June 29, 2004


Why Sudan has become a Bush priority (Abraham McLaughlin, 6/30/04, CS Monitor)

The last time a US secretary of State visited Sudan was 1978, when Jimmy Carter's envoy, Cyrus Vance, stopped to refuel his plane.

But in a sign of Sudan's growing significance, Colin Powell arrived Tuesday for a high-profile two-day visit. The trip is the latest evidence of a major shift in US policy toward the Muslim-led state that once harbored Osama bin Laden.

The visit is primarily aimed at halting the suffering and violence in Sudan's western region of Darfur, home to the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

But analysts say it may also fulfill other White House goals. If the Bush team can bring Sudan back into the family of nations, as it did this week with Libya, it would gain a diplomatic victory for the war on terror. It could also fire up its Christian-conservative base by securing a peace deal in Sudan's other war, a 21-year conflict between the Muslims in the north and the largely Christian south.

Mr. Bush, mainly as a result of Christian pressure on issues like this and AIDs, is more involved in Africa than any prior president and so far the results couldn't be better.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 29, 2004 9:23 PM

"Couldn't be better"? Mugabe could be gone.

Posted by: PapayaSF at June 29, 2004 10:52 PM

That's more the Brits bailiwick. We did Liberia.

Posted by: oj at June 29, 2004 10:55 PM

Colin's travelling?

It's important since he doesn't like to travel.

Posted by: Sandy P at June 30, 2004 12:53 AM

How long before the proud dissenters start mewling about election politics?

Posted by: Barry Meislin at June 30, 2004 6:07 AM

Mr. Meislin, the proud dissenters aren't going to pay attention to any of this, so it won't get any airtime. It's just going to be a secret of the blogosphere.

Posted by: NKR at June 30, 2004 8:10 AM

The only way to bring Sudan to heel is to kill about 100,000 radicals and gangsters in a weekend. Don't see the US doing that any time soon. And is that what the "Christian base" would want, anyway?

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 30, 2004 10:17 AM

Sure, if they're heathens.

Posted by: oj at June 30, 2004 10:37 AM