Israel has deported Sudanese asylum seekers by issuing documents with purposefully incorrect nationalities, a recently published report by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed.
More than 100 Sudanese nationals in Israel were given passports or birth certificates incorrectly labeling them as citizens of South Sudan, the report said. Israel has no repatriation agreement with Sudan, but can deport the asylum-seekers to the country’s neighbor, which seceded last year from the North.
The revelation comes two months after Israel initiated a controversial ‘emergency plan’ to deport 60,000 African migrants.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu justified the plan, claiming that “The breach of our borders by infiltrators could threaten the Jewish and democratic state. … We will begin by removing the infiltrators from South Sudan and move on to others.”
Four people were recently denied entry after being deported from Israel to South Sudan, and were forced to return to Tel Aviv, the report said.
The Israeli government has threatened the refugees with jail sentences unless they leave the country.
Many of those deported fled Sudan’s war-torn Nuba Mountains region, which borders the South. The ongoing conflict there between the Sudanese army and rebel militants has killed thousands of civilians. An estimated 350,000 people have been displaced by the violence, Human Rights Watch reported.
32-year-old refugee Thomas Abdullah Tutu has lived in Tel Aviv since 2007 and is frightened of going back, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism said.
“It is a bad situation in South Sudan”, he told the Bureau by phone. “There is nothing there and no one has family, houses or money. They [the immigrants] are afraid to go, and confused. If I go there I am sure something bad will happen to me.”
In June, the Jerusalem Administrative Court ruled against a petition filed by human rights activists urging Israeli politicians not to deport the Sudanese refugees. Hundreds of African asylum-seekers subsequently protested outside Tel Aviv’s UN offices, demanding fair treatment.
South Sudan achieved independence in July 2011, following a bloody civil war that lasted for more than two decades. Conflict is still frequent on the contested border between the nations, which has led locals to flee en masse the violence-wracked region.
Non-intervention policy: Hundreds watch as dozens of Jewish youths attack Palestinians
Hundreds of people watched but did not intervene as a gang of Israeli youths attempted to “lynch” a group of Palestinian children in the center of Jerusalem’s Zion Square, police said on Sunday. Five suspects have been arrested so far.
Four Palestinian youths were badly beaten in the incident in central Jerusalem on Friday. The attack was short and the gang fled after knocking one victim to the ground and kicking him unconscious before police arrived.
There were several dozen attackers, according to witnesses, who say that the Jewish youths were shouting “death to the Arabs” and seemed to be on the hunt for Palestinian victims.
Some witnesses described the attack as a “lynch,” while Israeli authorities claimed the attack was a typical brawl between Israeli and Palestinian young people. However, on Sunday, police called the event a “lynching,” Haaretz reports.
Hundreds of people watched the assault but did not try to help the victims, a police representative said on Sunday.
“The victim lost his consciousness and was thought to be dead until [an emergency paramedic crew] arrived and resuscitated him,” Haaretz cites Sergeant First Class Shmuel Shenhav as saying. “For several days he was anesthetized and artificially ventilated in the hospital.”
“This was an extremely severe crime,” he added. “Only a miracle saved him from death.”
Jamal Julani, a 17-year old Palestinian, still remains in serious condition in the intensive care unit at the Hadassah University Hospital. He regained consciousness but does not remember details of the event.
His two cousins, who suffered medium injuries, explained that the incident was extremely brief, as police arrived quickly and the perpetrators did not have much time to beat them or the unconscious Jamal.
Four teenagers between the ages of 13 and 15 were arrested Sunday in connection with the attack. Another suspect was arrested shortly after the attack on Friday.
A special investigation team has been set up in an effort to find all the perpetrators, and police believe further arrests will follow.
Put yourself in Joseph Kony’s shoes: imagine you are a fugitive leader of a rebel band in the forests of central Africa, travelling on foot and avoiding encounter with any organized military force. You have spurned peace talks and bribes because the only existence you know is surviving off the land and its fearful people.
Every high profile offensive by the armies of three neighbouring countries, or international Special Forces, that fails to capture or kill you, adds to your mystique. Your army is run as a cult, using charisma and fear. For a quarter century your reputation has grown, even while your political agenda has dwindled. In fact, since the killing of Osama bin Laden, you are arguably the most wanted man on the planet.
