Clooney Shines a Light on Sudan — But Terror Continues

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Two days after the hearing Clooney and Prendergast participated in a demonstration at the Sudan Embassy. Hundreds of activists marched and chanted, while members of the media staked out a spot for the best view of Clooney’s arrival. The climax of the demonstration was an act of civil disobedience that has been repeated at the Sudan Embassy for almost eleven years. The first such arrest took place on Good Friday in April 2001 when former Washington, D.C. Democratic congressman the Rev. Dr. Walter Fauntroy, civil rights activist and radio talk show host Joe Madison, and Reagan administration official Michael Horowitz chained themselves to the front doors of that same embassy.

No chains were involved in this month’s arrest, but the message is the same as that conveyed in 2001 by attorney Ken Starr. Starr, who, in an interesting twist, represented Fauntroy and Madison while the late Johnnie Cochran represented Horowitz, said that their goal was to “attest to the atrocious conditions that exist in the Sudan, the conditions of slavery and murder, genocidal conditions that should be getting the attention of all individuals around the world.” Eleven years later, those atrocious conditions still exist for 85 percent of the population of Sudan. For trespassing on the property of the Sudan Embassy, Clooney and Prendergast were led away in handcuffs, along with Clooney’s father, journalist Nick Clooney, U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA), Al Green (D-TX), Jim Moran (D-VA), John Olver, (D-MA) and several other activists.

Some conservatives, while having done nothing themselves to help the Sudanese, criticize Clooney because he has not made the final leap and stated explicitly Khartoum’s genocide to be the persecution of Christians and others by an Islamist regime or that it is the agenda of jihadists who seek to build a global Caliphate. Clooney has surely heard these explanations of the otherwise inexplicable behavior of the Sudanese government during his time building relationships with the South Sudanese and the Nuba, Muslims and Christians alike. But he is doing what he does best – attracting media attention to a neglected, underreported crisis. Others should make use of the space he has seized from competing, clamoring voices and fill in the background rest of the story. A rule of thumb for assessing Clooney’s value to the situation should be the appreciation given to him by the Sudanese themselves.

The Enough Project asked the Rt. Rev. Andudu Adam Elnail, the Episcopal Church of Sudan’s bishop for the Nuba Mountains, his opinion of George Clooney’s advocacy for Sudan. Andudu, who was in the United States for medical treatment when Khartoum’s extermination campaign in the Nuba Mountains began, has now been granted asylum in the U.S. His name, along with those of many Christian leaders, had been placed on a death list by the regime. The bishop said that the visit of George Clooney and John Prendergast was “very important” to the Nuba people “to bring to the world the real suffering and devastating situation that the media does not cover.”

At this point, it seems as if defying the Sudanese government and bringing aid across the border from South Sudan into Sudan’s Nuba Mountains is the only means of preventing the starvation of hundreds of thousands. But there isn’t much time. Once the rainy season begins, roads will disappear, and with them, the hope of saving the lives of the Nuba.

While Congress is considering the new bill introduced in the Senate to demand humanitarian access, along with a tough House bill to support Sudan’s marginalized people introduced by U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Frank Wolf (R-VA), the Obama Administration is not leaning towards such a bold move. Administration officials refer to the SPLA-North soldiers who are bravely defending their people and, extraordinarily, winning every ground battle against the Khartoum regime, as “rebels.” And this is not meant in a good way, as it was for those dashing Libyan “freedom fighters” that needed to have their battles fought for them by the United States and NATO, and that lynched the president of their country in the street.

On March 22, 2012 the U.S. State Department expressed “alarm” at the “threat of greater violence between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-Northern Sector (SPLM-N) in Southern Kordofan State.” The statement also demands that the Government of South Sudan “end any military support for the SPLM-N and work with the Government of Sudan on ways jointly to bring peace to the border region.” But the State Department fails to demand that the Government of Sudan stop attacking the SPLA-N controlled areas of the Nuba Mountains and start political negotiations. Whether or not this is intended, it appears that the Obama Administration therefore condones the crushing of the SPLA-North by the Sudan Armed Forces. And, as usual, that the U.S. expects the Islamist regime in Khartoum to suddenly change decades of behavior and negotiate in good faith with the people that it is attempting to eradicate.

