The Sudan Now! Coalition is back with yet another innovative ad campaign. You may recall that back in August the coalition of Sudan activist groups took out full page ads in Martha’s Vinyard’s two newspapers during the Obamas’ summer vacation. Then, in November, they launched an ad campaign on Facebook targeting members of the “Executive Office of the President Staff” and the “Obama for America” user groups.
With a National Security Council “Deputies Meeting” on Sudan scheduled this week, the coalition is undertaking yet another targeted campaign. Tomorrow, the group (which includes The Enough Project, Genocide Intervention Network, Humanity United, iACT, Investors Against Genocide) will take out ads in the Washington Post and Politico that cite individual cabinet deputies(<—-) by name.
Deputies are the number two officials behind the cabinet secretaries. They meet regularly at the National Security Council to hash out the details of a policy so that by the time it gets kicked up to their bosses there is already broad concensus between the agencies. In other words, it is at the deputies level where many of the most important policy decisions are made. Of course, outside D.C. wonk circles, these folks are not exactly household names and these kinds of meetings are rarely an occasion for fanfare. I can’t imagine, say, deputy Secretary of Defense Michele Flournoy or Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg have ever found themselves in the public spotlight like this. And this, of course, is the brilliance of the ad. This seems to be to be a great way to get your message noticed by the small number of individuals who actually set policy.Here’s the text of one of the ads. The Enough Project has more.
Erica Barks-Ruggles, Tom Donilan, Jim Steinberg, Stuart Levy, Michele Flournoy, when the National Security Council Deputies Committee meet this week to review progress of the Obama Administration’s Sudan policy, you may hear that the war in Darfur is over, that new agreements with Khartoum are moving peace forward, and that upcoming national elections are reason enough for hope. But wishful thinking does not alter the reality on the ground.
The conflict in Darfur cannot be over while women in camps face an ongoing threat of rape. New agreements mean little if Sudan’s citizens are without basic freedoms and levels of violence are rising in the South. And there is no reason to put faith in an election that will likely be stolen from the people.A failure to secure peace in Sudan could lead to one the deadliest wars in African history. We urge you to act now in leading multilateral efforts aimed holding those who promote violence in Sudan accountable. We also urge you to immediately deploy full-time U.S. diplomatic teams to the region in order to accelerate peace efforts.