Never again. With these words, the world community reacted to the Holocaust and all the horrors associated with it. With these words, the world community proclaimed its resolve to prevent those types of horrors from ever hap-pening again.
And yet here we are just a few generations removed from the Holocaust, and genocide is happening again. Worse, it's only the latest episode. And still worse, we're doing precious little about it.
In the Darfur region of Sudan, more than 400,000 people have been killed, and more than 2 million have been displaced.
Take every man, woman and child in Jackson, Ridgeland, Madison, Terry, Byram and Clinton and kill them—each and every one of them—and you would still have some killing to do to match the slaughter in Darfur.
Once you have killed all those people, then cause every remaining man, woman and child in the state of Mississippi to flee for their lives, and you'll be on equal footing with the Sudanese government and its merciless gangster buddies, the Janjaweed.
The current administration recognizes that genocide is occurring in Darfur. The United Nations has also recognized the obvious. But no one is doing anything substantive to change it, and if that doesn't cause a rise in blood pressure in every person who claims to be religious and/or a humanitarian, then God help us.
Literally, God help us, because we're obviously not going to help our fellow human beings. It's easy to make phone calls to your representative, Sens. Thad Cochran and Trent Lott, and the White House, or go online and sign a petition at Save Darfur.
Considering how easy it is to make your voice heard, and considering the inhumanity that will continue if you don't, I beg you to do something.
People are dying. It's just that simple.
— Brian Herrington, Jackson
Shut Out, Shut Down
The Army has clamped down on soldiers' blogs. The Defense Department will begin blocking access "worldwide" to YouTube, MySpace and 11 other popular Web sites on its computers and networks. The Iraq government has banned journalists from the sites of all violent clashes. There are fewer reporters on the ground in Iraq than at any point in the conflict, and the majority of them are in the fortified Green Zone.
We are not allowed to see the carnage of our fallen soldiers on the news. Flag-draped coffins are returned in the dead of night. Our government has stopped counting casualties caused by suicide explosions because they are too spectacular and random. The Iraqi government has stopped releasing civilian casualty counts because they basically can't keep up and have nowhere to store the bodies.
And under the shadow of barely existent journalism and government miscounts, we will come to the day in September of this year when George Bush's handpicked general will assess the progress of the "troop surge." Don't be surprised if he tells us it is going great, but we need to stay until at least Jan. 21, 2009, assuming George gives up his monarchy on Jan. 20.
— Brian Essex, Jackson
I agree with Herrington about Darfur. In fact, a lot of the problems on the African continent are overlooked too often. I'm glad that journalists like Anderson Cooper and Jeff Koinange, and celebrities like Bono and Don Cheadle have gotten involved.
Click on the hyperlink and sign the petition. Please.
Here's a direct link: Petition