Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Why Arabs are Backing Sudan's Bashir
By Karin Friedemann
Khaleej Times, April 14, 2009
Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir, despite being indicted on
March 4, 2009 on seven counts of war crimes by the International Criminal
Court, was given a "hero's welcome" by the Arab League Summit hosted by
Qatar last week. The 22 nations warmly supported Al Bashir with a
resolution opposing the dubious ICC arrest warrant.
the ICC an "undemocratic institution that ... applied double standards,
targeted the weak and gave a blind eye to the criminals."Venezuelan
president Hugo Chavez, also present at the summit, likewise objected to
"Why do they not order the capture of Bush? Why not order
the arrest of the president of Israel?""If anything happened to Omar Al
Bashir and Sudan ended up in chaos, the whole of Africa will sink into
chaos," warned Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Amir of Qatar.Amr
Moussa, the Arab League Secretary-General, said that the arrest warrant
was aimed "at undermining the unity and stability of Sudan."In response to
the arrest warrant, which was issued at behest of "Save Darfur," an
activist coalition mobilised by pro-Israel organisations committed to
pressuring the US administration to treat Sudan like Iraq, Al Bashir
evicted 13 western NGOs from his country.
Glen Ford of Black Agenda
Report comments, "Any government in the world that believes it has been
targeted for regime change by the United States and its allies would be
foolish to allow western-based nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) to
operate freely in its territory."According to the UN Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, "Almost the entire Arab and African
world supports Sudan against the ICC, arguing it is a biased and political
tool that only targets Africans and infringes sovereignty."
allegations at the ICC have nothing to do with reality, and we will use
our friends in the United Nations to stop them," says Abdel Malik Al Naiem,
spokesman for the Sudanese Embassy in Cairo. "In one year we will Sudanise
all the aid on the ground and we can fill the gap in food distribution
within one year because the Sudanese Red Crescent already distributes 45
per cent of the food in Darfur," Al Bashir promised during a recent visit
to Saudi Arabia.
China and Russia back the central government in
Khartoum and support local peace agreements between Sudan's warring tribes
while the US, Britain, Israel and France materially support insurgent
militias and promote increased foreign intervention with massive,
internationally coordinated propaganda. Michel Massih, Al Bashir's leading
attorney points out, "I have never heard in my legal career of a chief
prosecutor that launches media campaigns against a defendant,
regardless of the nature of the charges."
Mahmood Mamdani, whose new book `Saviours and Survivors' just came out,
says he began to look at the issue of Darfur in 2003. He was struck by the
rapid globalisation and the fact-indifference of the Save Darfur movement,
which consistently misrepresented the facts
in a media blitz.
Mamdani points out in a recent IslamOnline interview with Ismail Ikashkash:
"The Save Darfur movement does not educate the people… about what issues
drive the conflict. So they know nothing about the politics of Darfur, the
history of Darfur, the history of the conflict. All they know is that …
Darfur is a place where `evil lives.'
"In his book, Professor
Mamdani describes in detail how the Save Darfur Coalition presented itself
primarily as an inter-religious coalition promoting Islamophobia by
implicitly creating a division of responsibility among faiths:
Christian faith packets were the most explicit: They spoke of `divine
empowerment' and `the burden to save'…The Jewish faith packets emphasized
the special moral responsibility of Jews as `quintessential victims' to
identify genocide whenever it occurs…Muslims were asked to fight
oppressors in their midst."
Save Darfur board chairwoman Gloria
White-Hammond, an African-American Christian minister in Boston who has
been groomed to promote Zionist politics by Israel advocacy group "The
David Project," met with President Obama and his Sudan envoy General Scott
Gration, before their recent trip to Sudan. She and Save Darfur president
Jerry Fowler pressured Obama to revive Sudan's internal conflicts and
to threaten Khartoum with further international isolation.
imposed economic sanctions on Sudan in 1997, but peace in Sudan requires
foreign investment and political reform. Sudan has the largest underground
freshwater lake in all of Africa. With some technology, Sudan could become
the Breadbasket of Africa. Bush made it illegal for American-allied
businesses to invest in life-saving infrastructure, and even threatened a
delegation of African-American
businesspeople with criminal prosecution
for discussing investment ideas with President Al Bashir.
Obama will have to choose between continuing Bush's policies, which leave
millions of Sudanese civilians in mortal jeopardy, and which have earned
America international scorn, and reconciling with an international
community whose support for the people of Africa is destined to grow.
Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based
writer on the Middle Eastern
affairs. See karinfriedemann.blogspot.com