-Stops. (See http://www.darfurdyingforheroes.blogspot.com/.) May we all raise up some Heroes, in time.
From the Fort Wayne "News-Sentinel" (thanks to Eugene)...
(The group's site has been reprinting local coverage of the walk--mostly, so far, from newspapers in Colorado, Nebraska, and Iowa.)
On Tuesday, Hasmig Tatiossian, Vahe Abovian and Edward S. Majian walked along U.S. 30 in Fort Wayne as part of their 3,000-mile trek to raise awareness to the genocide in the Darfur region of western Sudan.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
I praise and applaud Mr. Vaugan's passion, compassion, perseverance and determination regarding the Genocide in Darfur. Having lived the Darfur crisis as a full time volunteer activist for many months now gives me a perspective that I wish to share with Mr. Vaughn, a man of such promise.
Mr. Vaughan, if you had approached your education with the relative force implicit in a one-day-fast from luxuries, the STAND October 6th, 2006 fast, you would not be attending Stanford University, and probably not be attending even a community college. Let us take the approach of giving up Darfur to Genocide explicitly, or let our approach be realism and honesty about what it will take to stop the Genocide.
A third approach is the one that has been followed by the vast majority of Darfur activists thus far. This third approach is to do what is convenient, to do what others might likely "sign up" for, that is, to confine ourselves to activities we could "succeed" with instead of pursuing activities that although more risky and demanding, have the potential of stopping Darfur Genocide. This approach of convenience that we have been taking is worse than taking no action at all. It is worse because it squanders what energy is potentially available, and incorrectly communicates to the onlookers and participants alike that the actions being proposed will be sufficient. This third way becomes a killing campaign of misinformation, almost certain to result in Genocide "Again and Again," insuring a future filled with regrets like Rwanda.
Let us squarely face and admit to our abandonment of Darfur, or let us become realistic about what is required to stop the Genocide. Several of us have chosen this second course and are calling the world to Rescue Darfur Fast-Till-Genocide-Stops http://darfurdyingforheroes.blogspot.com/2007/09/rescue-darfur-fast-til-it-stops.html
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Obnoxious 'passivists' can do more for Darfur than protest Yale Daily News, CT - 12 hours ago... particularly surprising that an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 protesters attended a rally held three weeks ago in Central Park to condemn the atrocities in Darfur ...
What for me are some highlights of this article:
“…What is surprising, however, is the fact that so many people could gather in one place and not see the futility of their rally. Aside from producing a lot of extra garbage in Central Park, the protesters hardly did anything truly productive, much less anything actually to help the victims of war in Darfur…
“…Protesters always delude themselves into believing that they operate within the realm of political and social change. In reality, flamboyancy is the only thing that matters to them - who yells the loudest, who refuses to eat for the longest time, who prints their flyers on the most obnoxiously colored neon paper….”
Please read the article. My response follows. It was sent as a Letter to the Editor.
Ms. Moore's article is filled with so much ignorance, destructiveness and hatred, I hardly know where to begin in sharing an alternative view. So let me focus first on what may be common ground.
Ms. Moore rightly spotlights the futilely noncommittal, self-serving nature of the crowd of September 17th in Central Park. In the face of its purported cause, Darfur Genocide, it was shockingly noncommittal, casual, comfortable, jocular and yes "passive" in its character, with a handful of inspired, enormously hardworking exceptions. But yes, for the most part participation for most in attendance seemed little more than one of many entertainment choices they considered - the beach, the club, the game, the Darfur rally.... Frankly, to my sad eyes, there are few exceptions to the "passivity" on display that day, anywhere, any time in the campaign to stop Genocide. (What exceptions there are we are attempting to capture and showcase at www.DarfurDyingForHeroes.blogspot.com.)
Now I'll partake of some of the outrage Ms. Moore indulged in and direct it back at the article. She implies a broad disdain of nonviolent means with the ludicrous exception of making and giving money (to be made through mindless jobs) to for the support of aid workers. Certainly this view is at best careless on Ms. Moore's part. When she is running an organization will she eschew all advertising? All Public Relations? As in the position of group leader will she believe that her true commitment, whether she is committed to the well-being of all stakeholders or to their exploitation, will not permeate the hearts of others and determine the level to which her organization rises or falls? Has she never been on the team of a passionately committed coach, or captain, or their opposite and experienced the ultimate difference that leadership makes in the outcome? Presumably she is telling the thousands of "passivists" throughout history from those of the Boston Tea Party on through the marchers for Civil Rights, the Steven Bekos of South Africa, and so on, that their individual impact for their cause would have been greater had they been working behind the counter in a McDonnalds and donating their money?
However, the aspect of what sparked the venom of Ms. Moore, I hope, is the "passivity" of Darfur "activists" of all persuasions be they nonviolent or militaristic, of ultimate faith in the human spirit as is true for me, or in people's ability to manufacture solutions as seems true for Ms. Moore. If this is ultimately at the root of Ms. Moore's outrage then she and I are in profound agreement.
Darfur is Dying for Heroes, for commitment, for the substantial and sufficient commitment of we-citizens in a position to help, to protect. Ms. Moore is profoundly correct in this, if this is what she senses. And, I think that such commitment, such capacity for commitment, has all but died in this country. I think that Darfur is one last opportunity for us to exercise what little capacity we have left for exercising humanity, what capacity we have for commitment to a cause beyond self. Why Darfur? Never have so many been in a position to do so much good, for so many, at so little cost to themselves.
Ms. Moore, let's be the change that others need to see, as Gandhi instructed. From your heart become a model of heroic commitment via the production of material outcomes. I will continue to strive to express my agony at the extermination of our family Darfur through the antiviolent (think matter - antimatter) approaches I have been using which include applying abilities that industry paid me hundreds of thousands of dollars for, for free, as any father or brother would do were their "immediate" family in dire need. Our family Darfur is in dire need.
Jay McGinley email@example.com
Since May 14, 2006: Donating 100% of the skills to Darfur that industry paid me big bucks for -
+100 days volunteer Vigil for Darfur in and around DC
+60 days Hunger Strike.
Currently on day 11 of what should be undertaken globally by we-the-citizens: Rescue Darfur Fast-Till-Genocide-Stops (http://darfurdyingforheroes.blogspot.com/2007/09/rescue-darfur-fast-til-it-stops.html)