Thursday, March 05, 2009

The wretched of the earth.

The ICC warrant on Omar al Bashir resulted in demonstrations in the streets of Khartoum. Countless Bashir apologists turned out to reinforce the Sudanese presidents defiance in the face of what he has characterized as "colonialist" actions on the part of the West as represented by the ICC. When such loaded and contentious language is bandied about, it becomes necessary to analyze the claims.

It is vital to understand that the formal colonial period did not end that long ago. And it is clear that neo-colonial structures and enterprises do persist today. Israeli occupation of Palestine, US occupation of Iraq, IMF and world bank lending and debt restructuring across the globe, represent just a few examples.

As Fanon surmised, the liberation of the colonized opens space for the ascendance of tribalist and obscurantist parties, who present a challenge to the native bourgeouis parties that assume power immediately after liberation. The post-colonial process is still very much unfolding in much of the world, as we see a generation in many African and middle eatern nations struggle with the fading images of the heroes of the liberation and the ascendancy of the obscurantists.

It is a sad memorial to the great non-aligned leaders -Nasser, Nehru or Tito- and to the revolutionary liberators like Lumumba, that Bashir claims he is the victim of colonial intervention. This man who has presided over systematic and brutal extermination of black Sudanese in Darfur, a slaughter sponsored by China, is nothing short of a war criminal. If we allow such individuals to use colonial intervention as a defense we risk allowing legitimate claims of colonialism and neo-colonialism to be sullied. This must be resisted on all fronts.

-- Post From My iPhone


  1. can you please explain the "legitimate claims of colonialism and neo-colonialism to be sullied"? where do these exist and how can they be sullied?

  2. Sure, I am glad you noticed that because on second blush it isn't entirely clear what I meant. What I was really talking about was not that there are some forms of colonialism that are legitimate, but that there are some claims that colonialism is at work that are legitimate. So that if leaders like Robert Mugabe for example, claim that he is using dictatorial powers to resist "colonial" intervention, he sullies the concept of anti-colonial struggle for those leaders who have a legitimate claim to resistance.