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A crisis that has been months, indeed years in the making has come to a head with the decision by the sovereign nation of the Republic of South Sudan to shut down all Southern oil production in the face of continuing extortion, theft, and misrepresentation of oil production and oil revenues by the Arab minority regime in Khartoum. Predictably, the international response takes the form of urgent pleas for Khartoum and Juba to "compromise." But this urgency should have been evident months ago, certainly when Khartoum first cleaved to a preposterous transport fee of $32 per barrel of crude oil (subsequently raised to $36 per barrel). This is not a negotiating starting point; indeed, it is the opposite of negotiation: with such a demand Khartoum is creating such a vast gulf between a reasonable starting point and what might actually be negotiated as to make those negotiations impossible.