Darfur Needs Emergency Aid
And Economic Development
by Marcia Merry Baker
Immediately after this article, we reprint a section of "Development Projects for Africa," an appendix from an EIR special report, "Peace Through Development in Africa's Great Lakes Region." This Special Report presented the proceedings of a Seminar in Walluf, Germany April 26-27, 1997, which proposed undermining local conflicts, orchestrated from outside Africa, by advancing proposals for energy, water, transportation, agriculture, and other infrastructure needed in the vast Northeastern/Central African watersheds of the Nile and Congo Rivers and the Chad Basin. The Darfur region in western Sudan, bordering Chad and the Central African Republic to the southwest, is geographically, right in the middle of this area.
The section of the appendix of the special report which focusses on transfering water from the basins of the Congo River, passing through the Central African Republic and Chad, to Lake Chad, will be published by EIR next week.
The seminar had participants from the five Great Lakes nations. The theme of the seminar, peace through development, applies urgently today to the specific Darfur region, as well as to desperate situations of strife and economic collapse, now worsening in the Republic of the Congo, the Horn of Africa, and throughout the whole continent. We are reprinting these development programs as needed reference for understanding and acting upon what is otherwise presented as the "Darfur Crisis," in a way totally disassociated from any historical and physical economic reality. Worse, there are those calling for military attack on Africa, in the name of responding to suffering in Darfur.
In fact, the technologies and plans exist for raising up conditions of life, and reversing poverty and misery. The concretes are not the issue. In the immediate term, humanitarian aid à la the "Berlin Airlift," can be mobilized. At the same time, needed water supply projects can get started, and a commitment must be made to build nuclear power stations—which South Africa is actively developing—for water desalination for parts of the Horn of Africa and elsewhere in Africa, and to provide electricity, a key ingredient for development. Electricity consumption is presently far below necessary levels.
Opposition to such a development perspective will ensure the elimination of Africa's nation-states, and genocide of their populations. The actions of those who may have been suckered into supporting the "Save Darfur" operation, will have the same effect.
The question involved in implementing such measures—politically and morally—is, will citizens in the United States, Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Oceania act to intervene to stop the physical breakdown process underway across all national economies, worsening over four decades of globalization, and instead build up productive capacity again and deploy it to the good of all, especially Africa.
In 1997, Lyndon LaRouche stressed this, in his keynote address to the African development conference, titled, "Viewing Africa's Current Crisis from the Vantage Point of Universal History."
LaRouche said, "Let's look at Africa, and its development, and its pain of today, in terms of what is happening around the world. And what you see is, this planetary civilization is disintegrating! We're on the verge, in the process actually, of the greatest financial collapse, globally, in all human history. We're at the point that the monetary systems of every country, with possibly the exception of China, can disintegrate on a given morning. That is, we could have a chain reaction in financial speculation, which, within 48-72 hours, could annihilate every currency, every bank on this planet, simply because everything freezes; money is no longer negotiable, because of the collapse. That can happen."
Today, that point has been reached. The dollar is plunging, there is rampant speculation, a breakdown of infrastructure, and sweeping shutdown of productive industrial and agriculture sectors—as seen in the mass loss of U.S. auto/machine tool capacity over 2001-06.
In Africa over the past 40 years, food output per capita has declined, as ratios of water, energy, and other necessities per area and household, have plunged. Falling life expectancy on the continent of 906 million people, is the most dramatic marker of crisis. In Sub-Saharan Africa, life expectancy is lower today than 30 years ago. The Annual UN Human Development report noted that, "Several countries in Southern Africa have suffered dramatic catastrophic reversals: 20 years in Botswana, 16 in Swaziland and 13 in Lesotho and Zambia." In South Africa, life expectancy dropped from 63 years in 1990, down to 51 in 2006. The percentage of persons with HIV/AIDs has risen dramatically, and now "Killer TB"—multi-drug resistant tuberculosis—is spreading in southern Africa. The map here makes the point that, simple electricity is lacking across the continent. This is an epic breakdown. The policies that caused this were deliberate.
But the here-and-now financial system disintegration, is also an historic opportunity that cannot be missed for reinstating development policies. LaRouche is spearheading an effort, focussed on shifting the United States toward emergency financial and economic measures, for "Organizing a Recovery from the Great Crash of 2007," as he calls it. Facing what is needed in Africa, demands facing and acting to restore nation-states committed to the principle that we can deliberately create economic development to serve the common good.
A series of droughts in the Darfur region, and contiguous regions in neighboring Chad and Central African Republic since 1984, has exacerbated the water shortage, and intensified conflicts over scarce water. The underlying causes for the crisis in this area, including Darfur, can only be eliminated by building large-scale infrastructural projects and introducing nuclear power to electrify the three countries directly affected by the crisis, in the scope described in the following article.