J. Scott Gration will not be missed by those who care about Darfur. But perhaps he is owed a small debt of gratitude on his way out. State Department official Benjamin Rhodes, commenting on the style that got Gration into trouble with his colleagues, said Gration “speaks his mind, publicly and privately. … People respond to that in different ways.” It’s a good thing that Gration spoke openly about giving “cookies” to Sudan’s mass murderer-in-charge. In doing so, he pulled the curtain back and revealed the truth about the Obama administration’s troubling Darfur policy.
What are the consequences of allowing Bashir to remain free? One need go no further than the op-ed page of The New York Times, where Nicholas Kristof has reported on several occasions in the past month about Bashir’s murderous air raids on the black Christian villagers in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains region. The administration’s response to the Nuba atrocities has been predictably tepid.
Meanwhile, hundreds of anti-Bashir protesters were clubbed and tear-gassed by Sudanese police in the Khartoum suburb of Omdurman last week. According to news reports, they chanted “Freedom, freedom” and called for Bashir’s resignation. The Obama administration, which has spoken out in support of other popular uprisings in the Arab world, has been silent concerning the protesters in Sudan. The cookies and gold stars are apparently reserved for Sudanese government officials, not their opponents.
Dr. Rafael Medoff is director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, and coauthor, with Prof. Sonja Schoepf Wentling, of the new book ‘Herbert Hoover and the Jews: The Origins of the “Jewish Vote” and Bipartisan Support for Israel.’