From Mediator to an Opponent
It is understood that somebody calls on the US administration to continue supporting South Sudan and even to arm the SPLA. After all it is an independent country and the American administration does not need an approval from the UNSC or the African Union to go ahead with such step, but what is significant is to push US to move from being a mediator into an opponent.
That is what the former US Special Envoy to Sudan Andrew Natsios said in his op-ed piece in the Washington Post. He went on to compare what he is proposing with what US did with Israel to make it easier for his audience to comprehend. The decision to give South Sudan airpower is, “just as we have provided weapons to support Israel,” not to put US troops at risk since it will not be engaged in any fighting.
In one sentence he sends two messages. The first to the worried American public who were watching anxiously President Barak Obama working hard to bring troops back home indicating to them not to worry since what he proposes does not involve the US troops. And second it will be easy to sell the idea that he is proposing something the Americans have been doing and happy with: support of Israel, which restores the image of the victim that needs help because of its noble cause and it is facing a bullying neigbor.
In a nutshell, Natsios is proposing that the United States moves from the status of biased broker, as it has been the case and its successive envoys admit, into an open opponent.
Natsios was a staunch supporter of the Bush war on Iraq went and even as far as downplaying the cost suggesting that rebuilding Iraq won’t cost the United States more than just $1.7 billion. The final tally, which nobody questions, if course, went into trillions. Now he is getting into a new game for the two Sudans row.
The proposal fits well into what President Obama has been trying to avoid throughout his presidency: to create a conducive environment for a clash of civilizations. Despite Sudan accepting the principle of self-determination for South Sudan, the referendum and recognizing the result that ended into the separation of the new state; but that new state, born out with no borders, started to grabsomeland from its former homeland as happened with Heglig, which even Washington could not tolerate and called on Juba to withdraw its troops.
Natsios could be true in suggesting that South Sudan could be turned into an equivalent of an Asian tiger, like Singapore that prospered because it felt threatened by China, so South Sudan will follow and behave in a similar way because of it felt threatened by Khartoum. That where Natsios should have put his advice making use of his expertise in charge of US Aid. On the top of such advices is to make use of the country’s resources to benefit its people, not to go an extra mile using oil for the sake of harming its neighbor as with the case of shutting down oil production even if that entails hurting people back home.
By Alsir Sidahmed, 20/05/2012