Wednesday, April 13, 2016

More Journal Entries for July: The Secretary Calls and Darfur Events

July 18: Had a busy day with a cable to write and some meetings.  Was driving ... when I got a call from State Ops.  The Secretary wanted to speak with me.  That was a first.  He was going to make some calls and wanted to check in with me.  Said he was reading my cables closely.  Talked maybe 4-5 minutes.  Sudan is hot.
Tonight off to the British Ambassador's for dinner.  I'm not complaining.

July 20: I had some 25 Darfurians over tonight for a reception/meeting.  I wanted to give them a space to start the reconciliation process free of government interference.  We were also "consulting" them about a further US role.  Went well.  Had Arabs and Africans, nomads and farmers and some jinjaweed.  Told them we may be able to help but they must solve their own problems.  Felt strange to be hosting such a group all in their turbans on my front lawn in Khartoum, me a [guy] from Jersey.  What a long strange trip its been. 

Darfur leaders with Charge & poloff

July 26: Last nite I went to meet a group of Arabs from Darfur who wanted their side of the story heard.  Reality is always more complicated up close.  There are no good guys involved in the Darfur story and everyone is at least partially right.  They were concerned that the outside world sees all Arabs as "jinjaweed."  This is a danger.  But at the end of the discussion, one little guy accused the U.S. of being anti- Arab everywhere, Iraq etc..  I had had enough by then of self-serving bullshit -- including one guy asking how we knew the women really had been raped -- so I asked if they knew how many atom bombs we had left and that if we were anti-Arab, there would be no more of them left. They sobered up quickly and I bet they gave the little guy a tough time after I left.  Which I did not do right away since at 10pm, I was informed we were going to eat dinner.  Got home at 11 and of course this morning I got up tired.

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