When asked, "What can Princeton students do [to help]?", Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel responded, "Write a petition to the President. If every student at Princeton University signs it.."
Perhaps something can be done. Violence and destruction are raging in the Darfur region of western Sudan. Since February 2003, government-sponsored militias known as the Janjaweed have conducted a calculated campaign of slaughter, rape, starvation and displacement in Darfur.
It is estimated that 400,000 people have died due to violence, starvation and disease. More than 2.5 million people have been displaced from their homes and over 200,000 have fled across the border to Chad. Many now live in camps lacking adequate food, shelter, sanitation, and health care.
The United States Congress and President George W. Bush recognized the situation in Darfur as "genocide." Darfur, "near Hell on Earth," has been declared the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.
Yet the administration has been slow to act on these declarations. The goal of this petition is to remind and encourage the President to act on his pledges.
Dear President Bush,
Every President since the Holocaust has echoed the promise, "Never again!" Each has claimed that we will never again permit the man-made, systematic extermination of human beings. Though you and your administration have taken bold steps in declaring the situation in Darfur a genocide, it still continues and the number of those murdered and raped has grown at a steady and horrific pace.
We have not yet done enough to live up to our moral responsibility, for the United States has only done "enough" in Darfur when the violence has ended and children are no longer being terrorized and slaughtered. We believe that the United States must follow through on its promise by using its moral authority and tremendous power to end this evil. We believe that you, as the leader of the greatest nation in the world, need to lead by the moral principles you have so often invoked and end the evil that has been unfolding in Darfur.
We, the students, faculty, and community of Princeton University, only ask that you live up to your declarations of shared and sacred moral responsibility to end such blatant, ongoing evil. We understand that such action is difficult, but we remind you that responsible action has never been easy. We write to you not as Democrats or Republicans, but simply as human beings - human beings convinced that a nation as strong the United States cannot afford to be idle as people are massacred and families systematically destroyed.
We ask that you act swiftly to fulfill the promise passed down since the Holocaust: that the vow of "Never again" must begin with a commitment to stopping it right now. And then we can ensure that genocide is read about only in pages of history books instead of current events.
The Undersigned of the Princeton University Community
The Princeton University Call for Action in Darfur petition to President George W. Bush was written by The Humanity Project and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.