Today, eight years after abandoning northern Uganda, the LRA’s depleted band of a couple of hundred barefoot fighters is somewhere in the borderlands between the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Central African Republic. According to the ‘LRA Crisis Tracker’ they have killed 98 civilians in the last 12 months and abducted 477. That’s an impressively high infamy-to-atrocity ratio, testament to the effectiveness of terrorist advertising. In earlier days, the LRA achieved spread terror throughout northern Uganda by its gruesome mutilations. Severed lips and noses spread the message better than a radio station.
Today, Kony’s supernatural powers are newly validated by his newest enemy, the earthly superpower, which is staking its power and prestige on catching or killing him. The LRA’s new echo chamber is an advocacy group, Invisible Children.
The armies of Uganda, South Sudan and Congo, backed by American advisers, may yet succeed in putting handcuffs on Kony and delivering him to The Hague. But there are plenty of dismal precedents for failure. In 2002, following the U.S. declaration that the LRA was a terrorist organization, the Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) won the reluctant cooperation of Sudan and launched Operation Iron Fist on both sides of the Uganda-Sudan border. It didn’t succeed. In 2008, after the LRA had relocated to north-eastern Congo and the adjoining areas of southern Sudan, a joint offensive by the armies of Uganda, Congo and South Sudan also failed. Another episode was a 2006 operation by Special Forces attached to the UN mission in Congo. Experts in jungle warfare, Guatemalan commandos, were dispatched to the Garamba national park with the objective of executing the recently-unveiled ICC arrest warrant against Joseph Kony and senior commanders. The operation ended in disaster with the UN soldiers fatally shooting each other.
The problem hasn’t been that Kony isn’t well-known. Compared to the host of other rebel groups and militia that have inflicted comparable or greater destruction on the region over the last quarter century, he enjoys by far the highest profile. The problem is that he is hard to catch, and that his adversaries have too often colluded in keeping the war going.
The Ugandan army had an incentive for keeping the LRA alive and kicking – it justified a high defence budget and gave the generals plenty of opportunities for getting rich. Principle and profit have also driven Ugandan military adventurism across its borders. Invisible Children’s solution to the LRA is for the Ugandan army to pursue them through the jungles of Congo. It doesn’t mention that fifteen years ago, Uganda and Rwanda invaded Congo (then called Zaire) to pursue Rwandese genocidaires and Ugandan rebels through those same forests. The world hadn’t cared enough to stop the Rwandese killers regrouping and rearming in Zairean refugee camps, so the leaders of the Uganda and Rwanda, with a nod from Washington DC, took unilateral action themselves. It didn’t work out so well for the Congolese people. Let’s hope that this time Ugandan soldiers and their proxies kill fewer than 98 Congolese civilians.
Since peace and stability began returning to northern Uganda six years ago, the agenda has been reconstruction and reconciliation. There are programs of social healing to address the roots of the LRA rebellion, which lie in a complicated history of marginalization and the traumas of the war and massacres of the 1980s. Demystifying Kony – reducing him to a common criminal and a failed provincial politician – should be part of this effort to normalize life.
During these years, the LRA has survived in the frontierlands of central Africa because the reach of government doesn’t extend there, and because the inhabitants of these places have as much reason to distrust the depredations of officialdom as they have to fear the cruelties of the LRA. If Kony dies or is captured, the few hundred LRA fighters may disband, but the lawlessness that made possible his reign of fear, will not be so easily resolved.
In elevating Kony to a global celebrity, the embodiment of evil, and advocating a military solution, the campaign isn’t just simplifying, it is irresponsibly naive. ‘Big man’ style rulers – of which President Yoweri Museveni is one – prefer to dismiss their opponents as disturbed individuals, and like to short-cut civil politics by military action. The “let’s get the bad guy” script is a problem, not a solution.
