Promoting tyranny and mediating for democracy in one breath! By Kiflu Hussain
Although, the basis of global relations between nations have always been realpolitik that knows no moral principles, one might remain unaware of it unless the shady dealings by the existing global powers affect him/her directly.Yet,in the ever growing and fast moving information technology, for one not to have empathy let alone be uninformed while having internet access is inexcusable.Sadly,despite access to information at ones finger tip which enables one to see clearly that nothing has changed in the global equation that softened the powers-of this world to be fair and square, some still obstinately insist that the West intervenes for the sole purpose of seeing the establishment of genuine democracy.
They prefer to ignore glaring facts of recent history—some too recent– wherein the West hindered aspirations of Africans to fulfill its own selfish geopolitical interest. Some delude themselves that the West has everything, it no longer needs anything from Africa to make it engage in unsavory practice. As Muktar M.Omer pointed out in his well thought-out and tempered essay on www.wardheerNews.com under the title “Is Africa’s problem ‘Big Men’ or Big Colonial’ Interests?” some disciples of market liberalization hasten to dismiss those that demonstrate the enduring ruthlessness of the West as “leftist delusions and finger-pointing of sand-in-head malcontents” who are in the habit of blaming others for their own mess.
It happened to me when I posted my second missive on Cote d’Ivoire’s post-election debacle on www.Abugidainfo.com under the title “Atta Mills’s shown Ghana’s no banana republic.” In a typical argumentum ad hominem, one described me as a person with no life other than plenty of time to write diatribe. He advised me to get “a life” in the rat-race that brooks no room for critical thinking. Another one condemned me as an outdated Marxist whereas the other said he has no time to refute my article except calling me names. The fact that I posted my article as a refugee without seeking a fancy title made it easy for them to attack my person since they were unable to dismiss the points I raised in my writings.Ironically, I found the best compliments for my article in their abusive reaction.Meanwhile,despite the tightening of the noose around Laurent Gbagbo’s neck with the latest measure being the forced resignation of his “ally” from the CFA Bank, I still cannot fail to document the blatant double standards of the “international community.”Perhaps, I have to publish my documentation under the title “Minutes of arrant hypocrisy” quoting Samuel P.Huntington’s “Hypocrisy, double standards and ‘but nots’are the price of Universalist pretensions. Democracy is promoted, but not if it brings Islamic fundamentalism to power; nonproliferation is preached for Iran and Iraq but not for Israel, etc”to ensure the bestselling of my book as one written by a “researcher” not a refugee or worse by an “Islamist” as my Arabic sounding name can easily cast me as one.
Alassane Ouattara; no ordinary opposition figure
Coming back to the subject matter; all my “citizen’s” research so far cannot reveal what worse crime Laurent Gbagbo has committed than his peers in the vicinity and throughout the continent. In fact, I found this gentleman who is known to have coined a saying “Time is the other name of God,” to be too trusting of the “international community” to the point of naiveté. He shouldn’t have gone to election before making sure that the North which is the stronghold of his nemesis, Alassane Ouattara, has completely disarmed and demobilized. Having compromised on this cardinal point, he made his own opponent to be the first “no ordinary opposition figure” in Africa that not only rigged election but also accused Gbagbo of “genocidal plans.”Interestingly, the whole world echoes this accusation after the alignment of Ouattara with Henry Konan Bedie, author of “pure Ivorite”concept.During Bedie’s tenure, people like Ouattara had even difficulty to function as an ordinary citizen let alone to vie for presidency.Yet, the two have closed ranks to accuse Gbagbo of fomenting genocidal thoughts.Normally, this sort of travesty of justice in Africa is perpetrated by incumbents. The man who polarized and pitted Ethiopians along ethnic lines accused the opposition in 2005 of “Interahamwe”style genocide. He went to the extent of planting bombs and killing his own policemen to blame it on the opposition. Tell me; what could prevent the rebels in Ouattara’s stronghold to pull such a stunt including attacking UN personnel and blame it on Gbagbo’s side? Thanks to the “international community’s” recognition of Ouattara, all the mainstream media are dancing to the same tune. How insightful of Omer to point out the “Danger of a single story” by quoting from the acclaimed speech of the Nigerian novelist, Chi Amanda Adichie.That the rebels in the North are armed as equally as Gbagbo’s force, if not more so, have been confirmed by the African Union/AU/mission chosen to mediate the stand-off. According to the January 17-23 The East African, a “complete disarmament, demobilization and re-integration of armed combatants in the country,” has yet to be sought. On the other hand, if propagating “pure” Ivorian concept is considered as a recipe for genocide, what can one make of the Constitution of the United States that bars an American born elsewhere from competing for presidency? Why is it that the Europeans that not only closed their doors for immigrants but also expels an entire community of immigrants like the French did to the Romas, not dubbed as exclusionists? Why is it that nationality question in Africa is always equated with xenophobia and genocide? These sticking issues will also await Alassane Ouattara to confront him once he is rid of his “obstacle,” Laurent Gbagbo.For now let him enjoy his marriage of convenience with Henry Konan Bedie and the “international community.”
