the Disillusioned kid: Hypocrisy And The Right Response
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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Hypocrisy And The Right Response

Justin Podur has a very interesting article on Z-Net (who incidentally are making a drive for funds at the moment) looking at the situation in Darfur and putting it into it's global political context. He begins by revealing the hypocrisy of those leaders who have been quick to denounce the Sudanese regime, but whose own hands are thick with blood from Iraq, Palestine, Haiti and other victims of Western intervention, but is clear that revealing the obvious hypocrisy is insufficient:
The Sudan crisis has provided the interventionists with an opportunity to simply change the subject: "if you care so much about the Palestinians," they can ask, "why don't you care about Sudan? If you care so much about Iraqis, then why don't you support intervention to save people in Sudan?" The next step, of course, is to accuse those who talk about Western murders and crimes as 'anti-semites', 'anti-Americans', or racists. To this, anti-occupation people can reply by calling the liberal interventionists hypocrites, citing liberal indifference or contribution to crimes in the above cases as evidence.

Mutual cries of hypocrisy, however, even when true, won?t help those who are actually being "murdered, raped and assaulted," who are actually "hungry... homeless... sick and... have been driven out of their own country." In the specific case of Sudan and Darfur, for example, the hypocrisy of gangsters like Martin, Powell, and Blair does not make atrocities in the region any less real, or the crisis any less urgent.
He then goes on to consider possible responses, drawing attention along the way to Alex de Waal's excellent backgrounder from the London Review of Books, concluding, "Proposals for an African Union intervention as cited by Gberie, however flawed, could have the best chance of success (it was African intervention that brought the Congo civil war to a halt)." An assessment I agree with.

At the article's end he presents a question posed by Khalid Fishawy and Ahmed Zaki:
Could we imagine building a front for the potentials of peoples and democratic movements in Sudan, hurt and disaffected by war, with the solidarity of the global antiwar movement, to impose democratic mechanisms caring for the interests of oppressed Sudanese communities, races, cultures and classes, against the rapacity of the interests of US and Western European Imperialists? Could this aim be possible? Is it promising for the global justice and peace movement to regain its momentum, instead of supporting undemocratic authoritarian and fundamentalist forces, this time in Sudan, under the title of allying with whomever is against the American Empire?
Podur leaves the question hanging, but it is, I believe, an important one for those of us interested in alleviating suffering and working towards a better world. How we go about answering it could have major consequences for the downtrodden and oppressed of the world.

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