George Clooney and his father recently returned from a trip to Darfur, and are making the media rounds trying to focus the public’s attention on the what is happening. On Thursday, Clooney appeared with U.S. Senators Sam Brownback and Barack Obama at the National Press Club. The important thing about this appearance is that it brings together one of the most conservative Republicans in the Senate (Brownback) with a rising star on the Democrat left (Obama). It shows that Republicans and Democrats are united on ending the genocide. Clooney said,
It is the first genocide of the 21st century. The president wants to put a stop to it. Congress wants to put a stop to it. The U.N. wants to put a stop to it. What they need now is the American people and the world’s population to help them, to tell them that it matters that much to us, that it’s that important to us (source: LA Times).
On Thursday, President Bush ordered sanctions against four of the perpretrators of atrocities in Darfur.
Bush’s order immediately blocks all property and interests in property of the four targeted individuals. It also blocks anyone in the United States from dealing with them. The president’s executive order implemented sanctions imposed Tuesday by the U.N. Security Council on the four men (source: AP).
The spotlight will shine on this issue again this weekend at demonstrations across the nation and in Washington D.C. At the Washington D.C. rally speakers will be from all over the political and ideological spectrum. This will likely be the only time you will see George Clooney and Richard Land making a joint appearance speaking out for the same cause. For more on the rally click here: Rally to Stop Genocide.
These are all welcome developments, but more needs to be done before the genocide will be brought to an end. Probably the most significant thing that needs to happen is that there needs to be U.N. blue hat troops on the ground in Darfur. That won’t happen until members on the security council like Russia and China get on board, which they are not likely to do soon unless diplomatic pressure is brought to bear upon them.