For decades, Sudan has not only been a safe haven for terrorists and an ally of such unsavory regimes as Iran and Qatar, it has also suffered from poverty, a bloody civil war, and a despotic Islamist regime. Its recent decision to make peace with Israel follows on the heels of—and flows from—the end of this long period of misrule. Jonathan Schanzer comments:
For the United States, the story of Sudan . . . is another diplomatic victory for the Trump administration and its “outside in” approach to negotiating peace with peripheral Arab states while de-prioritizing the demands of the intransigent Palestinian leadership. But there is more to celebrate. This was a victory for American foreign policy. Under American sanctions, Sudan was an international pariah. It was blocked from the U.S.-led banking system and shunned by the West for nearly 30 years. With the limited remaining resources, Omar al-Bashir’s government fed itself first, while casting the population into poverty.
Having reached their limit, the Sudanese people took matters into their own hands and won back their country. In other words, the Sudanese people earned their [removal from the state sponsors of terrorism list], and the United States did the right thing by removing the sanctions. In so doing, the United States sent an important message to the people of other countries ruled by war criminals and terrorists: you will be rewarded for winning your freedom.
Equally important was the lesson learned at home. Democrats and Republicans, while differing on the margins, did not accommodate Sudan until it truly turned a corner. There were no grand bargains involving billions of dollars in sanctions relief. There was no appeasement. We upheld our principles and won. And we did so without firing a shot.
Here’s looking at you, Iran, Venezuela and North Korea.