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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: Australia ShirlGirl's Avatar
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    Hollywood movie star George Clooney has been arrested at Sudan's embassy in Washington at a protest about the escalating emergency in Sudan.

    The Sudanese government has been blocking humanitarian aid from reaching a volatile border region where hundreds of thousands of people are short of food.

    Clooney, his father Nick and other activists ignored three police warnings to leave the embassy grounds and were led away in plastic handcuffs to a waiting van by uniformed members of the Secret Service, a journalist covering the demonstration said.

    More here:

    George Clooney arrested at Sudan protest

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    When you think of the things he could protest about, concerning his nation's past and ongoing involvement wuth Afghanistan and Iraq, that might actually influence American public opinion and affect the junketing politicians he likes to schmooze with, it makes me wonder why he chooses Sudan to make a fuss about.

    I suppose Sudan makes for better Box Office, and as someone once remarked to me, in a free society you can choose your own outrage and leave others to enjoy their own.


  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: Europe Heinrich's Avatar
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    The Sudanese government after crimes against their own people in Darfur and getting away with it, is now doing the same thing in the mountains to the south. I watched George Clooney live when he addressed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week and, being such a celebrity, he was able to highlight what is happening there among some very powerful politicians who are acutely aware of public opinion, especially in this election year. This was followed up with attending a dinner at the White House where David Cameron was present and then an arrest for exercising his First Amendment right to free speech the next day. Given the self-centered materialism of so many celebrities in the movie and music industry, my hat is off the George.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: United States theuofc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinrich View Post
    The Sudanese government after crimes against their own people in Darfur and getting away with it, is now doing the same thing in the mountains to the south. I watched George Clooney live when he addressed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week and, being such a celebrity, he was able to highlight what is happening there among some very powerful politicians who are acutely aware of public opinion, especially in this election year. This was followed up with attending a dinner at the White House where David Cameron was present and then an arrest for exercising his First Amendment right to free speech the next day. Given the self-centered materialism of so many celebrities in the movie and music industry, my hat is off the George.
    I agree, Heinrich. With George Clooney's looks and a gazillion groupies, he could coast and never get involved politically or in any humanitarian activities. A lot of stars do this with no pangs of conscience. They take the money and run and in their free time sit in front of a mirror, obsessively work out in gyms, or do/wear anything for attention. Not Clooney. And he takes chances looking like crap in film roles to grow as an actor, ditto as a director.

    You go, George.

    Barbara

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    I agree with both of you that Gorgeous George probably means well but I do think activism should stay at home. I keep reading of the dire conditions in places like Detroit and many other post-American-industrial-empire cities and the way corporate America has sent all the *peoples* wealth to China, but there's nary a criticism that I can see of what's going on in his own backyard - something that the politicians he craves the attention of, can easily do something about. Sudan was probably a mess since before General Gordon got there, and certainly has been since, and one good reason why it will stay that way is the constant interfering influences of liberal do-gooders who live in Beverly Hills palaces. And why is he not criticising his own country? Because that is not good box office.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/ro...-stop-clooney/

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: United States theuofc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moor Larkin View Post
    I agree with both of you that Gorgeous George probably means well but I do think activism should stay at home. I keep reading of the dire conditions in places like Detroit and many other post-American-industrial-empire cities and the way corporate America has sent all the *peoples* wealth to China, but there's nary a criticism that I can see of what's going on in his own backyard - something that the politicians he craves the attention of, can easily do something about. Sudan was probably a mess since before General Gordon got there, and certainly has been since, and one good reason why it will stay that way is the constant interfering influences of liberal do-gooders who live in Beverly Hills palaces. And why is he not criticising his own country? Because that is not good box office.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/ro...-stop-clooney/
    That could be right. I'll have to look more closely at the activities he's been involved in but which get less press than the Sudan, e.g. he's made ads campaigning for the Humane Society. I believe his dad's involvement in the Sudan or area has also been a motivation in George's awareness of the problems and in going there with his dad.

    I'm puzzled why 'liberal do-gooders who live in Beverly Hills palaces" will make the Sudan stay a "mess"? Surely highlighting the crimes of Gordon is one step to change. As a footnote, if the reference is to GC, his Beverly Hills house is large but it's not a 'palace' in the usual sense of the word.
    The architecture of his Lake Como place comes closer to the meaning.

