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Arts and Culture

Mr. Clooney Goes to Washington ... for Darfur

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Posted on Feb 24, 2009
Clooney
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Bye, George: Clooney holds a brief chat with the press as he exits the White House after meeting with Obama and Biden on Monday night.

George Clooney made his admiration for Barack Obama apparent long before he was elected president, so now that Obama’s officially installed at the White House, Clooney has come a’knockin’—but this wasn’t a celebrity play date. Instead, the actor was there to talk to Obama and Vice President Joe Biden about what he thinks needs to happen in Darfur.

The Christian Science Monitor:

After touring Darfur refugee camps in eastern Chad last week, Hollywood heartthrob and two-time “sexiest man alive” George Clooney met separately with both President Obama and Vice President Biden on Monday night.

Mr. Clooney says he urged the two to seize the opportunity for Darfur peace that he says could arise with the International Criminal Court’s decision next week on whether to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on war crimes charges.

Clooney then told reporters that Mr. Obama would appoint [a] high-level, full-time envoy to Darfur.

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Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, March 4, 2009 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

Darfur News:

The International Criminal Court said there was insufficient evidence to support charges of genocide in a war in which up to 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million have fled their homes.

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Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, March 3, 2009 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

The “Save Darfur”  and “Dream for Darfur” coalitions, by the way, has been outed for having loads of notorious associations.  The are also very fond of using actors as front-people. Here one of them, Mia Farrow, makes an incredible move:

From Michael Barker’s Zionists for Human Rights in Sudan (but please don’t mention Palestine):

“Furthermore, until recently, Erik Prince, the founder and CEO of the notorious private military contractor Blackwater USA, serves on the board of Christian Freedom International. This link is intriguing, because in June 2008, the Financial Times (UK) reported that Mia Farrow, a representative for the human rights group Dream for Darfur, had “asked Blackwater, the US private security company active in Iraq, for help in Darfur after becoming frustrated by the stalled deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force.”

http://www.swans.com/library/art14/barker04.html

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By Virginia777, March 3, 2009 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

George Clooney is a puppet of the NED-backed, so-called “human rights” groups.

He and his pal, Nicholas Kristof, are on an orchestrated, propaganda campaign in Darfur.

Nicholas Kristof needs to be fired from the New York Times, and George Clooney needs to go back to his Island.

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By truedigger3, February 26, 2009 at 4:46 am Link to this comment

All the “troubles” started in Darfur when oil was
discovered!!
Does this sound familiar? Does it ring a bell??!!
If everyone, including clooney, left Darfur alone,
then peace will be back immediately.

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By tres, February 25, 2009 at 11:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What a loser.

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By wildflower, February 25, 2009 at 12:37 am Link to this comment

Oops! My comment below was in reference to CJ’s post.

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By wildflower, February 25, 2009 at 12:17 am Link to this comment

While I agree most civil servants do a fine job, and work under challenging circumstances, I don’t agree that someone like Clooney can’t be helpful. I noted he was traveling with Kristof who has really worked hard in bringing public attention on genocide in Darfur. Clooney is obviously trying to do support this effort.

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CJ's avatar

By CJ, February 24, 2009 at 9:59 pm Link to this comment

Coining my favorite Yiddish expression: “Oy vey”! Clooney is free as anyone to issue forth his moral outrage, but that’s no reason for Obama to meet with Clooney.

Just guessing, but probably the case that experts at State Department already have a plan as to how to end conflict if the U.S. desires to do so. Further guessing, Clooney has not passed strict examination for career at State Department. Notoriously difficult examination after years of education in international relations and then concerning a particular region. The top ten percent or so of those who undergo examination are granted jobs at the State Department. Not so ironically, the one person who never undergoes examination is Secretary, who’s always (often know-nothing) political appointee.

As one who often disparages government here, I never mean those who constitute civil service. Civil servants who’ve earned their way mostly do a fine a job under abject political circumstances. (Bush blamed CIA civil servants for failure in connection with WMD in Iraq. Bush lied, not CIA civil servants who knew very well that Hussein had no WMD. They told the President as much, but then Cheney went to Langley—several times.)

And so, Clooney is not necessary what with civil servants who know a whole lot more about Darfur than Clooney ever will.

For Obama to grant Clooney a meeting on the topic is embarrassing—for himself and for Clooney, not for civil servants at the State Department. They are the ones Obama should be, and hopefully is, consulting as to reality on the ground.

Again, fine for Clooney to express his outrage along with rest of us, but not fine for Obama to grant him any kind of audience concerning any international-relations issue. Or any domestic issue for that matter.

By such a meeting, Clooney gets in the way of possible progress. The issue becomes about him instead of about issue at hand.

Re Darfur, what is required, as in the case of so-called “Palestinian Question,” is political will, which is far beyond George Clooney or any other movie/rock star, or any other kind of entertainer/celebrity.

Make a movie, George, since that would be your profession, in at least two ways. Maybe even moral obligation, though not really.

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