Sudan is not happy about Bush’s new economic sanctions. In fact, their ambassador held a weird news conference that Dana Milbank of the Washington Post described as bearing “no relation to reality,” in which the ambassador threatened to personally cut off the supply of gum arabic, an important ingredient in soft drinks. John Ukec Lueth Ukec, Sudan’s Ambassador, said:
“The United States is the only country saying that what is happening in Darfur is a genocide,” Ukec shouted, gesticulating wildly and perspiring from his bald crown. “I think this is a pretext.”
“I want you to know that the gum arabic which runs all the soft drinks all over the world, including the United States, mainly 80 percent is imported from my country,” the ambassador said after raising a bottle of Coca-Cola.
A reporter asked if Sudan was threatening to “stop the export of gum arabic and bring down the Western world.”
“I can stop that gum arabic and all of us will have lost this,” [Ukec] warned anew, beckoning to the Coke bottle. “But I don’t want to go that way.”
We suspect Mr. Ukec overestimates his negotiating position rather severely. —MEGHANN MARCO
Denying Genocide in Darfur — and Americans Their Coca-Cola [Washington Post]