Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Sudan's Darfur is a Test Case for Obama's
By Glen Ford
Black Agenda Report, April 3, 2009
ccun.org Editor's Note:
The Sudanese Darfur region is floating on an ocean of oil. It is also
rich in uranium, which made it the target of Zionist lust. Iraq was also
targeted for its oil, not for the fake two announced reasons of weapons of
mass destruction and links with Al-Qaeda, both of which were refuted by the
bi-partisan Congressional investigation.
"Obama has not broken the American mold, but rather, appears to
be fine-tuning a `humanitarian' interventionist doctrine."
Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir had no choice but to expel the western
"aid" organizations that had merged with the American propaganda machine
aimed at regime change in Khartoum. Obama operatives like UN Ambassador
Susan Rice have for years been "eager to blockade Sudan's ports" and to
launch "selective" bombing raids against Sudan. When imperial doctrine
claims the right to intervene whenever disasters overtake sovereign
countries - and proceeds to create and exacerbate those disasters - then no
government is safe against regime change. President Obama "appears to be
fine-tuning a `humanitarian' interventionist doctrine that is applicable to
any point on the planet."
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 organizations (NGOs)
to operate freely in its territory. When Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir
evicted 13 western NGOs from his country last month, he was responding quite
rationally to the clear threat of so-called "humanitarian" military
intervention by the U.S. under the pretext of "rescuing" Sudanese in the
war-torn Darfur region.
Under the Obama administration, a military
interventionist doctrine is rapidly crystallizing around the concept of
"Responsibility to Protect," or R2P, which holds that nations have a
responsibility to forcibly intervene when a state is judged to be unwilling
or unable to protect or otherwise fulfill its responsibilities to its people
– responsibilities that can be broadly or narrowly defined. United Nations
Ambassador Susan Rice and Samantha Power, a member of Obama's National
Security Council, are leading advocates of a broad and unilateralist
interpretation of R2P. Both are very close to President Obama, and can be
assumed to reflect his thinking on foreign policy. And both are implacably
hostile to Omar Al-Bashir's government in Sudan. Rice is eager to blockade
Sudan's ports and to launch "selective" bombing raids.
State Hillary Clinton is also a hawk on Sudan, who talks of enforcing no-fly
zones over Darfur. That's the same policy the U.S. pursued against Iraq in
the interim between the 1991 and 2003 wars. The logic leads inexorably to
incremental invasion and regime change in Sudan.The crisis exploded when
Bashir was indicted for "crimes against humanity" – a step below formal
charges of genocide – by the International Criminal Court (ICC), a body
whose prosecutorial urges seem limited to Africa. As reported by IRIN, a
news service of 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."
The African Union and the Arab League
have long opposed ICC action against Sudan, on national sovereignty grounds
and because an indictment could have been predicted to lead to disruptions
in international aid to Darfuran refugees. President Obama has dispatched a
U.S. Air Force general as his special envoy to Sudan to deal with, in
Obama's words, the "immediate crisis prompted by the Khartoum government's
expulsion of non-governmental organizations that are providing aid to
displaced persons inside of Sudan." Obama is reaching for the heights of
First, the United States is not a signatory to the
International Criminal Court, fearing that its own numerous and constant
violations of international law might land an American president in the
dock, one day. Second, the entire purpose of U.S. policy toward Sudan is to
create a crisis in hopes of toppling the regime and transforming the largest
country in Africa – or big, dismembered chunks of it – into a client of the
United States. Susan Rice can't wait for her "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb
Sudan" moment to arrive. Obama's envoy/general would like to get an audience
with his Sudanese military counterparts, and talk coup.
search for a pretext for "humanitarian" military intervention is perfectly
understood by the Darfur rebel groups seeking to topple Bashir, who control
the refugee camps in Darfur. No sooner had President Bashir kicked the
western NGOs out, than "activists" in the 88,000-person Kalma refugee camp
organized a "strike" against accepting aid from United Nations relief
organizations. As the Los Angeles Times reported on March 21:
want the international [aid groups] back,' said Ali Abdel Khaman Tahir, the
chief sheik at Kalma, speaking by telephone because the government is
refusing to allow journalists in the camp, which is on the edge of Nyala,
the capital of Southern Darfur province.
"'If we allow them to
distribute the food, then the government will be able to say to the world
that everything is OK in Kalma,' said Mubarak Shafi, a camp activist. `We
want all the other problems solved first.'"
The "problems" the
"activist" refers to are political, ultimately devolving to autonomy or
independence for the region. The rebel groups are intimately involved with
U.S. allies in the region and western individuals and NGOs attached to the
aid effort. In accordance with Washington's wishes, the rebel-led refugees
demanded that their pipelines to western media, the NGOs, be allowed back
in. Food and medicine were not the issue. Nor is refugee relief a priority
of the Obama administration. It's all about regime change.
Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), a major rebel faction, has offices in
Tel Aviv. ABC News reports that "Israel has conducted three military strikes
against targets in Sudan since January in an effort to prevent what were
believed to be Iranian weapons shipments from reaching Hamas in the Gaza
Strip." The alleged Gaza/Iran connection is for western consumption. In
fact, Israel is in the vanguard of U.S. clients, including Uganda, Rwanda,
Kenya, Ethiopia and Chad, that connive to dissolve the Sudanese state.
When "humanitarian" intervention and "Responsibility to Protect" are the
watchwords of superpower imperial destabilization policies, no targeted
nation can afford to host western "aid" groups that feed the propaganda
machines of aggressors. Ethnic and other conflicts in Sudan are quite
complex (see Mahmood Mamdani, "What's Really Happening In Darfur?" BAR), and
the numbers and nature of mortality in Darfur are in serious dispute
everywhere except in the U.S. corporate media. The Washington narrative is
constructed for the sole purpose of overthrowing the Sudanese government.
States will do whatever is necessary to preserve themselves, and in Sudan's
case, that meant the western echo-operatives in the "aid" industry in Darfur
had to go. The U.S. knew full well that its destabilization campaign against
Sudan would ultimately achieve just such a result.
The United Nations
has also adopted a form of R2P, which authorizes the UN Security Council to
intervene in the affairs of individual states when "national authorities
[are] manifestly failing to protect their populations from genocide, war
crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity." But the United States
cannot count on manipulating the UN Security Council, which includes China
and Russia, to achieve its narrow imperialist goals – in this case, regime
change in Sudan. The Americans are unilateralists. They can't even bring
themselves to join the International Criminal Court – although they revel in
its indictments of Africans. Obama has not broken the American mold, but
rather, appears to be fine-tuning a "humanitarian" interventionist doctrine
that is applicable to any point on the planet where crises can be exploited
to create chaos worthy of the Lone Ranger's armed attentions.
Call it Disaster Imperialism.
Glen Ford is the
Executive Editor of the Black Agenda Report.