Panoramic View of Darfur Refugee Camp
In my innocence, "panoramic" meant grand and beautiful,
scenic and awe-inspiring, breath-taking and majestic.
Surely a panoramic view of genocide and rape
of the murder, hunger and cruelty of Darfur can be none of these things.
But I look anyway.

It is, after all, only the aftermath of the unspeakable
it is dirt, dust, desolation and despair.
Small, make-shift shelters barely offering protection from the sun
let alone from those who want to rape and degrade
before they annihilate and eradicate.

6 year old Hadida from World Vision site

Grand? Yes. The numbers killed reaching 191,000 today
Beautiful? Incredibly so. What else can you see in the face of beautiful 6 year old Hadida?
Scenic? Oh yes, only scenes too powerful and haunting to bear.
Awe-inspiring? The Darfurians fight for survival, yes.
Breath-taking? If that the realization of the "ethnic cleansing"
stopped my breath, then, yes.
Majestic? Before the "burning of villages, bombing of water sources, destruction of farms", yes.

Who sits in those meager huts in the refugee camps?
It could be said, "the lucky ones"
Those who might survive, whose children,
malnourished and terrorized, might recovered - someday.
(Let's not think about what recovery means to these unwilling witnesses)

If anyone, everyone who will not tolerate this cruelty
demands that it stop. Demands that their government
bring safety, bring food, bring water, bring compassion,
now. If we give of our own attention, time and resources
now... Maybe recovery . . . of a kind will come. But will we recover
from our complicity of silence? From being too late for the 191,000*?

*This number changes daily... it is estimated that "the number of persons who have died or disappeared between February 2003 to April 2005 is close to 400,000". cite:

Dr. Eric Reeves, April 28, 2006: "Currently extant data, in aggregate, strongly suggest that total excess mortality in Darfur, over the course of more than three years of deadly conflict, now significantly exceeds 450,000." cite:
~ JT

24 August 2004