Millions of young Americans are being told about a bizarre and murderous African cult. They are also being told that for 25 years Africa has been waiting for America to solve this problem, which can be done by capturing Africa’s crazed evildoer and handing him over to international justice. And they are led to believe that what has stopped this from happening is that American leaders don’t care enough. The apologists for Invisible Children call this “raising awareness.” I call it peddling dangerous and patronizing falsehoods.
Alex de Waal is Director of the World Peace Foundation.
Charity’s Contras: Invisible Children (Kony 2012)’s Support of Death Squads, Child Soldiers and Genocide7 Mar
Despite their calls to arrest Joseph Kony, leader of the Ugandan theocratic guerrilla group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and a wanted war criminal responsible for horrendous atrocities, the makers of the viral video “Kony 2012″ from the Invisible Children campaign have been heavily criticized for funding death squads themselves.
The above image is a picture of the founders of Invisible Children posing with members of the South Sudan Peoples Liberation Army. Invisible Children funds the SPLA in South Sudan and the U.S.-backed Ugandan dictatorship, both of which are guilty of war crimes, genocide, and mass rape. This campaign claims to want to bring war criminal Joseph Kony to justice, but ignores the similar atrocities committed by the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army.
America and China competed for the African oil state of Sudan a few years ago. Now there is the U.S. and Zionist puppet state of South Sudan with oil deals to the U.S. and Israel. During that time there was the “Save Darfur” campaign. Now China and the U.S. are competing for economic control of Uganda, including oil, and there is “Kony 2012.” Coincidence?
The natural resources and massive economic potential to be made by multinationals in Africa and Uganda, 100 US troops deployed to Uganda months earlier and China buying up all of Africa, including much capital in Uganda, are enticing for Western imperialism.
Invisible Children’s founders are profiting off of imperialism and funding death squads inside Africa. Please help spread this message.
Troops Sent Over ‘Recent Outbreaks of Violence’
by Jason Ditz, January 10, 2012
Citing recent ethnic violence and with the apparent certainty that every nation on the planet needs at least a few US boots on the ground, President Obama has announced his intention to send troops to the Republic of South Sudan to help the new government with “strategic planning.”
The deployment, which will only include five troops so far, comes after a report of a massacre was refuted by the United Nations, and also as South Sudan continues to accuse the Sudanese government of preventing it from shipping oil more efficiently.
It also comes just days after President Obama announced his intention to sell weapons to the South Sudanese government‘s “People’s Liberation Army” saying that the sales would be a key to “world peace.”
South Sudan’s independence from the north was finalized in July, and the indications from this week suggest they are well on their way to being a modern US client state, complete with massive internal unrest and US deployments of “advisors.”
South Sudan formally declared its independence on July 9. President Barack Obama was among the first to recognise the new country. He welcomed the “birth of a new nation”.
“I am proud to declare that the United States formally recognises the Republic of South Sudan as a sovereign and independent state upon this day, July 9, 2011. Today”, Obama said, “is a reminder that after the darkness of war, the light of a new dawn is possible”. This is simply rubbish.
The war to which he was referring was the civil war between the Khartoum-based Northern government and the separatists of the South. A US-brokered peace deal ended that conflict in 2005 after more than 20 years. In January, a referendum was held under the terms of the peace agreement. Some 99 percent of Southern voters opted for secession from the North. What was formerly Africa’s largest country is now divided into two.
Despite the celebrations and Obama’s soothing words, there are major question still unresolved. The line of the border between the two Sudans has still not been agreed; the Abyei region remains a matter of dispute; and the division of oil revenues, which are vital to survival of both countries, is still undecided.
Most of Sudan’s oil reserves are in what is now South Sudan. Since 2005, there has been a revenue-sharing agreement, but that agreement is in doubt with the secession of the South. Southern leaders have threatened to keep the oil revenue. In response, President Omar al-Bashir has threatened to cut off the pipeline that passes through North Sudan on its way to Port Sudan on the Red Sea.
Even if South Sudan keeps all the oil revenue, the sector does not provide a stable long-term future for the new country. Reserves are expected to peak in 2011/2012. With little infrastructure except what has been built by foreign companies in the oil fields for their own use, the prospects of diversifying the economy are not great.
