[Marxism] FW: Sudan Crisis: Two Relevant Views
joe_radical at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 13 11:26:25 MST 2004
Sudan Crisis: Two Relevant Views
December 11, 2004 -
Sudan Crisis: Two Views
An African View from Fubara David-West
The world's attention is once again focused on the troubled Darfur
region of Sudan, where a humanitarian disaster has been festering for
months, as Nigeria hosts another round of talks, in Abuja, the Nigerian
capital aimed at finding a viable solution to the crisis. The new talks
resume on December 10.
During the last round of negotiations in Abuja, which ended on
November 10, the best the parties to the talks could come up with was an
agreement on improving security in the region and allowing humanitarian
organizations to function more freely there. Six months before, in April, a
provisional ceasefire agreement was signed by the warring parties, but none
of those agreements have moved Sudan closer to peace.
Thus it is not expected that the new round of talks will dramatically
improve the situation in Darfur. Neither is there much hope, given the
history of this conflict and of the diplomatic response to it, that anything
more fundamental than an incremental release of tensions in Darfur will
emerge from the negotiations.
After tens of thousands have died, over a million people displaced
from their homes and elements of ethnic cleansing observed by the world
community, Africans must do more than engaging in the stately strides of
diplomatic incrementalism on the situation in Darfur.
In that regard, the current African Union's commitment of personnel
and money (3320 peace-keeps and $220 million a year) to the Sudanese crisis
are plainly inadequate, as the festering political and humanitarian disaster
demonstrates daily. The fact that only 820 peace-keepers out of the 3320
anticipated has so far been deployed is a terrible indictment of the entire
Furthermore, neither the provisional ceasefire agreement signed in
April, nor the protocols adopted in Abuja last month is decisive enough to
meet the challenge. The focus of the African Union must immediately change
from peace-keeping to peace-making. The troop commitment to the mission
should be increased to 30,000, and it must include adequate levels of air
force assets. That kind of a decisive change in policy will require a
re-allocation of military and budgetary resources by member-states of the
African Union towards meeting the challenge posed by the crisis in the
Sudan, which should be used as a marker signifying a decisive end to these
kinds of political and humanitarian disasters in Africa.
Africans must understand that as long as the defining image of their
continent on the world stage is armed conflicts, humanitarian disasters and
political disarray, rather than peace and prosperity, economic and
technological progress, the continent will be unable to take its rightful
place in the global community. Neither economic progress nor the
development of a forward-looking, post-industrial realm in cultural and
humanitarian values is possible on the African continent as long as Africans
are engulfed in these political fires, which systematically raze the
The leading states in the African Union, including Nigeria, Libya,
South Africa, Kenya and Senegal should urgently commit significant military,
diplomatic and financial assets to meet the challenge. They must lead the
way both in forcing the UN Security Council to pass a resolution enjoining
member states to take "all necessary actions" to end the humanitarian
disaster in Sudan, and in providing the core of the frontline forces for the
It is time for President Omar El-Bashir and his government to be given
an ultimatum to disarm and disband the Janjawid militia, while using the
military and police assets within the Sudan to end the current disaster, or
face its own demise. Such a forceful move by the African Union will lay the
groundwork for the emergence of a sorely needed legitimate continental
authority for the enforcement of political and humanitarian order in Africa.
Such authority is an urgent need, because the problem of contemporary
Africa is the inability of Africans to calibrate economic, political and
cultural priorities in ways that facilitate a decisive move into a future of
steady progress, peace and prosperity based upon a set of rational legal
principles, which are respected by the community of peoples that we call
Africa. The Sudanese crisis gives the continent an opportunity to
decisively lay the foundation for such a future.
An African-American View
by Lil Joe
Joe-Radical at Earthlink.net
Readers, Fubara graciously asked me to do an article on the situation
in Sudan from an African American perspective. I accepted the challenge, and
thought about it quite a bit -- both the crisis in Sudan, and an
African-American perspective on it.
Just today, I was listening to the Coltrane group's 1966 recording of
their Concert in Japan, now on CD, however without the live interview that
accompanied the music when it first came out on an Impulse! Album. In that
interview, Trane was asked whether African-Americans supported the then
raging war in Vietnam -- "not the American 'White people,' but your people,
the Black people." In response, Trane distanced himself from those
professional Blacks who propose to the White world, and the world generally,
that they speak for Black people; Trane did this simply by saying "I don't
know of any poll taken among Blacks that I can cite; I can only speak for
myself: I am opposed to that war!"
