Obama Africa policy must change to help get rid of Dictators

By IndepthAfrica
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Dec 4th, 2012
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Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for Obama

President Obama must change the policy of looking at Africans as expandable for the adventure of his Administration’s officials-bandaged with foreign aid to dictators. His Administration policy must come to its senses to understand Africans had it with the policy of delaying their liberties by coddling up with tyrants of Africa.

by Teshome Debalke

In the last hour of Election Day I decide not to vote for anyone of the two candidates offered.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Obama’s personality and most of his first campaign promises and voted for him in the first round. He was convincing and seems visionary enough to take the country and the world in the next century.  I was impressed with his desire to bring people together for a higher cause than petty politics unlike his competitors from both sides of the political divide. His promised foreign policy was even more impressive; choosing diplomacy over confrontation, democracy over tyranny, economic development over corruption and poverty… on and on.

But, the second time around was different. I had the opportunity to look at his records. As good as some of his domestic policies under the circumstances he faced he failed my final test; principle over politics, especially when it involves the lives of people under authoritarian regimes in Africa and elsewhere.  His promises didn’t translate to deeds in the last four years of his first term to make my decision easier not to vote for him.

Look, if it wasn’t for the clumsy Mitt Romney campaigning as if he is used car salesman and his party (The Republican Party) acting as an intoxicated fraternity house in college campus than a national party with serious work ahead for the country I would have voted for the Republican ticket. So, my vote was wasted this time until a better candidate shows up in the next round where word matches deeds and principle override political rhetoric-when it comes to important issues of democracy and liberty. After all, the very democracy and library of America’s future depends on it.

I never vote for someone because s/he looks like me by race, creed, gender, sex or if s/he came from the same region or worship the same religion. It is too primitive to think in terms of our natural similarities we have no control over or what we choice to worship.

As Martin Luther King Junior, the greatest moral leader America produced in the last century I believe the content of a person’s character weighs in big in my decision to vote for someone or not and do anything that matters. After all, everybody seems to be cute in public but short on substance in private. What matters for me is the principle one stand for when nobody is looking.

Therefore, Obama’s content of character isn’t what was made out to be when it comes dealing with corrupt authoritarian regimes and human right abusers of Africa and elsewhere. His Administration’s rhetoric doesn’t match his officials’ deeds. In fact, it is worst than my expectation when I found out his Administration’s admiration for tyrants of Africa and the willingness to finance and arm them to sustain their rule in the name of fighting terrorism.

Many people saw him as a better alternative than his contender not necessarily the best. He brought fresh ideas in a longtime to excite us. Many more loved him for making them feel good and hopeful of the future and ignore his violation of the principle of democracy and good governance when they portrayed him as a celebrity than the leader of the Free World to reelect him for the second term.

A person’s principle is tested by the way s/he treats defenseless people not by how s/he caters to the powerful. In that, he violated the said principle; leaving millions of Africans on the mercy of dictators financed and armed by American tax payers. That is a no-no in my book.

His lam excuse of fighting Islamic terrorism doesn’t sit well with me either. In another word, the logic of abandoning Africans’ liberty by supporting regimes that terrorize them in the name of fighting terrorism is not based on principle of the America experience that inspired millions to emulate her. At best, the Administration policy is cooked in the Ivey league institutions where our contemporary leaders flock from or at worst a manifestation of an official’s personal desire to excises their tyrannical behaviors on the defenseless people s/he feel are expandable.

Let’s be honest, Islamic Terrorism or what ever one wants to label it is a product of terrorist regimes. Fighting terrorism with terrorism does not equate fighting fire with fire.  It empowers one terrorist against another-lots of lives at stake in the outcome. It isn’t something we should take lightly; the entire world peace and stability depends on it.

Other matters that reinforced my skepticism of the Administration policy and made my decision easier not to vote was the infamous US Ambassador in the United Nation, Susan Rise that came out of no where to show her affectation for Melse Zenawi, the late dictator extraordinary and Prime Minster of Ethiopia. She not only showed her fondness for the tyrant she groomed since the Clinton Administration-where she was an Assistance Secretary for African Affairs but traveled across the world to attend his funeral and made a fool out of herself in front of the world.

She went further; attend a memorial service a few months later at The Abyssinia Church in Harlem, New York organized by his cadres. It was uncharacteristic for a high level Diplomat of the Free World to waste valuable time flying around admiring a dead tyrant. It sowed the policy of the administration doesn’t give a hoot to say tyranny is good enough for Africans. After all, minor details of the activities of the highest level Diplomats of US government are approved by the State Department let alone flying around the world to give tribute for a dead serial tyrant.

Now we enter the second term of the Obama Administration, rest assure the sign is on the wall the policy of propping up dictators will continue at the expenses of millions of Africans’ safety and liberty until people rise up to the occasion and say no more.  I have a feeling I am not alone on this; except relatively few bozos’ that make a living out of tyranny everybody had it.

As much as I admire Obama in the many things he has done, he was a disappointment for more than half the world population under authoritarian regimes. If principle overrides politics than the other way around as he alluded when he lectured us about the ideal of American Eceptionalism, (‘a proposition that the United States is different from other countries in that it has a specific world mission to spread liberty and democracy’), he ended up abandoning the very principle that made him the President of the most powerful nation in the world. For a constitutional scholar with deep knowledge of what made America what it is there is no excuse to ignore the principle he claimed to ‘believed in’.

The only advice I can offer for our president is he shouldn’t see Africans expandable for the adventure of his amateur Diplomats and a tyrant in her own right like Susan Rise. He should rise up for the occasion to understand the biggest treat for United States and the rest of the World aren’t the ragtag terrorists that capitalize in the name of Islam to galvanize support but the tyrants of the world that produce them faster than he failed to accept; surrounded by advisers that made his administration policy an academic exercises or their individual affectation for one dictator or another.

May be, he will be better off to get his policy right by seeking the advice of exceptional Africans living in his backyard in Washington DC-exiled by their respective African tyrants. It would be a tragedy if he doesn’t consult with those that paid the ultimate price of tyranny over his Ivy League adventurists that seem to look at Africa as an exotic Safari outing hosted by their chosen tyrant instead of people struggling to be free from the yoke of tyranny.

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