Military conflict is even more pressing. In South Kordofan, a region on the border between North and South Sudan, a little-publicised civil war is already under way. Thousands of civilians have fled from bombing, as the Khartoum government attempts to take control of one of the few areas that it could claim that has oil reserves.
There are reports of house-to-house executions. Khartoum’s internal security forces are said to be identifying potential leaders among the Muslim and Christian communities and slitting their throats. Aid agencies have been driven out the area. The airfield they use to bring in humanitarian flights has been bombed, and road access has been blocked.
Conflict is not confined to the border. South Sudan faces internal conflicts from opposition elements opposed to the Juba government. A South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) has emerged, under the leadership of Peter Gadet, and another force led by George Athor, a former general in the Southern army.
These legacies of the civil war that claimed nearly 2 million lives are not the only threats facing Sudan. Other issues may yet become the sparks that ignite what could be a wider conflict. Far from stepping into a new dawn, North and South Sudan face the danger of wars on a number of fronts.
As the drought in East Africa and the Horn of Africa worsens, there is growing conflict over the use of the waters of the Nile. The Nile runs through nine countries. Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya have signed a deal on water sharing. Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have not yet decided whether to sign up to the new agreement. But Egypt and Sudan, which currently get the lion’s share of the river’s water and can veto the construction of dams upstream, have refused any new scheme to share this vital resource. Meanwhile, Ethiopia is pushing ahead with its Grand Millennium dam, a $4.5 billion project that will make Ethiopia an exporter of hydroelectric power.
Access to Nile water is vital for Egypt. It uses the river to generate hydroelectric power, and its agriculture is entirely sustained by irrigation. Agriculture accounts for a third of the Egyptian economy. It cannot afford to lose any of the 84 billion cubic metres of water it currently draws from the Nile.
The division of Sudan injects a further element of uncertainty into the rivalry over water. Satellite pictures clearly show the stark distinction between the lush green of South Sudan and the barren desert landscape of the North, with only a strip of green provided by the Nile.
The basis for this acrimonious dispute over water was laid in colonial times, when the region was under British rule. The agreement that gives Sudan and Egypt the largest share of the Nile was drawn up by the British in 1929. Both North and South Sudan, despite having been independent since 1956, continue to be dominated by imperialism. The latest independence ceremonies do nothing to diminish that domination. South Sudan’s independence is purely formal.
The economy and social structure of these two countries were formed by decades of colonial dominance. Rivalries between tribes, language groups, and religious communities were exacerbated by British rule that favoured one group over another. Initially, Britain used Arabic-speaking Northerners in its colonial administration. But after the Egyptian uprising of 1919 and the 1924 uprising in Khartoum, the British authorities turned increasingly towards what they claimed were traditional tribal forms of rule. What had been a purely ecological distinction between north and south became a major political division, as Britain expunged all trace of Arab culture from the South. Sudanese had to have passports to move between the north and south of their own country.
This cultural cleansing was done on the grounds of protecting the African identity of the local communities who had long cooperated with Arabic-speaking herders. The South proved resistant to British rule. From 1927, Britain used air strikes in an attempt to subdue the Nuer of South Sudan and uprooted whole populations in a bid to bring them under the control of the colonial administration. Anthropologists were employed to discover more pliable leaders and to designate what were and what were not valid tribal and ethnic identities. South Sudan was in many respects “Made in Britain”.
The emerging regional conflicts owe just as much to British colonialism. The current borders were the creation of British imperialism. British rule prevented the emergence of larger economic and political entities. From the battle of Omdurman in 1898, when Britain took control of Sudan, it worked to prevent the union of Egypt and Sudan. For Britain to rule this vast region and keep it out of the hands of its imperial competitors, it was vital to foster local loyalties among the elite that would become national rivalries after independence.
Britain’s original invasion of Sudan was justified on the spurious humanitarian grounds of suppressing the slave trade. Claims of humanitarianism underpin the present wave of colonial expansionism no less than that which took place in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Obama administration has presented itself as a champion of human rights in Africa. But the peace agreement and the partition of Sudan it has sponsored will produce new conflicts in Sudan itself and threaten to draw in the rest of the region.
