Africa & Beyond

Further Reflections On Obama’s Victory

There is no doubt that history was made in the USA by the election of an African-American to the oval office on the 4 November 2008. It was quite beholding to see racism substantially given a befitting burial. With that astonishing performance by Obama and the confidence bestowed on him by the American voters, especially the seeming unanimity with which the main stream whites voted, I believed a new era is about to be dawned on the most powerful country in the world. The US has set the pace and other countries have got to follow this good example. In fact, others don’t need to be reminded about that, otherwise the moving train will just leave them and forge ahead.

The African-Americans and other minority groups can now safely proclaim that “prehistory has ended” and that “actual history” is about to begin. European countries should make more efforts to attenuate “institutionalised racism” in their climes so that the world would be seen to be headed towards permanent peace. I will simply take what has happened in the US as a tip of the iceberg if Europe does not follow accordingly. American has, by this singular act, passed the baton over, for the fight against race and racism, to Britain and France to spearhead in Europe. Both must act to show through concrete actions that they are sincerely ready to confront it. This is also a clarion call for Blacks and other ethnic minorities to get involved in community activities and politics, for Obama’s election did not come as a flash in a pan. It took years of careful planning, sense of maturity and target-focus, tolerance and perseverance, good use of opportunities, and excellent oratorical gymkhana.

When the result was announced, I simply shook my head, pita patted with anger, then went into deep political reflection and remembered June 12, 1993 election. Obama and Abiola’s elections showed that a strongly-willed people desirous for a change can really make change happen. On June 12, Nigerians buried their historical differences and voted for Chief Abiola. That election, as beautiful as it were to the generality of Nigerians and the International observer groups, was annulled by able-bodied and very healthy “mental adults”.

Similarly, in the US, Americans buried their historical differences, spoke with one voice and chose Barack Obama in an election that turned out to be as unique as June 12. The election was upheld and the winner, to be sworn in {Isha Allah} on January 20, 2009. Barack Obama is, par excellence, a good orator. He is clever, persuasive, articulate and intelligent. He knows how to measure and use words for good effect. To those who wanted to play the fool, he suffered them gladly. Throughout his campaign, he was never found wanting. No flip flops. Even where he did, he cleverly ratiocinated and raconteur.

I am not however wont to be carried away by that victory and its media frenzy and hype. I have never trusted the Americans and their gangster capitalist economy. It is the most dangerous economic order in the world. America has committed atrocities in the world that most of us have lost count of. A super imposing power that has, as its global “manifest destiny”, the awesome power to install and remove at will any sovereign government in power.

If there are some attitudes that most sincere and honest human beings hate in life, they are the attitude of domination, arrogance of power and abuse of authority, segregation, crass hypocrisy and double standard combined with impunity. America is all of these rolled into one and many more. But can any country or even a group of countries charge and prosecute the USA in the International Court of Justice at the Hague for carrying out an unjust war in Iraq? No! why? Because she is the self – appointed policeman of the world. In other wards, America is above International law. This is a country that preaches freedom and equality before the law, but like Caesar’s wife, is above reproach.

In her book titled: An Honourable Deception? New Labour, Iraq, And The Misuse Of Power {2005}, a former Secretary of state for International Development under Tony Blair from 1997 to 2003, Clare Short, writes: “It is notable that world-wide spending on aid stands at $68 billion {£40 billion}. Worldwide spending on arms is over $1,000 billion. The US alone spends more than $400 billion per annum on arms and less than $16 billion on aid”. You see what I mean! This is just one of the contradictions deeply embedded in the capitalist system that bamboozles the minds of most humanists! Today, the world is going through economic crunch which was masterminded by the US. Virtually every country is in coma because they are all tied to the apron strings of the US dollar. When ever she deems it fit to sneeze, others simply catch hay fever and malaria. That has been the bane of US spread of global capitalism. Every country must be tied to International capital by hook or crook. It is of no relevance to the US whether the internal dynamics of a country dictates the contrary.

America has destroyed many countries and distorted most other economies. She is still destroying most Latin American economies. Haiti has become her guinea pig. Cuba has been barricaded from the rest of the world since the 1960s. The Vietnam and Iraq wars were unwarranted and uncalled for, yet the USA went in, to either stop the spread of communism which a people wanted anyway or, to look for phantom weapons of mass destruction that existed only in the brain cells of George Bush {Junior} and Tony Blair. Yet innocent souls have been lost while most others are maimed for life in wars, induced, financed and sustained by America.

Needless to say that if America is not fighting communism both imaginary and real, it is fighting terrorism. If she is not fighting freedom fighters, revolutionary forces and guerrillas in the forest of Latin America, she is fighting Islamic fundamentalists of her creation. If she is not fighting Al-qaeda, she is fighting Syria, Iran’s Ahmadinijad or North Korea. America has made the world unsafe. She exports her internal crises to other climes in form of war. The US is involved in space war, sea war, ecological war, virological war, atmospheric war, chemical war, biological war, gender war, food war, and all manner of wars. American capitalism thrives on war and is one country that is allergic to peace, especially when the Republican party is in power. In the game of electoral Russian roulette, dictated by American class dynamics and its bourgeois-owned hyper mad media, the Democratic party only comes in, to up the ante and consummate the war machine. War to the US, is a continuation of business. It is one, if not the only country in the world that can move into a country with its intimidating military, bomb that country and reduce it to smithereens, then goes ahead to award dubious mouth watering contracts to its own multinational corporations to rebuild same country! What a game on human lives!

