Sudan: just say 'NO' to military interventionThe British media, political commentators and armchair liberals have suspended critical thinking on Sudan over the past few years. Pundits of all persusions cheered George Clooney's recent visit to Sudan, demanding that the Sudanese government take action in response to the atrocities in Darfur. Those who once opposed western military adventures in Iraq (twice), now seem to have turned completely brown-nosed when it comes to Sudan.
'Diplomacy and promises are not enough' argue Oxfam. Everyone from the left to the right have demanded stronger intervention in Sudan. From the civil rights campaigner Jesse Jackson to the right-wing Daily Telegraph, everyone seem to be proposing that 'there can be no clearer case for humanitarian intervention'.
Even though Britain and the US stands in utter disgrace over Iraq, in Sudan, the Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George W. Bush can look good when they lay down the law to the Sudanese government. But Blair and Bush's interest in Khartoum is motivated by domestic concerns. The two leaders motives in Sudan are deserving of intense interrogation, just like the dodgy intelligence their government spun to justify the war in Iraq. New Labour, the Bush administration, and what I'd call, liberal imperialists are constantly on the lookout for human disasters in far-off lands in order to show what the West is for, or against. It's as though the West is on a mission to rediscover itself in Sudan. For our political elites, the conflict in Darfur is used soley to endow themselves with a new sense of moral purpose 'over-there'.
Indeed, there is a tragic crisis in Sudan, but western proposals about military intervention will not help to alleviate that crisis. The Sudanese will not benifit whatsoever from any of the West's fact-finding missions to the Darfur region. Also, what can deploying thousands of troops do? Deploying western, or foriegn troops in Darfur is nothing more than a political gesture, it's certainly not a practical measure that the Sudanese will benefit from.
In any case, Sudan has been a hell-hole for the past 50 years, the end of the Cold War has made the country even more unstable. So what on earth makes Blair, Bush and co think that they have a solution to the problems facing Sudan? Darfur has only become a issue for warmongerers like Blair and Bush since 2004. Could it be that they are seeking an easy intervention? An intervention that has no WMD's to worry about? The Gulf War Part 2 has been an unmitigating political nightmare. Britain and America's hunger to intervene in Sudan is surley shaped more by the fallout from Iraq than by recent events on the ground in Darfur.
Besides', why would Western intervention improve things for the Sudanese? From Sierra Leone to Somalia, out-side interference, in the post Cold-War era has made matters worse for those on the receiving end, not better. It was Britain who carved up eastern Africa and imposed an iron-fist colonial rule on it. Sudan was ruled by Britain and Egypt until 1956.
The West's sudden interest has nothing to do with Sudan per se. The motivation for intervention is homegrown. Look how easy it is to re-establish a sense of certainty about what's right and wrong in far-off places, much easier than addressing difficult and complex crisis at home.
During British colonal rule in the nineteeth century, expansion was presented as a moral mission, in order to save the local black population from invading Arabs. Today, the interests of the Sudanese people is no more at the heart of the West's intervention now than it was then.
Picture: Soldiers from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment patrol Tal Afar, Iraq. This photo appeared on www.army.mil.