Potentially, the conflicts that are now developing in Sudan may even have global implications. Most of the oil fields in South Sudan have been developed by Chinese companies. Beijing has invested $20 billion in the Sudanese oil industry. Half a million barrels of oil a day are pumped mainly by the Chinese National Petroleum Company, with Malaysia’s Petronas and Indian companies responsible for a smaller share. China buys between 55 and 60 percent of Sudan’s oil, which accounts for 30 percent of China’s imports. By world and even African standards Sudan is not a major producer, with only 5 billion barrels of proved reserves of oil. It comes fifth in Africa, behind Angola, which is the world’s eighth biggest oil producer, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and the Republic of Congo. But it is China’s most successful investment in the continent.
Beijing has offered to provide loans to South Sudan while it builds a new pipeline that will take the oil to the Kenyan coast and give it an alternative to the now vulnerable northern pipeline. The fuel that powers Chinese industry is at stake. A dispute between North and South Sudan over the use of the present pipeline raises the possibility of major disruption to the Chinese and the world economy.
Washington sees in Sudan an ideal opportunity to strike at an ever more threatening rival. The US has long been arming its southern ally. Kenya has served as a conduit for weapons. According to cables published by WikiLeaks, the tanks captured by Somali pirates of the coast of Kenya were destined for the Juba regime, and the US was aware of the shipment. In the run-up to the referendum, the US has trained and re-equipped the Southern army.
It is notable that Obama did not offer to lift US trade sanctions against Khartoum, or to remove it from the list of terrorist states–despite frequent suggestions that this would be the reward for co-operating with the partition of Sudan. A flood of news reports are highlighting the atrocities committed by Northern forces, but have little to say about the military build-up in the South. The ground is thus being prepared for yet another US military-backed conflict and possibly even a direct intervention under the banner of defending a civilian population.
Adam Jones’ book Genocide, War Crimes and the West: History and Complicity is an incredibly revealing anthology containing accounts of atrocities carried out by Western imperial capitalism and those who serve its interests abroad. Articles describing the little-known and little-understood history of imperialist actions from Algeria to Vietnam, Armenia to Yugoslavia, and even the genocide of Native peoples by colonialism in the United States and Canada are reproduced in this essential text. Jones’ book serves as an important lesson to its readers about the reality behind the United States and other powers’ attempts to “spread democracy and civilization” at gunpoint, as well as to remind those who advocate “peaceful resistance” to imperialism of the futility of their position.
Imperialism at the Forefront
One strength of this work that makes it useful to those who seek to understand and resist imperialism is how the authors of this text never forget the broader context behind the events chronicled. Unlike some more traditional perspectives on genocide and war crimes that seek to address the issue via the psychology of the perpetrators, these authors correctly connect the geopolitical agenda of capital as the root of these events. In essence, this text provides not only the what, but the why, behind the greatest crimes of the 20th century – and the why is capitalism. Several chapters discuss US interventionism in Latin America and Southeast Asia, and while outlining the extent of crimes committed by Henry Kissinger and other imperialist agents, the context of the Cold War and the yearnings of US capital to maintain its hegemony over what it saw as its “back yard” are not forgotten. Rather than merely catalog the violence in Somalia under Siad Barre, the text talks about how funds and arms from the United States made it possible. Behind the many horrors being perpetrated all over the globe at any given moment, there is the presence of capital, the influence which leads to war, genocide and poverty for much of the world’s peoples, and Jones’ book is faithful in recognizing this connection.
