Policy Adrift As Administration Sides With Africa's Enemies--The Corrupt Leaders

Black Star editorial calls upon Obama Administration not to screw Africa and to redeem Africa policy

There comes a moment in a lifetime when one has an opportunity to break with the bad old ways in order to open a great new future.
That moment is still at hand for President Barack Obama with respect to U.S. relations with the African continent. His decisions could free millions of Africans from bondage -- the one imposed for decades now by African dictators often with Western collusion-- save millions of lives in avoided bloodshed, and help unleash the great reservoir wherein Africa's vast potential has been condemned.
President Obama started that journey last August in Accra, Ghana. He vowed he would help Africans discard the bad old ways. Yet today, the U.S. seems fully vested in that terrible type of past relationship with African countries--assisting and abetting genocidal regimes.
Rather than becoming a friend of Africans --the millions of ordinary Africans who yearn for democracy-- the U.S. is again acting like an enemy of Africa by embracing tyrannical regimes.
In Accra last August, Obama had said gone were the days of the African strongman. Yes, Africa's growth was stunted and there had never been a tradition of democratic governance due to colonial rule, Obama noted. True as these historical injustices had been, African countries could no longer use them as excuses, he added.
Not because they were not legitimate grievances; but because the world's compassion had dissipated and the approach would yield no fruits.
Now, Africans had to seize the day--the new generation of Africans; the young; the women; the entrepreneurs; the scientists; and, in other words, the next generation-- in order to create a new destiny.
The Big Men had had their days.
In a globalized economy, with investment choices, who --apart from the corrupt Western multi nationals that finance genocide in Congo, via Rwanda and Uganda-- would want to sink funds in environments dominated by corruption and embezzlement?
The true Africa --the Africa which remains merely "potential" -- could only be unleashed through regular and established transfer of political power; transparency; the rule of law; and, accountability. An American president was finally inviting the African continent to join the global community.
African countries --and the leadership-- would no longer be evaluated based on a lower standard. It was the end of paternalism and an end to coddling dictators who served U.S. interests while brutalizing their African countrywomen and men while spiriting billions of dollars of embezzled funds abroad.
And all of Africa --except the dictators and their acolytes-- welcomed President Obama's Accra, Ghana speech.
But the speech remains rosy words in the sky.
President Obama has the choice of either doing the right thing, or pulling another Bill Clinton on Africa. The former U.S. President, instead of conditioning U.S. financial and military assistance to African countries based on, to what extent the leadership embraced democratization and the rule of law, simply created,
out of thin air, "a new breed of African leaders."
Clinton knew the leaders --Paul Kagame in Rwanda, Yoweri Museveni in Uganda, and Meles Zenawi in Ethiopia-- represented the anti-thesis of democratization and the rule of law. Yet, Clinton simply coined a phrase that the imbecilic corporate media embraced and suddenly all was good.
Millions lost African lives later, these bad old leaders still run the show in these African countries, with U.S. financial and military assistance. Rwanda is on the verge of holding a bogus presidential "election" with the opposition political parties' leaders either exiled, under house arrest, or six feet under: And it seems that the U.S. is preparing to recognize the outcome of the "election."
This is abominable and harkens to the days when here in the United States, elections used to be held in the Southern States while Black voters were either barred from voting, being lynched, being "disappeared," or showered with water cannons.
Ethiopia has already held its sham elections that have been recognized by the United States. The Ethiopian regime has sold itself as a frontline state against expansion of Islamism in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia's army was permitted to commit war crimes in Somalia during its U.S.-backed occupation.
Zenawi has a blank check -- business as usual.
In Uganda a genocidal dictator, General Museveni, who also happens to be a racist -- he once told The Atlantic Monthly Magazine that Black people who were captured into slavery were "stupid" -- has similarly prostituted his country's army to serve as policeman on behalf of the United States, in Somalia. Notwithstanding the fact that the same Uganda army had been found liable by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2005 for what amounts to war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The court awarded Congo $10 billion in compensation, of which a dime has yet to be paid.
So, an army that had committed terrorism in Congo was sent to keep the peace in Somalia? Even by the contemptuous double standards reserved only for Africa this was exceedingly obnoxious. No wonder most African countries refused to join this charade which has been disguised as an "African Union" force.
Now, lo and behold, Uganda's soldiers in Somalia are reportedly indiscriminately shelling civilian areas in Mogadishu, the Somali capital. Also look for General Museveni to use the recent terrorist bombings in Kampala, reportedly by al-Shabab, the Somali militants, as justification as he crushes domestic pressure from pro-democracy forces heading into the presidential election of 2011.
The United States once again --in its narrow quest to satisfy strictly U.S. interests-- is on the wrong side of history in Africa.
It's true that President Obama inherited the U.S. Africa policy --hypocrisy: aiding and abetting genocidal dictators while calling them "allies"-- from George W. Bush, who in turn inherited the policy from Bill Clinton.
But this is now Obama time.
The African continent -- victimized and brutalized by foreign powers and never allowed to fulfill its own destiny for centuries-- deserves better. What better way than to start this transformation under the watch of a leader who traces his lineage directly to central Africa.
So, will President Obama deliver on his own Accra Speech or will be pull another Bill Clinton against Africa?
President Obama still has time to answer this question.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at10:49 PM


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