Tuesday, May 27, 2008

No No, THIS is Appeasement

President Bush last week made a veiled accusation that Barack Obama would attempt to appease Iran by holding diplomatic talks. Conversely he's doing the same with a government that is as equally if not more reprehensible.

From the WaPo:

Bush Straddles His Hard Line in Engaging Sudan

Sometime in the next few weeks, a special envoy of President Bush plans to meet with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, whose government sheltered Osama bin Laden and pursued a scorched-earth policy in southern Sudan that resulted in more than 2 million deaths.

Bashir's government has been accused by Bush of participating in a "genocide" in Darfur, the only U.S. government use of such a strong accusation. Yet Richard S. Williamson's visit to Khartoum follows a series of direct contacts by senior Bush administration officials with the Sudanese president, including Secretaries of State Colin L. Powell and Condoleezza Rice, Rice's deputies, and several special presidential envoys.

Bush has spoken to or exchanged letters with Bashir on numerous occasions, underscoring how White House policy has departed from his pointed public call to shun talks with radical tyrants and dictators. His appointees have also pursued aggressive diplomacy with North Korea and Libya and have even conducted limited business with Cuba, Syria and Iran.

In the case of Sudan, experts are deeply divided about how much the administration's engagement has improved conditions in a country beset for decades by mass violence and famine. It has at least provoked charges of hypocrisy, because Bush recently accused those advocating talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other radical figures of "appeasement."

Bush's Sudan policy has relied more heavily on diplomacy than that of the Clinton administration, which tried to isolate Sudan because of its ties to Osama bin Laden, imposed stiff sanctions against the government and placed it on the official list of state sponsors of terrorism.

My definition of appeasement is "all carrot, no stick"and that pretty much sums up this administration's policies towards Sudan.
Bush administration officials have acknowledged in the past that they have offered to restore full diplomatic ties, lift economic sanctions and remove Sudan from the American list of state sponsors of terrorism in exchange for concessions on Darfur.

Yet each Sudan failed to make any meaningful progress in ending the genocide did we up the sanction or call propose international sanctions via the UN security council? Contrast the crimes of Syria. Yes they actively support several terrorist groups but does the combined body of those groups come close to those murdered by the Janjaweed and Sudan's own military?Nope. So given the difference between the severity of their crimes why is one given the cold shoulder and the other treated with kid gloves? I have no good answer. All I can say is that I'm tired of the appeasement and the hypocrisy. Its high time for either some stick or some consistency.