This is the opening of a blog on imperialism from myself as a sympathiser of the ICC. It is my personal expression but I draw heavily on the analysis of the communist left and the ICC in particular. While this thread is informal it shouldn't detract from any deeper expression or position appearing on these boards in relation to imperialism. The hope is that the informality of this discussion, which is open to everyone and I encourage its use, will complement the deepening of our understanding of the imperialist aspect of capitalism.
In order to kick this off I'm submitting here a post I made earlier on libcom regarding a discussion about the role of French imperialism in the Rwandan genocide of 1994:
I don't think that the 1994 slaughter in Rwanda and the primary role of French imperialism in promoting it can be underestimated. The context of this slaughter and the French role in it was the imperialist push of the United States and Britain in the post-eastern bloc collapse and capitalism's "New World Order", ie the role of the US in trying to keep its bloc under control in the face of its former enemy's economic and military implosion. Examples of this by no means smoothly coordinated military push by US imperialism in the face of the weakening of the Nato bloc was the Iraq war of 1992, the "humanitarian" intervention in ex-Yugoslavia in 1992 and various manoeuvres on the African continent which included developments of American and British "influence". which themselves included US training of the Tutsi militias of the Rwandan Patriotic Front. France, which was presenting itself to the world at the time as the pacifist and thoughtful alternative to the aggressive warlike Anglo duo, had already been training its Hutu killers for a number of years (Patrick de Saint Exupery, a journalist for "Figaro" and author of "L'inouvable: la France au Rwanda" - see "Le Monde Diplomatique", March 2004). Rwanda was part of a geo-strategic game between the US, Britain and France within imperialism's "new world order"(Tony Blair went on to use the 1994 Rwandan war to promote the "benign" Anglo-US intervention against Saddam's Hussein Iraq in 2003).
The "secure humanitarian zone" created by the French in the west of Rwanda at the time became the lair of all the extremist groups and representatives of the Hutu governing apparatus ("Le Monde Diplomatique", March 2004). This became part of the slaughterhouse and the French allowed the genocide a free hand as they refused to draw in the Hutu militias and even promoted them. Imperialism bears the responsibility but French imperialism was the major factor behind this slaughter.
Exact numbers killed and legal definitions of a genocide can be a source of confusion and avoidance of the real underlying issues. Numbers seem pointless when the only difference between a Hutu and a Tutsi is the ID card that they happen to be carrying or not. So called ethnic divisions are often just a cover for imperialist slaughter and also provide a western-backed alibi that is racially suggestive that these "ethnicities" are only warring savages and need the civilising forces of the west. But as we saw in Rwanda - and we constantly see elsewhere - these "civilising" forces are the most brutal and depraved and actively play up or create these "ethnic" divisions. You can see it today with South Sudan, capitalism's newest nation that has immediately imploded into a heap of warfare and decomposition. It's "ethnic" the western press tell us - yet of the 70 groups that lived more or less peacefully in the region together there is no word for "tribe". This was and is an imperialist construct in a country set up by Britain around a century ago in order to confront French, German and Italian interests in the region and recently involving France, Britain and the US again confronting each other with the tinsel of Hollywood and the Church of England also put to imperialist use. And all this over what was called "the first genocide of the 21st century" and the slaughter of up to 400,000 (according to NGO's) in Darfur ("Jeune Afrique", 1-14/4/2007). And this time in Sudan, apart from the usual suspects, China, which is becoming militarily adventurous on the continent, is also involved.
Just as there's a denial from some quarters over the murderous role of France in the Rwandan slaughter, there was a denial from some quarters of the British political apparatus over the role of Serbs in setting up concentration camps and undertaking massacres. Although this came from a Stalinist wing of the British bourgeoisie (as I remember it), it perfectly suited the mainstream British ruling class who, then and now, backed Serbia as a vital cornerstone against the expansion of unified German imperialism.
Personally, from what I've read of him, I wouldn't give a whit of proletarian credibility to Chomsky who seems to support one expression of imperialism against another - sometimes the stronger imperialism sometimes the weaker.
I also think that it is important to put the murderous crimes of Stalinism alongside those of fascism rather than oppose one against the other in some sort of political game over body counts. It's important to do this in order to show that Nazi Germany was not some sort of evil aberration from capitalism but an expression of it, with its own specificities at a particular time - as was Stalinism. And I think that it's further important, against those that support the "lesser evil", to clearly state that the murderous crimes of democracy dwarf those of Nazism and Stalinism put together and continue to do so to this day.