Jul 21 2005

No Class In Darfur

Published by at 7:30 am under All General Discussions

What do you expect from murderous thugs – but thuggery?

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice demanded and received an apology Thursday after Sudanese security guards manhandled staff members and press accompanying her on her journey to the country.

The incidents occurred while Rice was meeting with Sudanese President Omar Hassan Bashir. Sudanese officials shoved U.S. journalists away from the Bashir meeting, grabbed a tape from a reporter and slammed the wooden doors to his palace in their faces.

Some U.S. officials were also blocked for several minutes before the Sudanese agreed to allow Rice and aides in. The media was later allowed to witness briefly the talks.

At one point, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell attempted to ask a question about the killing of innocent civilians in Sudan and was physically pulled away and told there were no questions allowed.

Angered U.S. reporters responded that the press corps with Rice as a “free press,” but were told by a Bashir aide that “it’s not a free press here.”

Jim Wilkinson, a senior adviser to Rice, yelled “stop touching our press.”

Upon rejoining the press on the plane, Rice expressed anger. “They have no right to manhandle my staff or the press,” she said. “It makes me very angry to be sitting there was the president when kind of thing happens.”

She demanded an apology and was called by Sudan’s foreign minister later, who apologized.

With all due respect to Dr Rice, the apology was not enough. The Sudan is a disasterous example of the bloodthirsty brand of Islam rampaging out of control. Africa needs to be rid of their brand of government. But I am not sure the best path forward. The UN and EU are helpless in these situations. And we are a bit tied down. But international pressure which begins with aid to the victims and maybe includes an embargo of all arms and security related goods (jeeps, etc) would put these animals on notice. We may be civilized and respectful – we are not weak.

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