Understanding Vietnam and Iraq as Genocide
This book makes an important contribution to the understanding of the Vietnam War and the sanctions against Iraq as genocidal actions. This is important, because these direct attacks on civilian population centers have yet to be admitted as genocidal actions by the United States. Apparently, the targeting of defenseless villages in Vietnam and the starving of 500,000 Iraqi children do not count as genocide because it was the United States who perpetrated it. If the Soviet Union is perceived as being slow to provide aid to the Ukraine during famine, then it was clearly Stalin who intended to starve the populous into submission, yet when the United States imposes crippling sanctions after bombing raids targeting sanitation facilities and other essentials to civilian life, starvation and illness are merely a convenient accident. And, when it comes to the bombing of civilian population centers within “free fire zones” in Vietnam, the United States would attest that in wartime such atrocities are unavoidable. The double standard put forward by Western propaganda in the context of Cold War does well to whitewash the crimes they committed, and in engaging these accounts of mass murder, Jones’ text serves to reveal the true nature of imperialist violence. Capitalism: Itself a Genocide
The most important chapter of this anthology is an article entitled Collateral Damage: The Human Cost of Structural Violence in which the author, Peter G. Prontzos, outlines how international capitalism itself is a genocide. In this chapter, Prontzos compiles a wealth of statistical data about death associated with poverty world-wide, and argues that this structural violence is generated by the capitalist system itself; that since there is no material reason for the disparities in this world, the ultimate source of this death and despair is imperial capitalism’s imperative to reap profits from the labor and material resources of the rest of the world. Even without warfare, without bombing raids on civilian population centers in the name of profit margins, capitalism itself functions as a system of the organized exploitation and murder of the world’s laboring masses. Prontzos begins his essay quoting Darwin, saying, “If poverty is not a result of nature, then great is our sin.” This quote is appropriate, being that the misery of world capitalism is not the cause of nature and the sin of its structural violence and imperialist warfare falls on the capitalist exploiters themselves.
What about Israel?
This text does well to incorporate important examples of genocide and war crimes throughout the 20th century, but unfortunately makes no reference to the crimes perpetrated by the state of Israel against the people of Palestine. This myopia towards a nationalist state which sees fit to drop white phosphorus on schools and hospitals, or impose an illegal blockade which is driving the standard of living of Palestinians to incredible squalor, cannot be viewed as anything other than intentional. Jones admits that his work is not exhaustive, and makes reference to the fact that material regarding Israel and British crimes in Ireland have been left out, though we at the APL must protest to this decision, being that not addressing such crimes is what allows them to be perpetrated.
Conclusion: This Text is Essential
This book is essential for those who wish to understand the true nature of Western imperial capitalism. Capitalism is a system of organized crime; an economic construction built to allow a small minority of the population plunder and exploit the laboring masses. When this system doesn’t break out into earnest warfare against the world proletariat by shooting and bombing men, women and children at will, it seeks to reinforce its hegemony through structural violence. Adam Jones and the authors of the various articles included in this anthology do a great service by offering these accounts. Poverty and imperialist war, genocide and the multitude of atrocities presented by both, are the crimes of capital. Only when one understands this essential truth is one able to wage an effective resistance to it, and this book is incredibly useful in bettering that understanding.
“Out of Iraq, Into Darfur”: Humanitarian or Warmongering?
The ongoing campaign for intervention in Sudan has resulted in the reduction of a complex political problem to a morality tale populated by villains and victims. Newspaper and television reports are a pornography of violence; the Sudanese Civil War is called a genocide falsely as the media focuses on the gory details, describing atrocities in gruesome detail and chronicling the rise in their number.
In a world where atrocities mount globally, there now seems to exist villains so evil and victims so helpless that the only possible solution is a “rescue mission” spearheaded by the United States, United Kingdom, Israel, France, Canada and other imperialist powers. Why is the Sudanese Civil War named a “genocide?” Darfur can fit perfectly into the global War on Terror, since Darfur gives a valuable opportunity to demonize the enemy: a genocide perpetrated by Arab Muslims against Christians.
Comparisons to Rwanda
The Save Darfur campaign presents itself as not political but moral, concerned only with the lives of the Sudanese. Only a single-issue campaign such as this could bring together such opposed groups as the Christian right, the Zionist lobby and the university-based anti-war movement. How else could it be that so many that oppose the American and British invasion of Iraq now demand an invasion of Darfur?
The answer lies in plays on emotion: all of the leading organizations in the Save Darfur campaign are motivated by the memories from two events: the Nazi Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide. The Save Darfur campaign has drawn only a single lesson from these two events: the problem was that the United States failed to intervene to stop the genocide quickly enough. This is the wrong lesson. It ignores that the Holocaust and the events in Rwanda cannot be compared to the Sudanese Civil War.
