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Re: [ujeni] Help stop genocide in Darfur

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  • John Patten
    My initial reaction these days to signatures on petition drives is that they are inefective activism in todays world. There must be a better way to influence
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 7, 2005
      My initial reaction these days to signatures on
      petition drives is that they are inefective activism
      in todays world. There must be a better way to
      influence political decisions because I know of few
      instances today that these things do anything. If the
      Iraq war is not a clear example of political decisions
      being made before the fact irregardless of what the
      public thinks then I dont know what is.

      The fact that the UN is heading it up gives me even
      more concern. Operation Lifeline Sudan started as a
      what was supposed to be a temporary measure in 1989
      and here we are 16 years later dealing with the same
      issue. Its about political will, or lack thereof, and
      the UN keeps holding conferences about building
      awareness, as they have done ineffectually for the
      last forty years. Its not about awareness anymore.

      I deal with UNAMA on a weekly basis in Afghanistan.
      Our feeling there is that the UN does little, talks a
      lot, and use too many resources in the process. UNOPS
      has been costing us a criminal 40 percent overhead in
      order that UN staff can have the best houses in the
      country, the best vehicles, and huge salaries to be
      sure they can get out on holiday every six weeks. WFP
      additionally is corrupt here. I honestly dont know
      what the UN collectively does with their 13 various
      branches. Its become a bloated, morally bankrupt
      institution.

      Afghans ask me why do UN employees come from Sudan and
      Bangladesh to help the Afghan context when their
      countries need skills so greatly? They can only
      conclude its for the money and one familys security.
      Many of this staff is simply unqualigfied and got
      their positions through institutionalized nepotism.

      I try to work in my own way, but what I wont do
      anymore is pretend I am helping the situation by
      signing petitions or joining useless protest marches.

      Feel free to write back with a critique of my analysis
      without using the words patriarchal or patronizing.

      --- kristen cheney <kcheney12@...> wrote:

      > Africa Action needs more signatures on this Darfur
      > position. I hope you'll
      > take a moment to sign if you haven't already.
      > Thanks,
      > Kristen
      >
      >
      >
      > --- the forwarded message follows ---
      >
      >
      >
      > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      > From: "Africa Action" mobilize@...
      > Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 10:40:42 -0400 (EDT)
      > Subject: Last Chance!
      > [image: Take Action. Now!] *Last Chance!*
      >
      >
      > Dear Kristen,
      >
      > Thank you! We have gotten a tremendous response to
      > our petition drive to
      > stop genocide in Darfur. We received petition
      > signatures from all 50 states,
      > including Alaska and Hawaii! Schools, religious
      > institutions, extended
      > families, businesses and community centers have
      > participated and thousands
      > of individuals have been collecting petitions all
      > summer long. We have been
      > turning the petitions into a giant banner which we
      > will stretch from the
      > stage to the White House during our September 8th
      > event, "A Day for Darfur:
      > Stop the Genocide, Protect the People".
      >
      > *We need your help! Please take a moment to invite
      > at least one other person
      > to sign this petition.* If you have not already done
      > so, please sign
      >
      today<http://capwiz.com/africaaction/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=7495271>¡¦>
      it is your last chance before the event on September
      > 8th.
      >
      > As we approach this one-year anniversary of the Bush
      > Administration's
      > acknowledgement that genocide is occurring in
      > Darfur, Sudan, we must
      > increase our pressure on the White House to take the
      > appropriate action in
      > the United Nations to achieve a multinational
      > intervention in Darfur. Over 2
      > million people are displaced and homeless in Darfur.
      > The violence that
      > threatens their lives continues. They are in need of
      > food, water, shelter
      > and essential medicines. But most of all they need
      > protection.
      >
      > *We cannot tolerate the declaration that genocide is
      > occurring and then a
      > failure to take the necessary steps to stop
      > genocide.* This petition and the
      > event on September 8th mark the beginning of a
      > heightened campaign to stop
      > genocide in Darfur. Please join us, to demand action
      > from this
      > Administration. Sign the petition today!
      >
      > Sincerely,
      >
      > The Staff at Africa Action
      >
      > If you no longer wish to receive e-mail from us,
      > please click
      >
      here<http://capwiz.com/africaaction/lmx/u/?jobid=59205062>
      > .
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > --
      > "The rainmaker who doesn't know what he's doing will
      > be found out by the
      > lack of clouds."
      > -- Luganda Proverb
      >





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    • Paul DEVER
      Why, you patronizing patriarchal thinkyouknowitall.....those are sour grapes only because UN did not hire you.... However, you do bring up some interesting
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 7, 2005
        Why, you patronizing patriarchal thinkyouknowitall.....those are sour grapes
        only because UN did not hire you....

