Christian Living

Beltway Buzz

Public Push for Pres. Bush

One of Congress's most ardent defenders of human rights is on the "war path," so to speak.

The fight is over a potential humanitarian crisis. And the weapon he's choosing to do battle is the art of diplomacy.

Longtime Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf publicly released a letter he penned to former President George W. Bush earlier this month. Wolf is trying to prod President Bush to get involved in South Sudan, where there's a food crisis the United Nations described as the "worst in the world."

"The situation on the ground has grown more dire," Wolf explained in his letter. "Three-point-nine million people in South Sudan face 'dangerous levels of food insecurity' ... [and] UNICEF estimates 50,000 could die from malnutrition and a million children will require treatment for malnutrition."

Warring factions in South Sudan have been fighting since last December, resulting in tens of thousands of people being killed and more than a million displaced in the three years since the country was formed.

Tensions will presumably flare after a South Sudanese state governor accused a rebel commander of shooting down a U.N. cargo helicopter today. The incident comes one day after the two sides agreed to a ceasefire and to form a unity government, and it could thwart any attempt to find a path to peace.

Wolf acknowledged President Bush's preference to keep a low public profile. (Since leaving office, Bush has been extremely reluctant to weigh in on hot button issues or to criticize his successor, President Obama.)

However, Wolf believes Bush's connection to South Sudan is, in his words, "unique."

"He helped give birth to the nation and is probably the only person who can get the two sides to come together," Wolf said.

He concludes his plea for help by suggesting that the Texan's voice will serve as a bullhorn for those who have no voice, comparing his potential involvement to that of Esther in the Bible.

You can read the text of Rep. Wolf's letter here.