The situation in Sudan is very serious. Reports are that the Sudanese government is engaging in massacres and massive reprisals against civilian populations. There is an insurgency in the South against a political-Islamist government in the North — but there is also a great deal of opposition to that government in the North, and in other regions.

One of the reasons I suspect the left doesn’t touch this conflict is the simple moral dictum that we should work on issues we can affect — it doesn’t take a moral giant to criticize something the Islamist government in Sudan is doing in the United States, but riskier and less popular to criticize what the US is doing in Iraq or the US/Israel are doing in Palestine. Another reason might be that people don’t want to help imperialism — the US has launched cruise missiles on Sudan before, and didn’t exactly help (instead it destroyed one of the country’s only pharmaceutical plants), and the last thing anyone wants to do is help the US prepare another ‘intervention’ against a ‘terrorist’ state.

Having said that, though, there are Western corporations cashing in on the Sudanese government’s displacement of people from resource-rich areas. There are, therefore, ways for people to try to prevent the west throwing gasoline on the fire. A prerequisite to figuring out these ways is understanding what’s going on, which is tricky, because many of the ‘experts’ take imperialism for granted. Here’s a backgrounder based on a fairly good book by one such ‘expert’.

Author: Justin Podur

Author of Siegebreakers. Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.