(Speech at the Westminster Institute on “Underestimating Sudan: What that means to the region, the U.S., and the world, Wednesday, October 11, 2017, BELOW)
I spoke recently at the Westminster Institute about how U.S. policy has always underestimated Sudan. That underestimation, along with a cynical balancing of the paltry, deceitful “intelligence” we receive from the Sudanese government and its egregious human rights violations against the country’s indigenous black, African ethnic groups, have led us to where we are now: easing sanctions on an Islamist, jihadist state that has been committed longer than ISIS has to building a global Caliphate.
The five genocides (more if you include the first war against the south, the Anyanya One war, the deliberate demographic alteration taking place in eastern Sudan to wipe out the indigenous Beja people, and the deliberate flooding of far northern Nubia to wipe out any trace of one of the world’s most ancient cultures) perpetrated by the regime of Omar al-Bashir should be reason enough to keep the sanctions. I described those genocides in detail in an article on Breitbart. But those genocides, as monstrous as they were/are, are the symptom, not the disease.
Now, I’m sure there are those within the US government that know the truth, but their knowledge does not seem to have framed our Sudan policy. I am sharing what I have observed for 23 years of doing advocacy for Sudan and South Sudan.
US Sudan policy is rooted in humanitarian concern. The United States should be proud of our humanitarianism, but it is not enough when dealing with Sudan. We are guilty of the band-aid approach — extremely generous and compassionate to Sudan’s victims without acknowledging or stopping the victimizers. We have a faulty perception of Sudan’s ideology. We have consistently ignored or dismissed warnings from Sudan’s “marginalized people.” And we have not understood the significance of Sudan’s actions.
Here are five ways in which we underestimate Sudan (of COURSE I am referring to the National Congress Party government of Sudan, not the Sudanese people, so don’t even go there!) as discussed in the video:
- We underestimate Sudan’s capacity and willful intent to commit genocide. Genocide is rooted in jihad; it is a holy (war) obligation. al mashruu al hadari was Khartoum’s “Civilization Project” to Islamize and Arabize all of Sudan. The SPLM-A and Garang’s vision of a “New Sudan” was launched in response. US efforts to stop genocide are admirable, but still rooted in the mistaken belief that Khartoum will be happy with a win-win situation.
- We underestimate Sudan’s patience, long view of history. Once jihad is declared, it is never rescinded, not in Darfur, not in South Sudan. Khartoum’s Islamist leaders sign whatever agreement they need to — Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Darfur Peace and Accountability Act — knowing they will dishonor it whenever the time is right. In the meantime, they divide and conquer, causing dissension and competition, fracturing their enemies with promises of power and wealth (Riek Machar, for example, in South Sudan in the 1990’s and today). The US exacerbates the situation with moral equivalence.
- We underestimate Sudan’s LEADERSHIP in global jihad and terrorism. Sudan is not a “player” to our counter-terrorism experts. Is it because it’s Africa? For years Sudan’s marginalized people have warned “you will not kill the snake (global jihad, Islamist ideology) unless you cut off its head (Sudan).” Leaked letters from Sudan to Ayman al Zawahiri, the Taliban, Abubakar al Baghdadi (by his previous name), and the leader of Hamas in Lebanon, verified by the CIA, provide evidence of Sudan’s close connection to jihadists. .
- We underestimate Sudan’s ability to successfully lie and deceive about everything to get what it wants. See #2. Just as Sudan signs agreements with its own marginalized people with every intention of dishonoring them, this is its practice with the rest of the dar al harb. With the help of lobbyists such as Squire Patton Boggs, and aided by US willful blindness, Secretary of State Tillerson’s October 2017 report concludes that the Government of Sudan has sustained positive actions. But another CIA-verified leaked document, highest-level government meeting minutes from Khartoum, gives a very different picture. The minutes, from a meeting on June 18, 2017 (well within the time frame of US “assessment”) include President Bashir stating that Sudan will: find sanctuary for the Islamic State in South Sudan; use its fighters in CAR, Libya, and West Africa; and reestablish relations with Iran.
- We underestimate Sudan’s hatred for us and desire for our destruction. The two faces of Sudan were on display at a demonstration held by the pro-Khartoum Sudanese in front of The White House on September 16. Along with t-shirts and posters claiming “more friendship, more peace,” Sudanese were chanting in Arabic about finishing off the Jews that Mohammed didn’t get when he slaughtered the Jewish community at Khyber. They also distributed a letter from the head of Sudan’s Popular Defense Force militia (in Arabic of course) congratulating the mujahidin at the White House and promising that one day they would trample the arrogance of America, capture its rulers, and take their wives and daughters as slaves. Shouldn’t that give one pause?
Khartoum has survived all of these years by being underestimated. But there are courageous souls willing to risk their own lives to provide the US with these documents that show the truth about the regime. It would seem that Khartoum, in its arrogance, underestimates others as well. Hopefully it will turn out that they have underestimated the United States, too.