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Opinions of Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

U. S. Embassy has Absolutely Nothing to Deny!


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In the lead-up to President George W. Bush’s five-nation African tour-of-duty, the Director of Public Affairs at the United States’ Embassy in Accra was prompted to vehemently deny widespread rumors and allegations regarding Mr. Bush’s official visit to Ghana, from February 19-21, climaxing with the bilateral ratification of an agreement between the American leader and Ghana’s President John Agyekum-Kufuor allowing the establishment of an American military base in the country.

Indeed, one does not have to look far to conclude that such political mischief is the incontrovertible brainchild of the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC), the pseudo-political party that militarily occupied Ghana for nearly twenty years. Then also, this is not the first time that the bugbear, or specter, of the establishment of a U. S. military base is being bandied about. It is also significant to observe that the NDC’s ideological twin-sister, the so-called Convention People’s Party (CPP), has been in the thick of such vicious rumors and allegations.

What needs to be pointed out, once again, is the fact of President Kwame Nkrumah, the founding-Life-Chairman of the CPP having allowed the erstwhile Soviet communist regime to establish an espionage and military base in Accra during the 1960s. In brief, the peddlers and shadow-boxers of the alleged intent of the United States towards the establishment of a military base in Ghana are merely recalling their own treacherous political dealings of yesteryear.

It is also quite curiously interesting that none of these anti-American protesters are questioning why their grand-patron, Mr. Fidel Castro’s Cuba, has maintained an American military base in the Guantanamo enclave of that Latin-American nation. Add to the preceding the fact that Guantanamo Bay contains a full-third of Cuba, and the picture becomes even more edifying in its implications.

Indeed, what Mr. Castro would not let on to his legion Ghanaian admirers, and what the anti-New Patriotic Party pseudo-ideologues are either too naïve to appreciate or simply too daft to reckon, is the fact that the establishment of a military base entails heavy monetary and capital investment. It entails the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs, as well as the critical establishment of health, educational and other cultural facilities. It also signals to Nigeria, should the occasion ever arise, that the latter’s crude attempts at playing the regional Big Brother ought to be seriously reconsidered.

The preceding aside, what needs to be clarified for these myopic and cynical critics is the stark fact that whether, indeed, the United States establishes a military base in Ghana or not would neither strengthen nor vitiate the global superpower status of America. Indeed, as the cynical likes of Flt.-Lt. Jeremiah John Rawlings, founding-proprietor of the so-called Provisional National Democratic Congress (P/NDC), could readily attest, were he known to be an honest man, forging an intimate relationship and/or partnership with the United States, is the prime aspiration of many a Third World country, and even that of advanced industrialized nations like Britain, France, Germany and Japan.

And so pretending to play dumb, in the dubious name of patriotism, is absolutely no perspicuous demonstration of ideological advancement as these political nincompoops and outright charlatans would have unsuspecting compatriots believe. And if these charlatans and cognitively challenged rumor-mongers cared to know, they would have since long discovered to their rude awakening, the fact that the hitherto self-proclaimed inveterate enemy of U. S. “imperialism,” Chairman Rawlings, educated all his three officially known children right here in the United States, and not Cuba, Libya or Russia.

And if these anti-American protesters knew how to count, at least using an abacus, they would also have learned to their withering sense of betrayal that Chairman Rawlings and his wife have taken more trips to the United States than has President Kufuor during the last eight years. And so what is all such nonsense about, really? It is unmistakably about the eerie fact of the NDC Abongo Boys and their allies seeing naked defeat stare them dead-on in their wicked and ugly faces and having absolutely no strategic campaign agenda but to fatuously grab at the proverbial straws and hope that there would be enough misguided potential voters to toe their ostrich line of reasoning come Election 2008.

Even assuming that, indeed, the Bush visit was solely “motivated by the U.S.’s desire to create cordial relationship[s] with African countries that had oil prospects” (myjoyonline.com 2/15/08), what would be remiss with such a visit? In sum, what would an oil-rich underdeveloped economy like Ghana do with such vital resource without big-time buyers like the United States?

Needless to say, long before Ghana discovered oil in commercial quantities, the United States was pumping billions of dollars in economic aid into the country. Even President Nkrumah, the most rhetorically ardent critic of “American imperialism,” found himself indescribably humbled and cognitively paralyzed when confronted with the grim necessity of negotiating for capital assistance in the construction of the Volta River Project (VRP), otherwise known as the Akosombo Dam (see Okoampa-Ahoofe’s “When Dancers Play Historians and Thinkers”; also David Hart’s The Volta River Project).

Indeed, it comes as great news to learn of the United States having emplaced heavy military equipment in the country in apparent, and auspicious, readiness for any barbaric, or troglodytic, attempt by the enemies of constitutional democracy to reverse the onward march of Ghana towards the Danquahist ideal of “Development in Freedom.”

Long live the cordial and democratic relationship between the hospitable people of Ghana and the great people of the United States of America!

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English and Journalism at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. E-mail: okoampaahoofe@aol.com.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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