LaRouche Delegation in Sudan:
Target the British Empire!
by Lawrence K. Freeman
April 18—The General Sudanese Student Union invited Lyndon LaRouche, who is well known as the economist who has fought for Sudan's development for decades, to speak at their World Conference for International Justice, Uniting Against Politicization of Justice, in Khartoum on April 5-7, 2009. LaRouche himself was unable to attend, but four members of his movement did participate: Lawrence Freeman, chief of the Africa Desk at EIR; Douglas DeGroot, an EIR Africa expert; Summer Shields, representing the LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM); and Hussein Askary from the Swedish bureau of EIR and the Schiller Institute. Over the course of several days, the LaRouche delegation had many opportunities to present its ideas to the several hundred participants, and to the Sudanese people through the media.
The LaRouche representatives brought a unique outlook to the event, which they expressed by mounting a sustained attack on the British Empire as the source of the assault on Sudan. The United States and Sudan share a common enemy, we emphasized, in our numerous interventions, and that is the British Empire. The LaRouche movement's track record with Sudan, which it has visited, and defended aggressively from international attack since the early 1990s, has given Lyndon and Helga LaRouche personally, as well as their associates, tremendous credibility in the country, and thus, the LaRouche movement intervention can be expected to have a major impact on the thinking in the country in the period ahead.
Grounds for Optimism
After our April 4-10 visit, which included excursions to the state of North Darfur, and the newly built Merowe Dam north of Khartoum, I can report on two features of the changing dynamic in Sudan which jumped out at me, compared to my previous visits there.
First, Sudan is more united behind President Omar Hassan al-Bashir than it was, prior to the International Criminal Court arrest warrant, which was issued on March 4. Contrary to the wet-dream fantasies of various liberal ideologues in the United States and elsewhere, who hoped that the ICC actions would lead to a weakening of the government, and the President's ouster, the exact opposite has occurred. The population has been aroused to a heightened sense of nationalism and patriotism, because people understand that it is their nation that is under attack, not just one man. Sudanese Muslims and Christians, who have objections to the "Bashir regime," have put aside their differences to stand behind their President and their nation.
Reflecting the change, is the fact that many Sudanese who have been living in the United States are returning to their country to participate in new economic opportunities, and a more open political environment. One member of the opposition Democratic Union Party (DUP), the attorney Abdel Budri, after have escaped in the middle of the night following the 1989 coup, has returned after 18 years to run for political office (see interview, in this section).
Second, despite years of sanctions against Sudan by Western governments and institutions attempting to prevent the government of Sudan from developing its national economy, there is substantial progress taking place in basic, vital categories of economic infrastructure. Although these developments are impressive, the rate of investment in infrastructure must be increased further, to uplift the population from its poverty.
Once this dynamic of Sudan is properly understood, in contrast to the continuing horror story that describes most of sub-Saharan Africa, the nation's achievements stand out. Not because it has solved all its problems, but because it is pointing in a different, upward, direction, even though it faces difficult, dangerous times over the months and years ahead.
Sudan, because it has fought to overcome major obstacles during the last two decades, has "earned" the hatred of the British Empire, and that is one reason why the British-created ICC, has targeted this nation. With its strategic location as the largest country in the Nile River Basin, and its rich agricultural potential, Sudan, if it were to be allowed to fully develop, would not only have an immediate positive effect on the entire Horn of Africa, but on Central and North Africa as well. It is for those geopolitical reasons that Lord Kitchner conquered Sudan and sought control of the Nile River system in 1898 for the British Empire, and why Britain still opposes the sovereignty of Sudan today. The ICC charges and "Save Darfur" propaganda falsely alleging genocide, have only one intent: to overthrow the government led by President Bashir, and to return the country to civil war, fracturing the nation into warring regions, eliminating the sovereignty of the nation that is arguably the linchpin of Africa.
The British-orchestrated ICC attack on President Bashir was not just aimed at Sudan, but was also strategically designed to isolate the United States, by pushing President Barack Obama into endorsing the ICC's flagrantly illegal actions in his first two months in office. If that had occurred, the United States and its new President would have engendered the animosity of African and Arab nations, which otherwise would like to support the new President. Fortunately, a faction of "realists," in and around the institution of the Presidency, has prevailed over the "ideologues" thus far, in preventing Obama from falling into that British trap. Maj. Gen. Scott Gration, the new U.S. special envoy to Sudan, who spent over a week there in early April, is reported to have displayed an open mind in his discussions with government officials.
