Sudan & Obama’s Legacy of Death

Faith J. H. McDonnell directs the Institute on Religion and Democracy’s Religious Liberty Program and Church Alliance for a New Sudan and is the author of Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda’s Children (Chosen Books, 2007).


Darfuri-ChildrenMohamed Suleiman, an America citizen since 1992, is a Zaghawa from the village of Um barrow in the North Darfur region of Sudan. Um barrow, like so many other places in Darfur, was burned down and destroyed by the Sudanese government-backed Janjaweed, an Arab-Islamist militia. A refugee camp near Um barrow became the home to as many as 13,000 people displaced by the Janjaweed and the Sudan Armed Forces. This is just one of many refugee camps, housing millions of displaced Darfurians. Many members of Suleiman’s family have been killed in the Darfur genocide, and his mother and siblings still live in Darfur.

Recently, Suleiman sent an open letter to President Barack Obama. The letter launched an August campaign by Act for Sudan, a coalition of individuals and organizations from across the political spectrum working to stop the genocide and mass atrocities against Sudan’s marginalized and persecuted populations by the government of ICC-indicted war criminal, Omar al Bashir. Conservatives and counter-jihadists, as we know, continually condemn and warn of Obama’s penchant for supporting Islamists and not true freedom-loving resistance movements. But some members of Act for Sudan have willingly put aside their own political preferences in this public call out to President Obama for letting down the Sudanese people, demonstrating that they care more about stopping genocide than they care about their political preferences.

The Act for Sudan Obama’s Stained Legacy campaign reminds President Obama of the promises he made about Sudan, quoting his own words back at him. “While campaigning for the presidency,” says Act for Sudan, “Mr. Obama said that genocide is ‘a stain on our souls’ and promised that ‘as a president of the United States I don’t intend to abandon people or turn a blind eye to slaughter.’” Act for Sudan expresses disappointment with Obama’s failure to follow through on those promises, his failure to act on ongoing multiple genocides perpetrated by Sudan’s jihadists against the black, African Sudanese in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile regions. Today, “more than four years into his presidency, President Obama continues to oversee a disastrous approach to the ongoing genocide in Sudan,” says Act for Sudan. “This approach has failed to prevent the tragic loss of countless lives and the mass displacement and starvation of countless more innocent people. Unless President Obama ACTS NOW to protect innocent civilians from their genocidal government, he will ultimately be remembered for his stained legacy on genocide,” Act for Sudan warns.

Suleiman’s letter will lead the way in the campaign for a series of letters from Sudanese representing the regions of Sudan that are – and have been for many years – under attack by the Islamist regime in Khartoum. The attacks are part of a repeatedly-declared genocidal jihad that first targeted1 South Sudan and the Nuba Mountains/Blue Nile regions, resulting in the death of some 2.5 million people. The purpose of the jihad is, and always has been, to establish an Arab Islamic hegemony by eradicating both the Sudanese Christians and the indigenous black, African Muslims.

In his letter to Obama, Suleiman writes of the great anticipation that Obama’s words once created in the suffering, beleaguered Darfuri:

When you were a senator and a candidate for president, you spoke often and strongly about America’s responsibility to end genocide in Darfur. Upon your first election in 2008, as the president of the United States of America, many Darfuris named their newly born boys after you – Obama. Darfur people, in their tradition, name their children after the dearest people in their lives or a person that made a significant change in their lives for the better. They were very optimistic that you were the one who would stop the first genocide in the new millennium, the genocide in Darfur.

Then Suleiman describes the current feeling of abandonment and betrayal of the Darfurians:

Today, in the summer of 2013, millions of Darfuris live, or are more accurately simply existing, in wartime conditions you really cannot imagine. They feel abandoned by you and America. One expressed the desperation of the men, women and children there saying, “We have no choice other than to fight to the death.”

