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.