The Clooney Has Left the Building: Negotiating With Monsters
Just weeks ago, every major network was breathless for George Clooney and news from Sudan. The Clooney left the building and predictably, so have the dozens of cameras and breathless interns, who waited for a glimpse of or a glance from the actor and activist who took Washington, DC by storm. After a trip to Sudan and South Sudan, Clooney delivered impassioned testimony before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His firsthand account included a powerful video, where the suffering of the Nuban people was highlighted with graphic, inescapable clarity.
The Nuban people, of the Nuba Mountains, have been a self-sustaining society since Biblical times. Agricultural and pastoral by nature, they are now targets of Sudan President Omar al Bashir’s ethnic cleansing campaign. Like Darfur, the Nuba Mountains are ground zero for a genocide in the making. Bashir’s forces use rape, destruction of infrastructure, blockading food production and aid delivery in concert with aerial bombardments and shelling with Chinese made rockets. Across the Nuba Mountains, to South Kordofan, the Blue Nile and Abyei, suffering is choreographed by Bashir and his henchmen like Ahmed Haroun who shares Bashir’s distinction as an indicted war criminal.
Beyond the brief uptick in coverage that surrounded Clooney’s visit, the reality is this: he and his Satellite Sentinel project have done more than President Obama, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, acclaimed anti-genocide activist and NSC Multi-Lateral Affairs Director Samantha Power, and the entire Department of State combined.