Claiming target was arms convoy to Gaza
U.S. planes with Israeli pilots bombed Sudan
Published Apr 9, 2009 6:57 PM
In the aftermath of the issuance of warrants for the arrest and prosecution of
President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan, the imperialists and their allies are
escalating political, diplomatic and military attacks on that African country.
Al-Bashir was accused by the International Criminal Court (ICC), based in The
Hague, Netherlands, of being responsible for war crimes purportedly committed
in security operations carried out against various rebel groups in the western
The recently appointed U.S. special envoy to Sudan, retired Maj. Gen. Scott
Gration, visited the country in early April. Although Gration spoke very
diplomatically with regard to improving relations between Sudan and the United
States, developments over the last several months indicate that the current
administration’s policies are still designed to undermine the sovereignty
of the Sudanese state.
Reports have recently surfaced that Israeli-commanded, U.S.-made jets and
drones bombed at least two convoys in eastern Sudan in January and February,
resulting in the deaths of dozens of people from several countries in the Horn
of Africa region.
The U.S. was initially suspected of direct involvement in the bombings.
However, subsequent statements and news agency articles indicate that the
Israeli Defense Forces executed the operations under the guise of intercepting
arms shipments from the Islamic Republic of Iran to Hamas in Gaza, where the
Palestinian people had been resisting a vicious Israeli attack and
Both U.S. and Israeli officials have confirmed a bombing attack on a convoy of
trucks in Sudan, claiming they were carrying arms for Gaza. On March 31,
Anti-War News reported that Israeli officials “today confirmed that
dozens of aircraft, fighter-bombers and drones were involved in the January
attack against a truck convoy in Sudan, which killed at least 39 people and
destroyed dozens of trucks allegedly loaded down with weapons.”
Sudan officials said the attacks took place on Jan. 27 and Feb. 11. The
government denied that the convoys were involved in arms smuggling, saying that
the vehicles were transporting nationals from other countries in the
The charge of arms smuggling is the pretext for an international conference to
take place in May in Ottawa, Canada, according to a leading Israeli newspaper,
which says that “Britain, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Denmark,
the U.S. and Israel will also take part. Immediately after the conference a
‘war game’ is scheduled to take place in Washington, with the
participation of security officials and diplomats from the countries involved.
The ‘war game’ will practice a scenario of foiling arms smuggling
from Iran to the Gaza Strip.” (Haaretz, April 1)
Sudan gains support against ICC warrants
Meanwhile, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has won the political support of a
number of states and regional organizations. Since the ICC warrants were
issued, Al-Bashir has traveled both inside the Darfur region as well as outside
the country to Egypt, Libya and Qatar, where the Arab League summit was held.
The president has been received warmly and is accepting the support and
sympathy of other regional organizations, including the African Union.
Neighboring Egypt, where the regime is wholly dependent on U.S. support, has
also been pressured by the imperialists for supposedly not doing its part to
stop the transport of weapons from Iran to the Palestinian people in Gaza.
President Hosni Mubarak is reported to have warned the Sudanese government to
cease arm shipments destined for Gaza.
Since the days of the Bush administration, the U.S. and Israel have been
contemplating an aerial bombardment of Iran. Iran has been accused of arming
resistance forces in Lebanon and Iraq as well as in occupied Palestine. This
latest provocation against Sudan provides the military and political means to
implement imperialist aims and objectives in both Africa and the Middle
Demand dropping of charges
The ICC has exposed its hypocrisy by indicting the sitting president of an
African nation while doing nothing about the tremendous war crimes committed by
the U.S. and Britain in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
In Iraq, it has been estimated that more than one million people have died and
some four million others have been displaced internally and externally since
the beginning of the U.S. occupation in March 2003. Although the administration
of President Barack Obama has pledged to draw down its forces in Iraq to 50,000
troops over the next two years, the continued presence of U.S. troops in this
Middle East nation still constitutes an occupation. Since the withdrawal of
British forces from Basra in March, the U.S. is forced to take even greater
responsibility for the war.
At the recent NATO summit in Strasbourg, France, attended by Obama, lip service
was paid to the U.S. administration by the European imperialists, who agreed
that NATO would send 5,000 more troops to Afghanistan. However, they will not
take on a combat role, despite Washington’s insistence. At the same time,
Canada and Britain are expressing reluctance about continuing to maintain their
troop presence in Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan and Pakistan, more civilians are being killed in so-called
anti-terrorist operations by U.S. forces, which have attacked villages with
warplanes, drones and direct combat offensives. The U.S. is also threatening to
neutralize or possibly remove the puppet leader of Afghanistan, Mohammad
Karzai, by appointing a prime minister to the occupation-supported government.
Karzai, who is under enormous pressure from the Afghan people, has had to
object to these U.S. plans and declare that his government is not a puppet
Despite these crimes of “preemptive” war, occupation and the
wholesale massacre of civilians, the ICC has not seen fit to indict any Western
states. Neither the U.S. nor Sudan is a signer of the Rome Treaty that created
the ICC. If the U.S. is not subject to its jurisdiction, then why should the
government in Sudan submit to its arbitrary actions?
In other parts of Africa, the U.S. backed and paid for the Ethiopian invasion
and occupation of Somalia, beginning in December 2006. While Ethiopian forces
have withdrawn from Somalia after a two-year occupation, this episode created
one of the worst humanitarian crises on the continent, leaving thousands dead
and a million displaced.
In addition, the southern African nation of Zimbabwe will continue to be a
target of economic sanctions by the U.S. despite the formation of an inclusive
government headed by President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Because of Mugabe’s program to return
white-owned land to the African people, Zimbabwe’s economy has been
destroyed by sanctions. The country is now recovering from a cholera outbreak
that killed 4,000 people and sickened many others.
A serious double standard operates with respect to countries that attempt to
follow a political policy independent of U.S. aims on the African continent. As
a result of these contradictions, people in the West concerned about the war
crimes of the imperialist states must demand that the ICC charges be dropped
against Sudan and its leaders.
At the same time, anti-imperialists should tell the U.S. administration to halt
all threats and intimidation tactics against Sudan and any other states or
political forces in Africa that seek to exercise their right to
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