South Sudan could be a net food exporter, and Sarah Palin makes “blood libel” blunder

This afternoon, Reuters’ reported that the World Food Programme of the United Nations has hopes that South Sudan could become a net food exporter.

“WFP Sudan Regional Director Amer Daoudi said the U.N. agency was working with south Sudan, which is voting to become an independent nation in 2011, to build strategic grain reserves and a road network to link rural farmers to urban markets. ‘South Sudan has the potential to be not only self- sufficient but a major exporter of fresh produce,’ Daoudi told reporters in Khartoum.”

While I want to be hopeful that South Sudan will face a food rich future, I can’t help but reserve my judgment about the potential for their agriculture sector until after there has been a peaceful referendum and a stable government put in place. But with the south’s success being of high importance for the United States, I hope that the large aid inflows into the would-be state will be put to good use – i.e. the road networks and rural-urban linkages Director Daoudi is talking about.

Meanwhile, not to hark on the media twice in two days, but most of the mainstream media has focused on the recent shooting of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the Palin connection. From the View to the evening news, all eyes have been on the victims and Palin’s reaction to allegations that her rhetoric and crosshairs map had something to do with the shooting. This is, of course, typical, ridiculous American politics. But Palin’s speech today was more than the typical grammatical circus; it could be taken as even more offensive than her map.

Ruth Marcus wrote a scathing opinion piece in the Washington Post, giving Palin a history lesson in why the use of “blood libel” is not only inappropriate but offensive.


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