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by Rep. Ron Paul, MD
Before the US House of Representatives, July 23, 2004
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this incredibly dangerous legislation. I hope my colleagues are not fooled by the title of this bill, “Declaring genocide in Darfur, Sudan.” This resolution is no statement of humanitarian concern for what may be happening in a country thousands of miles from the United States. Rather, it could well lead to war against the African country of Sudan. The resolution “urges the Bush Administration to seriously consider multilateral or even unilateral intervention to prevent genocide should the United Nations Security Council fail to act.” We must realize the implications of urging the President to commit the United States to intervene in an ongoing civil war in a foreign land thousands of miles away.
Mr. Speaker, this resolution was never marked-up in the House International Relations Committee, on which I serve. Therefore, Members of that committee had no opportunity to amend it or express their views before it was sent to the Floor for a vote. Like too many highly controversial bills, it was rushed onto the suspension calendar (by House rules reserved for “non-controversial” legislation) at the last minute. Perhaps there was a concern that if Members had more time to consider the bill they would cringe at the resolution’s call for US military action in Sudan – particularly at a time when our military is stretched to the breaking point. The men and women of the United States Armed Forces risk their lives to protect and defend the United States. Can anyone tell me how sending thousands of American soldiers into harm’s way in Sudan is by any stretch of the imagination in the US national interest or in keeping with the Constitutional function of this country’s military forces? I urge my colleagues in the strongest terms to reject this dangerous resolution.
Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.
Whereas Article 1 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (signed at Paris on December 9, 1948) states that `the Contracting Parties confirm that... (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House)
H. CON. RES. 467
Declaring genocide in Darfur, Sudan.
HCON 467 EH
H. CON. RES. 467
Whereas Article 1 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (signed at Paris on December 9, 1948) states that `the Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish';
Whereas Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide declares that `in the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) killing members of the group; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and (e) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group';
Whereas Article 3 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide affirms that `[the] following acts shall be punishable: (a) genocide; (b) conspiracy to commit genocide; (c) direct and public incitement to commit genocide; (d) attempt to committed genocide; and (e) complicit in genocide';
Whereas in Darfur, Sudan, an estimated 30,000 innocent civilians have been brutally murdered, more than 130,000 people have been forced from their homes and have fled to neighboring Chad, and more than 1,000,000 people have been internally displaced; and
Whereas in March 2004 the United Nations Resident Humanitarian Coordinator stated: `[T]he war in Darfur started off in a small way last year but it has progressively gotten worse. A predominant feature of this is that the brunt is being borne by civilians. This includes vulnerable women and children . . . The violence in Darfur appears to be particularly directed at a specific group based on their ethnic identity and appears to be systemized.': Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--
(1) declares that the atrocities unfolding in Darfur, Sudan, are genocide;
(2) reminds the Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (signed at Paris on December 9, 1948), particularly the Government of Sudan, of their legal obligations under the Convention;
(3) declares that the Government of Sudan, as a Contracting Party, has violated the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide;
(4) deplores the failure of the United Nations Human Rights Commission to take appropriate action with respect to the crisis in Darfur, Sudan, particularly the failure by the Commission to support United States-sponsored efforts to strongly condemn gross human rights violations committed in Darfur, and calls upon the United Nations and the United Nations Secretary General to assert leadership by calling the atrocities being committed in Darfur by their rightful name: `genocide';
(5) calls on the member states of the United Nations, particularly member states from the African Union, the Arab League, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, to undertake measures to prevent the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, from escalating further, including the imposition of targeted sanctions against those responsible for the atrocities;
(6) urges the Administration to call the atrocities being committed in Darfur, Sudan, by their rightful name: `genocide';
(7) commends the Administration's leadership in seeking a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Darfur, Sudan, and in addressing the ensuing humanitarian crisis, including the visit of Secretary of State Colin Powell to Darfur in June 2004 to engage directly in efforts to end the genocide, and the provision of nearly $140,000,000 to date in bilateral humanitarian assistance through the United States Agency for International Development;
(8) commends the President for appointing former Senator John Danforth as Envoy for Peace in Sudan on September 6, 2001, and further commends the appointment of Senator Danforth as United States Ambassador to the United Nations;
(9) calls on the Administration to continue to lead an international effort to stop genocide in Darfur, Sudan;
(10) urges the Administration to seriously consider multilateral or even unilateral intervention to stop genocide in Darfur, Sudan, should the United Nations Security Council fail to act;
(11) calls on the Administration to impose targeted sanctions, including visa bans and the freezing of assets of the Sudanese National Congress and affiliated business and individuals directly responsible for the atrocities in Darfur, Sudan; and
(12) calls on the United States Agency for International Development to establish a Darfur Resettlement, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Fund so that those individuals driven off their land may return and begin to rebuild their communities.
Passed the House of Representatives July 22, 2004.
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