Now, in the second term and fifth year of your presidency, the elders, grandparents, and mothers, in the nights of Darfur, pass on the horrible stories of the genocide to the younger generations. They pass on the fact that the world chose to accept and tolerate those who have committed the crime of genocide. They tell how an American president who pledged to end the Darfur genocide instead stood by when President al-Bashir effectively ended humanitarian aid in Darfur, when civilians were killed by government forces and militias, and when the government re-initiated ethnic cleansing in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile. They cannot understand that you, a two-term president, may leave office with a legacy of failing to stop the Darfur genocide and failing to bring any of the responsible criminals to justice.

Obama’s failure to make good on the promises he made while campaigning for the presidency – and was condemning President George W. Bush for “reckless and cynical” negotiating with Khartoum – has deeply disappointed his supporters who also care about Sudan. The President’s lack of action on Sudan became more and more unfathomable to many as the “Arab Spring” took place. Sudan activists observed the Obama Administration taking action, when it came to Egypt and Libya, and not taking action as a literal slaughter took place in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State. Not only not taking action, but censuring the civilians’ only defenders – the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/North.

While the Obama Administration ensured the downfall of Mubarak and Gadhafi, Sudanese in America warned that the United States was helping to replace “tyrants with terrorists” to “make those countries more like Sudan.” Although some American Sudan activists focus only on the egregious human rights violations perpetrated by Khartoum, the Sudanese connects the dots. Sudan’s Islamist regime, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, and the Libyan jihadists are one in the same.

The Obama Administration seems to believe that, at least for its staunch supporters, impassioned speeches about Sudan and the creation of South Sudan (for which all the groundwork was laid during the Bush Administration) is enough to ensure a shining legacy for President Obama. But, writes Suleiman:

If you do not adopt and promptly implement, together with U.S. allies, a revised comprehensive and coordinated policy toward Sudan, your legacy will forever be tied to failing to stop the genocide in Darfur.

Twenty years from the day you leave office, any time new mass graves are uncovered in a remote village in Darfur, your legacy will turn, in the books of history, into a legacy of death.

Fifty years from now, it will be incomprehensible to those who will learn the history of genocides that you sat as an American president for two terms, and allowed al-Bashir, the mastermind and executioner of the Darfur genocide, the first sitting head of state indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, to continue to commit these terrible crimes. History will remember that you failed to stop the killing, displacement, rapes and other destructive consequences called genocide by the U.S. Congress and by you.

For many people, Obama’s legacy is already a legacy of death – whether from economic policies that are dividing and bankrupting the nation; violations of conscience and religious freedom; ever-increasing restrictions on free speech; continuing erosion of the military; foreign policies that have resulted in Benghazi and Morsi, and opened the hell-gates a little wider en route to the establishment of a global caliphate; or the actual intention behind all of those policies – the fundamental transformation of America. To those people, if they consider it at all, Obama’s failure to keep his promises on Sudan is part of the same pattern. To those who believed in Obama, it may be a game-changer. But to many of the people of Darfur, Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile State, it is a death sentence.

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  • Plummer’s Crack Joe
  • Tan

    Act of Sudan needs to come to their senses that Obama is not going to save the Sudanese Christians. He’s proven time again and again that he’s no friend of the Christians, both inside and outside of the US. In fact, if I didn’t know better I would probably say he wants the Sudanese Christians to perish. Maybe I’m wrong, but he’s been treating Christians like their expendable lately. Act of Sudan needs to also realize that they are most likely on their own. With this administration in power, don’t count on them to save Christians or Jews. He’s gone beyond the political correctness line. He has clearly shown that he will not have any sympathy for the Christians in the Middle East or anywhere else. He is only sympathetic to radical Muslims. So he is clearly in the pro-jihad camp.

    • Aizino Smith

      Many in Darfur are Muslim, maybe the majority. But they are not orthodox enough or even if they are, well they are black. So, so much for Islam and equality. Apologists will say that the conflict in Darfur is between pastoralists and farmers. Seeing as the pastoralists and farmers are all Muslims, the government cannot figure that out in this day and age? Sounds more like an excuse to get Islam off the hook.

