Sunday, August 2, 2009

All the elements will be taken care of?

People say strange things when they have been awake for a long time, or if they have decided beforehand to say weird things because being clear has no upside... a TNR blogger offered the following gem from the Gration testimony... I hope that a transcript becomes accessible soon... I was camping in the Sierras with family and friends for a few days and so missed the whole thing.
Nevertheless, at today's hearings, a committee member asked Gration how he defines genocide. Visibly irritated, Gration responded, "Well, the president has referred to the genocide that is taking place in Darfur--you can read that how you need to read it." Then, when asked if he had at least spoken to Rice about the disagreement, Gration ventured into strange territory: "This is a definitional issue and," he said, "I will tell you in public that Susan Rice is one of my dear friends. She is one of the few women in the world that I say, ‘I love you' to. We have a comprehensive and integrated approach to insure that all elements will be taken care of." I guess that settles it.
I'm trying to imagine what the downside (or lack of upside) is to not getting irritated and instead giving a thoughtful answer about the complexity of the genocide determination, while digressing into the ICC rejection of the charge while upholding the crimes against humanity and war crimes charges, and the arrest warrants for al-Bashir, Ahmed Haroun and Ali Kushayb, and the problem of vocabulary in characterizing a series of events that took place in 2003-05 that resulted today in 2.5 million displaced persons, with little progress being made towards resolving the conflict in a way favorable to those displaced persons, and ending with a somber note about the limits of U.S. power in Darfur and the need to work multilaterally. But maybe Gration had given that answer already a dozen times, and finally got pissed off. Have to wait to see the transcript. But I do love the "all the elements will be taken care of" part... almost reads like Sudanese Arabic translated into English. A nice flourish!

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