African leadership, no doubt, has a duty to save the continent’s people from dying in the high seas, but the African People also have a duty to elect, empower or accept leaders who are fit to lead their nations.
It is our collective duty, as the owners of our countries, to build systems and civilisations that address our problems and ensure our future security, but we cannot do this until we produce and empower leaders, who not only know what the REAL problems are, but have the knowledge, awareness, enlightenment and most importantly, the political will to always do the right thing that is in the best interest of our peoples and no one else.
A lot has been said and written about our stubborn, dogmatic and almost foolish adherence and commitment to a Global economic and financial system that has little to offer the African masses, except dependence on aid and massive national debts, but unless we choose leaders who are willing and capable of thinking for themselves and for us, rather than being mere copyists, imitators and implementers of ideas, whose real implications are not fully understood by them, individually and collectively, we will continue to be used, exploited and regarded as a continent whose views are insignificant and don’t matter on the global scene, especially at the decision making levels.
Libya is a very good example. A sovereign, independent member state of the African Union that was destroyed by US & NATO, through a military campaign that the AU clearly disagreed with. The Libyan crisis would probably have had a different outcome, if Africa had military capabilities that could match both US & NATO and serve as a deterrence and insulation to foreign military aggression against the continent.
The Continental body (AU) preferred a peaceful resolution to that emerging crisis and would probably have succeeded in brokering a peace deal in Libya, if it had been given time and the required support, but the obsession with Colonel Gadaffi and the opportunity to achieve long term aims of regime change, in order to access Libya’s vast oil wealth and scupper Colonel Gadaffi’s economic plans for the continent (amongst other reasons), was not going to be missed by certain individuals in certain governments. So fxxk the AU and to hell with your sovereignty and independence, declared US & NATO, one could say.
And that, without diminishing the tragic loss of lives in the seas, should be the biggest and most worrying thing for the African People, but are we alive to this vulnerability, one may ask ? The answer, I believe, is in the negative.
In fact, the absence of passionate reactions to this important and thought provoking piece from the Kaironews readership, is perhaps indicative of our “blindness” to the dangers that the current Global System and the emerging economic, political and social realities in the Western hemisphere (US & Europe), pose to our existence as people worthy of living dignified lives, as human beings that are inferior to non, and not less deserving of good livelihoods, as any other people.
That apart, we should also understand that the re-emergence of White supremacist ideology, emboldened by the prominence, and in some cases, electoral success of people with similar views, as well as the rising number of people who subscribe to these views across Europe and the USA, is steadily nudging the world into an irreversible direction and we may be witnesses to the beginning of what may be history repeating itself, as it always seems to do, but are we in Africa ready to protect ourselves from the painful experiences that history visited upon our forebears ?
Or are we naively thinking that international protocols, conventions and agreements that all nations have signed to, would protect us because they would be adhered to ? We should think again, because the concept of EXCEPTIONALISM and UNILATERALISM, where some countries have arrogated themselves the almighty right to operate outside of international law, means that those documents are not even worth the paper they are written on, where the interest of influential individuals or groups within these hegemonic powers are concerned. And again, Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya ( to a certain extent) are cases worthy of being cited, where the UN was bypassed or a resolution misused and abused (as in Libya) by these hegemonic powers to achieve their desired geopolitical goals.
This fact may be lost on the African People and leadership, but it is well recognised by other nations whose people have probably endured a far lesser painful historical experience at the hands of foreigners, than we in Africa, and they are taking monumental steps to develop defensive and offensive systems and mechanisms which would ensure that their peoples are never again threatened without serious consequences to the aggressors.
Perhaps, we in Africa, should learn from the European Union and NATO, which has recently described Donald Trump’s America as a threat, much on the same level as Russia and Daesh/ISIS, and has identified the growing internal and external challenges that Europe faces to protect its liberal democracies.
In the forward section of the third edition of the annual Munich Security Report, published as a prelude to the Munich Security Conference 2017, the author states:
“…..The US might move from being a provider of public goods and international security to pursuing a more unilateralist, maybe even nationalistic foreign policy. We may, then, be on the brink of a post-Western age, one in which non-Western actors are shaping international affairs, often in parallel or even to the detriment of precisely those multilateral frameworks that have formed the bedrock of the liberal international order since 1945.”
On emerging political trends in Europe, the report states:
“The past twelve months have been a resounding rejection of the status quo. In several elections and referenda, political outsiders succeeded, while the establishment was dealt major blows. Populist parties are now part of the government in about a dozen Western democracies. And even in countries where the populists only received a small share of the vote, they often exert a defining influence by shifting the debate or pressurising mainstream parties to adopt different policy agendas…..:…The main dividing line in politics runs less and less between left and right but between a liberal cosmopolitan pole and a populist (or even xenophobic authoritarian) one.”
According to the report, there are a number of reasons for the upsurge in populist politics ( a nice word for white supremacists and narrow nationalist and neo-Nazi fanatics) and the one that caught my eye is as follows:
“Populists are experts in the politics of agitation, forming an “axis of fear” across the West that exploits the insecurities and grievances of the electorate, often by twisting the facts or even by spreading outright lies that speak to the preconceptions of their supporters.”
It is clear that Europe is acknowledging a clear emerging danger to its liberal democracy by an obnoxious ideology that it is unable or unwilling to address, and it is the same ideology that plunged the world into one of the worst conflicts in human history. By continuing to ignore this danger and pretending that everything is fine, Africa is sleep walking itself into a catastrophic future for her children and their children’s children.
And in case you are like the many Africans in Europe and USA, content and comfortable with your life and false sense of security from injustices and persecution due to your acquired statuses as naturalised citizens or legal residents, think again and take a sober reflection on the Executive Orders of Donald Trump, that stripped entire families, but all with similar characteristics, of their Green Card residency rights overnight, with just the stroke of a pen. Thank God, we still have enough good people in America, who are willing to stand up for the other guys, but will there be enough in say, 50,60 or 100 years from now, with the rapidly changing attitudes towards people who look different? Waiting for that answer with folded hands, like we are doing in Africa, is taking a massive risk with our very future.
Whilst the Chinese, the Russians, the Indians and Persians are all striving to improve their defensive and offensive capabilities, Africa is not only doing nothing, but much more worrying is the fact that it is opening itself up to infiltration by the same forces that might one day be used by fanatical all White supremacists governments across Europe and USA against us. If anybody thinks this is a far fetched possibility, take a look at the political scenes across Europe and the USA. Everywhere, the xenophobes and Neo-Nazi White supremacists, disguised under various banners, are on the march and becoming more and more bolder in the public space by the day.
Is any one worried this or about a xenophobe American President and commander-in-Chief of US Armed Forces with control and direction over troops stationed in the heart of Africa and with strike capability to anywhere on the continent..? I don’t know about you, but I am more worried by this lackadaisical attitude to our collective security than anything else.