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U.S. doing it all wrong in the Sudan

Posted by Stephen on June 15, 2007

“One of the main glass ceilings on real significant action in response to the genocide in Darfur has been our growing relationship with authorities in Khartoum on counter-terrorism,” said Prendergast, a senior advisor to the International Crisis Group. “It is the single biggest contributor to why the gap between rhetoric and action is so large.”

The Sudan is a hotbed for Genocide and a glaring example of the extreme levels of incompetence and futility that exist in the United Nations. However, equally difficult to accept is the behavior of the United States.

On the one hand the Bush administration condemns the acts of violence conducted by the Sudanese government, and on the other hand they work side by side on spying on the insurgency in Iraq. It seems that the price to get a handle on intelligence in Iraq has become tens of thousands of lives and hundreds of thousands of displaced families in this Northern African country.

“Intelligence cooperation takes place for a whole lot of reasons,” said a U.S. intelligence official, who like others spoke on condition of anonymity when discussing intelligence assessments. “It’s not always between people who love each other deeply.”

Unfortunately, the issue isn’t as simple as whether two countries see eye to eye on policy, but whether the United States is going to stand up for the human rights of those that have no recourse to protect themselves from human slaughter.

It is perplexing for many citizens in the U.S. On one hand, people listen as Presidential candidates fight over abortion rights and a right to life, and on the other the U.S government turns its cheek while women and children are raped and murdered.

U.S. officials have defended their support for the Sudanese government by pointing out the value of information provided by Sudan militants. However, reported in the LA Times, “Some former U.S. intelligence officials said that Sudan’s help in Iraq had been of limited value, in part because the country accounts for a small fraction of the foreign fighters, mainly at lower levels of the insurgency.”

“There’s not going to be a Sudanese guy near the top of the Al Qaeda in Iraq leadership,” said a former CIA official who operated in Baghdad. “They might have some fighters there, but that’s just cannon fodder. They don’t have the trust and the ability to work their way up. The guys leading Al Qaeda in Iraq are Iraqis, Jordanians and Saudis.”

The Times also reported that “A State Department official said Sudan had ‘provided critical information that has helped our counter-terrorism efforts around the globe,’ but noted that there was an inherent conflict in the relationship.”

“They have done things that have saved American lives,” the official said. “But the bottom line is that they are bombing their people out the wazoo [in Darfur]. Dealing with Sudan, it seems like they are always playing both ends against the middle.”

September 11, 2001 changed many things in the United States and the world as a whole. Have we devalued ourselves to such an extent that we are willing to sell out to a nation like Sudan? Has our intelligence capabilities become so pathetic that we have to ignore genocide?

Many people would have never thought, no matter what the level of tragedy that took place, the U.S. would have betrayed the morals and values that separate her from the rest of the world in order to get…intelligence.

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.

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