Why is there all of a sudden an uproar about peace, progress, and the need to help the countries in Africa? Since when do the people in this country care about anything other than themselves?. They don’t even pay attention to the atrocities that are committed in this country by the banks, the politicians, the judicial system, and the rest of the scum that is feeding on the soft underbelly of our great nation. The media has grabbed hold of this and it has taken off. The attention Sudan got last year with the formation of Southern Sudan was well deserved, and hopefully peace will reign in that new sovereign nation. And I am really delighted that the youth of America has taken note of the viral pandemic online calling for the capture of Joseph Kony in the Congo. Why the sudden interest?
Last night George Clooney was arrested outside of the Sudanese embassy while protesting with his father about the continued bloodshed that is happening in the newly created South Sudan. It is true that there has been a lot of needless bloodshed in that country over the past few years. For example, who has not heard about the atrocities that have taken place in Darfur? That nation is on the verge of going on its 5th year of a bloody, violent campaign waged by an Arab-government sponsored ethnic cleansing that has claimed the lives of over 450,000 people and displaced at least 2.5 million others. As tragic as that sounds the continent of Africa is no stranger to horror stories like this one. Africa has been plagued by many such atrocities in recent history. Other countries have experienced, to an extent, a similar amount of bloodshed, corruption, and political turmoil that Sudan has, but no one came to their aide. Well, technically, no one has come to the aide of the Sudanese either. All that has happened is the formation of a new Southern Sudanese Republic. Very few of us in the west even took notice of the mass deaths in the Congo (Kony), in the Ivory Coast, and in Rwanda. And even fewer media outlets around the world even considered covering it. A few celebrities have tried to raise their voices in an attempt to force the world to take notice of the carnage taking place in these nations. Nations where the people are struggling to keep their heads above the surface before they drown in the rivers of blood that are coursing through their countries caused by regime sponsored “cleansings.” Now all of a sudden all eyes are on Sudan, why? What is so special about Sudan?
Geographically located in the North Eastern corner of the African Continent, Sudan spans about 2.5 million sq km, which is a little more than 1/4 the size of the continental United States. It borders Egypt and Libya to the North, Chad and the C.A.R. to the east, Congo, Uganda, and Kenya to the South, and Ethiopia and Eritrea to the west. It also borders the Red Sea to the west, situating it right across from Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest countries in all of Africa as well as being one of the most geographically diverse. Its natural features include the bottom half of the Sahara Desert in the north, flat plains known as savannahs in the central regions, which lead to the Marra Mountains in the East and the Nuba Mountains in the west. They act as an almost natural divide between northern and southern Sudan. The Nile River bisects the country from north to south creating a split of the country east and west. There are also swamps and rainforests located in the southern regions of Sudan completing its multitude of varying habitats. Its chief exports are cotton, sesame, livestock, and oil. Wait, did I say oil? Hmmmm.
The answer for why the world’s attention is focused on the happenings in Sudan is quite easy to ascertain. Oil. Oil. Oil. When a country has something we want, we care. When they don’t, then we don’t. It is like the late funny man Sam Kinison used to say about the Middle East. “We have deserts here, too (referring to America). You know what the difference is? We don’t live in them. This is sand. You know what grows in sand? Nothing! …ahhhhhh ….AHHHHH!” That is right Sam, there is no value in sand. We don’t care about growing anything in the sand, we only care about what is under the sand. And that is an oil field big enough to solve our energy problems temporarily. We do care about Africa. We have had a military presence in Africa for quite some time. But not for the altruistic reasons that the US government and the media would have us believe. We don’t truly care about countries like Tunisia, Somalia, Ethiopia, and the Congo. They serve a strategic purpose for us. From time to time our interest in keeping the civil unrest to a minimum align with peace keeping efforts, so we stem the flow of aggression enough to maintain a military presence there. But what we do care about is oil. And that is what they have. We split them in half, we don’t have to deal with the Muslims’ claim on it, and then we can take the oil from the Christian South.
It’s the oldest story in the book. Nothing becomes important until it contains something that people desire. It’s like the Sudan is the girl in the movie She’s All That. Before when everyone thought she was just plain and boring, the girl with “paint on her overalls and glasses,” no one gave her a second glance. These were the main problems plaguing the girl and why she couldn’t get a date. No one wants to spend all that money, if they aren’t going to go all the way with her. Not to mention, this girl lives in a house with an abusive family. Civil war and ethnic disputes have plagued this nation almost since its independence from the UK in 1956. The amount of money needed to set up a massive oil operation is only worth it if they are going to get a massive return on their initial investment. Your not going to let your date order the lobster, unless you are assured you are getting her for desert. They cannot protect that investment if the house it is built in is constantly at war with itself. No one wants to run that financial risk. Another major roadblock is her family’s religious differences. Her parents are Muslim, which means she’s going to choose a Muslim suitor. Perhaps one of her dad’s friends from OPEC. But if we can get her to change religions, by removing her from that “household” then maybe we have a chance of getting her into bed with us. By dividing her house in half and we allow her to practice Christianity, nullifying the Muslims’ claim on her. And now that she has had a makeover and that copious amounts of oil are up for grabs, Sudan has became the hot girl everyone wants to screw. She is now “free” to be raped, I mean made love to, by anyone of her choosing without giving her dad’s religious zealot friends cause for an uproar. After all, it was HER decision to convert. And that is exactly what we did. I might have taken that analogy just a little far, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t true.
Most countries aren’t even trying to hide the fact that they are waiting for a peaceful resolution to all of this conflict, so that they can more easily go in and reap the oil profits from the newly created state. The ECOS (European Coalition on Oil in Sudan) is one such organization. They claim to be a philanthropic group with the best interest of Sudan at heart. Their mission statement claims that they represent over 50 businesses and organizations untied to ensure that the oil rights of Sudan are protected so that the revenue from the oil sales goes toward peace keeping and stability in that area. Right, you expect me to believe that you are going to give all this help, resources, knowledge, equipment, and man-hours, to help without asking for anything in return? I was born at night, I wasn’t born last night. I think it is great that they want to help, but what they want to help is money into their pockets. They are only as caring as the profits from the oil they plan on divvying up make them.
I do not for one second believe that George Clooney has some ulterior motives behind his interest in Sudan. He, like Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Brad Pitt genuinely want to use their celebrity for good. They want to bring some notoriety to the efforts of these people to free themselves from decades of hatred and murder by their own government. They are following in the benevolent footsteps of the front man for the Irish rock band U2, Bono. But the western interests that have piggybacked his humanitarian efforts are ones that hope to sway the goodwill he has created in their direction to gain access to their oil. He is being used to ensure that we can get a foothold on the oil rights of that nation. And if George Clooney thinks that his status as a celebrity is going to save him if bullets start flying, he is even more foolish and arrogant than I first assumed he was. Kings, Pharaohs, Emperors, and Presidents have all been assassinated over power, money, and greed. I don’t think his status as a movie actor pose much cause for pause as he might expect. I am happy that an interest is being taken in this burgeoning new nation. These are exciting times. First the break up of the Soviet Union creating 13 new nations, the Arab “spring”, and now the African continent trying to “right the ship” as the effects of hundreds of years of European imperialistic rule are slowly falling away. Anything or anyone that can help keep the focus on these events is welcomed. But realize that this is only happening because we want something from them. If they didn’t have oil, they would just be more dead Africans that no one is talking about. I am not racist or pessimistic, I am just realistic about the world I live in.