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The Aftermath of Obama in Ghana

Ghana was on high for the entire week, literally counting down the days until President Barrack Obama and his family touched down.  The energy was electric and no one could escape the excitement, for it was contagious, spreading to the furthest reaches of our borders.  People began pouring into the capital early Friday morning, in anticipation of America’s 44th President, hoping to catch a glimpse of the great man.  Unfortunately, for most, he swept in on a cloud of security and was whisked from the airport to his safe house.  To the disappointment of the masses, there where no scheduled open air meetings, rather he held an exclusive meeting, where he addressed the parliament and distinguished members of the Ghanaian society.  Nevertheless, we were all able to hear his speech word for word, via the live wire.

A welcome change from a Bush, who couldn’t even read through a complete speech, President Obama breezes through entire speeches without glancing at his notes or losing a beat.  He is the Jay-Z of politicians, captivating his audiences both with his marvellous flow and commanding good looks.  Pride exhumed from the faces of the entire audience as President Obama applauded Ghana as the pioneers of good governance, leading Africa by example.  He correctly criticized the corruption that is common place in our society and encouraged a change of attitude among the people to bring about the change that we seek in our time.  He used himself as an example, the son of an African goat herder, now the most influential man in the world.  It is not possible to listen to this man, as an African, without experiencing the euphoria that comes from his victory, which we all share. 

Furthermore, President Barrack Obama showed true class and character when meeting and greeting the people.  He is a statesman of the highest calibre.  And more importantly, unlike his predecessor, he wasn't condescending, scattering crumbs in the form of useless donations to buy his way into the hearts of our people, who have associated any visit from such a high American official, with a hand out.

However, there were two statements that unequivocally revealed his true position on Africa and it was for that reason that we were tuned in.  Two sentences which spoke volumes, nestled in between a flower garden of words.

Black lie # 1: “The West is not responsible for the destruction of the Zimbabwean economy over the last decade, or wars in which children are enlisted as combatants.” 

It is a known fact that Zimbabwe has been subjected to “smart sanctions”, imposed by U.K. and the U.S.A., which are a direct cause of their present economic woes.  Not only that, but President Robert Mugabe is the only existing leader on the continent who refuses under-the-table deals that would swell his pockets in exchange for the resources that his European counterparts insist on controlling, at the expense of his people.  And the wars that employ children to kill and maim, may have black faces, like Charles Taylor at the helm, but they are fuelled by the multi-nationals, who can only get our resources at such outrageous prices by ensuring instability in the region.  No where in Africa are we using children to fight wars that aren’t focused on the control of minerals for export to the West.

Black lie # 2: “And let me be clear: our Africa Command is focused not on establishing a foothold in the continent, but on confronting these common challenges to advance the security of America, Africa and the world.”

At least he admitted, in no uncertain terms, that the Africa Command, established by Bush, is definitely in progress.  He even admitted that his primary concern was the security interests of America, however, he lamely suggests that it isn’t to get a foothold in Africa, meaning he doesn’t intend to manipulate our governments with the strong arm of America’s might, instead, that ever imposing force will simply guard us against the threat of genocide, terrorism and/or drug trafficking.  The benevolence of the Empire is once again upon us.

Earlier in his speech he stated that the generation of Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lamumba and the rest of freedom of fighters have given way to cynicism, even despair.  I say, inevitable, as we witness the watering down of a movement, the annihilation of men of honor and the desecration of truth and rights.  President Obama’s isolation of men like President Mugabe and Fidel Castro is a bad sign, not only for Africans and Latin Americans, but for the whole world.  It stands to suggest that he will maintain the policies of a country, whose history is more cruel than any previous society, so long as they deny America the right to trample their sovereignty under foot.  Furthermore, he proves willing and determined to carry out military occupation, be it active or dormant, to insure America’s interest are secure, at the expense of the host country and the rest of the world.

I am no cynic or pessimist, matter fact, I am quite the optimist.  I am certain that there will be change, real and significant, but like independence, it will not be granted by our oppressors in black or white face.  It will not be determined by the West or even our present puppets in power , but by us, the sons and daughters of the movement, without titles or impressive degrees, just the countless labourers on the ground, laying the foundation of a new day by doing the works, little by little.  The false prophets will be exposed and the strong men deposed, at the dawn of Africa’s rising.