LaRouche's Ideas Spread
The conference began on April 5 in Friendship Hall, across from the Blue Nile, involving approximately 700 people, the majority of whom were students from all over Sudan. They were joined by several dozen foreign guests representing student movements from the Arab and African nations, and a delegation of 12 from the United States. In addition to members of the LaRouche movement, the American delegation included three professors from Howard University; a Nigerian journalist, Akbar Mohamed, a long-time vocal advocate for Sudan; and other friends of Sudan. Also participating was well-known Austrian legal scholar Dr. Hans Köchler, president of the International Progress Organization.
Before the main opening address of the conference by Dr. Mostafa Osman Ismail, an advisor to the President, several Arab student leaders were called up to give greetings. EIR's Freeman, who was also asked to give opening remarks, immediately pointed out that the real culprits behind the creation of the ICC were George Soros, and Lord Malloch-Brown, both agents of the British Foreign Office. His identification of the British financial empire, and not the United States, as the actual instigator of this fake international court (to which the United States is not even a signatory), sparked a discussion about the British that continued until the end of the conference.
Following the opening session, at a meeting of the student organizations, LYM leader Sky Shields was the final speaker; he presented a picture of the United States drastically different from and contrary to the limited understanding of the U.S. espoused by many of the Arab student associations. Shields developed for the students the policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and LaRouche, which represent the real America.
On the first full panel of the conference on April 6, Hussein Askary presented his paper, "The Strategic and Economic Reasons Behind the Targeting of Sudan," which focussed on the significance of the Merowe Dam and Sudan's untapped agricultural potential. He concluded with a short video which showed how Africa could be developed, if LaRouche's proposals for continent-wide high-speed rail infrastructure projects connecting Africa to Eurasia were adopted.
Freeman, speaking on the same panel, discussed LaRouche's forecast of the current global economic-monetary breakdown, and the actions that must be taken to avoid a further collapse into a New Dark Age. He then elaborated the diametrically opposing policies of the British free-trade system of globalization, and the American System conception of economic development of Africa articulated by President Roosevelt in the 1940s and LaRouche today. (See speech, in this section.) The full written texts of Askary and Freeman were printed in the official Conference Book, in English and Arabic.
Askary was also the keynote speaker at a seminar at the University of Africa in Khartoum, before 100 students from African and Asian countries.
The conference ended with a presentation by Vice President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha, who is highly respected in Sudan for his exceptional work with the late John Garang, leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), in negotiating the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that in January 2005, ended the long costly civil war between the North and the South that killed millions. Speaking to the foreign delegations and Sudanese students, Taha warned that that "the war in Sudan is not over yet." The ICC has destroyed itself by its own measure, but the new front of the war against Sudan will have the slogan of "humanitarian need."
Asked to make a recommendation to Taha just before the final session of the conference came to an end, Freeman declared that the British Empire was the common enemy of both Sudan and the United States, and we should "hit them on the flanks." He suggested that if Soros and Malloch-Brown were publicly named as the creators of the ICC, you would hear the London oligarchs scream, here in Khartoum.
Outside the conference venue, Freeman and Askary were asked to address the Sudan Lawyers Association, where they presented their ideas to a standing-room-only audience of senior lawyers and law students. Once again, Freeman explained that the ICC was not an American creation, but its arrest warrant was designed by the British to also undermine Presidency of Barack Obama. Several of the lawyers expressed agreement with Freeman's analysis, while others were irritated by it.
During their stay in Khartoum, the LaRouche delegation was also able to speak directly to the Sudanese people, with Askary and DeGroot being interviewed on television. Askary appeared on the evening news.
A Visit to Darfur
On April 7, about 30 guests and media flew to El Fashir, the capital of North Darfur. North Darfur is 292,000 square kilometers—12% of the total land area of Sudan and 57% of Darfur (which is made up of three states: North, South, and West Darfur). The most recent population figures for North Darfur are 2.4 million people—about 6% of Sudan's total population of 40 million. The Wali (governor) of North Darfur, Osman Yosuf Kibr, gave an extensive briefing to the group.
