By Adam Brickley
January 9, 2010 (SSNA) — I will be honest in saying that I have procrastinated in writing this column for several days. It is not hard to write about how detestable I find Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir – quite the opposite. However, it does seem so much has been written about Bashir’s atrocities that a further rehash of his crimes is rather redundant. So, “write an introduction to Omar al-Bashir” was not an easy assignment.
Not only that, but I see no reason to further pad the man’s ego with yet another somber column about how he represents one of the greatest evils in recent history. We in the West may think that it somehow hurts Bashir to chronicle his ugliness – but in all honesty he probably enjoys our anger at him.
So instead, I feel a need to put things in perspective – and say that Omar al-Bashir is a joke. Yes, he has killed a lot of people – and no one should minimize their deaths – but so have any number of tin-pot dictators. Uganda’s Idi Amin, for instance, was particularly nasty – but he has long since been cast into the ash-heap of history. Ethiopia’s Mengitsu Haile Miriam has fared even worse as a historical figure – as I doubt anyone outside of Africa even remembers his name. The same goes for the Congolese butcher Mobutu Sese Soko – we remember the names of the heroes, but the villains have to be pretty nasty to become real historical icons.
As a result of the Sudanese Civil War – almost two million people died in South Sudan. This may make Bashir a butcher – but let’s face it, he still lost. He fought for almost 20 years and never defeated the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). Nice work crushing that rebellion, Omar!
Darfur is a bit of a different story – as several hundred thousand people have died in a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing. However – I really fail to see how Bashir has done anything in Darfur other than stir up a hornet’s nest and shred whatever credibility he had left.
Bashir has killed untold numbers of people in two separate wars, and he likes to parade around as if he has accomplished something. However, despite his repeated assertions that he has subdued the West and secured his country, both the South Sudan and Darfur ventures seem to have blown up in his face.
Ultimately, while this guy would like us to believe that he’s built Sudan with his own two hands – really he’s nothing more than a tin-pot scumbag being propped up by oil dollars from China and other Asian countries. As much as Bashir wants people to think he’s the big man on the continent – he’s really just an oil profiteer who gets away with murder (literally) by selling his black gold to people who anyone willing to ignore the fact that the Sudan’s second-largest industry seems to be the production of human corpses.
Like Amin, Mengitsu, and Mobutu – Bashir is a legend in his own mind. He wants us all to believe that he is some great historical figure who mercilessly butchered his opponents and thumbed his nose at the West – and like every other nut-job tyrant, he is no such thing. Omar al-Bashir is a petty, hateful, money-grubbing, power-drunk thug who will ultimately register as no more than a blemish on Sudanese history. In fact, many North Sudanese will probably remember him as a man who lost a war and then lost the Southern half of the country.
Let me be clear – Omar al-Bashir is a dangerous man – and many of this site’s contributors have experienced his wrath fist hand. Even if he is merely just a petty thug – he’s a petty thug with a lot of guns and the enough insanity to use them.
But ultimately, we need to see this guy for what he is – a maniac who will ultimately be discarded by historians like yesterdays lunch. Bashir has built nothing, accomplished nothing, and amounts to nothing. If he manages to escape assassination and dies of natural causes – he will ultimately be remembered as the guy who was outsmarted and bamboozled by both John Garang and Salva Kiir (who, by contrast, could go down as the fathers of a free South Sudan). While he seems intent on going down in a monstrous blaze of genocidal glory – ultimately he is a failure.
Adam Brickley is a blogger and public relations professional based in Washington, DC. He is best known as the proprietor of the blog “Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President” (palinforvp.blogspot.com), which was widely credited as a factor in Gov. Palin’s Vice-Presidential nomination. He has appeared on Fox News, CNN, the BBC, and Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.” In addition to his work with the South Sudan News Agency, Brickley is currently a Contributing Editor at Race42012.com and a blog contributor for Conseratives4Palin.com and The Weekly Standard.