Every time I read any of the books authored by Tom Friedman the famous New York Times syndicated columnist or listen to him articulate his views on this topic in one-on-one interviews on television. I come away feeling perplexed as to why George Bush is still as popular as he is with his conservative base despite his flawed policies anchored on all of the above. As a dye-in-the-wool liberal, I often cannot help in my own little world comparing the Bill Clinton views of the world and his policies as President with those of our current tenant in the White House. Every time I do that, my mind goes back to my
own country to assess how the same theory isplaying out there and how our current President and his ruling majority Party,the PDP sees itself despite the emerging consensus on their flawed policies andevident failure as a force to reckon with in the future of ourcountry.
I appreciate that Nigeria is too small a country to use as a benchmark in testing out this hypothesis. I am therefore going to focus on the two world acclaimed super powers of The United States and the former Soviet Union. Since the Soviet Union is now history the relic of it, the Russia Republic, which has replaced it, is a far cry from the power and prestige the old Soviet Union used to project under Breznev, Korinenko, and Gorbachov. The new Russia under Vladmir Putin is still a force to reckon with, even though she has lost a lot of her clout as a super power. The whole world knows that. As a matter of
fact, Russiain spite of her size, powers past glory and leverage around the world, was almost brought to her knees by the resistance of the Islamic Chechnya Province,which is seeking some measure of autonomy and self rule from the Russianrepublic. In the days when the theory of absolute power used to hold sway, Russia could easily have rolled over Chechnya by brutal force and get away with it. But in the age of globalization and with the reality check in the foreign policy community around the world, the notion of a bigger state attempting to rollover a smaller country by sheer force has become a myth.
The notion is no more as simple as it sounds as so many other unforeseeable complications have set in. The resistance of the Chechnya Republic has become a major albatross on the neck of Russia as we speak. By the same token, the United States under Emperor George Bush is finding out that force alone as an instrument of policy does not cut it. When George Bush took his decision to overrun Iraq and to take out Saddam Hussein, he had thought the enterprise was going to be a cakewalk far much easier than confronting North Korea and Iran, which posed a more immediate danger. As a matter of fact, Dubya has calculated that the weakest of his three axis of evil, which happens to be Iraq would easily capitulate under the superior fire power unleashed on Iraq following some element of the Colin Powell’s script or doctrine on massive fire power in situations like that. His flawed expectation that American troops were going to be welcomed into the streets of Baghdad with bouquet of flowers and jubilation has not panned out.
What has unfolded is a quagmire and sectarian insurgence and violence that are taking so much toll on the occupying forces and putting America’s erstwhile policy of curtailment and constructive engagement in a very volatile region of the Middle East in total jeopardy. American has lost close to 2,500 American troops and several multiples of that number in wounded soldiers who could never return again to active service. The cost in dollars is abominably high putting America’s foreign debt back in the red despite the surplus Bill Clinton had left behind after eight years in office. The lack of respect and
credibility for America all over the world, have reached an all time high in the annals of American history.
There is definitely an urgent need for America to go back to the drawing board, throw out the rascals in the White House and in Congress to drastically review the current policy which I believe is not working at all. To prove that you only need to see how many times the Bush Administration has had to take back his own words in his dealings and negotiations with North Korea and her nuclear power ambition, which is now a “fait accompli”. Bush has previously stated America is not going to engage in any direct diplomatic talk with North Korea until they repudiate or stop their plans to go nuclear. The Bush Administration is following the same track with Iran and her intransigence in
going nuclear eitherAmerica likes it or not. George Bush has so boxed himself into a corner with much of the world that he can no longer be trusted to lead the world.
With globalization a lot of the options open to the super powers is no longer there in the aftermath of 9/11. If little Afghanistan and weakened Iraq can give as much problem as they are giving America today, how could America survive with North Korea, Iran and probably Syria and Indonesia added to the mix? America or the State of Israel going all out to go bomb the nuclear reactor sites in Iran may pose greater dangers to the few allies of America in that region, and could do more harm than good, when all is said and done. Of course, it is inconceivable that America would ever think of going to bomb the nuclear reactors in North Korea.
The way out is diplomacy and some element of appeasement. Using sheer force and intimidation would not do the trick. That policy has not only failed at the global level, it has also failed at the local level in Nigeria as Obasanjo and his supporters for his third term ambition have now grudgingly but sheepishly admitted. I have just read on the Internet Obasanjo’s views of the massive rejection and humiliation his Administration has just suffered on the third term debate and the review of the Nigerian Constitution, which he had sponsored and covertly funded.
In more civilized polities, Obasanjo and his Party having suffered such a massive rebellion and mutiny within its ranks, should be singing its “nunc dimitis” to borrow a leaf from the Roman Catholic Church. Rather than doing that, Obasanjo and Ali his Party Chairman are still trying to pull a fast one on the country by claiming victory and saying they are happy that the Nigerian Democracy has stood the test of time. The silly impression that there is no” victor and no vanquished” in the just concluded debate in the Nigerian Parliament is a fallacy. Obasanjo and his surrogates and supporters were clearly
the vanquished in the debate. They have done their worst to undermine the Constitution, but having failed they are now claiming to be the champions and the greatest defenders of the same Constitution. If that is not fraud, I don’t know what else it is for a president who wants to be seen and recognized as the greatest fighter of Corruption in Nigeria.
Shouting “PDP – Power” at the end of his recent speech to the Board of Trustees of the PDP in Abuja is about one of the most stupid things a president who has just been so openly humiliated and rejected, could have done. Nigerian voters would be crazy to re-elect a Party with the kind of track record the PDP has had under Obasanjo. I agree that Obasanjo through his crude methods, has achieved a few breakthrough for Nigeria. But if you really look at some of those achievements, it is one step forward and two steps backward. It is time to resist the massive election rigging and intimidation that have become the hallmark of the PDP as the majority Party in Nigeria under Obasanjo.The elements in the PDP led by courageous Senate President Nnamani who have stood by the people and rejected the dictation coming from their Party Chairman and President, do not belong to a rudderless party like the PDP. They must either join more viable parties or go independent, if they still want to retain their seats after the next election. Sheer force and intimidation as instruments of policy hav
e failed in the global community just like it has failed locally.
I rest my case.