George Clooney’s Sudan movie

Now that George Clooney got arrested (and got out on a nominal $100 fine) along with a few other campaigners while ‘raising awareness’ on war crimes in Sudan, people who should know better (like NAACP president, Ben Jealous) are drawing comparisons to those who protested outside the Apartheid South Africa’s embassies and consulates. Jealous even added that this was a message to the Sudanese president, who will undoubtedly be moved by the thought that the “United States Congress is watching.” Not surprising Sudan’s Embassy took little time in mocking Clooney. They released a statement calling Clooney’s arrest a “show that could possibly earn him yet another Golden Globe.”

Clooney’s father, journalist Nick Clooney, told reporters afterwards that the Sudanese “drama” has “scarred” both him and his son for many years now, while Clooney himself spoke charmingly about how the “rainy season” is about to be on its way, preventing food aid from getting to needy villagers who were getting bombed by their own maniacal government. Clooney’s been getting lots of attention this week. Every media outlet now reports on Sudan. Even PBS, not normally known for asking celebrities about foreign policy were mesmerized by Clooney.

Here’s a PBS presenter telling Clooney (sitting next to Enough Project’s John Prendergast) “you’ve been consumed by this issue.” Clooney then talks again about the rainy season and how the Nuba people live in villages and “are the oldest society on earth if you’re reading the Bible”:

Enough Project also shot a gruesome video with Clooney in the Nuba mountains. No one can argue that an aggressor regime (as Sudan does) should stop “using food as a weapon; stop slaughtering innocent men, women and children; and stop spitting in the face of the world community,” as Democratic Representative from Massachusettes, Jim McGovern said.

The renewed interest in Africa and its war criminals, including the now famous Joseph Kony, brings to mind that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has a disproportionate number of Africans on its hit list. (This week the ICC arrived at its first verdict in years–as Angelina Jolie watched in court–in 10 years when it sentenced a Congolese war criminal for conscripting children. But as This is Africa asked recently, “‘Hold on. Is it really possible that only Africans commit crimes against humanity?’ That seems unlikely, so why then is the ICC focusing its efforts exclusively on Africa?” Or has the ICC become “a stick with which the west can continue to beat Africa and put it in its place,” with the aid of a host of celebrity drumbeaters, the latest of whom is Clooney? And why is there never any mention of America’s craven refusal to join the ICC?

As long as the famous and the powerful in the U.S. (who don’t have to fear being arrested on nominal charges) are taking such a public stance against African dictators, let’s make sure that war criminals in the U.S. itself–those who unleashed destruction on innocents away from the concerned eyes of Congress and Hollywood–are similarly hounded. But perhaps a call for fair prosecution of all human rights abusers wouldn’t help garner the same adoration from CNN reporters.

3 thoughts on “George Clooney’s Sudan movie

  1. what angelina was in court? I hate the ICC for the exact same reasons you stated. It does seem like a stick to beat africans with like the world bank and imf.

    I don’t trust these celebs tho. Didn’t Madonna displace many Malawians in the name of opening a school. Our continent has become fashionable to hollywood. Such a shame.

  2. It’s interesting, how George Clooney, a professed hollywood playboy, and the Enought Project have such a handle on these complex issues in the Congo, and the Sudan, and with the Nuba people.
    This is yet another phenomenon that needs to be dissected – these Western “Aid” projects that go into these areas on the continent and proclaim to know the answers. They enlist hollywood playboys and become so huge and internationally known. Obviously, there is a whole lot of something going on under the surface, and using the beneficent arrogance of a George Clooney is they way these orgs and ngos blow up and become rich.

    I would love to see results that these orgs have had in negotiating anything lost lasting for the people they claim to care so much for. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that’s not their true aim.

  3. Stop bashing the ICC or the fragile attempt to create a viable international humanitarian law and stop making up silly and paranoid conspiracy theories about it. Crimes against Humanity are of course not only committed by Africans and nobody says that. It’s just that the ICC was quite recently founded and up until now was not operational – the warcrimes, crimes against humanity and so on were before taken on in ad hoc tribunals like the “International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia” or the “Khmer Rouge Tribunal” and if you go further back to the Nuremberg Trials in Germany.
    Now if you want to point out the hypocrisy and contradiction that is the USA helping bringing war-criminals to justice while not being part of the ICC and exempting itself from its jurisdiction, that is fine and definitely necessary. You might also become aware who in the US is in favour of international institutionalism and who not.
    But make up your mind: do you think genocide, war-crimes and crimes against humanity should be a punishable offences and should there be international cooperation and institutions to enforce it? Than you should be in favour of the ICC and their improvised attempts to create justice. If not than be aware that the alternative is even less perfect than this one and much rather favours the unilateralist or “realist” approaches of the former Bush administration and others.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s