May 10, 2006

Re: Divestment

Let me explain myself further on a couple Sudan related matters.I am actually not an opponent of divestment (in fact this thing I am involved in has voiced that opinion). I am also not against diplomacy. But my opinion on those tools is beside the point. The fact of the situation is that divestment and diplomacy aren't going to do anything alone (or even combined).Genocide is occurring now, realistically, divestment isn't going to have any tangible effect for years. I know you can feed me the whole "send a message" argument, but there is no shortage of messages being sent about the genocide in Darfur. But I think there is a more fundamental problem than the media or any lack of public understanding about the situation in Sudan.I think the biggest reason that no Sudan activists have gotten traction is because they spend the whole time telling me why I should care about genocide. I want to also hear what there is that can help prevent it. Before the New Republic made it their lead editorial (which was truly a masterful editorial) I had yet to hear anyone simultaneously say (1) a genocide is occurring in Sudan AND (2) that we should do X to stop that genocide. It is difficult to gather any public backing when your only message is, "genocide is occurring…pass it on." No one wants to think about the murder of innocents Darfuris if they are also not told that they can do something to prevent it (outside of long-term solutions that do little to help a genocide that is occurring now). But to put the question to you Hammond, do you honestly view divestment as a viable approach to ending the genocide in Sudan and if not, then what do you propose?