George Clooney may not be exposing the Islamist root of Khartoum’s genocide, but as his ongoing media attention shines a light on the crisis in Sudan, never fails to lay the blame squarely at the feet of Omar al Bashir and the Khartoum regime. As Ulysses Everett McGill, one of the escaped convicts turned singing sensation leader of the Soggy Bottom Boys in Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? Clooney sang “I am a man of constant sorrow.” The plight of Sudan’s marginalized people truly appears to be Clooney’s constant sorrow. He does not pretend there is moral equivalency between the Sudanese regime and those who are fighting and dying for freedom from that regime, and he tries to make to it harder for the regime to kill people.

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  • Amused

    Thank you for a truly OBJECTIVE article . Clooney is no "johnny come lately " on this issue , he is a good man using his public platform for good . Indeed, like his father , who's done a good job bringing up a good son .

  • Bamaguje

    Thanks Faith, for keeping this troubling issue on the front burner, while the first Muslim ‘African’ president of the United States is more preoccupied with the plight of his Arab masters in Libya and Syria.
    Kudos to you and George Clooney, we Africans owe you a lot.

  • Houyhnhnm

    Ms McDonnell, South Sudan has a close relationship with Israel. Do you have information and comments about this?

    • Faith

      South Sudanese have a close relationship with Israel. They have connections that go back to Biblical days. But not just SOUTH Sudanese — the Beja, Nuba, and Nubians (who go back to the Nubian Pharaoh of Egypt, King Taharqa who, according to the Bible assisted King Hezekiah when Jerusalem was under siege by Sennecharib of Assyria) as well, for example. Right now Israel is on the verge of deporting South Sudanese refugees who risked their lives to flee from Egypt there because the war is over. But South Sudanese need some time to make this assimilation work out. Some Israelis don't seem to perceive the difference between questionable refugees who may or may not be associated with Al Shabab, Al Qaeda, or other factors detrimental to Israel, and South Sudanese refugees who love Israel and the Jewish people, and who have fought against the same enemy that the Jewish people face. Please, Israel, let them stay a little longer!

  • Dispozadaburka

    Finally, some clarity on this issue.

    Major news outlets made the whole protest sound vague.

    It takes alot of courage to speak up.

    Kudos to Clooney is right!

  • waltjr

    Faith as always you have written a very important piece concerning the plight of the Sudanese Genocide and Persecution. It is refreshing to see someone as yourself who has worked tirelessly to get the TRUTH out.

  • Schlomotion

    In the interest of subjugating the Gazans, Israel helped bring South Sudan into existence and then gave them a deal: $1,300 and a plane ticket if they voluntarily resettle, but any who do not repatriate will be deported. We should give American Zionists the same deal. American Jewish World Service is running the Save Darfur campaign. We wouldn't hear so much about the Sudanese genocide if it were not part of an effort to break up Sudan, eliminate all the Muslims and add to the territory of Israel. While, I am happy that the Sudanese are getting a better life out of it, all this crap about Kony 2012 in Uganda is a spinoff of the splintering of Sudan. The Kony documentary was filmed by the weird pervert Evangelical, Jason Russell who was previously a Darfur film propagandist. I don't think we should trust these groups with any genuine concern for Africans.

    • Never Surrender

      And several butchers' aprons.

    • dave

      You're mad.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Some years ago, when Sudan’s Islamist regime was waging genocidal jihad in South Sudan and the Nuba Mountains, I arranged a State Department visit for an Episcopal bishop from that region.

    In other words, according to Ms McDonnell, Sudan's government is an Islamists regime, i.e., a radical Muslim regime. However, that can't be possible because the existence of so-called Islamist Muslims, radical Muslims, extremist Muslims, fundamentalist Muslims, peaceful Muslims, moderate Muslims, or whatever, just like the existence of radical Islam, extremist Islam, fundamentalist Islam, peaceful Islam, moderate Islam, or whatever are all false PC multicultural myths. Indeed, there are only mainstream orthodox Muslims and mainstream orthodox Islam and anything else is nothing but a foolish PC multicultural myth.

    This is simply trying to clear people out – ethnically – because of the color of their skin.”

    Of course, Arabic Muslims are some of the most racist people on the planet. However, the majority of Nuba people are also syncretic Muslims, and syncretic Muslims aren't considered to be true Muslims, and if they aren't true Muslims then it means they are infidels.

    Indeed, that latter point which is habitually glossed over or never even considered, needs to be front and center. In other words, the jihad being waged perpetually against the Nuba people is just another tiny part of the much greater global jihad at large being waged today against all non-Muslim unbelievers in the world. Of course, people like Clooney that are leftists blinded by PC multiculturalism will no doubt always deny it. However, it nevertheless is the truth.