        However, you do bring up some interesting points:

        1. Re: On-line petitions: they are along the lines of those hoax things and
        urban legends...do little good, since no one is ever going to take it
        seriously, not that they would take seriously any type of petition, since no
        PAC money comes with it.

        2. Re: UN: it is a bloated organization; to get more detail, read The Lords
        of Poverty, and that was 30 years ago; UN workers are like ineffective
        Gurkha soldiers: I say ineffective, because at least the Gurkhas provide
        EXCELLENT security for various and sundry organizations and countries;
        however they do hire themselves out and do an excellent job. Your friend is
        right: if they wree truly goods at what they did, they would stay in their
        country and fix what is wrong. It has a long way to go to get out frmo
        under the UN Oil scandal...Maybe John Bolton is just the ticket...

        That said, if I were in their shoes I would do the same thing: Get the hel
        out of the hellhole and look out for #1...Similarly to the visa applicants I
        see each day: some of them want to go to the US and work at some fast food
        restaurant and make $1,000 per month, and send $600 home to their famileis.
        Their job is to get to the US, my job is to stop them. If I were in their
        shoes, I would probably do the same thing.

        3. Re: Dafur: What I am about to say might be harsh, but it is also
        realistic: what is in Darfur for us???

        The reason I ask is that an ex-president apologized for inaction in Rwanda
        when I experienced the genocide there (I was there before Malawi). He swore
        that the Western World would never ignore a problem...but they
        do...Historically, we intervene when ther is something for us: A lecturer
        at the State Dept once said (these were HIS words, not State's): A country
        will only do what is in its interests, and will NOT do what is NOT in its
        interest...

        What you should fight for is to get Darfur IN our interest. Weren't there
        groups of "Lost Boys" frmo Sudan who emigrated to the US and went in various
        and sundry communities in the US? Where are they now, and why are they not
        fighting for their country? Why are they not organizing sit-ins, and
        marches, and such???

        4. Intervention of any type needs to be carefully planned...Did we not feed
        the starving in Ethiopia in 1985 or so? Now they are so well nourished that
        they are not developing their country and helping their fellow man, but
        fighting over a border of which no one really knows the location...


        Okay, bring it on....I deserve it....I am sure....but at lkeast this is a
        politically correct-free zone...I hope....

        ----Original Message Follows----
        From: John Patten <jppatten98@...>
        Reply-To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
        To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [ujeni] Help stop genocide in Darfur
        Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2005 18:27:21 -0700 (PDT)

        My initial reaction these days to signatures on petition drives is that they
        are inefective activism in todays world. There must be a better way to
        influence political decisions because I know of few instances today that
        these things do anything. If the Iraq war is not a clear example of
        political decisions being made before the fact irregardless of what the
        public thinks then I dont know what is.

        The fact that the UN is heading it up gives me even more concern. Operation
        Lifeline Sudan started as a what was supposed to be a temporary measure in
        1989 and here we are 16 years later dealing with the same issue. Its about
        political will, or lack thereof, and the UN keeps holding conferences about
        building awareness, as they have done ineffectually for the last forty
        years. Its not about awareness anymore.

        I deal with UNAMA on a weekly basis in Afghanistan. Our feeling there is
        that the UN does little, talks a lot, and use too many resources in the
        process. UNOPS has been costing us a criminal 40 percent overhead in order
        that UN staff can have the best hous s in the country, the best vehicles,
        and huge salaries to be sure they can get out on holiday every six weeks.
        WFP additionally is corrupt here. I honestly dont know what the UN
        collectively does with their 13 various branches. Its become a bloated,
        morally bankrupt institution.

        Afghans ask me why do UN employees come from Sudan and Bangladesh to help
        the Afghan context when their countries need skills so greatly? They can
        only conclude its for the money and one familys security. Many of this staff
        is simply unqualigfied and got their positions through institutionalized
        nepotism.

        I try to work in my own way, but what I wont do anymore is pretend I am
        helping the situation by
        signing petitions or joining useless protest marches.

