Thursday, May 31, 2007

I Need To Drink Less Soda Anyway

The United States has placed sanctions against the Sudanese government while the mass killings continue on in the state of Darfur. Dana Milbank reports on the Sudanese response to these sanctions. It is honestly one of the stranger responses that I have ever read about. It is strongly disconnected from reality, hilariously off-base, and he makes one of the strangest threats of all time: to cut off exports of gum arabic.

Gum arabic is the emulsifier used in making soft drinks. 80% of this comes from the country of Sudan. So, the minister was suggesting that if the sanctions are not lifted against the Sudan, the country would respond by working to cripple the global soda industry and blame its downfall on the actions of the United States. That's really fucking bold. Almost as bold as the best diplomatic policy of all time: brinkmanship. Days like this make me want to go take the foreign service exam so I could get into diplomacy with the State Dept.