Thursday, February 12, 2009

Arrest warrant issued, it seems

President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan has finally earned his day of infamy: the first head of state to be indicted for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity by a legitimate International Criminal Court. Diplomats and international human rights lawyers are scratching their heads over how al-Bashir can be arrested. But there is no great mystery to the arrest denouement. The top figures in Sudan’s regime are human beings. Picture them sitting in a room together. Al-Bashir starts talking. What are they all thinking? “This man is going to jail for a long time. I am sitting her free. Why am I listening to him?” And al-Bashir knows they are thinking this. And they know he knows they are thinking this. So either he starts acting crazy, or one of them removes him from power. Acting crazy against his inner circle is really al-Bashir’s only hope. He has to start playing a random game of, “It’s Monday, you didn’t demonstrate loyalty to me in a way that will incriminate you, so you’re out.” The fear by his accomplices that they will be killed before al-Bashir gets arrested is the only shield he has.

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