Unlike the Rwandan ethnic cleansing, the Sudanese Civil War is being fueled by conflicts between herders and landowners. There is doubtlessly ethnic violence involved, but this is not the main cause of the conflict. The regime in Rwanda was responsible for the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis around the year 1994. During the entire operation to kill Tutsis, France backed the government. When the regime fell due to domestic armed struggle, French troops invaded and protected the Hutu regime responsible for the genocide. What does this say about the imperialists’ concern for stopping ethnic violence? The imperialists have stolen whole continents for profit; they have financed death squads, bombed nations to the Stone Age and financed weapons deals with the most bloodthirsty of governments. They have forced the world to destroy itself for their profits and class interests.
A History of Violence
The examples of imperialism on the African continent are endless—just next door to Rwanda lived the autocratic head of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Mobutu Sese Seko, one of the most infamous, corrupt and shockingly brutal rulers Africa has ever seen. Mobutu’s rule, the result of a CIA-orchestrated coup to remove former anti-colonialist leader Patrice Lumumba, was marked by widespread torture, executions and the starvation of millions of citizens even as he embezzled billions from the Congo. Mobutu received enormous aid from the US, France, the United Kingdom and other imperialist countries for decades.
Connecting the Dots
Behind imperialism lies capitalism and the bourgeoisie. The demand for a key metal (coltan) used in electronic devices such as iPods and PlayStation 2′s was a driving force behind international capital playing different sides off each other in the ongoing wars in sub-Saharan Africa, which have involved eight nations, killed over 5 million people to date and displaced many more. During the war, massive amounts of the rare metal, found predominately in the Congo, were stolen at the price of countless lives.
This is also not to mention the entire history of Africa itself, which is marked by centuries of colonialism, relaxed in only the smallest ways since World War II. History must be looked to—imperialist coalitions once invaded Somalia to “end famine” just like they invaded Haiti to “bring democracy” and Bosnia to be “peacekeepers.” In every instance, the situation was made worse and exacerbated by the presence of foreign powers. Why is this? Is it because the United States is incompetent? Perhaps it is because the United States is simply foolish, or it doesn’t try hard enough? No such magic. The truth is that the United States and other imperialist powers can do no good in these countries because they do not wish to. Western countries have vast material interests in Africa, particularly resources such as oil, copper and diamonds. Powers like the US government have no intention or interest in helping the people of Sudan carry through a genuine solution to the Civil War.
Peace in Sudan cannot be built on occupation—to argue that it can is the talk of imperialists in the West. Every major colonialist intervention in history was built upon the excuse of a “civilizing mission.” Iraq should stand as a warning about the imperial government’s ability to stop ethnic violence. An occupation would certainly spread the Civil War further into the other regions of Sudan and make the entire country yet another victim of the so-called “Global War On Terror.”
Darfur Intervention: Humanitarian Effort or Excuse for another Oil War?
In our country, one cannot help but be bombarded on all sides by the widespread support for military action against the Republic of Sudan. This is apparent in many of the protests, coalitions and various lobbying groups which have sprung up like so many weeds, the stated goal of which is to advocate a multinational “peacekeeping” force be deployed in Darfur. Disgustingly, the “Save Darfur” coalition, arguably the most popular of said groups, raises more money nowadays than funds for a cure for AIDS, cancer or heart disease. The coalition was founded by David Rubinstein, a founder of the infamous military contractors and war profiteers the Carlyle Group, one which has already made billions from the blood-soaked War on Terror. The now popular campaign for “out of Iraq, into Darfur” is being driven by the same Zionist liberals that have championed similar imperialist adventures in the past.
It seems that the fan club of imperialism never learns its lesson—it is the nature of the invader not to save, but to invade and conquer. Once again we have emerged into an age of neo-colonialism with a “humanitarian” face, treated to the conservatives and liberals alike once again abusing the term “genocide” for their own ends. Such armchair intellectualism reminds one of the chauvinist musings made by the intelligentsia of Spain and Portugal after the deal in which one country was to receive the land, and one the slaves. They effectively carved up Africa as their proverbial pie, each one receiving a monstrous piece, all the while the monarchists, intelligentsia and clergy of those nations preached to one another about the protection of “human rights” by invasion and how the “unwashed savages” would benefit from learning to be more like the civilized Christian Anglo-Saxons—by force, of course.
