[Marxism] Sudan and the International Left

Tony Abdo gojack10 at hotmail.com
Sun Jul 25 09:18:20 MDT 2004

The real weakness of the international Left's style of organizing against 
'war', is that it refuses to organize a movement across the board to 
opposing the US war machine.  Instead, it focuses merely on the crisis of 
the moment, which is now curently considered to be Iraq but not really 
Afghanistan, North Korea, Colombia, or the Sudan.  So in the case of the 
Sudan, there is no opposition to the UN being used as a US/ European tool to 
introduce troops into that region.  In fact, the Left really doesn't even 
mention the increasing move to mobilize imperialist troops, let alone oppose 

Once again, like in Haiti and Yugoslavia, the increasing intervention in 
North Africa is couched in humanitarian concerns about a supposed mass 
slaughter, that all supposedly decent people must then rally around sending 
in the troops to bully the people into line with. The propaganda comes from 
people that routinely don't blink an eye when millions of lives are 
threatened by disease and warfare, but somehow get indignant over supposed 
injustice in some unknown crevice of The Empire.

Where is the International Left?  We seem to not really give a damn if the 
US government, the multinationals, and the military move into that oil rich 
region with their own agendas?  The way that the Left tries to organize an 
antiwar movement leads to inaction when new crises develop.  It is similar 
to how so many support an independent for the presidency in theory, but run 
out to vote Kerry and the Democrats in reality.  Somehow, the Left must move 
beyond this barrier of limitting itself to being against only one war at a 
time, and not all the full range of mobilizations of the Empire.   Tony
July 24, 2004
US Must Stay Out of Sudan
by Rep. Ron Paul

I rise in strong opposition to this incredibly dangerous legislation. I hope 
my colleagues are not fooled by the title of this bill, "Declaring genocide 
in Darfur, Sudan." This resolution is no statement of humanitarian concern 
for what may be happening in a country thousands of miles from the United 
States. Rather, it could well lead to war against the African country of 
Sudan. The resolution "urges the Bush Administration to seriously consider 
multilateral or even unilateral intervention to prevent genocide should the 
United Nations Security Council fail to act." We must realize the 
implications of urging the president to commit the United States to 
intervene in an ongoing civil war in a foreign land thousands of miles away.

This resolution was never marked-up in the House International Relations 
Committee, on which I serve. Therefore, members of that committee had no 
opportunity to amend it or express their views before it was sent to the 
floor for a vote. Like too many highly controversial bills, it was rushed 
onto the suspension calendar (by House rules reserved for 
"non-controversial" legislation) at the last minute. Perhaps there was a 
concern that if members had more time to consider the bill they would cringe 
at the resolution�s call for U.S. military action in Sudan � 
particularly at a time when our military is stretched to the breaking point. 
The men and women of the United States Armed Forces risk their lives to 
protect and defend the United States. Can anyone tell me how sending 
thousands of American soldiers into harm's way in Sudan is by any stretch of 
the imagination in the U.S. national interest or in keeping with the 
Constitutional function of this country�s military forces? I urge my 
colleagues in the strongest terms to reject this dangerous resolution.

EU Raises Threat of Sudan Sanctions
By PAUL GEITNER, Associated Press Writer

BRUSSELS, Belgium - European Union foreign ministers are trying to increase 
pressure on Sudan to end the conflict in the country's Darfur region, with 
Germany's government saying Sunday the United States had agreed on the need 
to threaten international sanctions.

Citing "grave concern" at reports of "massive human rights violations" that 
some have called genocide, EU ministers were scheduled to meet Monday in 
Brussels to push the government and rebel groups to resume peace talks as 
well as improve access for relief groups.

"It's almost certain the international community will take further measures 
if this situation does not improve," Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot, who 
will chair the meeting, said late Saturday after meeting his Sudanese 
counterpart, Mustafa Osman Ismail.

On Sunday, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's office said he and 
Secretary of State Colin Powell  had agreed in a phone call that Sudan 
should face international sanctions unless it quickly disarms Arab militias 
responsible for the killings.

"The Sudanese government has the duty to guarantee people's security and the 
responsibility of bringing the militias before the courts and taking their 
weapons to end the violence," Fischer told ZDF television.

The violence began 15 months ago when two rebel groups from Darfur's African 
tribes took up arms in a struggle over land and resources with Arab 
countrymen. Arab militias known as Janjaweed then began a brutal campaign to 
drive out the black Africans.

As many as 30,000 people, most of them black Africans, have been killed and 
more than 1 million people have fled their homes. Some 2.2 million are in 
urgent need of food or medical attention.

The 25-nation European Union, the United States and humanitarian groups have 
accused the Sudanese government of backing the militias — a claim it denies.

The EU wants a political solution to the crisis. Peace talks in Ethiopia 
last week, however, ended early when Darfur's rebel groups walked out, 
insisting Sudan's government first honor the terms of previous peace 

After meeting Bot in The Hague, Netherlands, Ismail insisted his country 
would prosecute the militias but again denied the attacks amounted to 

\The U.S. Congress last week labeled them as such, but African Union leaders 

Bot, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency, said he also would 
push Monday for increased reconstruction aid for Darfur "so that we can 
create the situation where refugees can make a livelihood and feel secure 
when they return."

Pope John Paul (news - web sites) II urged the international community 
Sunday to help end the Darfur conflict, saying it "brings with it ever more 
poverty, desperation and death."

"How can we remain indifferent?" the pontiff said, addressing pilgrims in 
the courtyard of his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, outside Rome, and 
made a "grief-stricken appeal" to African leaders and world organizations 
for aid and diplomacy.

The United Nations  plans to send a peacekeeping mission by the end of 2004 
to Darfur, a region the size of Iraq with a population of 6.7 million. 
Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Sunday his country likely 
would contribute troops to the force. The African Union is sending 300 
troops and 150 unarmed observers.

EU ministers also were to discuss the Middle East in the wake of Palestinian 
unrest with Yasser Arafat's regime and Israeli anger over EU support for a 
U.N. resolution calling for the demolition of Israel's West Bank barrier.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Thursday the European vote would 
make it difficult for Israel to involve the EU in the Israeli-Palestinian 
peace process. But EU foreign policy representative Javier Solana, visiting 
the Middle East, fired back that the Europeans will remain involved.

Europe "is a very important international power and is going to play a role 
whether you like it or not," he said, speaking to Israeli media Friday.

This week's talks at the World Trade Organization  also were on the agenda, 
with ministers to assess the latest draft outline for a global treaty to cut 
import duties and rein in government subsidies.

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