Patterico's Pontifications


Obama: Giving cookies to war criminals?

Filed under: General — Karl @ 1:40 pm

[Posted by Karl]

While the more unhinged elements of the left believe that the Bush administration should have been tried for war crimes, the Obama administration now looks to appease the only country in the world led by a president indicted on war-crimes charges.

That country is Sudan, where Pres. Obama has sent retired Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration as a special envoy:

While Gration describes the approach as pragmatic and driven by a sense of urgency, his critics here and in the United States say it is dangerously, perhaps willfully, naive. During a recent five-day trip to Sudan, Gration heard from southern officials, displaced Darfurians, rebels and others who complained uniformly that he is being manipulated by government officials who talk peace even as they undermine it.

Still, at the end of the visit, Gration maintained a strikingly different perspective. He had seen signs of goodwill from the government of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, he said, and viewed many of the complaints as understandable yet knee-jerk reactions to a government he trusts is ready to change.

“We’ve got to think about giving out cookies,” said Gration, who was appointed in March. “Kids, countries, they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement.”

As Michael Goldfarb notes:

This from the man who took it upon himself to declare the genocide in Darfur over — mere “remnants of genocide” remain he told reporters in June — at a time when even our push-over Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, was still accusing the Sudanese regime of that precise crime.

Goldfarb goes on to note that the Obama administration’s flip-flop is of a piece with their general foreign policy of sucking up to dictators and authoritarian regimes over a chorus or ten of “Kumbaya.”

Gration is the personification of this larger policy. He was called the “most mystical believer in Obamaism” in The New Yorker and accused of worshipping Obama by Newsweek — which is not unlike two pots calling the kettle a black hole from which light cannot escape. Before getting scotched from consideration for the top job at NASA, Gration was primarily known for sharing Obama’s pipe dream of worldwide nuclear disarmament — a position that seems even more laughable today than it was last year. Gration compares Sudan to a child while displaying the diplomatic skills and realpolitik of a third-grader.

Although a few human rights activists are critical of Gration and Obama for their Darfur flip-flop, the establishment media that was so keen to bash Bush on the issue (despite his pressuring the government to reach a peace deal with southern rebels in 2005) has predictably gone AWOL.


15 Responses to “Obama: Giving cookies to war criminals?”

  1. only partially with tongue in cheek, why not give cookies? Just as was the case with Bush, Obama’s not going to do anything of substance. They’ll go before the cameras every now and then to decry the situation, they’ll convene some gathering to discuss the situation, they’ll talk about the need for the ‘international community’ to band together, they’ll appear at some concert for the victims, but in the end they’ll do nothing… no use of force, no real economic sanctions, no pressure on the enablers… so why not cookies and milk?

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  2. Sudan is apparently not evil like Britain, Honduras and Israel.

    Jim (582155)

  3. /shakes head in bewildered awe

    JD (1e6306)

  4. Quick, someone tell Nicholas Kristof, the western world is ignoring another huge humanitarian crisis! IT COULD BE ANOTHER DARFUR! NICK, SAY SOMETHING! NICK?

    (crickets chirping)

    Dmac (5ddc52)

  5. God, I hate the NYT and all the rest of their fellow traveler assclowns.

    Dmac (5ddc52)

  6. Day 252 of the Obama Presidency. Only 1208 to go.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  7. BTW, I am willing to bet that a US invasion of Honduras will occur before Halloween.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  8. “We’ve got to think about giving out cookies,” said Gration, who was appointed in March. “Kids, countries, they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement.”

    Good lord, could you imagine the reaction of The Let if a Bush official had said something this ridiculous.

    Maybe the Janjaweed will stop slaughtering people if we give them blue ribbons and let them sit at a special table during lunchtime.

    Techie (482700)

  9. Is it true, George Clooney, that it’s all hunky-dory in Darfur these days?

    You’re the ‘go to’ guy on Darfur, aren’t you, Georgie?

    Did you get the hopey change you wanted on Darfur, Georgie???

    marybel (e4313b)

  10. Good lord, could you imagine the reaction of The Let if a Bush official had said something this ridiculous.

    You got that right, Techie. Maureen Dowd would probably be saying that “cookie” is just a code word for “shiny objects and guns,” and that this is just part of the colonial mindset of white Westerners.

    Nice to know that you can treat Africa with smarmy paternalism provided you are registered in the right political party. There is probably no President that has done more for Africa than George W. Bush, but it will be another generation or two before people start to recognize that.

    JVW (d1215a)

  11. This Gration person’s name rings a bell, I jus cannot place it.

    JD (0b1bd3)

  12. The Air Force certainly seems to generate some looney tunes general officers. What is the guy who got fired in the first Gulf War ? Oh yeah. General McPeak. He’s certainly a source of good advice.

    In a 2003 interview with The Oregonian newspaper unearthed by The American Spectator magazine, General Merrill “Tony” McPeak, a former chief of staff in the United States Air Force who is a candidate for secretary of defense in a potential Obama administration, claimed that efforts to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority failed because there is no US-written “playbook” to create peace.

    An interviewer asked General McPeak “So where’s the problem? State? White House?” McPeak pulled no punches. “(The problem rests in) New York City. Miami. We have a large vote here in favor of Israel. And no politician wants to run against it…nobody wants to take on that problem. It’s just too tough politically. So that means we can’t . . . you can’t develop a Middle East strategy. It’s impossible,” he said.

    There you go. Another Obama advisor.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  13. I don’t think they’re interested in cookies. I think they’re interested in cake… yellow cake that is.

    Patrick in Des Moines (3913e7)

  14. Sounds like another “blame it all on the Joooos,” Mike. Yeah, no wonder he gets along with Obama.

    Dmac (5ddc52)

  15. Let me be the first to predict that Rio will get the 2016 Olympic Games.

    Based on the European view of Obama, they will give it to Rio. Obama seems to go out of his way to piss off Gordon Brown and, more importantly, Nicolas Sarkozy with his childish stunts at the UN, etc. This is without even mentioning the Poles, and the Czechs. Saying “No” to a US President will give them special joy, especially when it’s personal and has no strategic importance.

    Revenge is a dish best served cold.

    Neo (7830e6)

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