opinionBy Kuir ë Garang
South Sudanese leaders think they have a friend in the so-called 'International Community.' I don't know whether I'm deluded or they're naïve. What is 'International Community' (IC) anyway? What's it? An organization? A group of nations? A benevolent person? United Nations? Excuse you me! There is no such a thing as a caring, listening 'International Community.'
The so-called International Community is a bunch of self-interest-driven power-players; self-proclaimed 'saviours', who hide their vested interests and ulterior motives in the clichéd mantra of 'helping' the THIRD WORLD. No country in the world, and I mean no country, has ever put its state's interest secondary to the interest of any state function. You're as good as their interest!
We delude ourselves in the thought that United States, European Union and Israel, are our friends. No, they are not! They are our 'friends' as long as we remain relevant to their interest. (Remember I said their interest not them). We are as good as their interest in us is contemporary and beneficial.
The 'free world' dreads Chinese human rights records almost everyday, but they still bow down in front of China when it comes to economic enterprises. Canadian oil company Nexen is being taken over by Chinese state-owned CNOOC Ltd. Remember, CNOOC is state-owned not private; something the west would normally fear as communist or socialist. Why is this happening? Interest, monstrous capital interest!
However, the so-called 'West' is good at playing amiable friend, selectively that is. Beshir continues to butcher the people of Darfur and what does the 'International community' do? Nothing! Oh, IC helped indict him (Through International Criminal Court in The Hague) for a number of counts but hey Jack, Beshir is still free! Somalia remains a failed state and what does the 'International Community' do? Nothing! Oh, they arm Ethiopians because who'd want to die for Somalia after 'Black Hawk' was downed? Fellow Africans, perhaps!
Now, people are displaced as some are dying in Southern Kordofan and Southern Blue Nile and the presumably 'moral' and 'liberal' Obama, the leader of the 'FREE' world, refuses to declare (or support) a no-fly zone in Sudan. France, supported by other 'Western' nations,' is pounding on Mali to ostensibly help Malians from the would-be Taleban-type Islamic Extremism. How kind of them? Why is no one pounding on Khartoum on behave of the suffering Sudanese?
Something has to be remembered with the so-called 'West.' When Hitler was killing Jews, other minorities and disabled people in Germany, many Jews who fled Germany in search of refuge were refused entry into Canada and the US. Even when they knew these people were being butchered like flies by Hitler and the Nazis. It is a great shame Canada and US never recovered from. You can understand why Canada, the US and Europe support Israel even when Israel commits unspeakable atrocities against helpless Palestinians. They are overcompensating for the shame of the past. It's not that they care about the Jews!
Besides the sins of the past, Israel is becoming a strategic excuse and a political, western eye in the Middle East. To maintain the status quo, or the pseudo-Darwinian racial ladder, an excuse that should be used to intimidate weaker states had to be maintained.
When Mr. Marial Benjamin appeals to the IC on behave of the South Sudanese government, he has to know that he's talking to a political vacuum. If you have nothing to offer, you're as good as a noise maker. When John Luk Jok blames the 'International Community' for the constant failure of the nauseating and unproductive meetings between president Kiir and president Beshir, he has to know that he's talking to people who put their interests first. Your interest should be a beneficial subsidiary for them to take you seriously.
The American mission in Juba is basically a business enterprise. However, the Americans play their cards really well and it takes a keen eye and mind to get the gist of the American imperialist machination. Don't implement everything they say, but don't overtly reject their suggestions. Play them before they play you! Like some smart boys are playing them really good!
So, the next time any South Sudanese leader wants to appeal to the IC, s/he has to narrow down the targets. Even with the narrowed down specifity, say, United States or Canada, s/he has to know US and Canada have their own interests, first. And these interests are the impetus for whatever they do in the world. Remember the Nexen example above.
They are not our friends but they play it, theatrically, well. They're your business partners; take it that way! Just ask yourself. Would the US help South Sudan for the sake of helping? What's so special about South Sudan that the 'West' would prefer it over The Republic of Sudan? Don't anyone cite Islam because US has many Islamic nations that're staunch allies. And this alliance is, still, interest-based.
South Sudan has to go about its business as if no one cares about its affairs. What drives other state 'care' is economic interest not humanitarian feelings. We have to therefore see everyone as a business or a potential partner; someone with an interest.
For the 'West' or the US to pressure Beshir, there has to be something put in place for that pressure to be possible. Asking the African Union is like beating a dead horse. The saddest part of the whole affair is we lack innovative leaders, who can come up with forceful grounds affecting to the Sudanese government and enticing to the interest, prone 'West.' Whining has become a political culture in Juba.
We need to act like a government, not some young boy hiding in the protection of his older brother, the Christian West. There is no such a thing as 'International Community.' You are on your own unless you have something to offer.
Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese poet, author and independent publisher living in Canada.