By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Condemning Ghana for recognizing the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) at this stage in the Libyan political situation is hollow. There is no denying the fact that the NATO aggression against Gaddafi and his government is reprehensible. Despite protests, the aggression hasn’t ended and its objective has been achieved. Gaddafi is toast. What is the sense in withholding recognition and support for the new administration?
Will Ghana reject the NTC because it expects Gaddafi to return to power to add more to the 42 years of what has made him an anathema to his own people and all those in the world critical of his tyrannical rule, his concrete achievements in terms of infrastructural development and improving living conditions notwithstanding?
No one can begrudge Gaddafi the praise he deserves for improving living conditions in Libya and raising the rhetoric on African unity and sustainable economic development. But his tyranny and rigid control over his own people clearly overshadowed his accomplishments and turned the table against him.
Images of jubilant Libyans celebrating his removal from power portray them as “relieved” at the new wind of change blowing in their country. What business do we non-Libyans have to do about these people’s own choice of means to influence their country’s internal affairs? What justification do we have to repudiate the new leadership just because it ousted Gaddafi through a rebellion fully funded and facilitated by the West? The swift collapse of the Gaddafi government tells me much about the façade behind which he had been administering affairs.
And here is the slimy part of it all. While ramping up his rhetoric to attempt warding off his opponents, he knew how to evade harm. Many people have died in the conflict, either defending his cause or opposing it, he and his family have found ways to go into hiding, afraid of either being caught and tried for atrocities against their own people or be killed. Certainly, they’ve come to realize that death is a fearful thing (to themselves and not the victims of their tyrannical rule).
Ghanaians have no business trying to call the shots. We will be extremely foolish to attempt crying over spilt milk as far as Gaddafi is concerned. If withholding our diplomatic recognition can achieve anything concrete by helping solve the problem in Libya, one might soften one’s stand; but it won’t and cannot. So, why play the fool?
Under Dr. K.A. Busia’s Progress Party government, Ghana opted for “dialogue” with Apartheid South Africa as the solution to the political crisis facing that country and the rebellion by the ANC fighters seeking to topple that United Party regime. This approach faced severe criticism and fizzled. But Ghana continued to provide all forms of support for the “freedom fighters” until Apartheid crumbled. A negotiated settlement prevented South Africa from facing what Libya is confronted with today.
The argument against the illegitimacy of the NTC is neither here nor there. That’s how successful rebellions end. The history behind any rebel action against an established authority is fraught with armed resistance and support from local and outside sources. How could the rebels of the African National Congress (South Africa), FRELIMO (Angola), MPLA (Mozambique), ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe), SWAPO (Namibia), and SPLA (South Sudan), among others, have achieved their objectives without international support from all sources, including Ghana?
What in the rebellion by the fighters of these organizations that is lacking in what the Libyan rebels have done? Or does freedom for the oppressed citizens of those countries differ from what the Libyan rebels are fighting for? Or is it because the rhetoric supporting the fight against the white rulers of those countries presented the African rebels as “freedom fighters” (in the eyes of their backers) but as “rebels” (in the eyes of their opponents) while the Libyan rebels are qualified as anarchists backed by the military machine of NATO?
There is talk of racism in the Libyan case, which some have raised as a justification for their objection to Ghana’s recognition of the NTC. The atrocities by the rebels are disturbing as far as the senseless killing of dark-skinned African migrants or Libyan nationals with dark skins is concerned. It is an unfortunate sequel of the war situation. But racism in the Caucasian circumstance is the same as tribalism in our multi-ethnic Negroid African context. What harm hasn’t tribalism caused us?
Doubtless, tribalism is the prime mover of the negative politics that we do. Whether it is racism or tribalism, it remains a universal human problem and shouldn’t be used as a reason to demand that Ghana should refuse recognizing the NTC.
There is also this restoration of diplomatic ties with Israel, which some criticized as inimical to the cause of Africa and the Arab world. I find fault with this criticism. In its pragmatic realization, Ghana’s diplomatic move is well calculated and well placed. Support for Israel by other countries, including the US is also largely informed by pragmatism. Even states that were formerly anti-Zionist have seen the light and toned down on their waywardness. Turkey is currently locking horns with Israel but can’t reject Israeli support in terms of weapons and military hardware that it needs.
Let’s take the United States also, for instance, where the Israeli influence is pervasive in national politics, military-industrial complex, commerce, and what-have-you. The US cannot do without the Jewish influence. Hate that influence or like it, there is no gainsaying the fact that it is largely responsible for whatever the US has been all these years as the world’s leading economy and the most advanced country in the world.
Why do you think US citizens are proud of their country and openly declare “I am an American”? Because of the country’s fortunes, regardless of how that wealth is made. In international politics, there is nothing like good conscience and countries do what will rake in benefits. Criticism against the US for that matter is rife, but who cares? Ghana shouldn’t attempt to care because it is bootless.
We must face reality to know why despite all this anti-Israeli rhetoric and open aggression against anything Israeli (anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism) the US staunchly defends Israel and will do all it can to support Israeli interests anywhere in the world. The US is a sworn perpetual ally of Israel because it knows how deep the Jewish factor positively influences its own affairs. Alliance with Israel will not cause any harm. Our Ghanaian Christians are already spiritually inclined toward a religion with deep tap roots in Israel. They’ve led the way for decades; what prevents the political realm from following suit?
Prominent US statesmen and industrialists are either directly from Israel or have Jewish ancestry. These are the pillars of the system whose wealth and power sustain the US; hence, the US won’t kick against the very institution and people feeding it with resources. Nor will the US citizens who enjoy the benefits of those resources used for national development even bother to query how the resources are amassed because that’s not their cup of tea. For as long as their existential problems are solved, they care less about anything bordering on “-isms.” Why should we in Ghana think we are holier than the US and others supporting Israel to cling on to those useless slogans to blight our own interests?
The US supports many countries in the world with financial aid and technical assistance because it is rich—and this wealth cannot be internally generated or reaped from investments overseas without the Jewish influence. Any country that takes anything from the US cannot avoid the Israeli element in that something either. And Ghana takes a lot from the US.
Then again, the powerful financial institutions (probably including the IMF/World Bank) are heavily controlled by the Jews. They have the substance which we lack but need for national development. Have we ever paused to ask why our sloganeering leaders don’t hesitate to pan-handle in the corridors of the IMF/World Bank or other institutions in the donor community while turning round to pour rhetorical venom on them? Hypocrisy at its best!
The plain fact is that there is nothing bad about opening our doors to Israel just as other African countries (Angola, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa) have done all these years. We have all along been dealing indirectly with Israel and should know better not to display double-standards. But because we are hardwired to adore and practice hypocrisy, we are at pains to embrace Israel in the open.
What the Mills government has done is progressive and no amount of condemnation will reverse it.