Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ghana, But...

"Nostalgia is not what it used to be." —Anon

How time flies! So, fifty-three years have already gone by since our parents gathered to celebrate our freedom from colonialism!

Luckily for us, unlike in many parts of our dear continent, the bestial colonialists didn't shed copious amounts of blood of our compatriots in order to relinquish control of our brazenly stolen land; some of our fine patriots were killed, though -- may the ancestors grant them eternal rest.

But on the whole, our liberation was won on the political front rather than on the battlefield. Our leaders pitted their wits against those of the darned colonialists and they won -- many praises to them all.

So, fifty-three years later, it is the time to, once again, take stock. Fine speeches have been made by our leaders, mostly in unnecessary chest-beating and undeserved self-congratulations.

Please, let no one get me wrong; the very idea of our being free from colonial domination is enough reason, in itself, to celebrate.

Colonialism, whatever veneer its apologists are rendering, is a military conquest undertaken for purely economic domination. It was a war waged by depraved souls to steal our resources. No one colonises another people for purely altruistic reasons. Whatever "development" colonialists claimed to have wrought is purely incidental; the main focus remains the exploitation of the resources of the colonies. Hitler didn't build his super autobahns to make the conquered people enjoy good motoring.

At long last, the battle has ended! And thus, Ghana, your beloved country is free forever!

Why exactly is the whole oil business masked in such opaqueness? Ours is supposed to be a democracy -- government of the people, by the people, and for the people, right? If there is no serious hanky-panky involved, why can't our leaders publish any and all contracts signed on behalf of the republic? After all, our leaders are forever shouting "Transparency, transparency."

Fifty-three years are gone; there is nothing we can do to bring back that which is lost. We can only endeavor not to squander the coming years in the ways and manners we wasted the preceding years. The world expects better from us, and our children certainly deserve better.


Monday, April 5, 2010

In Search of Enemies

"What then did you expect when you unbound the gag that muted those black mouths? That they would chant your praises? Did you think that when those heads that our fathers had forcibly bowed down to the ground were raised again, you would find adoration in their eyes?"
—Jean Paul Sartre.

I don't know how Sartre answered his pungent and all-important question, but no oppressor should expect anything less than the most vitriolic denunciation from me.

America's response to the attempt by the Nigerian Umar Farouk Mutallab to suicide-bomb a plane on 2009 Xmas day was, as usual, predictably knee-jerk and irrational.

It looks like the more things change in the United States of Amerikkka the more they remain the same. And despite all the resources at the disposal of the world's sole military superpower, the country still lacks the aptitude to fashion out responses that would be hard for its numerous enemies to predict.

Americans, it appears, have the rigid mind-set that force and violence are the only logical solutions to any and all problems that confront them. From birth, all their ideological institutions have conditioned them to believe that un-remitted violence is a natural way of life. This is the only explanation we can adduce for a nation where some citizens have more arms in their personal arsenals than those of many national armies. This is also the explanation we can give to a nation that has, according to one estimate, been engaged in about 70 wars in the past 50 years.

Never mind that "Brother" Obama, a Democrat, now holds the helm at the Oval Office; the U.S. continues to behave in its old miserable ways. The new Emperor has sadly chosen to continue to pursue the same inglorious, irrational, and utterly stupid policies of his predecessors.

The "Change We Can Believe In" president continues to react to foreign policy challenges exactly the same way Republican Bush senior and junior reacted -- by launching wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; or like Democrat Clinton did -- by bombing Sudan's sole pharmaceutical company.

Those with the mind that Obama has not actually bombed any country should ask the Pakistanis what American drones have been doing to them. They can also ask what the updated military assistance to Yemen was supposed to achieve if not to waste more Yemenis' lives. They should also ask why Obama and his staff are still rattling their saber against Iran, and why they cannot get it into their heads that Iranians are neither so stupid nor so suicidal as to launch a military assault against their protégé, Israel.

So as a result, America will have to show our strength in the way that we end wars and prevent conflict. We will have to be nimble and precise in our use of military power. Where al Qaeda and its allies attempt to establish a foothold -- whether in Somalia or Yemen or elsewhere -- they must be confronted by growing pressure and strong partnerships.
—President Barack Obama, speech on Afghanistan

And this was the man to whom they awarded a Nobel PEACE Prize!


Wise saying:

" Never use both feet to test the depth of the sea." - African proverb