      The new nation of South Sudan is Christian and traditional African religion. not that Christianity is not traditional as it has been in Africa in ancient Meroe and Axum longer than Islam has been around. but you are right, Obama does not care one whit about Sudanese Christians. At the very least Obama is once again voting present so as to not take a stand and suffer the sling and arrows from Muslims.

      The Muslims in Khartoum are dark skinned.they are as dark as the people in Darfur. However the people in Khartoum have Arab blood as part of their genetic heritage. So while they are all Muslims, AMERICAN BLACK MUSLIMS MIGHT WANT TO TAKE NOTE OF THAT FACT AND SEE HOWE ISLAM REALLY IS!

      See the difference.They are both muslim. they are both dark skinned, yet the more African people get the sh tty end of the stick under Islam.

      • Lightbringer

        Black Africans have been abused by Islam since the latter’s invention. Nothing to see here, folks — just move along.

  • Cheryl Grimwood

    Lesson to be learned – Don’t treat community organizers like the messiah and you won’t be let down when he does nothing to help anyone but himself. How about name your kid after someone who has been great already not just rumors of possibly being great. Same goes for Nobel peace prize giving them to people who may or may not accomplish anything of value is putting the horse before the cart.

    • lyndaaquarius

      you just nailed it. I feel very sorry for all the poor Obama voters who got hoodwinked and bamboozled big time. Surely ,by now many of them are feeling so foolish. They must cringe at the silliness of the Arab spring and Obama’s destructive role in all of it.

      • Lightbringer

        But it’s not his fault! It’s Bush’s fault, not to mention those intransigent Israelis building apartment buildings on land that everyone “knows” they stole from the poor, oppressed “Palestinians”.

  • Sue Sponte

    Yeah but, isn’t this simply a continuation of George W. Bush’s policy? “liberal” Nick Kristof and others have been sounding the alarm on this for years.

    • A Z

      If you are George W Bush and you see how the liberals (challenged people to be sure) had a field day beating up America over Somalia would you want to put boots on the ground.

      Political capital is like money thus the name “capital”. it was spent on the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the liberals made sure that Bush and the republicans paid a high price. So how would there be any money/capital left over?

      The Lion of the Senate, the reprobate Ted Kennedy, went to the mat every time on Iraq (DEC 1991 and DEC 2003). Yes the I called him the reprobate. He is just like Mayor Bob Filner except that he comes from a richer family. That matters you know. Senators Dodd and Kennedy know how to make a Senatorial Sandwich. You take 2 Democrat senators, it a woman in between and squish her. tee hee, tee hee, tee hee hee hee!

      Getting back to Somalia, after Somalia why would anyone want to go anywhere. It would just be another set up by the left to damn us if we went in and damn if we did not go in. Let’s review Somalia

      -Drought leads to famine
      -UN and NGOs provide food relief.
      -The Habr Gidr clan that took the lead in over throwing said Barre decided that if the other clans did not accept the leadership they were going to hold the food hostage as leverage.
      -So the UN authorizes the U.S. Pakistanis and other to send soldiers there to ensure the food aid is not stolen.
      -The Habr Gidr clan kills UN soldiers until eventually we have Black Hawk down.
      - Now the left has an orgasm over what went wrong, what the Rules of Engagement (ROE) should be, etc , etc, ad naseum.

      If you were a politician or a member of the military why would you want to do Somalia redux, Darfur?

      Anyone that wants to do Somalia redux ought have their head checked and have it done especially to see if they harbor ill will. If I had my way I’s send them to Coventry, if you get my drift.