In like manner, regarding the crisis in Sudan, there hasn't been any
poll taken among Black Americans, and there appears to be great decision
among those pundits whom, Gore Vidal called the "chattering classes "; I
also can only speak for myself.
However, before I give my take on the Sudan crisis, I do want to say
this: no more than do I, neither the Democratic Party's so-called
Congressional Black Caucus, Jesse Jackson, nor any other Black Democrats
represent a consensus as far as working class Blacks are concerned. As
political agents of the Democratic Party, when Charles Rangel, Maxine
Waters, and others speak out on Sudan, they are not speaking from the stand
point of an African-American working-class consensus, but from the
standpoint of the Democratic Party, and therefore in the interest of
American capitalism which is part and parcel of the conflict in Sudan, and
is no more an outside neutral party in the North vs. South conflicts in
Sudan than they are 'neutral' to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflicts
While Black Americans are but 10% of American citizens, we are
overwhelmingly working class, and the Democratic Party is the Party of
capital, although it receive funds and votes from hoodwinked American trade
unionists and others. The Blacks in the Democratic Party don't represent the
Black community in that Party, but the Democratic Party in the Black
community. This critical distinction must be made.
The position of the Democratic Party's Congressional Black Caucus, on
Sudan, is not based on meetings held in the Black community, including the
growing African-American Islamic and Muslim communities that oppose UN and
US intervention in that conflict, but the same as that of the Bush
administration, is reflective of the Zionist and Israeli lobby and in their
interests. Both Democrats and Republican parties, partisans in electoral
power, are 'by-partisan' in their unconditional support for Zionism and the
State of Israel.
The conflicts in Sudan have indigenous 'immediate' causes, of course,
based in economics, ethnicity, religion and so on. However, there is also
'remote', or more correctly regional contextualization together with
geopolitical conflicts of interests, all of which contribute to, and
actually acerbate and prolong those conflicts.
Sudan is an African country -- in fact one of Africa's largest -- and
the traditional home of several major, and other minor ethnic and religious
groups, each in different territories united as groups on the basis of
economic cohesion and interests, the origins in many cases the result of
British colonial policies. The conflicts Sudan has had with Egypt on one
hand, and Libya on the other, similarly has origins from this [colonial]
period: all these problems are acerbated by the Zionist policies of Israel,
backed by the United States.
Sudan's present problems have their origins in the Cold War, where
Sudan was supported by the Soviet Union, and to a certain extent can be said
to have been in the Soviet camp, whereas Israel was bought and paid for by
the United States. Thus --
" In The Israeli Connection, Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi reveals that
Israel has supported the southern rebels since the 1960s. Ever since that
time, Israel has given theAnya-Nya movement arms and military training.
Israeli intelligence organization, the Mosad established links with the
southern rebels via its station in Uganda. Chad, Ethiopia and the Congo,
and some 30 Anya-Nya guerillas were given special training at Mossad
headquarters in the city of Torit. Israel was the southern rebels' most
important backer. Http://www.harunyahya.com/spring14.php.
Israel is not just an "agent of US imperialism", as many on the
American left assert; but, neither is the US government 'taken over by the
Jews to serve Israeli needs", as American neo-fascists claim. Rather, there
is a double coincidence of need behind this alliance: Israel needs American
funds and arms for its 'national security', and America needs Israel to use
those funds and arms as the regional bully. This was true of the Cold War
era, and is still so today.
However, the new US/Israeli relative 'common enemy' today is the
European Union! From both the American and Israeli points of view, the
European Union's 'meddeling' in the affairs of the nations of the "Middle
East" is regarded as threatening.
The economic interests of American transnational capital are in
conflict with the emerging economic power of the European Union, globally.
But the economies of the nations of the European Union are feuled primarily
by gas and oil derived from Middle Asia and North Africa. Thus, the sense of
the so-called "neo-cons", notwithstanding its "pro-Zionist" rhetoric, is
that to station US military forces in the "Arab Middle East" will
effectively enable the American government to control the Mid-East economies
and have by the balls the capitalists of the European Union. The EU states,
therefore are compelled to connect directly, economically with the "Arab
Middle East" -- the oil producing regions of Middle Asia and North Africa --
which enables those African and Asian states to manipulate the politics of
the world, gaining political support from EU states, in resisting both
American political and military domination, and Isreali aggression.
