No poor bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.
He won it by making other bastards die for their country.
George S. Patton, General (1885-1945).
ACCORDING TO THE Washingtonpost/Associated Press (online 03/14/03) “President Bush “is ready to unveil recommendations for a path to creation by 2005 of a Palestinian state.” However, this is contingent upon “confirmation of a Palestinian prime minister” that is “deemed credible by the U.S.” And in an earlier statement at the Rose Garden, the president called “upon all parties in the Middle East to abandon old hatreds.” What a crock! This is just another ploy by the US government to bamboozle the Palestinians. A classic diversion…it is that simple.
The message is this: the White House and the president would be “ready” for a Palestinian state if Chairman Arafat gave up most of his power – or preferably, abdicate the chairmanship of the Palestinian Authority. Oh, by the way, the US and the Israelis must certify the said prime minister to be “credible.” What does “credible” mean? Well, that is a code word for “the willingness to take orders from the White House and the various Jewish lobbying groups…someone who is ready to do the bidding of the Americans.” May be the world should have demanded of the US Supreme Court to select a man who is credible, sensible, and good-natured and a man who would have the sense to work within the framework of the new world system. But we didn’t. It wasn’t in the World’s place to dictate to the Americans who their president should be; in the same vein, it is not America’s business to tell the Palestinians how to run their country.
Successive American governments, in the last 30 years or so, have come up with a “peace plan.” In doing so, they exert a lot of energy and publicity; at the end of the day however, nothing comes out of their duplicitous plans. It is all talks, talks and more talks. And when the “talks” fail, they blame Yassar Arafat and the PLO/PA. Bill Clinton followed the Israeli/Jewish PACs script – and George Bush is doing the same thing. The American government should be honest with itself and with the general public in declaring that they have no intension of granting the Palestinians statehood. The White House, the US Congress, the US opinion makers, and select US Corporations should stop this charade. They are not interested in the Palestinian cause. They are all cheering for the state of Israel.
Though at a disadvantage – in terms of military and economic power, and external aid – the Palestinians has proven they can hold their own against the crushing and superior military might of the Israelis. When the Israeli Defense Force goes on rampage – killing, maiming, bulldozing homes, arresting women and children, it is as though it never happened. Very little of these atrocities are ever reported. The Israelis are very good at belittling and demeaning their neighbors; yet, not much of it is ever reported in the US news media. But when the Palestinians manage to cause the loss of a few Israelis, the American news media act as though the entire Jewish population was wiped out. Fox News, the most vile of all news outlets, would even embark on a marathon “suicide bombing news.”
Are the Jews more important than the Arabs? Is the life of an Israeli more precious than the life of a Palestinian? No. No. No. The Israelis are bent on making the lives of the Palestinians a living hell. Well then, the Palestinians too should make the lives of the Israelis a pit of fire.
TONY BLAIR, the once affable and likable prime minister of Britain, must be feeling the heat he helped fester. He, along with Bush probably thought they could pull the wool over the world’s eye and get away with it. Unlike Bush, the prime minister was well liked around the world. He was admired; and in so many ways was similar to Bill Clinton in terms of his passion for the well being of the less fortunate; respect for global institutions and world opinion. Clinton was a friend to the world. Blair has good reasons to be friends with Bush; however, he wasn’t smart enough to recognize when to distance himself from the American president. And if he couldn’t distance himself — he should have been frank enough to tell Bush the truth: the world will not tolerate America’s superciliousness. The world will not tolerate America’s crude display of raw power.
The French and the Germans understood this. And I doff my hat to both President Chirac and to Chancellor Schroeder. The French in particular have had to endure all manner of abuse and ridicules from the American Congress and a few idiots within the US government. The Americans are now threatening the French with “wine embargo,” and have embarked on renaming french-fries and anything French “Freedom.” Freedom Fries? So petty and silly a move!
Whether President Saddam Hussein disarms or not, the Americans are coming after him. This is so because America has crossed the Rubicon; and there is no going back. It is just a matter of time before President Bush orders his military to flatten Iraq. It is impossible to predict the outcome of the war and of the battle; still, posterity will not be kind to Bush and to Blair. Most people agree Bush’s leadership style is coarse, raw, and unresponsive to reason; but what about Blair’s…a man who should know better. He should know that this impending war is unjust and uncalled for; he should know he is about to tarnish his legacy; he should know he would not come out of this unscathed.
A FEW PEOPLE have informed me – in response to my article on the Ijaw nation — that what harms the Ijaw nation the most — is a lack of leadership. I made this same point in another panel when I posited “…say what you want about Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He was the most effective and influential Nigerian in the later-half of the twentieth century; and in him Nigerians found a patriot and a leader. And the Yorubas especially, found a trustworthy and visionary leader. He promised. He delivered… what the Ijaws need is a leader, or a body of people to take them to “the promised land.” Otherwise, 50 years hence, the Ijaws would still be wallowing in self-pity.”
And just recently I concluded in a missive that the Ijaw land is vastly underdeveloped because they do not have leaders of substance to galvanize the citizenry. The Hausas, Igbo and Yorubas have leaders looking after their interest in Abuja and Lagos. The Ijaws have no one looking after their interest; and the ordinary folks are too gullible. A guy steals their money, betrays their confidence, and misuse and abuse power…still, they’ll vote for the same person or group of people, or bestow traditional title on the said vagabonds! In as much as I blame the so-called leaders for the Izon plights; the ordinary folks also bear some of the responsibility for the ills that has befallen their land. There seems not to be penalty or disincentive for hooliganism and thievery. The ease at which the Ijaws forgive their roguish leaders never ceases to amaze me.
THE EYES OF THE WORLD is upon Nigeria as we approach the 2003 elections. The gubernatorial election in Kwara State between the incumbent, Governor Lawal and the clan of Dr. Olusola Saraki is gearing up to be the most volatile – outside of the Lagos state mess. For the past three decades, Saraki has been the kingmaker of Kwara politics – although many political pundits have been disputing this – claiming that the Turaki of Ilorin has always been an opportunist. They claim that even if Saraki was relevant in the political landscape of Kwara, that his days as a kingmaker are numbered.
I lived, and attended secondary school in Ilorin; and it was hard to escape the feeling or the credence that Saraki “owned” Ilorin (if not Kwara state). Should Dr. Bukola Saraki, governor Lawal’s opponent and the son of Olusola Saraki lose the gubernatorial election, the mystic of the Turaki would be greatly eroded and might even signal the end of a dynasty. My fear is that the loser (of the election) will not go quietly into the sunset. Therefore, the police should closely watch Kwara state so as to avoid the floridarization of the elections.