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Opinions of Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Columnist: Amponsah, John

So what if the West bombed Burma Camp in Accra?

By John Amponsah

April 11th 2011 (4-11-11) is a date to be remembered (Africa's '4/11'). Remember it, all of you. In fact, 4-4-11 is also another date to be remembered. On that day we saw a sovereign African country's military barracks being attacked by a colonial power that has been meddling in the affairs of its former colony. Akouedo Military Camp was bombed by the French and the UN. Gbagbo's faction was crippled, allowing the French-UN supported candidate Ouattara to ride his forces into Abidjan, after they had committed war crimes along the way. Pro-Gbagbo fighters have also been accused of atrocities. Ouattara's forces needed the help of the French and the UN to finally stage the “coup d'etat” in Cote d'Ivoire. Alone, Ouattara's forces were driven back at the presidential palace at their first attempt.

Is this why France recently sent 300 extra soldiers to Cote d'Ivoire? Were these the Special Forces soldiers who staged the “coup d'etat”? Once I heard that France was sending 300 more soldiers to Abidjan I suspected they had to be Special Forces. Gbagbo's presidential guard had managed to hold back Ouattara's forces so France had to up their game with more personnel and more sophisticated equipment.

It seems to me that after the massive demonstrations that occurred in Canada and in France this past weekend (April 9th) Sarkozy decided to act. Why? Because he could! The French and the UN have better equipment and together with Ouattara's men they were too much for Gbagbo.

If there was a dispute between two factions after an election then a credible investigation was needed. After that there could have been several options to consider. Was a credible investigation undertaken to ensure that both parties reached an agreement about the election?

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni was right. In today's world, "Might makes right!" (see article: www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/12/749765). Africa will not be 'free' any time soon. That is my opinion. Save for a series of massive natural disasters which reduce nations of the world to the same level, I foresee the west maintaining it's power grip on this planet for the near future. The Asians and other allied countries currently seem not to be strong enough to counterbalance Euro-American power.

"Divide and conquer" is currently in full play in Africa. I don't see it changing any time soon. Africa is fragmented and because of this Africans will never be strong as one people, until someone or a group figures out how to truly solve this problem, once and for all.

What in my view can be helpful for Africans is for each African country to work on its own people, to improve business/commerce, education, science and technology. Each African country has to do its part then together we can work a synergy of sorts. The one thing I think Africa needs to figure out is which common language we can use to communicate with each other. The Arabs have Arabic, the Chinese have Mandarin, the Indians have Hindi, and the Americans have English. This I believe can be a true beginning for African unity. Maybe it is time to construct a common language for all of Africa, one that does not yet exist, and one that represents the spirit of Africa.

I just want to say a little bit more before finishing this article.

The UN itself was formed by those who 'won' the Second World War. Right from the start, Western countries had more representation on the Security Council. Today the US is the most powerful country in the world so together with its allies they can do whatever they want in the world. Other countries can only complain, that is, if they even do that. Whatever happened to the "Axis of Evil"? Or was that just a catch phrase for one person's presidency? Was Iran every proved to be 'Evil'? What about the "weapons of mass destruction"? Or was that a way to get into Iraq in order to gain access to Iraqi resources and plant a massive US base there? What about the tens of thousands of Iraqis killed by US soldiers, as Wikileaks has shown? Will Blair or Bush ever stand at the International Criminal Court or is that only a place for African leaders? Uhuru Kenyatta is one of the latest casualties of "international justice". On this ‘animal farm’ some are more equal than others.

President Museveni was right. In today's world, "might makes right!" Israeli politicians accused of war crimes against the Palestinian people will never stand trial at the ICC in spite of issued statements because their powerful lobbies that control financial and media circles in some Western countries could cripple these western economies that dare to attack them.

In today’s world, American and European power may only be counteracted by a committed alliance of Asian, some Middle Eastern and Latin American countries with Russia. During this Ivorian crisis, Russia was the only country that voiced concerns that the UN's mandate had been violated. Forget about Africa for the moment. We don't have economic or military power so we don't matter so much in the world. To have political power, you need economic and military power and these two are backed by intellectual power that spearheads developments in business, science and technology. It all starts with investing in educating the people.

Yet the West and America in particular can take a step back and put themselves in the shoes of other countries that fall under the influence of Western power, to imagine what it feels like. When the Europeans first arrived in the Americas, some of the Native Indians thought these new arrivals were gods or even beings from another world. Powerful Native Indian groups such as the Aztec and the Sioux battled with the new arrivals and ultimately these native groups lost.

How will the Americans (or the French for that matter) feel if a powerful extraterrestrial group with vastly superior technology arrived on this planet and attacked Fort Bragg and proceeded to attack the White House, just because they could do so, and Americans with all their technology and might by Earth standards were inferior in comparison? "Might makes right", right? I'm sure the Americans will feel resentful but perhaps slightly helpless. What about the Élysée Palace or the French Special Forces base in the Pyrénées? This is just a hypothetical situation but it underscores what President Museveni said that "might makes right" in today's world.

Today, it is not only the people in Cote d’Ivoire that are resentful of France’s actions. Some in other Francophone countries are resentful as well.

The UN is now something else. It is true that the UN has varied representation but those who make the big decisions like which country to invade are the world powers. What we see today are world powers of the western faction just imposing their version of 'right' on less powerful nations just because they can. Is this how we can reach "world peace"? Since when did outside countries invade other sovereign countries in order to install one faction in a disputed election? Cote d'Ivoire's election had to be investigated since both parties did not agree to it.

Anyway, history has been made and Africa now has its 4-11. Remember, remember, the eleventh of April.

So, back to the original title of this article -- what if the West bombed Burma camp in Accra and went on to bomb the castle at Osu (or wherever the seat of government may be at the time), because they were not happy with someone in power? As it stands today, nothing ‘major’ will happen on the world stage to counteract this. Western media will run their propanganda schemes to somehow justify the situation. Whichever government in power that offended "the powers that be" will be negatively labelled and many of the world's people will buy into the story. The real dispensers of ‘terror’ will get away. Life will go on and the person installed will faithfully serve the Western power(s) who put her or him there. Somewhere far away from Accra, some dark smiles will appear on the faces of shadowy hawkish schemers.

Africa, if you want to become stronger in this world of ours where "might makes right" then you have to figure out how to truly unite.