    • Faith

      You haven't said anything that most of us don't already know. But again, the point is, are YOU doing something to stop the starvation and bombing of the Christians, sycretic/infidel Muslims (yes, they have had several fatwas declared against them by Khartoum), and animists in the Nuba Mountains? Politically correct George Clooney IS.

      • ObamaYoMoma

        Yes I am…I'm a proud anti-jihadist that fights against Islam, Political Correctness, Multiculturalism, and Leftism every day to expose the truth about the scourge of Islam. Indeed, as part of that fight I also often make light of the plight of the Christians and all other non-Muslim unbelievers as well unfortunate enough to be living in draconian Islamic totalitarian hellholes today as less than second-class dhimmi citizens, as they are the victims of violent oppression and systematic persecution, when not outright being slaughtered altogether, in every draconian Islamic totalitarian hellhole in the world today, with the Nuba people of Sudan being far from the only ones.

        Meanwhile, with respect to George Clooney, besides being afflicted by false PC multiculturalism, he is also a delusional leftist, and it is the left after the defeat of communism that jumped in bed with Islam, as Islam is just another form of totalitarianism to them.

        In fact, the main reason that Islam has been able to make so much in roads in such a short time in the West is primarily due to the left. Indeed, it's also the reason why so many of our political elites on both sides of the political spectrum today are so incompetent when it comes to defending and protecting America from the scourge of Islam.

        • trickyblain

          No, you're not. A man recognized by millions, giving millions and gaining national attention > A dude who writes the same thing over and over again on an obscure website's comment forum and uses the words "Indeed…in fact…meanwhile…hence" way, way too much .

  • Amused

    ObanaYO MOMMA now you're talking STUPID . Clooney's been involved in this for quite some time with great risk to his own well being . As was and is his father .Trouble with people like you , is you see everything through your own jaded lense , which in turn causes you to make stupid statements denigrating a good man like Clooney .As far as I can see Clooney and his Dad have done more than any American I know of , to alleviate the situation in Sudan . You are too free with the broadbrush and generalizations .
    LOL…even the author displayed a MUCH UNEXPECTED OBJECTIVITY in enumerating the DEMOCRAT Politicians who are trying to do something about this on going genocide. With his outspoken criticiam of the regime in Khartoum, Cloony is infact criticizing islam .

  • Faith

    ObamaYO MOMMA – you forgot to add "stealth" to your lofty description of yourself. I, too, am an anti-jihadist and have been shining a light on (rather than "making light of", like you!) and I don't do it in stealth. My name's out there. It's probably on the books in Khartoum and C.A.I.R… 'bout yours?

    • mlcblog

      how about we cooperate with and support each other instead?

      • Faith

        I agree, mlcblog. Even support the incomplete but heroic efforts of George Clooney!

  • trickyblain

    Good article about good people taking positve action to reduce suffering. Faith, please let us know if we can help in any way…

    • Faith

      Yes! Thank you trickyblain. First and foremost is to push the U.S. to deliver food across border to the Nuba Mountains and not give a rip about what Khartoum thinks. There are action items related to that on the Act for Sudan website. Also get your members of Congress to become co-sponsors of the Sudan bills in the House and Senate. And if they are already, please thank them! Positive reinforcement is always nice. Finally, we have to push back in the war of ideas. The marginalized people of Sudan could achieve regime change, if the Obama Administration and the U.N. don't stop them. The SPLA-North just won another ground battle in the Nuba Mountains and took back from the Islamists the town of Telodi. If we won't help them, at least could we please not stand in their way? Push Congress on this front, too.

      • trickyblain

        Great tips — especially the positive reinforcement. I know Pols loved to be loved. I'm seeing the following in the house, nothing in Senate so far for this session:

        – H.R. 4169 (In Committee) 31 cosponsors — needs more Republican support
        – H.R. 895 (In Committee) 34 cosponsors — solidly bipartisan

        Any others?


        • Faith

          Senate one is just a resolution at present, but will probably grow some teeth like the House Bill. Glad to hear that H.R. 4169 is up to 31! Yesterday it was only at 22, so that is 9 in one day. But you are right, there needs to be more Republican support. Some of the good reliable Republicans who always endorse Sudan stuff aren't on there yet, but I am sure we can count on them. e. g. Chris Smith, Spencer Bachus, etc. Those who have a focus on terrorism ought to understand that supporting the good guys in Sudan is supporting anti-terrorism efforts, as well.

