The deal is that the Bush administration might finally be doing something about genocide in Darfur. In response, the ambassador from Sudan gave a weird press conference worthy of Baghdad Bob.
Among the gems:
"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."
Ah. So what about the more than 400,000 dead? "See how many people are dying in Darfur: None," he said.
And the 2 million displaced? "I am not a statistician."
And then it got really strange. Apparently the Sudan exports 80% of the world's gum arabic, which is used as an emulsifier (I learned more about cola and pottery chemistry than I really wanted to know for this post. You're welcome). So the Ambassador intimated that it might shut off its supply to retaliate against sanctions:
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," Khartoum Karl warned anew, beckoning to the Coke bottle. "But I don't want to go that way."
As diplomatic threats go, that one gets high points for creativity: Try to stop the killings in Darfur, and we'll take away your Coca-Cola.
Additional gum arabic weirdness:
Used by bin Laden to finance terrorism?
Stoners use it for rolling paper
This woman uses it to paint bad historical art