David Quarter davidquarter at sympatico.ca
Mon Aug 30 00:20:50 MDT 2004

  Why do you say "David Quarter wrote:" ? As you can see (?) the 
subject heading says:  "FW" . In  the actual message, at the very 
top, I also wrote: "from Jim Yarker". For the record, I'm not Jim 
Yarker. And below the commentary on Sudan is another person's 


Louis Proyect wrote:

> David Quarter wrote:
> > FACT: America has actively funded a terrorist rebel militia in the
> > South, known as the "Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA)," to fight
> > against the Sudanese government and spread disenchantment in the south
> > against the government in the north. 
> I see. Before the USA stepped in to "spread disenchantment in the 
> south," everything was hunky-dory. This sort of thing is an 
> embarrassment to the radical movement.
> After independence in 1956, Khartoum's government tended to reflect the 
> strong Arab nationalist dynamic that was at work throughout North Africa 
> and the Middle East. When mixed with a "modernizing" sensibility of 
> intellectuals and technocrats of a leftwing or CP background in the 
> government, the net result was a mixture of paternalism and progressive 
> attitudes directed toward the sub-Saharan sections of the country. 
> Instead of sending Christian missionaries into the south as the British 
> had done, they sent in Islamic preachers, opened Koranic schools and 
> made Arabic mandatory. Such national and religious chauvinism led to the 
> first revolt, which was led by the Anyanya, a guerrilla group who took 
> their name from snake venom obtained by grinding up cobra heads.
> If you want to get a different take on how Muslims fucked over Animist 
> peoples, see "Ceddo" by Ousmene Sembene, the great Senegalese director.
> In "Ceddo", the Animist-worshipping serfs of a small village in 19th 
> century Senegal are miserably oppressed by organized religion--mainly 
> Islam--and by their feudal overlords. Although the structures are much 
> more modest than those found in any feudal society (Islamic services are 
> held on the open ground bounded by pebbles), the bonds enforced by 
> custom are the same. The ceddo, or commoners, must pay tribute to their 
> King in the form of firewood bundles. An Islamic caste also takes 
> tribute in the form of slaves, who are exchanged for guns or cloth in a 
> general store run by a white man. To round out the microcosm of feudal 
> society, there is a single white Catholic priest who is barely tolerated 
> by the Moslems.
> This mixture of ethnic, class and religious oppression *predates* the 
> CIA and Western interference. Remnants of Africa's past are *reinforced* 
> by imperialism, but the ruling classes in Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria and 
> elsewhere have refused to attack the material foundations of privilege. 
> If Marxism cannot put a distance between itself and this kind of rotten 
> social system, it has nothing to say to the African people.

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