  • Ghostwriter

    If anything,George Clooney deserves praise for getting attention for South Sudan.

  • DogsHateRomney

    Southern Sudan's mostly Christian population has been under genocidal attack from the Islamist-dominated North.

    Even WikiLeaks has shed light on the Obama administration's diplomatic activities on this crisis.

    Bashir will not be the first murderer and thief to benefit by promising peace to Obama's Administration. (Obama's Revisionist History … and his new anti-Israel Iranian/Turkish alliance )

    Yasser Arafat, an internationally wanted terrorist for decades who ordered the killing of American diplomats and who incredibly stashed away more than $10 billion (part of which was international aid money to the Palestinian refugees), received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 just because he promised "peace."

    The State Department Secretaries; Dean Acheson, – Cyrus Vance, – Warren Christopher, – James Baker, – Ed Muskie, – Lawrence Eagleburger, – Madeleine Half-bright, – – Sneaky-Leaky, Back-Stabbing LIAR Powell, – Replacement Theologist, Condoleezza .Rice, – and Marxist Ms. Clinton…are not exactly trust worthy persons.

    • BS77

      When Arafat got the Nobel Prize, we all knew it was as worthless as dog squeeze…..

  • jewdog

    The Obama administration is not interested in helping because the good guys are non-Muslims pitted against Muslims, thereby alienating the various Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers in the government, as well as the OPEC interests that have so much leverage on our policy. Far better to focus on stuff like the Martin-Zimmerman case to get a cheap boost from the feel-good crowd..

  • DogsHateRomney

    George Clooney, – Hollywood activist, tabloid heartthrob/Savior of the South Sudan.

    George Clooney is better known for dating women 20-years his junior, like Elisabetta Canalis, with "pert bottoms" (U.K. Mail) . who prance about, cavorting before paparazi at exotic beach locations like Mexico, or, Clooney's Lake Como Italian villa – while displaying their ass-ets to the world.

    One week ago:
    Dinner With Obama: First Class for One Percenters, Coach for the 'Average Folks'

    Read more:

    "Clooney and Canalis seemed to be a love match because they were both pet friendly and loved drinking wine together." So deep.

    Why elevate this man?

    • Never Surrender

      Are you jealous?

  • Mel M`

    Another excellent article Faith. You are someone who definitely "gets its" when it comes to Sudan. And kudos to George and the others who were arrested protesting the genocidal regime of Sudan. But lets not hold our breaths thinking that the Obama administration is going to do actually do anything to stop the carnage. The regime of Omar Bashir is backed by the Muslim Brotherhood. And this, despite the millions of innocent people killed by this regime, is the main reason that Obama will not act. Its one thing to take out Mubarak, Ghadaffi, and other dictators who may have killed thousands. But if you have the MB on your side, you apparently have impunity!

  • Faith

    Thanks, Mel M! I take that as a high compliment coming from a long-time warrior like you. You are right about O. We have to just keep pushing, pushing. There are still, thank G-D, good guys and women in the Congress, and if we can keep the Nuba alive until November…Also, if some really dastardly evidence came out with concrete proof of Khartoum's global terrorism it might force the hand of O and the State Dept. Just praying. G-D will not abandon His people in Sudan (even when it looks like it).

  • DogsHateRomney


    The Light Shines on tabloid Leftist Clooney's date's "pert" – Cannes can, – In the Sudan……….wink.

  • thesilentwoman

    While I applaude Mr. Clooney's commitment to Sudan, Mr. Clooney clouds his humanitarian goals when he hosts benefit parties for President Obama—the same President who suggested that the people of Southern Sudan "negotiate" with al Bashir; the same President who will not welcome His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, through the front door of the White House because he values Chinese money more than he values the freedom of the people of Tibet; the same President who cannot risk alienating a big block of his Democratic voting base to "evolve" his position on gay marriage. If Mr. Clooney is researching his role in the Coen Brother's film "Piss on My Leg and Tell Me That It's Raining: My Experience With The Obama Presidency", he's doing a great job—if he's truly seeking to help these people, form a broad coalition of humanitarian orgs and become a "BIG VISIBLE VOICE" for humanitarian aid, relief and solutions to this issue, instead of becoming a fund-raising shill for Mr. Obama.