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Opinions of Friday, 10 July 2009

Columnist: Toure, Ahati N. N.

Essay about Obama's Ghana visit


By Dr. Ahati N. N. Toure, Ph.D.

Many people seem not to understand the way things really work in the United States, and I suppose it is only natural to assume that a change of a person as president of a country signals a change in policy and direction. But this is not really true in the United States.

In the United States, the president is less a leader than a manager of policies formulated by corporate elite interests. This is what accounts for the stability of the political system, regardless of who is president.

This explains the outcome of the electoral fraud--in effect, an electoral coup--staged in 2000 (more than 2 million votes were discarded, 1 million of them cast by US Afrikans) and in 2004 (similar machinations secured a Republican electoral victory in the White House) that assured George W. Bush's ascendancy to and continued hold on the US presidency.

The Democratic Party refused to challenge the results in both years. I speculate that former Vice President Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize was awarded as a consolation prize for his obeisance to the agenda of the true masters of US politics.

The United States’ political stability was created after the civil war of 1861-1865, when industrial capitalists consolidated their control of the economic and political direction of the country. The civil war allowed them to oust the neo-mercantilist faction of the European settler elite (owners and champions of the so-called slavery system), which mode of production depended upon exports of raw materials to western European metropoles.

As we all know, this mode of production promotes economic dependency and underdevelopment. The capitalist elites wanted the United States economically and politically to be competitive with and independent of an industrial and industrializing Europe. They did not want to be its subordinates.

Because of the changes of the civil war, both so-called parties--which are really two sides of one coin--have pledged patriotic allegiance to capitalism as quintessentially American. Their emotional and ideological commitment to its advance under the US political system includes the shaping of its foreign policy--or the definition and extension of what are defined as US interests on to the world stage.

Bush's ascendancy to the US presidency, for perceptive observers, shows that the people do not choose the manager of the country. They simply ratify, or are made to ratify, the results of a selection. Barack Hussein Obama--a name that in and of itself is astonishing in European settler political culture--is no less the product of a selection process.

This explains the consistency of policies pursued by so-called "Democratic" and "Republican" presidential administrations--or, now, "black" and "white" presidents. In the United States all US presidents are "white."

In Africa we call this neo-colonialism.

One example of this is Africom. Established during George W. Bush's regime, it is still being carried out by Barack Hussein Obama's regime. To many, at least, the Bush personality was a bit too crude and, in some respects, brutish for the world to accept. Put some color on him, with a sophisticated and intelligent personality, and now you have the same agenda for Africa, skillfully repackaged in an Obama. The agenda remains the same--imperialistic, exploitative, and, ultimately, deadly--but the general perception is different. It is seductive.

US presidents come and go, but the interests remain constant. Therefore, what is the real agenda in the US president's visit to Ghana? Oil. Africom.

We really should not underestimate the craftiness of the Europeans in their choice of this particular personality for president of the United States. The best way to test my thesis is to explore the question of African strategic interests, or, alternatively, American strategic interests in Africa, and examine the ways in which and the degree to which Obama's pursuit of American policy is consistent with or diverges from that of his predecessor. If you do this well, you will prove my point.

Do not be fooled by appearances. Look deeper, for the snare has been set for you.

Dr. Ahati N. N. Toure is assistant professor of Africana History and Black Studies at Delaware State University, USA. He is the author of John Henrik Clarke: Africalogical Quest for Decolonization and Sovereignty (Africa World Press, 2009).