    Barbara

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moor Larkin View Post
    I agree with both of you that Gorgeous George probably means well but I do think activism should stay at home. I keep reading of the dire conditions in places like Detroit and many other post-American-industrial-empire cities and the way corporate America has sent all the *peoples* wealth to China, but there's nary a criticism that I can see of what's going on in his own backyard - something that the politicians he craves the attention of, can easily do something about. Sudan was probably a mess since before General Gordon got there, and certainly has been since, and one good reason why it will stay that way is the constant interfering influences of liberal do-gooders who live in Beverly Hills palaces. And why is he not criticising his own country? Because that is not good box office.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/ro...-stop-clooney/
    I've never understood that kind of reasoning, I find it bleakly cynical and depressing! i.e. why protest about "B" when surely "A" is much more important and relevant and if you are not choosing to protest about "A" then don't bother protesting at all because its pointless.
    Clooney has used his celebrity to bring attention to all sorts of issues and has been prepared to stand up for his beliefs and get arrested, he's not doing it to promote his latest film or increase his profile, for that reason I find it difficult to level criticism at him, in fact I'll take my hat off to him.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by christoph404 View Post
    I've never understood that kind of reasoning, I find it bleakly cynical and depressing! i.e. why protest about "B" when surely "A" is much more important and relevant and if you are not choosing to protest about "A" then don't bother protesting at all because its pointless.
    Clooney has used his celebrity to bring attention to all sorts of issues and has been prepared to stand up for his beliefs and get arrested, he's not doing it to promote his latest film or increase his profile, for that reason I find it difficult to level criticism at him, in fact I'll take my hat off to him.
    I'm not criticising him, I'm just not lauding him for doing a protest about a place that he can know next to nothing about and influence even less. If he gives $10,000,000 to the UN or something I would laud him for that. Maybe he has. This "getting arrested for publicity* is just a ridiculous pose and massaging his own ego. It achieves nothing. Like the warlords in Sudan give a rats ass about some movie star, and American politicians have no intention of doing anything about Sudan and couldn't even if they wanted to. They're too busy ruminating about whether to drag us into some crazy war with Iran, now we've just finished with Iraq.

    There is an unholy "Humanitarian" alliance between left and right just now, who think that we in the west have some liberal-democratic perfection to impose on cultures that are entirely illiberal and wilfully undemocratic. I heard Senator Mccain blithering on the other day about how if America cannot "take out a despot in Syria", what's all the Military Spending for? There's only a paper-thin difference bewteen idealistic nutcases to the left of us and idealistic nutcases to the right of us, and I think those of us who have to charge down the middle and die like the brave 600 should just tell them all to back off and mind their own business first.


  9. #9
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Okay, but how can you know that he knows next to nothing about the Sudan? Isn't that a very dismissive assumption? Thats what Im not getting, why should he be dismissed as a dumb movie star who is out to serve his own ego over this? I just don't agree at all with that view, it seems very negative just for the sake of it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by christoph404 View Post
    why should he be dismissed as a dumb movie star who is out to serve his own ego over this? I just don't agree at all with that view, it seems very negative just for the sake of it.
    I suppose his street-cred might have seemed greater if he hadn't been schmoozing Mrs.Obama the night before. You can't be an insider one day and an outsider the next, without appearing to be either dumb or hypocritical. I don't think he's a hypocrite.


  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: Europe Heinrich's Avatar
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    It is only realistic to accept that the American/English alliance which changed regimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya recently, could do something about the Sudanese leadership which is wanted for crimes against humanity. Maybe the table talk in the White House included mention of Sudan to the powerful western leaders.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moor Larkin View Post
    I suppose his street-cred might have seemed greater if he hadn't been schmoozing Mrs.Obama the night before. You can't be an insider one day and an outsider the next, without appearing to be either dumb or hypocritical. I don't think he's a hypocrite.
    You didn't answer my question though, how do you know Clooney knows next to nothing about the place? How many times do you think Clooney has visited the Sudan and the remote Nuba Mountain region? I actually think you know absolutely zero about Clooney's involvement in this, that is evident from all the daft assumptions you have made so far.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinrich View Post
    It is only realistic to accept that the American/English alliance which changed regimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya recently, could do something about the Sudanese leadership which is wanted for crimes against humanity. Maybe the table talk in the White House included mention of Sudan to the powerful western leaders.
    Clooney had testified earlier in the week to a packed reception of the Senate Foreign Relations Commitee, he also provided photo evidence of atrocities obtained during his own visits to the Sudan.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Why George Clooney got himself arrested

    Editor's note: John Avlon is a CNN contributor and senior political columnist for Newsweek and The Daily Beast. He is co-editor of the book "Deadline Artists: America's Greatest Newspaper Columns."

    (CNN) -- The slaughter of civilians in Sudan goes on with too little attention.

    But when George Clooney gets involved, the world takes notice. And that's at least a step in the right direction.

    Clooney brought the media spotlight with him Friday, as he protested outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington and was arrested alongside his father, longtime newsman Nick Clooney.

    On Wednesday morning there were crowds lining the hallways of the Russell Senate Building, a reception more suited to a movie star than a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    Inside the packed wood-paneled committee room, Clooney testified about his most recent trip into the remote Nuba Mountain region of Sudan with Enough Project co-founder John Prendergast, where they found themselves in a rocket attack and brought home harrowing footage of children freshly mangled by rockets and bombs pushed out of airplanes.

    The president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted as a war criminal by the International Criminal Court, and defense minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein are repeating a cycle of ethnic cleansing they infamously perpetrated in Darfur a half-decade ago. "They are proving themselves to be the greatest war criminals of this century by far," Clooney testified.

    Why George Clooney got himself arrested

    In a perfect world, the sight of a government slaughtering its own people would provoke enough outrage and attention. But this is not a perfect world, and when atrocities occur outside camera range it is difficult to get the world to care about the slaughter of their fellow human beings.

