On New Years Day, President Bush signed The Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act (SADA) into law, paving the way for mutual funds and private pension fund managers to divest from Sudan-related investments. The bill also allows states to legally block debt financing for companies that do business in Sudan. It also requires companies seeking federal contracts to certify that they are not doing business in Sudan. Unfortunately, the President also simultaneously released a "signing statement", which, according to the New York Times, allows the president to override state and local divestment decisions if they conflict with federal foreign policy goals.
So, from a president who has let down the activist community on most issues since his inauguration day, a New Year's gift has fallen into our collective laps, albeit one tainted by Bush's cynical "reservations" about a bill that could curtail the United States' ability to capitalize on the oil under the sands of Darfur. Still, the passage of SADA is worthy of a celebratory moment colored by a very guarded optimism.