Her brand of capitalism generates wars and arm merchants {agents of human deaths} waiting by the wings, effortlessly stroll in, into those theatres of war to supply weapons to warring parties all in the name of business and profits. After each lost or won war, America goes on to manufacture another, based in most cases on fictitious reports compiled by its bourgeois intellectuals and various security networks. Readers should buy and read THE POWER ELITE {1956} by C. Wright Mills and the new edition {1998} to know those invincible intervening interest groups behind power in our God’s own country. Also, read The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics In America {2007} by David Horowitz and, Failed states: The Abuse Of power and assault on Democracy {2007} by Prof. Noam Chomsky {an articulate and one of the most brilliant academics on America’s duplicitous foreign policies}.

A super power that has no set universal standard or benchmark but uses ‘pick and choose’ method does not worth a humane world’s approbation. No country has a right to determine for other countries which economic or political course of action to follow. It is not any country’s business. That is what Nigerians call busy body. America suffers from busybody syndrome – the tendency to mind other countries business and interfere in their internal affairs.

America enjoys democracy but does not want other countries to enjoy same. They have mingled in some and destroyed most others. In Venezuela they could not succeed because the Venezuelans have seen through American hypocrisy. In 1998, they voted overwhelmingly for popular democracy against the US-sanctioned “big men” democracy where the US would have connived with Venezuelan comprador bourgeoisies to squander and loot the resources of that nation. We also saw her iniquitous and questionable roles in the demise of June 12 and the death of Abiola. American, if indeed it’s God’s own country, has a lot to answer before the throne of God.

Democracy to them is to go to “a polling boot and mark X in a box.” But to some other countries, it is the ability of any ruling social class to provide the following with little or no stress for it citizens, namely, free and qualitative education at all levels; provision of affordable healthcare and social housing; full and gainful employment; equal rights and equality of sexes; social services, ability to work, buy and eat affordable nutritious food; denunciation of exploitation, alienation, and the worst of all, the dispossession of the working class that creates the wealth in both the public and private sectors of any economy.

American, with its dogmatic emphasis on reformism, has used the institutions of the world bank and the IMF to spread poverty, squalor, misery and indigence to third world countries. With the stiff conditions laid out by these world financial bodies, most third world countries that took loans from the IMF had found themselves in quandary. The US has hijacked these institutions and used them to spread the doctrines of capitalism, laissez-faire and market economy.

Thus structural Adjustment programmes {SAP} and privatization of public owned institutions have been recommended to third world countries that are keen to enjoy IMF facility. These two policies have led to series of economic distortions and fiscal crises in those countries that dared. Brazil and Mexico are suffocated by debts whose interest rate is another kettle of fish. The Boff brothers in their book titled, Introducing Liberation Theology {1987}, write: “ in 1964 the Brazilian economy ranked 46th in the world; in 1984 it ranked 8th. The last twenty years have seen undeniable technological and industrial progress, but at the same time there has been a considerable worsening of social conditions for the poor, with exploitation, destitution, and hunger on a scale previously unknown in Brazilian history. This has been the price paid by the poor for this type of elitist, exploitative, and exclusivist development in which, in the words of Pope John Paul 11, the rich become ever richer at the expense of the poor who become poorer”.

So, loans collected could neither be repaid nor helped to improve those economies. Instead of qualitative progress, they have harvested grinding poverty, reported cases of cannibalism, increasing unemployment, crime, blinding corruption, political instability and conflicts, coups and counter coups, wars and insurrection etc. Sit tight leaders who do America’s bidding are retained through flawed and rigged elections. CIA sponsored killer squads globe trot the world looking for sins to commit. The list is endless. Please read the following books to get an up-to-date account and records of America’s cupful of evils, wickedness and atrocities across our endangered mother earth. They are: Rogue State {2003}by William Blum. This book, backed with scientific data, tells it ho ha’ Nigerian English or pointblankly, that the US is the real rogue state.

The other books are Professor Noam Chomsky’s, namely: Hegemony or Survival : America’s Quest for Global Dominance {2007}, Perilous Power {2008} and another which he co-authored titled: Manufacturing consent: The Political Economy of Mass media. These books contain names of countries where the US has left “petals of blood” either in retreat or on-going, played double standards and sometimes single standard, assassinated personalities, overthrew elected governments, perverted democracy which her {own} citizens cherished and literally eat like burger, encouraged and financed wars, discouraged the emergence of progressive and nationalistic governments in third world countries. A reading of most of the books authored by Prof. Noam Chomsky is enough to send shivers up the spine of lovers of America and its democracy.

In all those atrocities, the continent of Africa was not spared. And that is the big octopus, Barack Obama, an African-American, was voted to lead and serve. Would Barack Obama, who seemingly looks like a conservative humanist, change this dangerous pattern? Would he follow the foot steps of past America governments with tact and diplomacy without hurting the invincible interests groups that directs our “God’s own country” from behind the scene? I cannot see that happening but only time will tell! The BBC reported after his victory and acceptance speech that the president elect was due to meet top CIA chiefs to update him on their activities. I believed that by now he must have met them and has been briefed. We know what that means, don’t we? But I beckon on Barack Obama to use his office to start the process of reconstructing Africa. He should use the CIA to ‘blow away’ dictators and sit tight leaders in that continent who have brought iniquities and unjust sufferings to their people. He should help groom a new generation of young, vibrant and intelligent African leaders that would take the bull by the horn and help lift the continent out of turmoil, shame, and backwardness. If Obama does not intend to help do just that for Africa, then I wish him luck. I rest my case!

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