George W. Bush will complain about anyone talking to Iran or Hamas or Hezbollah, but he's negotiated with North Korea, Libya, and Sudan. He's hosted China. In other words, he's a double-standard serpent with a forked tongue. What's new?
By Michael Abramowitz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 27, 2008; A01
Sometime in the next few weeks, a special envoy of President Bush plans to meet with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, whose government sheltered Osama bin Laden and pursued a scorched-earth policy in southern Sudan that resulted in more than 2 million deaths.
Bashir's government has been accused by Bush of participating in a "genocide" in Darfur, the only U.S. government use of such a strong accusation. Yet Richard S. Williamson's visit to Khartoum follows a series of direct contacts by senior Bush administration officials with the Sudanese president, including Secretaries of State Colin L. Powell and Condoleezza Rice, Rice's deputies, and several special presidential envoys.
Bush has spoken to or exchanged letters with Bashir on numerous occasions, underscoring how White House policy has departed from his pointed public call to shun talks with radical tyrants and dictators. His appointees have also pursued aggressive diplomacy with North Korea and Libya and have even conducted limited business with Cuba, Syria and Iran.
In the case of Sudan, experts are deeply divided about how much the administration's engagement has improved conditions in a country beset for decades by mass violence and famine. It has at least provoked charges of hypocrisy, because Bush recently accused those advocating talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other radical figures of "appeasement."
"The Bush administration has spent years not only talking at very senior levels with one of the world's worst tyrants, who is responsible for genocide....
One of the Bush administration's first initiatives was to try to broker a peace to the two-decade-long civil war between north and south, partly at the behest of evangelicals in the United States, who complained to the president about the persecution of Christians in southern Sudan.
In 2004, Powell described the events in Darfur as "genocide."