Under the Influence: Yes, Diplomacy Can Save Darfur

Under the Influence: Yes, Diplomacy Can Save Darfur

First there was Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Then there was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran. And now there is Omar al-Bashir in Sudan.

In many ways, this is no surprise. President Barack Obama pledged during his campaign that he would, unlike his predecessor, engage in talks with even the country's most ominous adversaries. In April at the Summit of the Americas, when the president ran into Chavez, the moment made for a remarkably smiley photo opportunity. No such meeting has occurred with the Iranian president, but intense negotiations have resulted in a possible breakthrough in the standoff over Tehran's nuclear program. So far for the president, dealing with tyrants has resulted in a net gain.

But Bashir? The 65-year-old despot who rules Sudan is arguably even further beyond the pale than the rest. Upon being indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in July 2008, he promptly expelled some 13 relief agencies from the country, and then went dancing. Literally. The Bush administration accused him publicly of genocide -- as did the ICC, among other things. And with the possible exception of the humanitarian and war-torn disaster that is the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the last five years in Sudan have been the bloodiest and most cold-blooded in all of Africa.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review