Wednesday, August 01, 2007


... Whether it’s the 400,000 claimed by some or the 70,000 suggested by the UN in March, the human toll combined with rapes, burned villages and destroyed lives has torn a gaping hole in the fabric of humanity.

genocide, (or) “crimes against humanity”

In its outrage, the world community has offered various remedies:
  • intervention,
  • sanctions against the Bashir regime,
  • and UN peacekeeping forces.

In the U.S., community and religious organizations ...
  • targeting China, a large purchaser of oil and seller of arms to the Sudanese government.
  • divestment campaign aimed at U.S. finance companies that own stock in China’s oil industry.
  • actions directed at China’s hosting of the 2008 Olympics, suggesting boycotts and protests at the games themselves.

...many observers suggest that Sudan’s huge oil reserves are a key factor motivating U.S. government and corporate interest. Writing in the UK Guardian, recently, commentator Mandy Turner attributed U.S. interest ... “West Africa already supplies about 12 percent of U.S. crude oil imports, and America’s National Intelligence Council predicts that this share will rise to 25 percent by 2015.”

On the other hand, China too has a large stake in and need for African oil. ... It imports 25 percent of its crude oil from Africa.”

U.S. oil companies, it should be remembered, have been prohibited from operating in the Sudan since the 1997 embargo.

...the new emphasis on China seems a bit curious. ... Beijing’s recent abstention in the Security Council on bringing the janjaweed ringleaders of the massacres to justice smacks strongly of this posture. ... it’s also true that in recent months China has undertaken a wide range of mutually beneficial trade agreements with several African countries, widely hailed on the continent.

The Sudanese left, ... argues that China’s investment only benefits the bank accounts of the Bashir clique ... Beijing, they claim, utilizes no Sudanese labor, preferring instead to import Chinese workers.

U.S. solidarity ... In the past such concern swelled the ranks of civil rights and anti-apartheid movements. It would do well to draw on the experience of past solidarity in support of African liberation, ...

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