        Feel free to write back with a critique of my analysis without using the
        words patriarchal or patronizing.
      • Don & Cathy Weber
        ... From: John Patten To: Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2005 6:27 PM Subject: Re: [ujeni] Help stop genocide
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 8, 2005
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "John Patten" <jppatten98@...>
          To: <ujeni@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2005 6:27 PM
          Subject: Re: [ujeni] Help stop genocide in Darfur

          > I try to work in my own way, but what I wont do
          > anymore is pretend I am helping the situation by
          > signing petitions or joining useless protest marches.
          >
          > Feel free to write back with a critique of my analysis
          > without using the words patriarchal or patronizing.

          ********

          Ok John, I feel free to reply.

          I agree with with you, email petitions are too easy and then too easy to
          ignore. Real letters sent by real mail used to be the best attention
          getters because they were recognized as taking more thought and effort on
          the part of the sender. But, since 9/11 it takes weeks to get to Pres.
          et.al. because of inspection time. Email letters, because of volume, may or
          may not be read. Back when Gore and Clinton were supporting the drug
          companies' claims that they needed the AIDS drugs prices to stay high and no
          independent copies, they did respond to postal letters (or staff members
          did) with two-page specific answers backing and explaining (???) their
          position. Hey, though, the public demonstrations and protest clamor at the
          Seattle WTO meeting with lots of media pick-up seemed to have had an effect,
          if you can judge by the timing of their about-face...partial though it might
          have been.

          Public opinion can change policy...if you can't believe that, then you have
          to give up this democracy idea. You just have to embarass 'em enough.
          Hurricane Katrina victims seem to be doing that. Hard way to go about it!

          And how can signing a petition hurt?...unless, of course, you feel satisfied
          so then that's all you do when you feel strongly about something.

          Tsalani bwino...Cathy
        • John Patten
          Cathy, points taken. I agree public opinion is what can change policy, although in many case it seems to be subverted today. My problem is that too often
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 8, 2005
            Cathy, points taken. I agree public opinion is what
            can change policy, although in many case it seems to
            be subverted today. My problem is that too often
            people screaming at marches about what do they want,
            when do they want it, fill in the blank, has become
            easy to overcome for officials that do not care about
            other positions. Katrina is a bit different. All
            politics are local.

            The other is about what can it hurt to sign a
            petition. Nothing really, but it gives our folks the
            illusion of helping or progress where none has
            occured. Darfur is far from new.

            Many online petitions additionally are disguised as
            such to cull email addresses either for marketers or
            worse.

            Thanks for the comments. Paul you too. Political
            correctness to me has always been a way for people to
            suppress opinion and kill discussion, and for a brief
            time to become themselves the oppressors. No balance
            anymore on different sides.

            It may kill my bid for the presidential nomination in
            2028, unless you already sent in the photos from
            Likoma.








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            Click here to donate to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.
            http://store.yahoo.com/redcross-donate3/
          • Paul DEVER
            Alas, those fotos are in reserve for your run in the Diet...... ... From: John Patten Reply-To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com To:
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 8, 2005
              Alas, those fotos are in reserve for your run in the Diet......

              ----Original Message Follows----
              From: John Patten <jppatten98@...>
              Reply-To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
              To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [ujeni] Help stop genocide in Darfur
              Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2005 18:36:15 -0700 (PDT)

              Cathy, points taken. I agree public opinion is what
              can change policy, although in many case it seems to
              be subverted today. My problem is that too often
              people screaming at marches about what do they want,
              when do they want it, fill in the blank, has become
              easy to overcome for officials that do not care about
              other positions. Katrina is a bit different. All
              politics are local.

              The other is about what can it hurt to sign a
              petition. Nothing really, but it gives our folks the
              illusion of helping or progress where none has
              occured. Darfur is far from new.

              Many online petitions additionally are disguised as
              such to cull email addresses either for marketers or
              worse.

              Thanks for the comments. Paul you too. Political
              correctness to me has always been a way for people to
              suppress opinion and kill discussion, and for a brief
              time to become themselves the oppressors. No balance
              anymore on different sides.

              It may kill my bid for the presidential nomination in
              2028, unless you already sent in the photos from
              Likoma.








              ______________________________________________________
              Click here to donate to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.
              http://store.yahoo.com/redcross-donate3/
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