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    Young girl with infant child at refugee camp in Darfur. Photo by Dan Scandling, Office of U.S. Representative Frank Wolf

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The Passion of the Present (the essay)

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    In Darfur, a region in western Sudan approximately the size of Texas, over a million people are threatened with torture and death at the hands of marauding militia and a complicit government. Genocide evokes not only the moral, but also, the legal responsibility of the world community. Under international agreement, a nation must intervene to stop a genocide when it is officially acknowledged.

    "Officially" is the key word here. So far, no nation in the international community has "officially" acknowledged the truth: Sudan is a bleeding ground of genocide. In this void, the Sudanese government continues to act with brutal impunity.

    Thankfully, there are individuals working in human rights organizations who are watching - and witnessing - and organizing, in support of the victims in Darfur. These individuals represent, for all of us, a personal capacity to bear witness to the passion of the present; one candle lit against the darkness.

    However, before one can light a candle, someone has to strike a match: a donation to any of the human rights organizations active in Sudan, contacting your government representative, local newspaper, radio and t.v. station. Our individual activism is essential for the candlepower of witness to overcome and extinguish the firepower of genocide.

    This world has long endured wars that take lives. Let us be part of one that saves them.

    About: The Passion of the Present site is a totally non-profit labor of love and hope - in peace. Thanks for joining the effort.

  • Detailed administrative map of Sudan
  • Oil concession maps
  • Climate and biogeography of Sudan
  • Satellite Images of destruction in Darfur, from USAID

About this blog

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  • GOOGLE SEARCH THIS SITE: More than 2966 chronological posts from April, 2004. Try "oil" "China" "women" "genocide treaty" "UN" "Kofi Annan" "timelines" "grassroots".

  • Our name comes from an essay entitled "The Passion of the Present" that one of our grassroots founders wrote and circulated by email in March of 2004. The blog started at the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School.

    The editors are semi-anonymous in order to keep the focus on Sudan. This site is a resource for a blog-based information community now numbering several hundred interlinked bloggers and sites. Visitors come from around the world. Daily traffic ranges from just under a thousand visitors, to more than eight thousand on days when news attention peaks.

    Our technology cost for a public blog service, with no special discount, is still just $13.46 per month! Start a blog if you don't have one already!

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September 23, 2004



I am glad to see the radicals still remember the name of the Mahatma. Do they still remember his teachings? What would he have said about Jay's support for violence? Does Jay care to answer or is he only interested in name-dropping insofar as it serves the neo-imperialist enterprise?

Jay McGinley

To Wilkus. Excuse me? I AM TOTALLY COMMITTED TO A NON-VIOLENT WAR OF MASS-CONSTRUCTION! And, right now, job 1 is constructing a Conscience within the human body ALIVE enough to respond to this Holocaust in Darfur.

Jay McGinley

To Wilkus. Excuse me? I AM TOTALLY COMMITTED TO A NON-VIOLENT WAR OF MASS-CONSTRUCTION! And, right now, job 1 is constructing a Conscience within the human body ALIVE enough to respond to this Holocaust in Darfur.


Jay, I cannot remember reading any condemnation of the rebel action from your side. Anybody who refers to a genocide is therefore wilfully blind to the fact that the GoS is busy putting down a rebellion and as such is supportive of the rebel instigated violence. This is in complete contrast to Gandhi's philosophy of satyagraha, by means of which even the utterly evil National Party government of South Africa was brought to its knees. If it worked against them, why not against the GoS?

Jay McGinley

To Wilkus: Sir, actually, I am not a purist, and Gandhi might not regard my moral development as mature by his standards. I might only measure to his person, too weak to be totally pure in his non-violence, but still with the courage to take some action in the direction of Love; the person he said would be better to commit violence, than to allow his wife (or sister, or fellow human I presume) to be raped. I WILL COMMIT NO VIOLENCE, I am sure. Put I do not aspire to perfect purity, nor accademic dialog. There is a horrific brutality being perpetrated by the relatively hugely strong Sudan government against the weak in Darfur. Brutality and cruelty beyond measure, beyond words. And there is an equally horrific and brutal NEGLECT being perpetratated by the rest of us. I am not a smart or wise man. I only know, that as the simple human that I am, I MUST STAND AGAINST THIS EVIL to the best of my ability. Wilkus, I do not need to convince you of this. I am convinced of the views just expressed by me in terms of my own life, my own decisions. I do not respect the priorities and values that I see implied in your comments, and I do not expect to continue this dialog with you. Agape.



I can see that your own moral purity matters a great deal to you. Good for you! It is, however, not helpful at all to demonize people you know nothing about. What do you know of the respective histories of those involved? Why do you ignore the fact that there is a rebellion going on and that those who are lionised by you and the international media are in fact the original perpetrators of the violence? Can it be that you are merely a victim of your government's propaganda which are trying to rearrange the politics of the Middle-East?

Jay McGinley

With my puny vision and intellect, the ONLY GOVERNMENT to which I pledge and attempt to owe allegiance is that to which Gandhi owed his allegiance - the Tyrant, the still small voice within. Rape, Murder, Genocide, Brutality - these I stand against. Agape/Selfless Love/Compassion, these I strive to stand for. I am that simple. That is it for me. The rest is beyond my abilities to comprehend or manage. This reality of my limitations I face and live within.

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