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Sudan in American Media (30): Rice Book: South Sudan, A Disappointment

03-06-2020, 05:48 AM
محمد علي صالح
<aمحمد علي صالح
Registered: 10-26-2013
Total Posts: 72






Sudan in American Media (30): Rice Book: South Sudan, A Disappointment

    04:48 AM March, 05 2020

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    (غدا، الترجمة العربية)
    “Almajalla English”
    Rice Memoirs (3): South Sudan, a Disappointment
    Washington, Mohammad Ali Salih
    In a recently-published memoir book, Susan Rice, former President Barack Obama’s ambassador to the UN for four years, then his National Security Advisor for another four years, and considered the architect of the 2011 partition of the Sudan, seemed to have second thoughts about her “tough” policy that led to the partition of the country.
    The word “tough” is from the title of her book, “Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For.” In the book, she presented herself as tough ever since she was a child: “I am a direct person. You will find that what you see is what you get. I am not pulling my punches, even when they land on me or the ones I love most. That’s part of the tough love way I was raised.”
    Born in Washington, D.C, to a Cornell University’s economic professor and an educational policy scholar (her maternal grandparents were Jamaican), Rice studied at Stanford University before winning a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford where she obtained an M.A. and Ph.D. in International Relations. Later, she served in the National Security Council during Bill Clinton administration, then, an advisor to Presidential candidate Barrack Obama, his Ambassador to the United Nations during his first term, and his National Security adviser during his second term.
    In her book, she revealed that the Islamic military regime, led by Omer Al-Bashir, that ruled the Sudan for 30 years (from 1980 to 2019) was put on the US list of terrorism in 1993, not only because of its terrorist activities in that part of the World, but, also because it imported terrorism to the US. She mentioned that five of the eight terrorists who were arrested, that year, for planning to attack landmark buildings in New York City, entered the US on Sudanese passports. And that two diplomats at Sudan’s Mission to the UN gave them diplomatic license plates and vehicles.
    Rice, at that time responsible for African affairs at Clinton’s National Security Council, said she was behind three “tough” decisions to punish Sudan: in 1993; in 1995, when the Sudanese government was involved in an attempt to assassinate Egyptian President’ Hosni Mubarak; and in 1996 when the US embassy in Sudan was closed because of attempts to kill a diplomat there.
    More than Al-Bashir, Rice wrath was on Hasan Al-Turabi, the Islamist leader who brought him to power. She wrote that Al-Turabi “plainly opposed to the US, and to our national interests.”
    Rice was also “tough” on American officials whom she believed were lenient on the Sudanese Islamists: Tim Carney, “a mustachioed, bespectacled,” who was ambassador in Khartoum; Democrat Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey who objected to ban Sudanese Arabic gum that many companies in his state used for pharmaceutical, soda and newspaper print; and even Madeline Albright, Secretary of State, for siding with the Senator.
    Most of Rice wrath was on Scott Gration, Obama’s special envoy to Sudan. She sarcastically criticized him for declaring: “We have to think about giving out cookies. Kids, countries, they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement.”
    On his part, Cration criticized Rice for supporting what was known then as “Sudan Caucus”, which he described as “a small group of people who have been working behind the scenes for almost 20 years” to secure the separation of South Sudan.
    Rice added: “as part of our toughened approach, we supported neighboring states’ efforts to counter the regime in Sudan,” and, at least initially, sent them $30 million worth of non-lethal military equipment.
    And, “we also signaled our support for the independence aspirations of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) of Southern Sudan which was fighting for the right of self-determination or, failing that, for a new government in Khartoum.”
    Later in her book, Rice seemed to could have second thoughts: first, could have suggested a system of two governments within one Sudan, and, second, could have cooperated less with the neighboring autocratic leaders. About those, she said: “The unsavory compromise we had made, of prioritizing American security interests over our values, became ever more costly and difficult to stomach.”
    Enter Russia, which Rice said “readily dismissed southern Sudanese aspirations for independence.” Vitaly Churkin, Russian ambassador at the UN, taunted Rice: “You think this new state will become independent, and all will be great. But I tell you, it will be stillborn and a mess for many years to come.”
    Rice “strenuously objected.”
    At the end of Rice’s book eight pages on Sudan, and three years after South Sudan independence, and that challenge with Churkin, Rice wrote: “South Sudan was, in fact, stillborn. One of my most bitter regrets is having to admit that Vitaly was right.”
    Rice concluded: “When it comes to South Sudan’s morally corrupt leaders, I am reminded of the depressing adage: “You can’t help those who refuse to help themselves.”
    -----------------------
    (Next: Rice: What Happened to Obama’s Red Line in Syria؟)
    ==============
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