Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Your e-mails: Will U.S. sanctions on Sudan work?

Source: CNN.

(CNN) -- President Bush imposed new sanctions this week against the Sudanese government for its refusal to stop violence against civilians in Darfur. The sanctions are aimed at 31 companies owned or controlled by the Sudanese government, banning them from doing business with the United States or U.S. companies. asked readers if they think that economic sanctions can help end the crisis in Darfur, and what responsibility, if any, the United States has to end the violence. Below is a selection of those responses, some of which have been edited for length and clarity:

Haytham Mohamed of Khartoum, Sudan.
As far as I know, thousands of Sudanese incomes depend on these 31 companies regardless of the political situation in Darfur.

Sanctions might be a good weapon by adding more suffering and hunger to Sudanese people, but now it is like the U.S. government is saying ,"Equity in Sudan means that all people of Sudan must live an equal way of living, they should all be starving and leave Sudan."

Instead of increasing the number of people who are suffering in Sudan, please Mr. Bush be more creative and find a better way.

Dorothy Rich of Norwalk, Connecticut.
We say "never again" and then it happens again. Colin Powell visited the Darfur area of Sudan and had the courage to state the truth about what is happening there: genocide. All countries, including the U.S., have a responsibility to do what they can to stop the slaughter and other human rights abuses by the Janjaweed and the Sudanese government. China, especially, needs to be pressured to stop investing in Sudanese oil. The Sudanese government must accept the intervention of U.N. and African Union forces.

Roman Soiko of Plainsboro, New Jersey.
President Bush has been completely and seemingly intractably ambivalent about the horrors, the reprehensible and completely unfathomable horrors that are commonplace, and occur with impunity in Darfur.

It is high time that Bush expanded his net, and force all companies who do business with Sudan, no matter how infinitesimal their portfolio is in that country, and should place economic sanctions on any country that colludes with Sudan and send in NATO, U.N., AU peacekeeper forces immediately and without ambivalence or hesitation.

Harry Stone of Raleigh, North Carolina.
I was listening to Bush about Darfur. Why does he stick his nose in it? That's why we are short of money and troops and so many soldiers have died because he simply believes his way is the right way. I believe in helping anyone who needs it, but my family comes first.

Dana Crumbliss of Fort Worth, Texas.
I believe it is absolutely crucial that the U.S. becomes much more involved in putting an end to the horrific crimes continuing in Darfur. The passivity of the world is shameful, and we are looked to as leaders whether we like it or not. Kofi Annan said it best: We have yet to summon the collective sense of urgency this issue requires.

Chris Lafargue of San Antonio, Texas.
Why do we always have to help other countries? Most of them hate us to begin with and the only time they want us around is when they need us to help them. It should be the responsibility of the government of the country in trouble to take care of its own people, not us. Also if all off these rich celebrities are so concerned for Darfur, why don't they donate their money to help?

Jose Antonio Goncero of Quezon City, Philippines.
I believe that the economic sanctions will only make things worse. The U.S. is not only depriving the Sudanese government business but also putting its ordinary people into deeper anguish.

Aimee Imlay of Lakeside, California.
I applaud the president for imposing sanctions against the Sudanese government; it demonstrates concern on behalf of the U.S. Unfortunately, the sanctions are far too late, as hundreds of thousands of people have already died. I am not sure if the sanctions will "work," but I imagine that they will not. I think that the U.S. and the entire Western world both have a responsibility to end this crisis in Darfur. The U.S., claiming to be interested in implementing democracy in places in need, should examine the Darfur crisis and give substantial consideration to ending the violence, regardless of strategic interests such as economic and logistical opportunities. In a time with an emerging global economy, people should consider taking care of their fellow global citizens, regardless of country lines, cultural and religious differences.

Michelle Blake of Hillside, New Jersey.
I don't think that sanctions will stop the violence in Darfur. It is a start. However, it is not enough. I don't think the Sudanese care so much about doing business with the U.S. than it cares about its cause. If we can send troops to Iraq to fight a senseless war, surely we can spare troops to help the people in Darfur. At least we would know what our purpose was.

V. Fleming of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
I believe generations of people now and generations to come just don't want to care. Hundreds of thousands of innocent lives are being destroyed in innumerable ways. The slaughter of people, young and old, the rape of women and young girls and the use of young children as soldiers continue. It's as if Africa and its people aren't important enough for the rest of mankind to care. And it's not just the ordinary people that carry this attitude. Leaders of many nations do nothing more than give the Darfur crisis lip service of the poorest magnitude. How long will we have to witness yet another wholesale slaughter of innocent lives? What has to happen for the world to react to yet another holocaust? Do we have time to save Darfur?

Photo: An aerial view shows typical huts in the western Darfur town of Mukjar, Sudan.

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