Raila Odinga vs. John Atta Mills
To me while Gbagbo is a fool to go into election without making sure that no room for foul play is open, I still maintain that he has one more card left to his favor in the rule of the game; and that is which institution’s ruling prevail in the event of election dispute. To the best of my knowledge, no one has refuted his argument that the Constitutional Council’s ruling overrides all other decisions to which Ouattara has also acquiesced and accordingly went into the game. Too bad; since one member of the “international community,” namely France no longer sees the best “ally” in the person of Gbagbo, it spearheaded the ganging up on him by other members of the “international community.”Thus,in a diametrically opposite fashion to that of the diplomats of this “community” who exhorted the Ethiopian opposition in 2005 to accept defeat and work within the system by respecting the “Fedreal”law of the land, are telling us today that the judges in Cote d’Ivoire’s Constitutional Council are Gbagbo’s allies and therefore not to be trusted. It would be a waste of time to recall that the Supreme Court that ruled for George Bush too was Republican.Yet, it’s imperative to belabour the point that the Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga was chosen to mediate after he called for a military intervention at the conclusion of the climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico. In what was reminiscent of the Zenawi/Sarkozy secret deal that shortchanged Africa in Copenhagen, Odinga made this call too, in a press conference alongside the French Environment Minister, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet.He also embarked in his new mission of mediating for “democracy” fresh from his tour of promoting tyranny in his own backyard.Though,he didn’t root in so many words like the Vice President of his country,Mr.Kalonzo Musyoka,he accompanied the longest serving African dictator,Yoweri Museveni of Uganda in his campaign trail for the upcoming presidential election.Musyoka has been galloping in African cities to enlist support to defer the Ocampo Six case in the ICC.The January 23 Sunday Nation reported that the Ethiopian despot,Meles Zenawi along with the AU that postures a tough stance against Gbagbo gave their full backing to Musyoka’s bid to defer justice.It doesn’t matter that Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement/ODM/stated that it has nothing to do with the deferment request on the Ocampo Six. As an opposition party claiming to uphold democratic values, it should have come out clean and promote the original spirit “Don’t be vague, go for the Hague” rather than promoting haze by silence and double standards.
No wonder then that Odinga’s mission whom the Gbagbo camp rightly named an “actor” rather than mediator, have come to nought.One should ask, however, why the “international community” is not keen to pay attention to the wisdom of Ghana? Wasn’t it Barak Hussein Obama of the United States that said “The 21st century will be shaped by what happens not just in Rome or Moscow or Washington, but by what happens in Accra as well.” As a blogger named Nana Akyea Mensah rightly pointed out, there is no better time to seek Ghana’s honest counsel which incidentally shares the longest border with Cote d’Ivoire.Unfortunately, the “international community” still tries to put words in Atta Mills’s mouth whereas he reiterated his position once again by saying “I don’t want us to be saddled with a problem that we can’t solve. Please be careful with how you meddle in this problem!”
An Ethiopian Refugee in Uganda