John Edwards, while on book tour, e-mailed his supporters the following message:
Since I last wrote to you in August about the genocide in Darfur, the conflict has only intensified. Since then, more children have been orphaned, more women and girls have been raped, and more acres of farmland have been destroyed.
The conflict in Darfur broke out in 2003 when small farmers took up arms to fight for a greater share of resources. The Sudanese government backed a militia group, known as the Janjaweed, that has brutally raped, tortured and killed 400,000 people and driven 2.5 million people from their homes. Now, the bloodshed is spilling over into Sudan's neighbors, Chad and the Central African Republic.
You may have heard me talk about the need to recapture America's moral leadership in the world. Once, America was respected and people around the globe looked to us for inspiration to make their lives better. Now, America is associated with the Iraq war, Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay.
Darfur, as tragic as it is, presents America with the opportunity to show the world that we are making changes, care about human rights and still have the moral authority to lead. NATO forces -- if the U.S. stepped up to moral leadership -- could end the conflict immediately. America must also lead the way in getting NATO to establish a no-fly zone over the region to cut off supplies to the brutal Janjaweed militias. Please take one minute to help save a life in Darfur.