Wild Card – Part XI: Southern Sudan as a precedent for Palestine

U.S. President Barack Obama announces intent to formally recognize Southern Sudan in July

The White House just released the following statement about recognizing Southern Sudan. The wording of this statement is very similar to what I imagine the future statement about recognizing Palestine this summer would  look like (with some minor changes, of course) if Obama plays the Wild Card.

Office of the Press Secretary

February 7, 2011

Statement by the President on the Intent to Recognize Southern Sudan

On behalf of the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Southern Sudan for a successful and inspiring referendum in which an overwhelmingly majority of voters chose independence. I am therefore pleased to announce the intention of the United States to formally recognize Southern Sudan as a sovereign, independent state in July 2011.

After decades of conflict, the images of millions of southern Sudanese voters deciding their own future was an inspiration to the world and another step forward in Africa’s long journey toward justice and democracy. Now, all parties have a responsibility to ensure that this historic moment of promise becomes a moment of lasting progress. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement must be fully implemented and outstanding disputes must be resolved peacefully. At the same time, there must be an end to attacks on civilians in Darfur and a definitive end to that conflict.

As I pledged in September when addressing Sudanese leaders, the United States will continue to support the aspirations of all Sudanese—north and south, east and west. We will work with the governments of Sudan and Southern Sudan to ensure a smooth and peaceful transition to independence. For those who meet all of their obligations, there is a path to greater prosperity and normal relations with the United States, including examining Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. And while the road ahead will be difficult, those who seek a future of dignity and peace can be assured that they will have a steady partner and friend in the United States.

Just to be clear, this post is by no means an attempt to compare between Omar Bashir’s Sudan and Binyamin Netanyahu’s Israel. The unilateral declaration of independence by the Palestinians is a whole different story than what’s going on in Sudan, of course. But I cant’ help but get that feeling that the summer of 2011 – whether more regimes fall and whether a new democracy in Egypt arises – is going to be a summer of statehood for more than one.

The Wild Card Campaign

Part I The Wild Card campaign starts with a bang through an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post
Part II Where French FM and President Abbas hint towards a future Palestinian state
Part III Egyptian FM joins the party
Part IV The NYTimes puts the Wild Card on the agenda
Part V The right wingers start to get nervous about unilateralism
Part VI The peace talks die, a call for Obama to think again about the Wild Card
Part VII EU sets the ground for recognition of Palestine
Part VIII AIPAC flexes its muscle – but who cares?
Part IX Obama’s Litmus test just around the corner
Part X Unilateralism is the oly way left