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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Nigeria, Africa and the War on Terror

The cold war has ended and the war on terror has begun, but the basic tactics of the US foreign policy remains simple and the same. You are either friend or foe. A friend of our friend is a friend, while an enemy of our friend is an enemy. It is that cold war mentality that if you are for the communist you are an enemy.
Recently, Nigeria agreed to a nuclear deal with Iran in which the Iranians would provide information on nuclear technology to Nigeria. Nigeria has said that she could use a nuclear plant since its no news that Nigeria has power issues. The US on the other hand has said that a country like Nigeria could not handle Nuclear Technology. How are we going to deal with the cancer causing wastes? One might think how nice of the US to be very concern with Nigerians, but the US interest in Nigeria is big. The United States has 2 major interests in Nigeria, one in the North and the other in the South. The southern interest has to do with the Niger-Delta and it is Oil. The US get more than 10% of it oil from Nigeria (Niger-Delta), and we all know what happens to oil prices here if some Niger-Delta militant does as much as sneeze. It’s no secret that the US is addicted to oil, President Bush himself said it. The US is like a crack addict with lots of big guns. He’ll do whatever he can to get his fix, especially if the crack dealer refuses to sell to him. The politicians are beginning to recognize this. They know that a continue addiction to foreign oil would bring the country nothing but unnecessary wars. Because, think about what the crack addict in my analogy above would do with his guns, especially if the crack dealer only have knifes. He would grab one of his big guns, maybe a double barrel and pay the dealer a visit. He would first blow the knob of his door, ransack his house until he found the stash and shoot anybody that try to get in his way. This is why the democrats are looking for alternatives, since they are anti-war and all.
The northern interest for the US is about the war on terror. Since the northern population is mainly Muslim, it would be easy for the Jihadists to turn them against the US. So, the US had to guard against this. The Iranian on their part enters into this nuclear pact with Nigeria to antagonize their enemy (The USA) and counter their influence in Nigeria, and also to prove their point that all nations have the right to this technology.
From here, there are 2 options for Nigeria to follow. We can either become pro-US or continue on this path of provoking the US by making nuclear deals with their enemies and refusing their intelligence stations (AFRICOM) on our soil. Their classic response to this as history has shown would be a regime change attempt. They might succeed as it happened with the Abacha regime. They would remove the hostile regime and put a pro-US guy like that former Abia state Governor: Kalu. Regime change is one of US favorite weapons against smaller nations. I remember telling someone that Mugabe would be long gone if Zimbabwe have oil like Nigeria or Iraq. Although, it might be impossible even for the mighty USA to remove a regime backed by its people, the people power can not be underestimated. Even though the US was backing Samuel Doe, he was still defeated by the people. Even in Iraq where majority of the people oppose Saddam, it all had to result in a war for regime change to happen.
In this post-9/11 war on terror, the US has anti-terror interests all over Africa, especially in the horn, because of their closeness to the Middle East. An Obama administration would automatically deliver Kenya completely to the US side of the War. Somalia on the other hand would remain a battle ground. Sudan is pretty much anti-US, and Egypt seems to be in the center. Pretty much all of West Africa is pro-US. Qaddafi seems to be doing his thing in Libya. He use to be very anti-US, helping Charles Taylor and his men defeat the US backed Samuel Doe. His influence in sub-Sahara Africa is bigger than most people might think. I remember a story I read in a Nigerian newspaper years ago. The President of Togo had asked Obasanjo for money to pay his workers. Obasanjo denied him, saying that Nigerians needed the money. So, he went to Qaddafi and got a fat check. Months later when Togo was hosting some kind of African summit and all African leaders were present; Obasanjo was treated like shit, while Qaddafi received a hero’s welcome. Togo’s President had told his people the story and had basically told the workers who paid their salaries and who had denied them money.
A US assistant secretary of state had once said that when it come to dealing with Africa, he had to do what his best for the US even if it hurts Africa since it is the American tax-payers that pays his salaries and not the Africans. I wonder why many of our leaders don’t feel the same way, after-all they are embezzling all of our money. There is a Yoruba proverb that says that wherever two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers the most. How many bombs were dropped on US or Russian soil during the cold war? How many was dropped on Vietnamese and Koreans? This time, it is the war on terror. I think Africans should be asking ourselves weather we want to be the grass in that Yoruba proverb.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

ACN

It’s funny when African teams with animal names match-up. Take Nigeria’s group in the upcoming ANC for example. You have an eagle (Mali), a super eagle (Nigeria), an Elephant (Ivory Coast) and a squirrel? battling for supremacy. Sorry to anybody from Benin republic but the squirrel is gonna get trampled on in this fight. Of course the super eagle (Nigeria) can defeat the ordinary eagle (Mali) because it’s not just an eagle, it’s a super one. The super eagle also have one advantage over the elephant: it can fly. The elephant is strong, but also it is slow and sluggish. On January 21, watch as the superior eagle would blind the elephant with sharp claws and beak, and rendered it helpless.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

KENYA

“Bob Marley said, how long shall they kill our prophets
While we stand aside and look
But little did he know that eventually, the enemy would stand aside and look
While we slash and kill our own brothers
Knowing that alreadyThey are the victims of the situationStill licking wounds from brutalityStill licking wounds from humiliation”
Lucky Dube
Victim
1993
Lucky Dube himself became a victim of violence in Africa on the 18th of October last year. He was killed in front of his kids during an apparent car-jacking.
Last year when African leaders, hoping to follow in the footsteps of EU proposed the formation of a United States of Africa. The west looked at them and laughed. Why would they think the idea for a United States of Africa is not only funny but also ridiculous? Because they believe that we are too divided to unite. How can a continent that diverse unite? How do you correct centuries of tribal divisions? In Kenya, president Kibaki did exactly what the Nigerians did in their last elections and got the same results: killings of innocents citizens. African government keep organizing fake elections while believing that their people are just too stupid to react.
In the wake of the election killings in Kenya, I start pondering some questions, like when is Africa gonna join the rest of the world in the 21st century? When the fuck are we going to stop being the victim of our own stupidity? and is anybody else fed up with this senseless killings? If only we would be fucking lucky enough to have leaders who would use our diversity for and not against us. If only we would start a war against tribalism and the so-called bigger tribes would stop marginalizing so-called smaller ones. If only we can replace tribalism with a deeper sense of brotherhood and deep empathy for one another. How in God’s name can a house divided against itself stand? When the fuck are we going to get a clue from the Yoruba broom that when it remains a bunch is impossible to break, but take it out strand by strand and you would pieces the broom. When are we gonna wise-up and put an end to this divide-and-conquer system that the west had used to explored us since the first time they landed on our shores. We already did the division part for them, all they have to do is conquer.
I’ll tell you when, whenever we stop seeing ourselves as tribes and ethnic groups, whenever the fuck we can realize that we are one people, whenever Africans back home would learn something from the diasporas. I mean, how do you think it is possible for thousands of people to come together and stand behind 6 teenagers in Jena? Because they have no fucking tribes that is why. They see each other as one people and one blood. The young people that left the comfort of their home to march for the Jena 6 did not see through the lens of tribalism. They saw those guys as brothers and they have empathy for them. The older people had sat down and think “this could happen to my son too.”
Now, one could only wonder which other African nation is ready to kill hundreds of its citizens by failing to learn from these bloody results of fake elections? And would young Africans learn from the mistakes of our fathers and work hard to change Africa for the better in the next 30, 40 years? Would we?
United we Stand
Divided we Fall Flat Yakata,
While the Rest of the World Soar the Skies in this 21st Century.
Its not too late!