Approximately 163,315 people live in five camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in his state, he said (287,000 displaced persons live outside camps). The foreign delegations visited the Al-Salam (Peace) camp. Water, shelter, food, and medical services are made available to the residents. Nobody lives well in IDP camps, and human beings are not meant to live this way; but nobody lives well in this entire region of Africa. Darfur is an inhospitable, desolate region that encompasses eastern Chad, the northern portion of the Central African Republic, and southern Libya. In addition to the dislocation caused by the insurgency in Darfur, people come to the camps simply because they cannot find a way to live on their own.
It is sad to say, but conditions in the camps are not worse than areas of extreme poverty that exist elsewhere in Sudan and throughout Africa. The brainwashed zombies who babble over and over again about the government committing genocide in Darfur, blind themselves to the truth, by imbibing their own propaganda. The reality is: The primary cause of death and hardship in Darfur is the lack of water, infrastructure, and economic development. Why doesn't the "Save Darfur" coalition scream for economic development? Have they lost the power to think, or are they controlled by some alien force that makes them mindless?
Man Transforms the Desert
After the conference concluded, a small group of guests took a day-long trip to the newly operational Merowe Dam, 350 km north of Khartoum. This is the most ambitious infrastructure project in Africa today, and portends the type of projects Sudan intends for the country. There are also plans for a railroad to be built from Port Sudan on the Red Sea, south to Khartoum, then branching off east to El Fashir, and south to El Obeid.
The Merowe Dam is an excellent example of how man physically transforms the environment to make it more propitious for human existence. On the four-hour bus ride to Merowe, through desert conditions, all one sees, except for sand, is, from time to time, a skinny camel, or a goat nibbling on a small bush or tree with no foliage. Outside of checkpoints or "pit stops," one sees no people, and nothing green, just hundreds of kilometers of sand.
Then you come upon the city of Merowe, and you think you are in a different universe. Modern buildings, rows of lush green trees, modern agriculture, and water gushing out of the Merowe Dam. When you leave the Dam complex, you leave behind a shining demonstration of man's scientific-technological achievement—the greening of the desert. Sudan's desert soil has demonstrated its ability to react quite nicely to water, once man unites them. Think of the enormous potential for the production of food in this vast northern area of Sudan, once water is brought to the region.
The Difficult Road Ahead
Sudan still has large numbers of its people living in extreme poverty, conditions which hopefully will begin to be alleviated through the nation's impulse for investment in large infrastructure projects that can provide potable water, electric power, and rail transportation. The West has refused to provide any assistance to Sudan or any other sub-Saharan nation in building basic infrastructure corridors. The idiotic sanctions imposed on Sudan, added to the recent drop in the price of oil (which Sudan exports), only make it that much more difficult to develop the full economic potential of this large nation.
While the success of the CPA remains the number one priority of the government, since the issuance of the ICC arrest warrant for Bashir, attention and energy have been diverted from the CPA negotiations to the defense of the nation from this assault by the ICC. Honest American intelligence professionals, scholars, and diplomats understand that resolving the remaining thorny disputes between the North and South are absolutely essential for the survival of Sudan as a nation.
There are growing signs of internal difficulties in the South. Already, the date for the national election, stipulated by the CPA to take place no later than July 2009, has had to be postponed until February 2010, which leaves very little time to prepare the country for the mandated 2011 referendum to determine separation or unity of the South with the North. It would be irresponsible to ignore the possibility of a return to civil war, if the CPA is not strengthened in the immediate weeks and months ahead.
The illegal actions by the ICC, and the zombie-like chanting about genocide in Darfur, only worsen the conditions for the people of Sudan, and further delay the prospect for real peace and prosperity there.
Discussions with General Gration in Sudan were reportedly amiable and could be the first step towards a working relationship between the United States and Sudan, which has been missing from recent U.S. administrations. The Obama Administration has not yet put forth a coherent policy for Sudan and the rest of Africa, although many Africans are hopeful. At this juncture of U.S.-Sudan relations, action speaks louder than words. A U.S. policy to energetically help "green the deserts" of Sudan, would be seen as a true sign of friendship by Sudan and the whole African continent. Most importantly, it would establish a new direction for American foreign policy. One that Franklin Roosevelt would be proud of.