Saturday, April 30, 2016

Final Journal Entries in Khartoum. August 2004

Aug 7:  Now that Sudan is a hot issue, all sorts of actors are in the policy-making mix.  And they know nothing so drift quickly into group think.  The group think -- even within US government -- is informed very much by the media and the perceived need to respond to it.  Washington does not do policy anymore.  It reacts to the day's press.  Very dysfunctional.

In the case of Sudan, policy was already in the hands of a small group of pols in USAID that saw the regime here in the same way that their counterparts in DOD saw Saddam.  ([They] have a long history of support for the "Christians" in the south.)  The regime is bad but we cannot simply push it over.  The USAID folks hate me for complicating their efforts.  But now that a USAID person has become AF Assistant Secretary, their capture is complete except for getting rid of me, which they will do.  (USAID already runs its own policy with the Darfur rebels.)  Add the USAID angle to the group think and we are heading for a policy calling for things the GOS cannot do -- like disarm the jinjaweed -- that will lead to a confrontation that may turn Sudan into another Somalia. (The EU and Egyptians are quite serious about Darfur and are already afraid we will blow it.)  Sent a cable on this yesterday but doubt anyone is listening.  (Powell gets it but relies far too much on his "battalion commanders" like the new A/S.) 

August 19: Just back from a three-hour GOS/UN meeting that started at 7:30pm. The goverment started its behavior in Darfur to try to ensure it did not become "internationalized." So they end up talking about how they will investigate rape cases to a room full of foreigners.

August 26:  Yesterday I sent in a cable that suggests a course of action for the next step that puts off sanctions. I have found out that my efforts led the Secretary to beat back the recent USAID effort to piss on the UN efforts here to find a peaceful way forward. One week to go.

August 27: Well, my tour is complete. Went and briefed Rev. Jackson this afternoon. Looked a little older than I last saw him but still sharp. Pointed him in a few directions. Meanwhile, a hijacked Libyan plane sits on the local runway.

August 30: Spent part of the day with Senator Corzine and Dick Holbrooke. Worked well. Corzine is a regular guy, as perhaps only a self-made millionaire elected senator can be. ...
Holbrooke has a big ego but seemed also to be able to figure out quickly if someone knows his shit. I was frank in explaining why I am leaving this week, in the middle of things.

Spoke to Treasury Secretary Snow this evening too. Corzine's banker friend Collins (whose private plane he came in on) called Snow about the Sudan embassy's banking problem and then handed the phone to me. I briefed him on the Sudanese Embassy's banking problem.

Note:  I departed Khartoum for home  on September 2.  Coming soon, Brasila cables.

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