February 19, 2009 Special Dispatch No. 2249

Editor of Sudanese Pro-Government Daily: Obama is Worse than Bush

February 19, 2009
Sudan | Special Dispatch No. 2249

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is about to release its decision regarding Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo's request to issue an international arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. The Sudanese president has been charged with responsibility for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity perpetrated during the conflict in Darfur. According to U.N. sources, the ICC is expected to approve Ocampo's request, and this has increased the tension among the Sudanese leadership.

Kamal Hussein Bakhit, editor of the pro-government Sudanese daily Al-Rai Al-'Am, wrote an editorial harshly denouncing the U.S., France, and Britain (the permanent members of the Security Council), which the Sudanese regime holds responsible for Bashir's prosecution. Bakhit characterized the trial as a violation of Sudan's sovereignty, and said that if the arrest warrant is issued, it would prove that U.S. President Barack Obama was "much worse that Bush."

Following are excerpts from the editorial:[1]

"The Optimists Loudly Proclaimed Their Enthusiasm About [Obama]... That He Would Be Totally Different From Bush, and That He Would Bring Change"

"Recently, in a display of utter diplomatic folly, the [leaders] of global imperialism – the U.S., Britain and France – exposed their true hideous faces [by exposing their] plots against Sudan and the direct role they have played in turning the ICC into a political court for prosecuting Sudan and its people. This was clear from the start... from the moment the U.S. representative at the U.N. announced that charges were being brought against the Sudanese president by the [International] Criminal Court.

"This prosecution has nothing to do with justice; it is rooted in the realm of politics [and in the attempt] to punish African leaders who refuse to jump on the wagon of the global force of evil and aggression.

"We are not surprised by the announcement [about the prosecution] or by the position of the 'temporary' [U.S.] president, [Barack] Obama. Until recently, the optimists loudly proclaimed their enthusiasm about him in the press. They promised their readers that he would be totally different from Bush, and that he would bring change. They forgot, [however,] that U.S. foreign policy is not dictated by the president, but by ground rules laid down by the institutions that nominate the [American] presidents. After all, the lobbies that brought Bush to power in the U.S. are the same ones that brought Obama to power.

"If [Obama] tries to change American policy, he will be one [heartbeat] away from being shot by a sniper who will be positioned on the roof of a house beside his motorcade's route. That is why [we] say that Obama is much worse than his brother, Bush, and the next few days will reveal the truth of our position..."

"If [Ocampo's Request] is Approved, the [Sudanese] Government Must Issue... Resounding Resolutions That Will Shake the Very Foundations of the U.N., the White House, the Elysee, and Downing Street"

"[Sudanese] Foreign Minister Deng Alor has said that the decision [on the arrest warrant] would be released on February 17 – and if he is right, we have something to say about it, and the government should have something to say about it too. If [Ocampo's request] is approved, the government must issue some resounding resolutions that will shake the very foundations of the U.N., the White House, the Elysee, and Downing Street in Britain.

"I do not know what will be the position of the Western ambassadors [in Sudan] on the [ICC's] decision. Will they all adopt a stance similar to that of their governments, which support the ICC? Will they refrain from working with [Bashir], from submitting their letters of credence to him and from meeting with him because of his 'wanted' [status]? Or will they carry on as usual, without [letting] the ICC arrest warrant affects their personal positions...?

"Whatever happens, the issue is complicated, [but] the government has [only] one option: Every ambassador whose country supports the decision [to issue an arrest warrant for Bashir] must voluntarily leave the country. Those whose country does not support this criminal decision will be able to carry on their work as usual."

"World Justice Has Collapsed... and [the World] is [Now] Controlled Exclusively by the Laws of the Jungle"

"As we expected, [U.N. Secretary-General] Ban Ki-Moon turned out to be worse than [his predecessor] Kofi Annan, since he comes from America's back yard – i.e. from South Korea. World justice has collapsed, international legitimacy has collapsed, and [the world] is [now] controlled exclusively by the laws of the jungle and by the gun. This is a great plot against Sudan, and a great trial for the Sudanese government and people. We must remain vigilant [to the threat of] 'constructive anarchy,' which the West is trying to create by means of this decision.

"The government must keep an eye on the markets and urge the merchants not to use the [present] circumstances as an excuse to raise prices or to horde vital products. Water and electricity [infrastructure] employees must be alert to any sabotage attempts that may trigger the awakening of dormant [rebel] cells. [Additionally,] one of the government's most important tasks [right now] is to keep an eye on the street. We are confident that our people will ultimately come through."


[1] Al-Rai Al-'Am (Sudan), February 15, 2009.

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