Sunday, June 30, 2013

Adekeye Adebajo: Barack Obama’s six deadly sins

Adebajo's article is an important analysis as it occurs at a time when Obama is in South Africa and enjoying almost pathological adoration from all quarters in the country.

I have isolated the "six deadly sins" for a quick overview but you can read the article here.
  1. The first crime for which Obama will be tried is rank hypocrisy. 
  2. The second “crime” for which Obama should be charged is for continuing Bush’s militarisation of US engagement with Africa. 
  3. The third charge against Obama is condoning and coddling autocrats despite his pledge during a July 2009 speech in Accra to promote “strong institutions, not strong men”.  
  4. The fourth “crime” for which Obama must be charged is turning a celebration of peace – his Nobel Peace Prize speech in Oslo in December 2009 – into a justification for war.
  5. The fifth “crime” for which Obama should be prosecuted is peddling negative stereotypes about his ancestral home, with his father having been a Kenyan citizen.  
  6. The sixth “crime” for which Obama must be charged is historical ignorance and lavishing praise on an anti-African racist. (Albert Schweitzer who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952.)
Read the entire article here.

Adekeye Adebajo is executive director of the Centre for Conflict Resolution, Cape Town, and author of The Curse of Berlin: Africa After the Cold War.
Comment: President Zuma has described Obama's presence on the African continent as a homecoming.  Zuma has obviously forgotten that this first black president of the US is also the first black man to declare war on a sovereign African country and remove its sovereign president.

A big part of that selective forgetting is no doubt tied to the fact that South Africa essentially provided the diplomatic sanction for that action alongside the critically ill and compromised African Union.

I could barely allow myself to watch television coverage of Obama and Michelle talking to so-called "young African leaders" yesterday.  Obama was stumping for business in light of the inroads that China has made in recent years while the US was killing innocents all over the Middle East.

Michelle was particularly vacuous with her usual empty platitudes about hope and education and hard work - all the usual bootstrap crap she has offered to black students in the US.  What she did not tell the those kids in Soweto is that no amount of education and 'natural goodwill' will raise them above a capitalist system meant to use them and caste them aside when their value declines.

South Africa is full of promising youngsters with degrees who can't find work much like their counterparts in the US.  There are even more kids who have graduated from high schools and have no chance of working in a system that can barely sustain the jobs it has now.

Capitalism is not a meritocracy and the Obama's are not an example of black people who climbed the ladder to success - whatever version of success they may be representing.

No one in their right mind should be listening to a man who is a war criminal and could care less for the so called collateral lives (read innocents) he murders to achieve the US's goals across the globe.

Michelle is hardly any more credible than her husband or the system they represent.

In the weeks from the time the Obamas have departed back to their lives in the US their presence here will be no more than mere sound bytes.

Ailing President Mandela will pass on and when Obama writes his presidential autobiography there will be paragraphs toward the end of the book that laud his presence in South Africa in the last days of Mandela.

And so it will go because change for the masses of impoverished people is not tied to the coattails of privilege and power.


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