Sudan, a former British colony, sits atop a rich supply of oil, as well as large deposits of uranium, Arabic gum and valuable minerals. It is also the largest country in Africa and could easily serve as a gateway to other invasions. Clearly, our bourgeoisie are licking their lips at the opportunity to reestablish a colony is Sudan. Unfortunately, many young and well-meaning students have been unknowingly sucked into the call for the occupation and practice of neo-colonialism in Darfur.
What is neo-colonialism? Neo-colonialism is the new practice of imperialist nations against former colonies, wherein instead of an outright military occupation and formal annexation (Iraq as the 51st state) there is a mere coup followed by the creation of a puppet government. Then the dominated nation’s markets are opened up to the exploitation of labor by the bourgeoisie and monopoly capitalists of the invading nation. In this sense, it is economic imperialism. We must make no mistake—this is the goal of the imperialists in Sudan.
Pro-War, Pro-Israel Lobbies and the U.N. care about the People? Yeah, Right!
While it is undeniable that there is a humanitarian disaster happening in Sudan, the Darfur crisis is being manipulated by the capitalist media as well as Evangelical interest groups. Images of the suffering and dying are shown on the TV screen every day. We are told simplistic tales of Black vs. Arab genocide, and given ridiculous comparisons to the Rwanda and Holocaust genocide campaigns. Organizations such as the “Save Darfur” Coalition are being funded by groups that wish to exploit African peoples and resources, not those who want to develop a stable and sufficient infrastructure for the Sudanese people. These groups do not care for the people of Darfur and certainly have no right to use the words “humanitarian intervention” to describe their goals.
We must keep in mind it is these same groups which talk about bombing, sanctioning and invading the country, all the while supporting the actual genocidal policies and ethnic cleansing in Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq. Aside from the Carlyle Group, there is also Sudan Sunrise, a Christian fundamentalist group who wishes to convert the “heathens” of Sudan to Christianity, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a pro-Iraq war neoconservative think tank, the Anti-Defamation League, a Zionist interest group, and Amnesty International, a CIA puppet group famous for warmongering and advancing capitalist interests across the globe.
The United Nations itself is dominated by the U.S. and the governments of other imperialist nations such as the UK, France and Germany. It is interesting to note that these same states are the ones who have oppressed and divided up Africa through colonialism and military force in the past. The UN has never been a voice for peace in its entire existence, as its murderous campaigns in Korea, Haiti and Somalia among others, illustrate.
The last time Western powers carried out “humanitarian missions” in Africa was under Democratic President Bill Clinton, with the 1993 invasion of Somalia and the 1998 bombing of both Afghanistan and Sudan for “harboring terrorists.” The attack succeeded only in killing civilians and completely destroying the al-Shifa, the only pharmaceutical factory in Sudan.
What Is the Real Story?
All of the above groups exploit mentions of “genocide” in Sudan and the Darfur region. The question that is not asked is whether any of this is what is actually happening. Ceaselessly we hear that “Arab Muslims” are trying to kill off “Black Africans.”
In fact, there is little evidence that there is any ethnic or religious side to the violence at all. The civil war in Sudan and the Darfur region is happening is happening as a result of the Sahel drought. There are two forms of communities in Darfur—nomads and settled farmers. The most fertile parts of central Darfur are inhabited by tribes of peasant farmers, while the dryer desert terrain of the north is inhabited by Arab nomads.
With the coming of the drought, cooperation between the two groups has turned into struggle over limited resources. The Janjaweed militia, armed by the Sudanese government, has since been involved in violent confrontations with the insurgency in nomadic villages. There is an ethnic aspect to the clashes, but it is gross distortion to say it is deliberate “genocide” of Black Africans on behalf of the Sudanese government. In fact, the Arab and non-Arab peoples of the region are racially identical, with differences being chiefly in culture and language, not biology. For years there have been such clashes of this kind in Sudan by small armies due to the struggle over resources.
In light of all this, it is our responsibility to raise political awareness and reject the political opportunism coming from Washington.