Gideon's Blog

In direct contravention of my wife's explicit instructions, herewith I inaugurate my first blog. Long may it prosper.

For some reason, I think I have something to say to you. You think you have something to say to me? Email me at: gideonsblogger -at- yahoo -dot- com

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Thursday, August 29, 2002
 
There's been a lot of interesting stuff about Sudan from a guest-blogger on Joe Katzman's Winds of Change. I have to first of all give the guy credit for going to Sudan; Sudan is not exactly Martha's Vinyard. He comes back with extremely positive impressions of the Sudanese people, and very optimistic about the prospects for peace in that country. I'm still skeptical, but it's a perspective I hadn't heard before.

Sudan is a weird case in that the Islamic revolution there was imposed from the top down, by a military clique who took power in a coup d'etat. That's very different from Iran, where the revolution was popular, or Afghanistan, where the Islamists took power in after winning (mostly) a civil war, or Saudi Arabia, a religiously severe traditional monarchy that has been increasingly radicalized by the clergy on which it depends for legitimacy. It's probably most comparable to Pakistan in the Zia years. (Pakistan was founded on the notion of a secular Islamic identity, whatever that is, but under zia this took on an increasingly religious and Islamist cast, as the dictator threw his lot in with the Deobandi Islamists already popular in much of Pakistan and with the Saudi- and American-funded jihadists amassing to do battle with the Soviets in Afghanistan.) It is possible, therefore, that the regime itself could make a clean break with its prior ideology, and realign with the West. However, I don't see why this would necessarily bring peace to the South, which was brutalized by civil war from well before the advent of Islamist government in Sudan.