HR 180 IH, what does that mean? - 6.28.2007.2
Here is something annoying. You have not heard a single Presidential candidate speak about this. I don’t recall any news media coverage of this. Were it not for the efforts of Mr. Don Cheadle, and several other prominent actors, and the humanitarian award he received I might not have heard about this. Not that there was any significant attention made about Mr. Cheadle getting the award or why.
The point is that the United States government has reacted pitifully in regard to Darfur. So far 3 sessions of Congress have been discussing this and still nothing has been done. And here is the proof. On January 4th Representative Lee introduced HR 180 IH. If you wonder what that means it’s the Darfur Accountability and Divestment Act of 2007 (Introduced in House). So far any attempt at accountability has gone out the window.
As of my writing this now, as Congress prepares to go on July 4th celebration seven months after introducing this bill the best thing that can be said is that it only took 3 months for a subcommittee meeting on this. In virtually seven months there has been no movement on this bill since March 20th. Perhaps if the members of Congress were in danger of losing loved ones there might be more action on the matter.
Now some of you may be saying, ‘Hold on, we don’t need to start another war.’ Others may be saying, ‘What is HR 180 IH?’
The answer to the first is that the bill doesn’t require the United States to put a single solider anywhere they aren’t already. The answer to the second is
“To require the identification of companies that conduct business operations in Sudan, to prohibit United States Government contracts with such companies, and for other purposes.”
Basically this bill cuts off money that goes to support what the 108th Congress
“declares that the atrocities unfolding in the Darfur region of Sudan, are genocide.”That was almost 3 years ago to the day. How many have died since that time do you think? The GENOCIDE was unfolding according to Congress, it still exists, and we barely hear anything about it.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell told Congress there was a genocide, President Bush told the U.N. that there as a genocide, yet only 4 states have passed laws requiring that no company doing business with the Sudan can do business with their state. Odds are it’s not your state. I can guarantee that it’s not New York State, home of Wall Street, and where the big six brokerage houses invest millions of dollars in mutual funds that could be doing business with [thus supporting] the Sudan and genocide.
I bet that 99% of those reading this now, that have a pension or mutual fund, have no idea what that mutual fund is invested in. I would bet that 99.5% have no idea what businesses might be supporting the Sudan government. Yet I am sure that, of those over 30 [which is maybe 50% of my readers] everyone was for and supported the bans against South Africa and Apartheid back in 1986.
To my knowledge, virtually every member of Congress is old enough to have at least heard about the 1986 bans. They have no excuse.
Of the 24 colleges mentioned in this bill there is not one that I am aware of that is a Black college. That could be simply an oversite of Representative Lee, or that they are doing matters separate of this bill. But I recall that back in ’86, there was more than one black college that was invested in South Africa.
Perhaps Congress can sleep at night without doing more than speaking about this terrible situation. Perhaps they have more to do in preparing their particular candidate for the 2008 election, or raising funds for that candidate. Perhaps every candidate for President right now can’t spend any time to come up with a 30 second soundbite for Darfur, as there isn’t enough time after explaining the resolution to Iraq, taxes, terrorism, social security, and why they are so great and warm people. Each of those points explained in 30 second soundbites. Perhaps the moderators of the debates are too overwhelmed with questions on when America will be out of Iraq, that question can be and has been asked in each debate maybe 20 different ways, to find one on Darfur.
I know that I was too busy writing to 6 blogs, and growing my company to stop and get into this issue. But at some point you have to stop and say, I can do more.
Well here I am doing more. I’ve raised the bar. Now you know. What will you do? Will you get in touch with you Congressional representative and ask them what they did over the 4th of July while people died and a simple resolution sat on the congressional floor? Will you take a moment to read HR 180 IH, the Darfur Accountability and Divestment Act of 2007?
This is what I think, what do you think?