Noam Chomsky describes the repercussions of the 1998 U.S. bombing of the al-Shifa pharmaceuticals factory in Sudan.
This excerpt of Chomsky's letter (see note below) starts with three cited quotations from the mainstream press:
Chomsky continues ...
Proportional to population, this is as if the bin Laden network, in a single attack on the U.S., caused "hundreds of thousands of people -- many of them children -- to suffer and die from easily treatable diseases," though the analogy is unfair because a rich country, not under sanctions and denied aid, can easily replenish its stocks and respond appropriately to such an atrocity -- which, I presume, would not have passed so lightly. ... [This shocking crime] ... is one for which we are responsible: as taxpayers, for failing to provide massive reparations, for granting refuge and immunity to the perpetrators, and for allowing the terrible facts to be sunk so deep in the memory hole that some, at least, seem unaware of them.
This only scratches the surface. The U.S. bombing "appears to have shattered the slowly evolving move towards compromise between Sudan's warring sides" and terminated promising steps towards a peace agreement to end the civil war that had left 1.5 million dead since 1981, which might have also led to "peace in Uganda and the entire Nile Basin." The attack apparently "shattered...the expected benefits of a political shift at the heart of Sudan's Islamist government" towards a "pragmatic engagement with the outside world," along with efforts to address Sudan's domestic crises," to end support for terrorism, and to reduce the influence of radical Islamists. [Mark Huband, Financial Times, Sept. 8, 1998]
In this respect, we may compare the crime in the Sudan to the assassination of Lumumba, which helped plunge the Congo into decades of slaughter, still continuing; or the overthrow of the democratic government of Guatemala in 1954, which led to 40 years of hideous atrocities; and all too many others like it.
One can scarcely try to estimate the colossal toll of the Sudan bombing,
even apart from the probable tens of thousands of immediate Sudanese victims.
The complete toll is attributable to the single act of terror -- at least,
if we have the honesty to adopt the standards we properly apply to official