May 31, 2005

Lessons from Sudan

The Sudanese government probably didn't need to be taught how to be ruthless, but they may well have learned how much they could get away with by watching the Bush administration. First, they shamelessly lie about an illegal war, then when reports come out about their abuses they target the whistleblowers. They must know that nothing will be done in response.

Not only is the world's preening hyperpower tied down in Afghanistan and Iraq, but it can no longer make a credible case to the world that it should be trusted as a champion of human rights in order to deal with these situations. The Chinese, who are heavily invested in Sudanese oil, will also do nothing. There's certainly no will to pressure them to behave differently. They're major US creditors now, creditors who are kicking everyone's tookas in the free trade game, and the only messages they're getting from Washington these days are 'send money now,' and 'please don't kill our textile industry.'

Though I imagine that the Bush administration wishes that they could arrest their detractors like the Sudanese. (I've included the byline because I can't resist the nagging suspicion that the news services are punking us with these names. First, AP's Nedra Pickler, and now ...):

By Opheera McDoom

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan arrested the local head of an international aid agency on Monday over a report on hundreds of rapes in Darfur in the first such action against a top relief worker since a rebellion in the area began in 2003.

Paul Foreman, the country head of the Dutch branch of aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), told Reuters he had been arrested but was being freed on bail. ...

Karl Rove is probably taking notes somewhere in an ecstasy of vicarious impunity, transforming his suit into a sweaty cocoon of rumpled, cheese-smelling gabardine.

Posted by natasha at May 31, 2005 01:46 AM | International | Technorati links |

I know it is really tough to get your facts straight but the Arab Sudanese genocide against the Sudanese Africans has been going on LONG before GWB became President. Even before the Sudanese government offered UBL to BJ Clinton. Course, BJ didn't know what to do with UBL so now we find ourselves with 2800+ New Yokers dead and ...

Does anybody read this stuff?

Posted by: JC Bob at May 31, 2005 10:49 AM

I do actually know that. What I also believe is that they might well feel emboldened enough by a climate of international lawlessness to start rounding up aid workers.

The neglect of places with long-running 'civil' wars like Sudan didn't start with Bush. But he's definitely made it more difficult to do anything meaningful about them, even if the will existed. And I did suggest, though I may not have been explicit enough, that there are probably things that people in the Bush administration would like to learn from Sudan.

Posted by: natasha at May 31, 2005 05:29 PM