At the most basic level conditions that determine the establishment of nation-states at least since the beginning of the modern era which began in 1648 are (1) defined territory; (2) government; (3) independence; (4) willingness and ability to observe international law; (5) permanent population; (6) reciprocity; and (7) sovereignty. Of all the aforesaid however, independence and sovereignty are the most crucial, and are indeed, the most trampled upon. State A must be distinguishable from State B and must have supreme authority over its internal and external matters. In recent times however, “pooled sovereignty” has begun to creep into the conversation.
This essay is not about pooled sovereignty, i.e. the European Union; but it is instead about the bastardization of the independence and sovereignty of small nation-states by the hegemons within the international political system. For instance, the US, France, China, Britain, France, Russia and the State of Israel can all develop, transfer, buy, or exchange sophisticated and deadly weapons, including nuclear weapons; but Iran, Cuba, and North Korea and a host of other countries are not allowed to do so. The hegemons can destroy and destabilize other countries without incurring penalties; but other countries dare not. That is to say while a group of countries can roam and cause havoc, others are forbidden from doing the same.
Is there anything the US and her “partners” cannot and won’t do with impunity? They dictate the rules of the game. They shift the post in the middle of the game. They pick winners and losers. They determine the fate and tribulation of other countries. They decide who live and who die. They have a say on who prosper and who fail. When they commit acts of criminality or terrorism, they label it “defensive measures,” or actions taken in pursuit of their national security. America is not alone here. The British have a way about them; but in the end, they also engage in the same game: the suppression and maltreatment of small nations.
Under certain circumstance, these hegemonies destabilize and overthrow governments that are at odds with their dictatorial tendencies. They fan havoc, encourage military coups, support ethnic violence, provide arms and ammunitions to warring factions and engage in activities that seriously undermines the economy.By so doing, they undermine a country’s independence and sovereignty which in turn leads to state collapse or the weakening of central authority and or the breakdown of institutions. .In order for the affected country to get back on her feet, she must go to Paris, London or Washington DC to beg for assistance. In order for the needed aids and assistance to come through, the affected country must agree to terms and conditions that are, at best dehumanizing; and at worst, accede to conditions that are tantamount to mortgaging the country’s future.
The hegemons favor parity and stability. All they care about is self-perpetuation, self-interest and the continuing subjugation and exploitation of lesser countries. Through the Bretton Wood Institutions and their various military complexes, they prescribe policies that are, in the end, self-defeating, poverty-inducing and which encourages dependency and indolence. Because the agenda and the mood of the international system are dictated by the West, they discourage all notions of justice and fairness. But of course justice and fairness are two characteristics the global landscape lack the most.
Where is the justice and fairness in the ongoing crises in the Middle East? How fair is it that a group of countries can act like gods and others are forbidden from doing so. How fair is it that the US and the UK regularly interferes in the internal affairs of Nigeria and other Third World countries? The United States gave the Israelis the go-ahead to flatten Lebanon; and at the same time is sending aids in the form of food and medicine. Where is the justice? Isn’t this hypocritical? The same country that abhors the scientific use of stem cells actively encourages the killing of women and children. Where is the fairness?
The British elected the man of their choice, a man who, as it turned out, is now Washington’s Yes-Sir-Man. The Americans elected the man of their choice, a man who is perhaps the least educated, the least skilled, the least tolerant and the least humane of the field. That is their problem. Not ours! We didn’t interfere in their internal matters. We didn’t interfere when they bungled their national election; we didn’t interfere in their internal matter when a section of their population was deprived of their rights; we didn’t interfere in their matters when, against global sentiments, they decided to sack Baghdad. Why do they, and why should they interfere in our matters? The West, especially the United States of America, should mind her business and stay out of our internal matters. They have enough on their plate. It is up to us to wash our dirty clothes and plates and deal with our thieving and wayward leaders in ways that fits our collective culture.
Regarding the possible formation of an interim government in Nigeria beginning in 2007, Laolu Akande of the Nigerian Guardian reported that “the Obasanjo administration…may draw the ire of the international community,” stating that the US government “rejects interim government.” Now, whether one is for or against such a move on the part of the Nigerian government is not the point; the point is simple: what concerns the Americans or the British or the Germans about how Nigeria, an independent and sovereign country, decides to manage her affairs? What?! They should mind their business and stay out of our internal matter. They should stop telling us how to govern ourselves.
In all fairness, that they interfere in our internal matters can sometimes be attributed to the types of leaders, institutions and governing system we have. For instance, Chief Funsho Williams, a PDP chieftain is killed, and the Nigerian government invites the London Metropolitan Police to solve the case? After almost five decades of police work, the Nigerian police cannot solve a simple and single murder? Common, what is going on here? How much of our petrol-dollar is the government going to spent for the service, accommodation and transportation of the London police? Why do we have a police force and an inspector general of police if the police cannot solve murders? If you bring in the police for the murder of Funsho Williams, what about future murders? Are you going to keep importing the expertise of foreigners? May be we should also retain their service so as to solve the murder of Bola Ige, Agbeyegbe, Dele Giwa, Marshall Harry and others.
Who own most of the gold and diamond mines in Africa? Who own and or control the oil and gas fields in Africa? Who controls the air routes that crisscross the African continent? Who controls or own the ships and shipping lines in Africa? Who own the bigger and most profitable publishing houses in Africa? Who control the movie and music industries? The list of foreign ownership is almost inexhaustible. Simply put: The West own and control Africa and also own and control much of the developing world. They own all the multinational corporations. Economically, they control the world. Politically, they control the world. Sadly, our leaders’ aid them; and we the populace simply keep our mouths shut…like beaten slaves unable to face or stare down bullies and hypocrites that roam the international landscape.