Hillary Clinton was asked about the administration’s Sudan policy on Meet the Press. She prattled on as follows:
Well, I would say that, number one, I can’t take anything seriously that Bashir says. He is an indicted war criminal. The United States is very committed to seeing him brought to justice. …
But here’s what we’re trying to do. When we came into office, Bashir threw out the groups, the nongovernmental organizations, who were providing most of the aid in the camps in Darfur, which could have been a disastrous humanitarian crisis. We were able to get a lot of the help back in and we’re beginning to see some slight progress in Darfur. I don’t want to overstate it because it is still a deplorable situation. But we are working to try to get the people back to their homes, out of the camps.
At the same time, you had this election going on. It was, by any measure, a flawed election. There were many, many things wrong with it. But there hadn’t been an election in many years, and so part of our goal was to try to empower opposition parties, empower people to go out and vote. Thousands and thousands did. The result, I think, was pretty much foreordained that Bashir would come out the winner, and that’s unfortunate. We are turning all of our attention to trying to help the South and to mitigate against the attitudes of the North. I can’t sit here and say that we are satisfied, because I’m certainly not satisfied with where we are and what we’re doing, but it is an immensely complicated arena.
Now, the United States could back off and say we won’t deal with these people, we’re not going to have anything to do with them, Bashir is a war criminal. I don’t think that will improve the situation. So along with our partners — the UK, Norway, neighboring countries — we are trying to manage what is a very explosive problem.
Is there a policy in there somewhere? The election was a fraud, but we shouldn’t expect anything better. We’re not accomplishing anything, but if we stop “engaging,” the situation won’t improve, so we keep engaging the war criminal. There is no mystery as to why Hillary blathers on without actually answering whether it’s time to review our Sudan policy. The administration is reluctant to admit failure and lacks an alternative approach. Hillary would at least get points for honesty if she’d say that engagement has been a failure and we’ve given the war criminal cover by appointing a farcical special envoy. Come to think of it, the same would be true of much of the Obama foreign policy.