      Let’s talk about Iraq. I don’t know about you but I have a healthy fear and respect for the PLO, which has several factions. Up until 1979.1981 they thought it was okay to hijack planes and/or kill Americans at will. That is until Entebbe and Mogadishu (German special forces). Well 2 of the PLO factions where headquartered in Iraq.They were Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas. So it is a real hateful thin that the the Reprobate of the Senate, Ted Kennedy would go to the mat and make America pay a high price for the Iraq war. A lot of political capital was spent. then more capital continued to be spent thx to Code Stink, Cindy Sheehan, the nightly news (& their body counts which disappeared after Obama ‘s election) and all the other pond scum of the left.

      So I ask where is the desire and the political capital to go into Somalia Redux, Darfur?

      Would Clooney make sure that the ROE did not needlessly get our soldiers killed? Would Cloonacy ensure that George bush was not raked over the coals for going in? Clooney a Hollywood type?

    • Aizino Smith

      Bush was going to intervene because George Clooney pointed out genocide?

      Considering that Darfur would have been Somalia Redux, why would the U.S. want to do that? Why would the United States military want to want to do that?

      In the poem the “Charge of the Light Brigade”, their is the refrain “ours is to do and to die not to reason why” That is a poem about the Crimean War and a freaking command SNAFU. The current thinking of the common solider is that they understand that their life is at risk and the commander in Chief or someone in the chain of command could order them into a combat that will end their life. But their thought is use out lives if you have to but DON’T WASTE them. Well the the Rules of engagement by those safely ensconced behind armed guards and who live in gated communities are pure crap.

      The shallow thinker of us remember the refrain form the the poem, but there of those of use who can think logically and have a memory longer than the average Americans which is to say longer than a goldfish’s memory.

      Why would re do Somalia Redux?

      Why would Bush do Darfur? Did he have any political capital to spend?
      He spent his political capital in Iraq and the left made sure he spent it and had to keep spending it. The left (the nightly news) and others let a daily body count going until Obama got elected.

  • cjkcjk

    Sudan will be all cool with Mr. O. as long as they don’t threaten to enforce any anti-Sodomite laws

  • lyndaaquarius

    Will George Clooney[a very committed advocate for the people of Darfur] continue to host fund raisers for Obama?

  • herb benty

    These poor oppressed folks don’t realise Obama’s words years ago were just fluff meant to get him elected at any cost. Any help Obama offers is only intended to further Obama’s goals, not suffering Christians- ditto: Egypt.

  • Veracious_one

    History will remember that you failed to stop the killing,
    displacement, rapes and other destructive consequences called genocide
    by the U.S. Congress and by you.

    History will show Islam was the root of the problem….

  • mimi

    arab people are evil

  • Donald J DaCosta

    It is tempting to blame Obama for what no other President in recent memory has done, tragic and inhumane as that is, but this, unfortunately, is business as
    usual. While Obama’s questionable history, his family background and alliances, his unquestionable affinity for the Muslim Brotherhood and his penchant for making bold, aggressive but insincere statements, red lines that exist only in his youthful, intellectual idealism, render this critique more damning than just typical western disregard for populations that cannot summon the outrage, the will and the wherewithal to protect themselves, it has one other significant and detrimental effect. The reinforcement of the notion that the west is guilty and must atone for that guilt to assuage the terrorist forces aligned against it. Guilt is one of the major reasons for the west’s inability to detect and define Orthodox Islamic doctrine as the true nature of the threats non-Muslims face around the world on a daily basis. A fact supported by literally mountains of evidence that goes completely unnoticed as the west wrings its hands in abject supplication while making seemingly sincere assertions that Islam, the religion of peace, has absolutely nothing to do with terrorism. Then it is asserted that it is egregious crimes, such as this, committed by us that is at the root of all the violence and anger and that it is we who must plead for forgiveness for past sins such as this. These atrocities will continue as long as this “guilt” remains the paradigm in the west and prevents a rational assessment of a threat that continues to exist and flourish while its critics are defamed, marginalized and labeled “Islamophobes.”