However, during the Cold War, America politically and militarily
dominated Western Europe, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, whereas the Soviet
Union dominated Eastern Europe, and was (initially] an ally of China, and
Vietnam; and, in this contextual rivalry, the Soviets were nearly allies
with Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Sudan, to check the US alliances with Saudi
Arabia, Kuwait, and establishment of Israel as a garrison Zionist state of
The Israelis regard the EU as a political threat. Regarding the
relative 'neutrality' of the major states of the European Union, at the
United Nations and on its Security Council, the Israeli's dredge up, and
exploit memories of the holocaust to denounce e.g. German, French and
Italian criticisms of Israeli violations of UN resolutions favorable to
Palestinian rights as "anti-Semitism". The Israeli government need the
political, unconditional support of America in the UN, as well as economic
and militarily aid, with respect to funds and arms against "the Arabs" --
including Sudan! The states supportive of the Palestinian Liberation
Movement, such as Sudan, as well as Syria, Libya, and [prior to
invasions/occupations] Afghanistan and Iraq, are consequently denounced by
the US as "rogue states" and "sponsors of terrorism".
With the end of the Cold War, by the collapse of Soviet state-monopoly
capitalism, the managers that managed the state enterprises, and as such
personified capital, upon the collapse of the Soviet state became
capitalists outright! They, even prior to the collapse of the state
bureaucracy, under Gorbachev's 'perestroika representing enterprises, state
farms, and black markets had been tending toward -- at least as far as their
desires and objectives were concerned -- the emerging transnational economy
of the European Union. "Russia", as such, distanced itself from its 'allies'
in the Afro-Asian "Middle East", whereas the politically triumphant United
States maintained its alliances with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, &C.
However, the European Union, including a unified Germany, by the
conquest of East Germany by the West, together with France at its center, is
emerging as the chief economic competitor, and consequently political rival,
of the economic and political hegemony of the United States.
The firms and finance managers of Soviet state enterprises pushed
through perestroika, and glasnost, to bring the Soviet economy, and
political life closer to the economic life and political policies of the
European Union, to among other things gain access to the advanced European
industrial technology, and relative economic stability. Estonia, Latvia, and
Lithuania were granted their political independence in this context;
followed, by Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary breaking from the Warsaw
Pact, and the reunification of Germany. These former Soviet dominated
state -monopoly capitalist countries have privatized, and are now
integrating technologically and economically into the larger European
economic community, advancing membership in the European Union.
At the same time, given their history of conquests by, and/or
subordination to Russia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia,
Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia look to the US, or rather
its military including nuclear presence in Europe, to protect them, are in
the politico-military camp of NATO, still dominated by the United States.
This is what the break-up of Yugoslavia was all about; the ethnic civil wars
in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo. These conflicts enabled the
United States, through NATO, to deploy troops, and demonstrate NATO's
necessity, notwithstanding Russia's opposition (that nearly engendered a
mutiny by Russian soldiers in opposition to American forces).
The role of the 'rebels' in Southern Sudan, and now in Dufur as well,
are inseparable from the global economic rivalries -- primarily the rising
of the European Union and Japan, challenging technologically and
economically American technological and political hegemony -- on one hand,
and directly related to this, the geopolitical struggle to access, and/or
control, the oil regions of the Afro-Asian so-called "Middle East".
Yet, the U.S., and Israeli political, intellectual and journalist
circles are presenting the conflict in Sudan as a race and/or religious war.
This is a false paradigm. Or, rather, though an accurate description
of things as they appear, Sudan being a country comprised of different
ethnic ( 'racial' ) tribal groups - in many instances being of different
religions - but such an apprehension of the conflict is an internalization
of the superficial and not the essence of the situation. These groups have
existed together for thousands of years, without the brutal, mutual
slaughters we see taking place today.
We must probe, using dialectical reasoning to penetrate the surface
impressions of phenomena to ascertain the substance of the matter, which is
that the modern world economy is recklessly penetrating Sudan, it is the
conflicts of the new and the old economies, represented by people of
different ethnic and/or religious backgrounds, that is taking place.
The geological economic, geopolitical reality is that Sudan has large
quantities of oil beneath its land surface. In some cases oil is found in
territories that for centuries have been occupied by ethnic groups whose
respective modes of production, and associated lifestyles, are incompatible
with the modernization that is driving them from the lands. On the other
hand, there is the age old problem of desertification and draughts, pushing
agriculturalist tribes against the proverbial wall. These factors,
modernization (turning people out from their lands by oil interests,
desertification, and famine, are ascerbating at the same time the
traditional conflicts, between farmers and Bedouin herders and pastoralist
tribes are escalating.
