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An Open Letter to Smith Students Rallying to Help Darfur, Sudan

March 27, 2005

Dear Smith Students Rallying to Stop Genocide in Darfur:

Inspired by your concern for innocent people being harmed by the civil war in the Darfur region of Sudan, I am writing to encourage you to seek the full story of what is happening in Darfur before embarking further on the path you have chosen.

In your letter writing campaign to officials of the US government, you have asked that US officials endorse and pass the Darfur Genocide Accountability Act. Your letter states:

> "Genocide cannot continue on our watch; the United States must act to ensure full protection for civilians in Darfur." pp. 1

This statement is rather aggressive: What is "our" watch? Are you speaking of the superior force and violence being used by the United States all around the world today? What made the United States -- a country prosecuting brutal wars against innocent people's and national sovereign governments in Iraq, Congo, and Afghanistan -- the international police in your Darfur "humanitarian" equation?

How do you know that genocide is occurring in Darfur? Where do you get your information? Why are there no news stories about U.S. military support for the militias involved in the civil war in Darfur, or for the Sudan People's Liberation Army involvement in the southern Sudan?

Why is the American media flooded with stories about "Arab militias on horses", and genocide in Darfur, when the war in neighboring Congo -- which has claimed far more lives, and dealt far more women with rape and sexual slavery -- is completely off the agenda?

Why do you suppose that Eric Reeves is published in every newspaper venue in the United States, and there is nothing published there about the deeper military interests behind the Darfur region? Are you really certain that you want to be pursuing regime change -- because that is what these letters are advocating -- against another Arab / Islamic government?

Is it merely coincidental that the Chinese are allied with the Sudanese government -- and has (at least) in the past aligned at the same time with some Canadians and Swedes (Lundin Oil Company) -- to secure the vast oil fields of Darfur?

Your letter, supporting the Darfur Genocide & Accountability Act, advocates that:

> " the U.S. President be authorized to use the unmanned PREDATOR drones to 'neutralize' {a} Janjaweed or other militia groups that target civilians; {b} helicopters or fixed [wing] aircraft used to attack civilians; {c} certain intelligence or military headquarters that are the points of coordination for attacks against unarmed civilians."

Have you researched the effects of unmanned PREDATOR or other secret aerospace assets, who makes them, what they are used for, and how they can be used? What do you know about the PREDATOR and its utilization?

Do you not see any moral imperative in understanding what your letter means, in true humanitarian terms, by advocating for PREDATOR's use to "neutralize"? What does "neutralize" mean in the context of the Pentagon? What does it mean in the context of US military aggression? Where are these PREDATORS launched from? Secret US bases? Where are these bases? Have we -- the United States -- sold PREDATORs to other governments in the region? If so why? Have you addressed these questions?

What does it mean to give President Bush license to attack, with these "drones" -- do you know what the history of these drones is? -- "certain" intelligence or military headquarters, etc. ?

In speaking to one of your representatives, she indicated that "we are not at all political." However, I would caution you to reconsider your true position in this vast chess game -- of which Eric Reeves, for example, is no mere pawn. There is nothing more political than advocating the "utilization of American military assets" -- as you have written and are endorsing others to write -- against people and places and military conflicts that you, really, know absolutely nothing about.

Please seek the greater awareness that your advocacy demands. You can hear at least one very provocative and critical commentary on the Taylor Report at: .

Please withdraw your support for this nasty military enterprise, and reassess the proper initiative to help garner protection for the truly innocent men, women and children caught in the middle -- as you have chosen to be -- of this nasty, secretive, international, geopolitical warfare.

I would be happy to share my perspective, as an international genocide investigator who has worked with Genocide Watch and Survivor's Rights International, to both enlighten you and help to discern the appropriate course of action and advocacy. Indeed, it is very difficult to know who to trust, or what to do, to uphold our integrity and genuine concern for innocent victims of war and sexual violence.


keith harmon snow

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© keith is an INDEPENDENT freelance journalist and investigator entirely dependent on individual donations and voluntary contributions. He has lived under the poverty line for over a decade, and he has continues to work as a volunteer for three non-profit humanitarian organizations. Without your support, he cannot continue to do this important and insightful work.

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