Wednesday, May 16

Dream Darfur

What do the Olympics have to do with the genocide in Darfur?
I'm so glad you asked.
Thanks to legendary writer Nat Hentoff, I'm starting to formulate an answer to that question.
Quite simply, the 2008 Olympics are in China. And China is the largest investor and protector of Sudan, the country that is massacring the people who live in Darfur.
There is a campaign called Dream Darfur and there is a website connected to the campaign that hopes to bring attention to China's shameful role in this whole situation.
What does Olympic Dream for Darfur want? Again, I'm so glad you asked.
This is what they say on their website:
Olympic Dream for Darfur wants to see a positive 2008 summer Olympics with China as the host. We wholeheartedly believe in the notion of an international sporting event that represents world peace, and appreciate the role China is playing in organizing for the Games.

Unfortunately, if nothing is done immediately, the carnage in Darfur will be far beyond the catastrophe it is now when the Games begin. It will be unsettling for the global community to see images of horrific suffering and death next to images of the Olympic Games sponsored by a government that is in a strong position to act.

China needs to use its influence with the government in Sudan before the Olympics start so that there will not be this brutal juxtaposition. In fact, it will take many months to mobilize a well-equipped, highly mobile protection force with a strong mandate for Western Sudan. And yet, for there to be a positive Olympics, protection forces must be on the ground in Darfur.

We are urging China to use its influence with Sudan in advance of the Games. We do not approve of any calls for an Olympic boycott.


Blogger rslight said...

There was a great Sports Illustrated column this week by Rick Reilly about actress Mia Farrow's efforts to get China to do something about the Darfur genocide.
I saw it in the magazine earlier this week while waiting on an oil change. I now notice the column is posted on under media coverage.

May 17, 2007 6:17 PM  

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