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The Danish Stockholm Syndrome

On Wednesday, tens of thousands of enraged Sundanese demonstrated in the streets of Khartoum. You don't have to asked why. Yes, the cartoons. Again and yet again.

A quite detailed report by Mohamed Osman was carried in yesterday's Washington Post, and in some ways I have to confess this looks like comedy.

President Bashir told the crowd that, "Not a single Danish foot will from now on desecrate the land of Sudan." Now, I'm not aware that many Danes thought of Sudan as a destination resort. But some Scandinavians do have a yen to burn their sallow pale skins, which is why they travel to Eilat and now to the Emirates. But Sudan, really?

Danish exports to Sudan, Osman tells us, come to $23 million per annum, mostly cheese. This will not affect the Danish economy.

But what's particularly interesting is that Copenhagen's financial aid to Khartoum is among the former's largest contributions to poor countries. It plans an additional $100 million package of humanitarian and reconstruction help to its benighted enemy through 2009.

Alas, the Danes are masochists.