Darfur, Sudan: Seeking the Truth (WEBCAST: Minister Louis Farrakhan, 05-07-2006)
Anyone who tells you that “genocide” is occurring in Darfur and doesn’t in the same breath say that the same, or worse, serious situation is occurring in Uganda, the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Occupied Palestine, is engaged in deception about the subject.
Under the guise of “saving Africans,” the “Save Darfur Coalition” operation is doing a serious disservice to Africa’s peace and stability. The powerful and well-funded group’s business is to sucker Americans into supporting an invasion and occupation of Africa’s largest county. By attracting sympathetic celebrities, such as Don Cheadle, and Members of the Congressional Black Caucus to voice demands for an American “intervention” in Darfur, “Save Darfur” moves a step closer to the military intervention to “save” Darfur’s people–and at the same time–its rich oil reserves.
“Save Darfur” is Christian Conservative and Neo-liberal groups in an imperialistic alliance to do in Africa what has been done in Iraq. The “Save Darfur Coalition” claims it is “dedicated to ending genocide” in Darfur.
Under the lofty ideals of “democracy” and “humanitarianism,” “Save Darfur” uses these as pre-texts for U.S. and European imperialist intervention there. The “Save Darfur” lobby has cowed the U.S. Congress and Bush administration by portraying the conflict as a kind of racial “genocide.” Their deceptive propaganda portrays pro-government “Arab” militias as terrorizing unarmed “Black” civilians; and has caused many concerned Americans to buy into the farce. The “Save Darfur Coalition” spent $15 million in 2006 and none of that money went to aid groups on the ground in Darfur.
Gullible American officials are in on the scam. But, anyone attuned to the humanitarian consequences of our imperialist interventions that are causing the occupation of Iraq, funding Israeli repression of Palestinians and backing reactionary terror around the world should take a moment of reflection. How did traditionally racist white politicians become champions for the lives of Africans?
Unfortunately, the Save Darfur propaganda has taken hold among some well-intentioned activists and progressive organizations. The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has encouraged that UN-mandated European and Western “peacekeepers” be placed in Darfur. CBC members claim that putting the weight of the U.S. government behind the insurgent forces in Darfur shows U.S. commitment to the lives of African people.
Those calling for imperialist intervention do not talk about the U.S. or France’s role in promoting the conflict, or the horrendous conflicts also occurring in limited-resource countries neighboring Darfur. They do not mention profits that imperialist powers can gain from entering Sudan and breaking it apart. Instead, these “progressive” or “human rights” organizations fuel a demonization campaign to view the war as “Arabs” against “Africans.”
The main division in Darfur is economic: between migratory herders and sedentary farmers. The vast majority of all the people of Darfur are Muslims and all are Black. Recognizing and explaining the complicated economic and political issues there does not make for good propaganda; instead it is more convenient to portray the struggle as one of genocidal “Arabs” against defenseless “Africans.”
The well-connected people of “Save Darfur” have made gobs of money for the activist community and made millions of Americans feel good while actually doing squat to save people in Darfur. But, real people for peace reject the rhetoric. Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan labels “Save Darfur” actions “imperialistic.” Republican presidential candidate and Congressman Ron Paul criticized the coalition, calling its aims “unconstitutional” and claims it would be counterproductive to intervene in the war and would “prolong it.” Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter say that calling events in Darfur “genocide” is “unhelpful.” Former Senator, and U.S. Ambassador to the UN, John Danforth says claims of “genocide” are “political.”
African-Americans should involve themselves in ways to help and not hinder in Africa. The first step is to be about the business of getting the Darfur rebels to the peace table. Over past years, Sudan’s rebel factions have repeatedly walked away from peace talks–encouraged by the anti-government campaign waged by the imperialist powers–which only prolongs the fighting and expands the crisis.
(William Reed is President and Chief Executive Officer of Black Press International.)