Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The debate

So, many of you are probably wondering if my video question was used in Monday night’s CNN/YouTube Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate. The short answer is no, it wasn’t. However, much to my delight, the issue of Darfur was addressed by using equally impressive and emotional video questions from aid workers in Chad. The real victory is that for five minutes, the “entire” world watched US presidential candidates react to the issue of Darfur. This is quite impressive – the crisis facing the African villages where I grew up is now valued enough to take time in a nationally televised debate to address it.

Here is a brief rundown of what I observed during some of their answers:
Gov. Richardson – A strong, steady advocate who would prefer to use the UN to achieve peace in Darfur. He advocated a permanent UN troop presence, with soldiers coming from Muslim countries. He sees “doing right in Darfur” as a way of restoring America’s leadership in the world.

Sen. Biden – Very outspoken against the genocide and showed true emotion while passionately addressing the crowd. He obviously has little patience for diplomacy and is an advocate of swift action (what action was not clear). “These children will be dead by the time diplomacy takes it course” was one of his quotes.

Sen. Clinton – Wants to “act and not talk.” Not as passionate as the others, but proved she has given the issue real thought by throwing out many possible actions, including a no-fly zone led by NATO and supported by the US, targeted divestment, increased sanctions and more. She said US ground troops were not needed but did advocate using US logistical support for the AU/UN mission.

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