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updated 8/13/2004 10:31:03 AM ET 2004-08-13T14:31:03
COMMENTARY

Across the Internet a community is growing to stop the genocide in western Sudan.

“There is widespread agreement that the genocidal killing in Darfur in western Sudan is currently the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.  Yet far too little has been done so far by the United States, the United Nations, the international community, and relief organizations.  The killing must be stopped, and the flow of humanitarian aid must be improved.” -- Richard Holbrooke and Kenneth Bacon, Aug. 6, 2004.

I met a man named Jim Moore over a year ago, at the time he wanted to work to use the Internet to help change the political system in our country for the better.   

I ran into him again, a few weeks ago, and found him working overtime to use the Internet to draw attention to the horror of genocide in Sudan in order to stop it.

While Secretary of State Colin Powell paid a long overdue visit to Darfur just weeks ago, and the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives recently passed resolutions urging the Bush Administration to call the atrocities in Darfur by their rightful name – genocide, most Americans are more likely to know that Vice President Cheney told a Senator to “bleep off”, or that Theresa Heinz Kerry told a reporter to “shove it” than they are to know that the greatest humanitarian catastrophe since the massacre of 800,000 in Rwanda 10 years ago – is occurring right now in Sudan.  

What’s amazing is that individuals like Jim Moore, connecting with each other, from across the globe through the Internet, are working to change that and to let people know what they can do to make a difference.

Jim started a weblog called “The Passion of the Present” full of information, news, and what you can do to help.  Other bloggers are now linking up with Jim’s website and spreading the word. Meetups are just beginning to spring up, not just across the country, but across the globe – with the posting of meetings in London, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Beirut and dozens of U.S. cities. 

A community is growing on the Internet to stop the genocide in Sudan. The mainstream press has failed to understand the importance of the story, and the importance of informing and educating the American people. Like so many other important stories, it is individuals on the Internet who are picking up the slack and making a difference.  Maybe the mainstream press will move to the forefront and wake the international community up to its responsibility to take action before hundreds of thousands die in Darfur.

On this I am sure Jim Moore would agree – I don’t care who wakes the international community up – as long as the killing and the worst humanitarian disaster in a decade comes to an end.

Until then do what you can do to make a difference.  Because, believe it or not, you can, --and Jim Moore and a lot of other people are providing the tools you need to get it done.

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