George Clooney’s Admirable Sudan Stand

Monday, 19 Mar 2012 11:38 AM

By James Hirsen

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George Clooney has taken on the role of real-life human rights activist.

In the process, he has gotten himself arrested and has even spent some time in jail.

Clooney, several congressional members, and a group of additional activists recently gathered to protest the actions of the government of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. The actor and his fellow protesters were arrested outside Sudan’s embassy in Washington, D.C.

George Clooney’s Sudan cause is just. The Darfur activist has gotten himself arrested.
George Clooney is arrested at the Sudanese embassy.
(AP Photo)
A picture of a handcuffed Clooney has been widely circulated. Prior to his arrest, he had recorded interviews with Fox and NBC.

“I can actually have an opinion and it may not fit what the U.N. wants and it may not fit what other people want,” Clooney told NBC. “And so I think it's a lot easier than running for office. I don't have any interest in that.”

It is a worthy cause for which the Oscar winner has engaged in an act of planned civil disobedience, one that transcends conventional political labels.

He had made a recent trip to Sudan’s Nuba Mountains, and based on what he saw there he decided to use his celebrity to bring attention to a potentially colossal human rights crisis, which may still occur if the trend in the conflict-torn region continues.

It has been quite a few years that Clooney has been trying to bring attention to the plight of the people of the Darfur region.

In 2006 he spoke at a rally in Washington, D.C., and made a TV special called “A Journey to Darfur” to bring to the forefront the nightmare that Darfur refugees have lived through.

In 2007 he wrote an open letter in which he pleaded for the European Union to take “decisive action” in the region, since Sudan had ignored U.N. resolutions.

Clooney was an executive producer and narrator of the a documentary titled “Sand and Sorrow,” and he appeared in another documentary called “Darfur Now.”

In 2008 Clooney spoke to the U.N. Security Council to urge that a solution to the Darfur conflict be found. He went to China and Egypt as well to lobby the governments of those countries to pressure the Sudan regime to end its human rights violations.

In 2011 Clooney co-wrote a Washington Post Op-Ed titled “Dancing with a dictator in Sudan” in which he encouraged diplomatic isolation of the Sudan regime and freezing of targeted accounts and transactions involving oil wealth diverted by senior officials.

As Clooney has pointed out, the Sudanese government attempts to quell potential rebellions by murdering entire populations of civilians.

Following a 20-year civil war between Sudan and the southern portion of the country, a new nation was born in June 2011, South Sudan.

The Nuba Mountains are located in the border region between South Sudan and Sudan. The people who reside there supported the South during the civil war in that country.

Clooney spoke about the fact that the Sudanese government, via some officials who have been indicted for war crimes, are targeting civilians to in order to get at the militias. They did the same in Darfur using similar tactics such as intentionally attempting to starve civilians while bombing them indiscriminately.

The Sudanese government blocked food aid to hasten the death of civilians in Darfur. Now the regime is engaging in consistent insidious behavior, preventing humanitarian organizations from bringing food to the Nuba Mountain region, which has placed at risk of starvation about 200,000 people on the Sudanese side of the border.

Clooney deserves a great deal of credit for his committment to the imperiled people of the Nuba Mountain region in hopes that the conscience of the West might be stirred and a massive human tragedy might be averted.

James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax.TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.









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