I know there is a large contingent within the political right that has problems with disinvestments or boycotts; as you can notice from the title, I am not among them. For me, a free market in a genuine republic means the people are free to choose what they can do with their money unless that includes subsidizing or funding said republic’s enemies. This especially holds true when we’re talking about “public funds,” i.e., money controlled by the Commonwealth for various reasons. As for the enemy label, I would humbly submit that the terrorist regime of Sudan qualifies.
The Sudan Disinvestment Act focuses on the Darfur genocide, the elimination of which is a noble goal. However, there is another, far more compelling reason to get the Commonwealth out of the business of subsidizing the Sudan – its continuing support for Wahhabist and Khomeinist terrorism.
According to Dutch analyst Ronald Sandee (who spoke to an American Enterprise Institute conference on the subject), Sudan “has again assumed a role as a training center for al Qaeda” – and this is after 9/11/01. Sandee also has this vitally important, yet hardly know, fact about the the Sudanese regime (emphasis added):
During the early 1990s, Sudan also facilitated discussions between Bin Laden, (Sudanese radical Islamist leader Hasan al-)Turabi, and representatives of Iran. Once Turabi defined the theological compromise between Sunni Qutubism and Shia Khomeiniism, the road was open for close and genuine cooperation between Iran and al Qaeda. Turabi and Sheikh Muhammad Said Nou’mani, an adviser to the Iranian minister of culture, “preacher of Khomeiniism in the Horn of Africa,” went to Bin Laden together in Khartoum and concluded that such an alliance was possible. Both had a clear interest in putting their hostility toward the United States and Israel before intra-Islamic quarrels.
Thus, not only was the regime Osama bin Laden’s host for half a decade (1991-1996) and Iran’s lead ally in East Africa; it was also the regime that brought al Qaeda and Iran together. That alone is enough reason to support disinvestment – Darfur or no Darfur. The Virginia Senate will take up this matter this morning. I urge every Senator (especially my own – Ryan McDougle, that’s you), to vote for it.