The Sudanese government granted President-elect Barack Obama two options: normalization or confrontation! One day after that, the Sudanese President, Omar al Bashir, fired some heated comments and launched attacks and threats against the West as a whole.
The President of Sudan rejected the idea of handing over any Sudanese to the International Criminal Court, protecting himself with regards to Darfur crimes. He said that he would not even hand over a cat because it is possible that that cat’s skin would be used to make a shoe, a clear reference to the recent shoe-throwing incident involving an Iraqi journalist and US President George W. Bush.
It was odd that Bashir attacked the West saying, “They think that livelihoods are in their hands when they slam the door of the International Bank in our face; but we say to them that nobody dies before his appointed time.
What is strange is that these comments come at a time when Bashir asked the residents of Al Dali and Al Mazmoum not to stand behind the “devils of mankind” and to be patient in their demands for services. “Every citizen has the right to receive the services that he wants. But this stick of mine is not the staff of Moses; it is the staff of Omar al Bashir and it is to be used against dogs and their offspring,” said the president.
These odd contradictions contained in the heated comments against America and the entire West, the International Bank and the Sudanese who demand services, reminded me of a joke that a friend sent to me a few days ago via SMS. The joke is based on a state that is suffering from a grave financial crisis and it goes: the minister of development has called for a meeting because the country is going through a severe economic crisis. He says to the other ministers who are present, ‘the country has no infrastructure, no basics for a dignified life, and the world is experiencing a financial crisis and we will not be able find anyone who could lend us billions of dollars…we must see to the matter immediately.’ One of the ministers jumped up and said, ‘I have a crazy idea but it will get us out of this. Let’s launch a major terrorist attack on America. America will then come and occupy our country and it will be obliged under international law to run the country…then Washington will call for a conference to be attended by donor countries who will offer us billions and then we can rebuild our country!’ The ministers were stunned into silence and waited for the leader’s reaction. Moments after, the leader said, ‘But what if we are victorious over America? What will we do then and who will reply to us if we hold a conference for donor countries?!’”
The Sudanese threats against the West, its readiness for military confrontation, the comments about the International Bank in particular, and the statement that nobody dies before his time, all reminded me, sadly, of this joke.
It is true that nobody passes away before his appointed time. However, this came from someone not responsible for a family or children, but from a head of state and this is unacceptable because you are all guardians and guardians are responsible for their subjects!
The duty of every state and official is to provide security and the basics for a dignified life for citizens, not to place the country and its fate at risk. So how can a country that seeks international aid and support from the International Bank threaten to embark upon a battle against the world and tell its citizens that the leader’s stick is not the staff of Moses but a stick “to be used against dogs and their offspring”!?
* Published in the London based ASHARQ ALAWSAT on Dec. 20.