The stages for these internecine "Black on Black" conflicts, were set
by the colonialists during their respective, and collective occupations of
Africa, and deepened by neo-colonial economic policies originating in Europe
and America on one hand, and accepted by heads of post-independence
micro-states who exploit ethnic tensions to maintain tribal power bases on
Now, place this Sudan in the larger Afro-Asian regional context -
such as the Israeli occupation of Palestine and its war on the Palestinians;
and the even larger geo-economic rivalry of the United states and the
European Union, and the European's dependency on oil from Middle Asia and
North Africa. The United States has military forces in the Persian Gulf, and
on the ground in Afghanistan, Azarbaijan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Aden,
and has Egypt as well as Israel economically dependent, with Israel serving
also as a garrison state on a long leash.
Sudan is an African country that, as is the case with most other
African countries, was carved out by European colonialist occupation forces.
An African country, Sudan is the country of Nubia, and its people are Black
Africans -- North as well as South.
As an African country, its only natural and historical recourse is,
as the Libyans have also learned -- to rediscover its connectivity with the
rest of Africa, which the racist call "Sub-Sahara Africa" -- to, as Nkrumah
advocated, unite all of Africa, in the spirit of Pan-African unity and
It is this North-South Pan-African Unity that American politicians,
including the Democratic Party's Congressional Black Caucus, and the
American media are opposing, and to that end present the Sudanese of the
North as "Arabs" committing 'genocide' against "Africans" of the South.
In an article, Nasser through African Eyes, Gamal Nkrumah considers
Nasserism's Pan-African legacy, October, 2002, G.Nkrumah observed:
There have been growing calls in Africa for reparations over the
mediaeval Arab slave trade. There is open hostility to a perceived "Arab
agenda" in the African continent. The ongoing Sudanese civil war has
mistakenly been portrayed in the international media as a conflict between
Arab Muslims on one hand and African animists and Christians on the other.
This conflict was made to look as if it is an unavoidable consequence of a
fault line separating Arab and non-Arab Africa. The Israeli and far right
lobbies in the United States and the West have been fanning anti-Arab and
anti-Muslim resentment among African Americans and the predominantly
Christian and non-Muslim parts of Africa.
While I am neither Christian, Muslim, African pantheist ("animist"),
nor party to any religion but rather an atheist, and militant materialist, I
find it particularly absurd that African-American members of Congress,
representing the Democratic Party, and Christian preachers such as Jesse
Jackson, who are the decendents of African slaves in America, who were
taught Christianity by their slave-owners, can so much as suggest that
Sudanese Christian Africans have friends in "Christian" America and Zionist
Israel to 'help them' fight 'Arab genocide', when they in fact endorse what
Israel is doing to Palestinians, and supported the 12 years genocidal
economic sanctions enforced by Britian and America on Iraqis, as well as the
invasion of Iraq.
The American government sat back and watched the genocidal massacres
in Rwanda, and we are now to believe that the Bush/CBC collaborators are
ready to 'protect' African Sudanese from their government by similar
economic sanctions, and possibly a British-led invasion and occupation? Only
a fool could be hoodwinked into believing such rhetoric.
Americans, including African-Americans tend to have a short memory.
It is the same Colin Powell; who claims that there is in
Sudan an "humanitarian crisis", of "genocide" by the Sudanese
government, against "Africans" in Dafur, who only a couple years ago,
knowingly lied to the United Nations Security Council claiming that Iraq --
or rather 'Saddam Hussein' -- was in possession of "weapons of mass
Finally, I want to make this 'perfectly clear': I am not siding with
the Sudanese government against 'rebels', Muslims against Christians, or
those who practice traditional pantheistic religions.
I am an African American, and notwithstanding my subjectivity in
rebelling, identifying with Africa and Africans, I was born and raised, and
by socialization and upbringing acculturated into this world, which I regard
as an epistemological limit. It would be as arrogant of me -- as it is of
Bush and Powell -- to declare which faction of Sudanese are 'right', and how
to resolve those centuries old problems that are being pushed to crisis
proportions by Israeli and American interventions.
My purpose, here in this article, is as an American to expose and
critique the American government, and its Black American agents for their
roles in stirring and prolonging those conflicts, demanding of them that
they get out and leave the problem of solving African problems to the
Fubara, on several occasions, in articles has thoroughly critiqued the
Sudanese government, and advocated that the African Union take forceful
action against that government if it fails to force its troops to stand
down, and effectively put an end to Bedouin guerrillas part in attacking
farmers. I am in basic agreement with his principled advocacy, and as an
American African it is my job to do what I can to prevent Israel and America
from turning Sudan into another Iraq, destroying that country and killing
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