Letter to the Editor: Bush ignores genocide

I waited in vain during the State of the Union address for President Bush to utter one single word: Darfur.

My hope grew as powerful words kept flowing during the State of the Union address. Sentences such as "A society is measured by how it treats the weak and vulnerable" or "One of the deepest values of our country is compassion" seemed to comfort my expectation. When "God bless America" abruptly came out, I knew all too well it was over. President Bush had forgotten about us Africans.

It is hard to believe such omission was accidental. If State of the Union addresses really are, as House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) noted, "real blueprints for the direction the president plans to take our country," then my brothers and sisters in the Darfur should now despair, for America has no room for them in her heart.

Yet only two days earlier, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher had confirmed the tragic reality of an ongoing genocide in Sudan: "Genocide had been occurring in Darfur, and we think that the continued accumulation of facts on the ground ... supports that view. That [is the] conclusion that we've reached and continue to hold."

This wouldn't be the first time we're left to battle our own devils. Back in 1994, we Africans witnessed with horror the painful application of the "Selective Engagement" doctrine, as President Clinton chose to deliver the brave souls of Kosovo over helpless Rwandans. The result: close to a million dead and more than twice as many refugees. That one was for you Democrats, just to say it's not a Republican thing. Should Karl Rove, "The Architect," run out of names for his future projects, I do have one to suggest: Hotel Darfur.

Francois Gouahinga

SIS '06

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