The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Obama to #SouthSudan: Good Luck

Posted on | December 22, 2013 | 14 Comments

If you expected any determined U.S. action to end this civil war, my condolences on your Nobel Peace Prize disappointment:

“This conflict can only be resolved peacefully through negotiations. Any effort to seize power through the use of military force will result in the end of longstanding support from the United States and the international community.”

This is just noise, which any rebel leader or armed tribal mob will scornfully ignore, if they even bother to notice because, contrary to the president’s assertion, conflicts often are revolved violently through the use of military force, and without regard to a lot of diplomatic chatter from “the international community.” The man with a gun in his hand generally only stops fighting when confronted with superior force, and there is nothing in Obama’s statement that indicates any effort by the U.S. in that direction.

So we’re sitting this one out, I guess. Turning our attention away from irrelevant noise, let’s talk about what matters, i.e., the war:

Former South Sudan Vice-President Riek Machar has said rebel troops have captured the key oil-producing state of Unity and control much of the country.
Mr Machar also confirmed to the BBC that the forces fighting the government were under his command.
The country has been in turmoil since President Salva Kiir accused Mr Machar a week ago of attempting a coup. . . .

(Which, of course, he was.)

Mr Machar, whose claim to control Unity could not be independently verified, told the BBC that a senior military commander, Gen James Koang, had gone over to the rebels earlier in the week.
However, government forces say Gen Koang defected alone and did not take any troops with him.
Unity, a state on the border with Sudan, produces much of South Sudan’s oil, which accounts for more than 95% of the country’s economy.
Mr Machar added that he was prepared to negotiate with the government if politicians arrested this week were released and transferred to a neutral country such as Ethiopia.
Mr Kiir also agreed to negotiations after meeting African mediators on Friday.
But government troops are currently trying to retake Bor, in one of the most volatile regions in the country.
Troops backed by helicopter gunships were advancing on the town, army spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP news agency.

More talk, talk, talk:

The African Union called on Saturday for an immediate ceasefire in South Sudan, where U.N. staff say hundreds of people have been killed in nearly a week of fighting.
In a statement, it described the killing of U.N. peacekeepers and civilians at a U.N. camp as a war crime.
Fighting that began on Sunday in the capital Juba has swiftly spread to other parts of the country, fuelled by ethnic divisions between the main Nuer and Dinka tribal groups.
The African Union said in a statement that its chairwoman, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma “calls for an immediate humanitarian truce for the Christmas season, as a sign of a commitment by all concerned to the well-being of the people of South Sudan”.

The New York Times provides background:

Like many conflicts in this tenuous nation, the fighting has taken on an ethnic dimension, human rights workers say. Mr. Machar, the former vice president removed over the summer when Mr. Kiir summarily dismissed his entire cabinet, is a Nuer. The president belongs to the majority Dinka ethnic group.
In the capital, South Sudanese forces have targeted members of the Nuer ethnic group, killing many and detaining others, including soldiers, lawmakers and students, rights workers and refuge seekers say.
But outside the capital, in Jonglei State, the reverse has occurred as well, with Nuer militiamen targeting Dinka, descending on United Nations compounds where thousands of civilians have fled for safety and carrying out attacks on oil facilities that have resulted in what the Security Council called “the heavy loss of life” among workers.
“We are deeply concerned that ethnically based attacks on all sides will lead to revenge attacks and more violence,” Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.
Other observers have said that politics, not ethnicity, are driving the conflict.
“It is a power struggle,” said Zacharia Diing Akol, an analyst at the Sudd Institute in Juba. “Ethnicity is an afterthought.”

UPDATE: A young Heritage staffer works weekend:

 

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Comments

  • alanhenderson

    Makes me with the A-Team and the Dukes of Hazzard were real people.

  • http://orbitup.blogspot.com/ orbitup

    If he ignores it, it’ll go away and he won’t have to deal with it.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Hey, this strategy worked so well in Rwanda. Just ask the Clintons how that turned out on their watch.

  • richard mcenroe

    Send in enough military force to get our civilians out.
    Exterminate any group that interferes with that and I use that term literally.
    Drop in Bono and Sally Struthers.
    Seal the border.

  • richard mcenroe

    Two terms and a WH shot for the Hildebeest. Worked out fine.

  • DaveO

    With the Savior Barack Obama exposing his feet of clay, the Prognazis and moderate Republicans are slavering for more Clinton. Don’t forget: the folks who support Obama and support Clinton also support abortion AND euthanasia. They are Malthusians and believe that if one person dies, another may live, or better: someone already alive may enjoy the benefits that would have accrued to the formerly living. This is a matter of faith for the Prognazis and moderate Republicans – people must die in order for them to live.

  • DaveO

    Can we include the Juicebox Mafia? It would be their very first opportunity to commit journalism.

  • ILuvEquines

    Don’t ever forget he’s on the side of the koranimals.

  • Garym

    Obama’s strategy to diminish this country is nearly complete.

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