Strong opinions, weakly held

Sudan threatens global cola supply

If only I were making this up (via FP Passport):

“I want you to know that the gum arabic which runs all the soft drinks all over the world, including the United States, mainly 80 percent is imported from my country,” the ambassador said after raising a bottle of Coca-Cola.

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.”

I know it’s lame to use the same excerpt as FP, but that really is the best bit.


  1. Why would he say that? Because by exempting gum arabic from the sanctions we told him that gum arabic was important to us:

    LA Times: Sudan’s government-dominated Gum Arabic will not be subjected to sanctions. The company is one of the world’s largest exporters of a sticky tree resin used in hundreds of consumer products, including soft drinks and makeup. It was exempted from previous U.S. sanctions after American manufacturers said they needed Gum Arabic to continue making their products.

    Why would we not sanction gum arabic? Bad for big business:

    LA Times:

    Bush aimed largely at small companies engaged in oil, minerals and agricultural business. Administration officials said putting sanctions on the larger firms would be “extreme” or “militant.”

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