Al Gore has named Sen. Joe Lieberman to be his vice presidential
candidate. It is well known that Joe Lieberman is an honorable man. He
has joined Al Gore in an administration that pledged to be the most
ethical in history, the honorable administration run by William
Lieberman has earned his honor. For example, Lieberman has stood
against the slave trade and brutal war in Sudan. All honorable men
oppose slavery and war. On May 27, 1999, Sen. Lieberman signed on to
Senate Resolution 109 — Relating to the Activities of the National
Islamic Front Government in Sudan.
Resolution 109 “strongly condemns” the National Islamic Front
government in Sudan for its support for terrorism and its continued
human rights violations. Resolution 109 “strongly deplores the slave
raids in southern Sudan and calls on the National Islamic Front
government to end immediately the practice of slavery in Sudan.”
Approximately 1,900,000 people have died in Sudan over the past
decade due to war and war-related causes and famine. Millions more
people in Sudan have been displaced from their homes and separated from
their families, making this the deadliest war in the last decade in
terms of mortality rates. The brutal Sudanese government has
deliberately starved certain areas by denying them food aid and
encouraged the selling into slavery of captured citizens.
According to Senate Resolution 109, “the National Islamic Front
government is deliberately and systematically committing crimes against
humanity in southern Sudan and the Nuba Mountains. The National Islamic
Front government has perpetrated a prolonged campaign of human rights
abuses and discrimination throughout Sudan.”
When it comes to slavery in Sudan, Sen. Lieberman is among the most
honored of men. The honorable senator from North Carolina, Jesse Helms,
chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joins Lieberman.
Helms was recently moved to tears by the testimony of a group of
Colorado fifth graders trying to raise public awareness about the war in
In June, Barbara Vogel and her class from Highline Elementary School
in suburban Denver testified before the Senate to raise America’s
awareness about the conflict in the Sudan. The honored Highline
students have raised more than $50,000 to free thousands of slaves in
Sudan. Ms. Vogel noted that the current price of a human life in Sudan
is reported to be around $90, depending on the health and age of the
victim. Ms. Vogel also noted that UNICEF and the Clinton administration
have done nothing to assist their efforts.
The war in Sudan is often portrayed as “Muslim” against “Christian”
but the recent political moves by the National Islamic Front in Khartoum
have widened the combat. Unhappy with simply oppressing the Christian
and animist South, the Islamic Front is attempting to squash any Muslim
opposition in a series of brutal attacks against internal opponents.
Another offensive is expected shortly at the Muslim holy city of Hamesh
Koreb, close to the Red Sea city of Port Sudan.
The government in Khartoum is now faced with a two-front war against
both the Christian and Muslim population. A 2000 evaluation of Sudan by
Jane’s Defence noted that Khartoum is now backed by only a thin faction of Islamic groups, and likely to be toppled by the coalition of Muslim and Christian rebel groups.
The honorable Joe Lieberman knows this. According to Senate Resolution 109, “the vast majority of Muslims in Sudan do not prescribe to policies of National Islamic Front extremists, including the politicized practice of Islam, and moderate Muslims in Sudan have been specifically targeted by the National Islamic Front government.”
When Barbara Vogel and her class from Highline Elementary School tried to meet President Clinton, the honorable man from Arkansas declined. Instead of a meeting in the White House, the students received a mimeographed letter from Clinton and a picture of Buddy and Socks, the first family’s dog and cat.
In signing his name onto Resolution 109, Lieberman called upon the U.N. Security Council to condemn “slave raids and bring to justice those responsible for the crimes against humanity.” The honorable Sen. Joe Lieberman called upon President Clinton to report to Congress “regarding the efforts or plans of the President to promote the end of slavery in Sudan.”
Senate Resolution 109 also calls upon the President “to intensify and expand United States diplomatic and economic pressure on the National Islamic Front government in conjunction with and urging other countries to impose sanctions regimes on that government that are similar to sanction regime imposed on that government by the United States.”
Yet, the government in Khartoum is also backed by Beijing, a powerful and nuclear-armed ally. In 1995, China became an oil importer and the nation of over a billion is expected to consume vast quantities of black gold in the years to come. China’s No. 1 source of foreign oil is Sudan. China is helping the Islamic Front build an oil pipeline right through the rebel Christian and Muslim territories to Port Sudan. China currently supports the Islamic Front government with cold, hard cash and military equipment — including 34 brand new Shenyang jet fighters.
Sen. Lieberman knows all this and, as an honorable man, signed onto Resolution 109. Resolution 109 calls upon the U.N. Security Council to “implement the existing air embargo, and impose an arms embargo, on the National Islamic Front government.”
China, of course, is on the U.N. Security Council and is not likely to suspend a war that it is funding. Nor has the honorable administration of Al Gore and Bill Clinton been so swift when it comes to Sudan. Bill Clinton and Al Gore have drawn close ties with Beijing. The president and vice president are not likely to make any statement about China’s support of genocide and slavery in Sudan.
Bill Clinton and Al Gore ignored the repeated Sudanese air attacks on U.N. planes unloading food and medicine to unarmed civilians. Bill Clinton, and Al Gore, so quick to react to atrocities in Kosovo over thousands of displaced citizens, ignored the recent United Nations suspension of aid flights into Sudan. Bill Clinton and Al Gore have not called upon their friends in Beijing to cease military and financial support of the brutal Sudanese government.
We all know that honorable men oppose slavery and war. Of course, Joe Lieberman is an honorable man. In recent days, Lieberman has joined with the honored man from Tennessee, Vice President Al Gore, in a deafening silence on Sudan.