I agree with almost everything Nina wrote today, and what Rich said a few days ago. My only quarrel: Before we go pinning blue ribbons on the State Department, remember it was only six weeks ago — in the middle of the genocide, amid lots of reporting about organized gang rapes, etc. — that State took Sudan OFF the list of nations that support terrorism. (See here.)
I first met the heroic Nina Shea six years ago at a Georgetown event to look at terrorism in Sudan. The speakers mostly talked about the genocide then rampant in the south. My talk was about how Sudan was the missing link in U.S. terrorism policy. I had just tried a case in which the Sudanese Mission to the United Nations in NYC had helped the Blind Sheik’s jihad organization in NYC plot to bomb the UN complex on the East Side–a plot that prominently featured five Sudanese members of the Sheik’s group, that was foiled only because the FBI infiltrated an informant into the mix, and that resulted in diplomats at the Sudanese UN Mission being expelled from the U.S. as persona non grata in 1995. I don’t see that much has changed. Bin Laden doesn’t live in Sudan anymore (at least we don’t think so), and the regime hasn’t tried to pull anything inside the U.S. in a while (that we know of), but it has simply made a practice of cleaning up its despicable international act to take the world’s (and the U.S.’s) eyes off what has throughout been its unspeakable domestic practice of killing, torturing, raping and/or enslaving groups that were not Sunni Muslims of the militant stripe.
There have been two modern Sunni militant Islamic states, Sudan and Taliban, and one Shiite militant Islamic state, Iran. Nice track record. In any event, State should stop the pie-in-the-sky hopefulness that Sudan will change after all this time just because we remove its name from a list. It conveys a terrible signal about our seriousness. If Sudan is not on the terror list, such a list is not worth having. They should go back on, pronto.
I don’t see