The Sentry is a foundation started by George Clooney and John Pendergast, its mission is to end the conflict in Sudan, Africa’s newest country, plagued by persistent genocide. Its a noble effort, but one destined to fail.
The chief culprit is the role ethnicity plays in Islam, for the criminalization of identity is what drives this genocidal conflict.
Factions based primarily on caste, ethnicity and tribal allegiance violently compete for State power. Self interest as exploitation is the source of Sudanese genocide. Whoever runs the State enriches himself and his tribal affiliation through looting of national budgets, the exploitation of natural resources or simply the manipulation of state contracts.
South Sudan is marvelously rich, possessing a natural tributary, Khartum on the Nile is connectivity making this section of Africa’s Horn linked to the Indian Ocean. Sudan has traditionally been rich in oil and gold. However, like the looting of Nigeria’s Central Bank and other national institutions, the Sudanese fisc is empty. However, emptying this kleptocratic system will not end the genocide. This is what Sentry’s clowns don’t get.
Sudan embodies the worst of African Islam. The animus that Sentry should aim for is the following: it should seek to expose the ideological/ethnic currents of the conflict, for they are irreconcilable to the egalitarian claims of orthodox Islam. The regions history has long been a battlefield between competing national interests conceived by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Gulf Petromonarchies and Iran. The Persians are the latest newcomers to dominate Khartum and the political wiles moving northeast to the Red Sea/Sinai/Philadelphia corridor. Handling the geopolitical interests of competing nation states isn’t something Clooney as considered.
Instead, what Clooney and Pendergast have conceived is the sound and fury of international indignation in the hope of galvanizing public opinion to shut down regional warlords profit incentives. Without having an engaged American executive actively and openly pursuing policies to thwart Iranian, Egyptian, Sunni interests through the Treasury department, this initiative will fail.
The Sudanese deserve better, maybe they’ll get it. But for now, their sending a clown called Clooney.