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southern africa / imperialism / war Tuesday January 09, 2007 15:49 byLucien van der Walt & Michael Schmidt
Southern African anarchist-communists would normally see the former British colony of South Africa as acting as a sub-imperialist power on behalf of the big capitalist powers and its own capitalist ruling class in the region, a sort of regional policeman as it were: if British interests in Swaziland are threatened by the democracy movement, we are sure that South African military might will intervene (as it did against Lesotho in 1998) to shore up the Swazi elite.
But the international scene is changing and today we can chart the rise of the People’s Republic of China as one of Africa’s most powerful kingmakers, whether backing the genocidal regime in Khartoum, or embarking on large-scale building projects including the new Luanda airport (in exchange for 10,000 barrels of crude oil a day) and the Number One Stadium in Kinshasa, a city that with its giant gold statue of a fat, Mao-like Laurent-Desire Kabila is looking like a city on the Yangtze River instead of the Congo (the DRC's mimicry of the Chinese national flag, before adopting a new flag this year, was too obvious to miss).
So Saddam has been convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death. Few people will be shedding tears for the monster. The result was as unsurprising as the trial itself being hardly fair. Judges were replaced if they seemed like they were doing their job and being impartial. Lawyers and human rights organisations noted that it was prone to political interference and reduced to farce on occasion.
The crisis over North Korea has only reminded us of the worldwide danger of nuclear war. Anarchists must oppose all development of nuclear bombs, by the US but also by an oppressed nation (such as North Korea) and even by a Federation of Anarchist Communes.
I’m an anarchist communist journalist and wrote this piece specifically for anarkismo.net. I entered Lebanon via Syria, from the north during the second half of the war, on the last access road not yet bombed by the Israelis (yet a plantation I travelled through was flattened an hour after I passed). I travelled mainly in Beirut and in its bombed southern suburbs, and in Sidon in the south as far south-east as the target of Ghazieh, leaving on the first military transport flight out after the ceasefire came into effect.
Photo: The stone arch of a monument under construction in Ghazieh frames a damaged Mercedes and the rubble of the home in which the 7-member Khalifeh and 14-member Badran families were killed and 28 others injured.
The war between Israel and Hezballah is temporarily over. The left has taken a range of positions on the Israeli-Lebanese war. Anarchists have opposed the U.S.-Israeli aggression, pointing out the reactionary nature of both sides in the war. However, many have tended to equate the two sides, to treat them as equally bad, and to call for opposing the war on both sides. While there is a good deal of confusion on this issue among anarchists, it is my impression that most have failed to support the oppressed against the oppressor in this war.
Thu 24 Jul, 14:26
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