    That's why Clooney envisioned the Satellite Sentinel Project, administered by the DigitalGlobe and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, which uses satellite surveillance technology to pierce the isolation of the Islamist nation. This allows anyone with a computer to be a witness to troop movements, while providing evidence of attacks and burnt villages. "We are the anti-genocide paparazzi," Clooney is fond of saying. The effect is a powerful role reversal -- dictators can no longer hide in the dark.

    It is difficult to keep people in the Western world engaged in the ongoing slaughters in Syria and the civil war in Somalia, let alone those in the isolated mountain region of Sudan. But state-sponsored murderers bet on our short attention span and lack of follow-through. They know the cameras will eventually go away and then they believe they can go back to killing with impunity.

    That's why Clooney's sustained focus on Sudan -- and his strategic self-deployment at carefully timed intervals -- has helped keep both light and heat on the Islamist government in Khartoum. When I traveled to what is now the Republic of Southern Sudan with Clooney a year ago for Newsweek to witness a successful independence referendum, Valentino Achak Deng -- the former "lost boy" known to Americans as the subject of a "fictionalized memoir" by Dave Eggers, "What Is the What"-- told me that Clooney's involvement in Sudan "saved millions of lives" by drawing the world's attention to the region and reducing the chance of another north-south civil war.Clooney is the first to admit that his star power can only help illuminate the problem; it takes policy makers and political leaders to make direct changes that can save lives by stopping a conflict from escalating. What's equally clear is that Clooney can serve as a "gateway drug" into these issues, provoking more people to care and inspiring a new generation to help stop suffering half a world away.

    Clooney is trying to use his celebrity to get us to care about something more important than celebrity, an important wake-up call.

    But then it is up to each of us to take the next step and focus on humanitarian crises where they occur. We must add our own small wattage to the spotlight of international attention and assure the victims of state-sponsored violence that they will not be ignored, while sending murderous dictators the message that they have no place to hide in the 21st century.
    Good for George
    Last edited by CaptainWaggett; 19-03-12 at 10:41 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by christoph404 View Post
    Clooney had testified earlier in the week to a packed reception of the Senate Foreign Relations Commitee, he also provided photo evidence of atrocities obtained during his own visits to the Sudan.
    It was clear that Clooney had done all this, which is what makes his grand-standing with his dad on the steps of an Embassy all the more ridiculous and merely celebrity-obsessive behaviour.

    So far as Heinrich's assertion that the all-powerful Western nations have changed anything for the better, I can only smile my cynical smile and wonder how killing hundreds of thousands of civilians equates with something good. A liberal view of reality I suppose and a perfect example of the unholy alliance of right and left just now, because the western nations did not justify changing regimes with any notion of interest in the good of those people, all the warfare is taking place in order to "protect the west" somehow against Al Quaida/Taliban/ Pakistan/Iran/Korea [delete as appropriate]... This phenomenon of Liberal Imperialism is the worst kind of mission creep; and at least when the US was supplying rifles to the IRA it wasn't official US government policy.


  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: Europe Heinrich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moor Larkin View Post
    ... So far as Heinrich's assertion that the all-powerful Western nations have changed anything for the better ...
    But I never claimed the Anglo-American wars have done any good, ML, only that this alliance is not reticent about rushing to interfere in foreign countries of late. Don't forget, unlike Darfur, there is oil in South Sudan so there is reason to be optimistic about some action by the "West" which could prevent an ethnic cleansing.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinrich View Post
    But I never claimed the Anglo-American wars have done any good, ML, only that this alliance is not reticent about rushing to interfere in foreign countries of late. Don't forget, unlike Darfur, there is oil in South Sudan so there is reason to be optimistic about some action by the "West" which could prevent an ethnic cleansing.
    Is it oil clinging to the soles of the boots in Afghanistan then? I must re-check my Geology for Dummies book.

    What would be helpful and genuinely meaningful would be if Clooney used to his star power tro arrange a visit for a chat with Omar al-Bashir, and see exactly what makes this 'baddie' tick and conduct some dialogue.... Jaw Jaw Jaw, as that wizened old Tory Churchill once called it.

    What George finds out might also help everyone in the arrogant liberal west to realise that there are two sides to every argument. It seemed to be a good idea to fashionista liberals when that other George - Galloway - went for nice natters with Saddam.


  18. #18
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Thanks for that link Captain Wagget, very informative and sensible article..and well balanced too.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    I suppose one thing we might all agree on is "wouldn't it be nice if it made any difference". The recent liberal orgasms over KONY going viral made this 2009 article I came across, all the more relevant to the pointlessness of all of this sort of popular posing, but I suppose a good rub-down with the Articles of Human Rights and Justice always makes some of us feel fresh and clean.

    But opponents argue that peace often requires amnesty more than it does justice and point to how the 2005 indictment of Ugandan militia leader Joseph Kony led him to spurn peace talks. That militia, the Lord's Resistance Army, has now expanded into new areas, committing atrocities and killing hundreds in Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.
    http://www.time.com/time/world/artic...883048,00.html


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