Monday, October 19, 2009



When Barack Obama was campaigning for the job he now has, I watched him closely. I worked (volunteered) for the first political candidate in my life - Barack Obama. I went outside my zone of comfort and went door to door in New Hampshire for a week and also in Rhode Island. I was shoved done the road by one citizen in New Hampshire after knocking on his house's door. I phone banked in New Hampshire and New Jersey. I sent in many checks for his campaign even though I really couldn't afford to do so. I remember him saying if we thought he was wrong, once President, that he wanted us to tell him. I remember him saying " I will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear".

He has morphed into something other than what he presented to us as a candidate.

I am a community activist leader to prevent and stop genocide and have been since 2004. When Barack Obama was a U.S. Senator he said all the right things about Darfur. Now, that he is President, he has not.

He has not told us what we need to hear, but more what we want to hear. Too many times.

Leadership is more than getting people into a room, which he has said repeatedly is his strength. I believe he needs to be a leader that is directly involved regarding Darfur and Sudan. Not just someone in the room with others. He needs to Be The Leader in this defining issue. He kept saying "this is our defining moment". Well, I believe there is no more defining issue than what we will and won't say and do regarding genocide. It says a lot that he has let seven months go by and has said very little about Darfur. And he has done even less. And that little he has done because we activists have pressured him. He only appointed the U.S. Special Envoy because we pressed him to appoint someone. And U.S. Special Envoy Scott Gration has been a huge disappointment.

General Gration’s explanation of his incentives-heavy approach:

"We've got to think about giving out cookies," said Gration, who was appointed in March. "Kids, countries, they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement. Source: cookies-khartoum

I also think that Mr. Obama's whole life has been about being conciliatory. And now, since President, I think it can be his weakness. He needs to lead. And by that, I mean he needs to take stronger stands, the kinds he said he would take while running for President.


Sudan's state-sponsored pyromania
Militias burn rebellious villages in southern Sudan.
What will the U.S. do?
Link to article
Los Angeles Times Opinion
"For the past seven months, President Obama's special envoy to Sudan, Maj. General Scott Gration, has led the U.S. response to Sudan's multiple challenges - ongoing humanitarian crisis and political deadlock in Darfur, growing tension between North and South over a 2005 peace deal that is largely unimplemented, and increasing violence in the South in which Khartoum seemingly has a hand. Absent an official policy line, General Gration has had the leeway to implement an approach that many longtime Sudan watchers, including Enough, feel is inappropriately soft on Khartoum.

Today, at 9 a.m. EST Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, and General Gration unveiled the official U.S. policy toward Sudan. They called for a mixture of 'incentives and pressures,' enabling the U.S. to take a more conciliatory stance toward Khartoum if verifiable progress is made toward tackling its various challenges."

Text from an email received today from: http://www.enoughproject.org/

I'm not sure why the embed isn't working here. If you go to the following link, it will take you to the video: See the announcement from today, October 19, 2009
of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration, talked about U.S. policy toward Sudan. The Obama administration began a policy review of policy in March.

The transcript: Sudan Updates: Remarks on the Sudan Strategy

from http://blogfordarfur.org/

Please call the White House and ask President Obama to lead for peace in Sudan.

Here's how:
  1. Call the White House comment line at 202-456-1111. The White House number is frequently busy—please keep trying, as it is critical to getting our message to President Obama.
  2. Tell the person who answers the phone:
    • My name is ______________ and I wanted to thank President Obama for releasing his plan to bring peace to Darfur and Sudan.
    • I am calling to ask that President Obama stick by his word and maintain his commitment to generate multilateral support for both incentives and pressures on Khartoum to create concrete and lasting progress towards peace in Darfur and Sudan.
    • I expect President Obama will exhibit personal leadership and take an active role in seeing this policy through by bringing up Sudan with Chinese President Hu Jintao during his trip to China, as well as with other heads of state.

  3. Let us know how your call went by clicking here—it's an important step for our efforts, so please don't forget!
The success of the plan depends on Presidential leadership. Please make your call today and afterwards let us know how the call went.
Thanks again for all you do to bring peace to Darfur and all of Sudan.

You can also call the following number and be put through to the Whitehouse


Genocide Intervention Network has created the first anti-genocide hotline. Call 1-800-GENOCIDE and enter in your zip code and be connected directly to your elected officials for free.

The hotline will provide you with up-to-date talking points related to current Darfur legislation and other actions your elected officials can take to help end the genocide. Call today and make Darfur a top priority for your representative, senators and the White House.

Click on a link below to view talking points for the appropriate elected representative:


More links regarding this important step:

Sudan: A Critical Moment, A Comprehensive Approach: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/oct/130672.htm
White House Statement: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Statement-of-President-Barack-Obama-on-Sudan-Strategy/

Background briefing for reporters after the press conference: http://www.state.gov/p/af/rls/spbr/2009/130696.htm
From Congress:
Senator Feingold’s Statement: http://feingold.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=319084
Save Darfur Coaltion has commentary and updates on their blog at www.blogfordarfur.org


On October 19, 2009, the Obama administration released is policy toward Sudan. This is a video response and call to action from Genocide Intervention Network Executive Director Sam Bell.
Uploaded by
From genocideinterventionchannel


Regarding President Obama's leadership

Source: www.nytimes.com
President Obama’s legislative career offers cautionary tales about the toll of constant consensus building.

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