Who Cares About Iran's Fight with the West?

Wed, 24 Apr 2013 Source: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

On April 16 and 17, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad paid an official visit to Ghana, supposedly in his capacity as Chairman of the decidedly effete Non-Aligned Movement (See "Iran Is Not Fighting with the West - Ahmadinejad" Ghanaweb.com 4/17/13).

Addressing a group of students and Islamic scholars at the Islamic University College in Accra, Dr. Ahmadinejad was reported to have asserted that rather than being apocalyptically engaged in a struggle against the West, Tehran had actually taken an immutable or uncompromising stance against "oppressors of the world."

There are a few observations that I would like to make here, vis-a-vis both the "golden" visit and the pronouncements of President Ahmadinejad, as widely reported by the Ghanaian media. For starters, while Ghanaian Muslims have a right to the establishment and attendance of a tertiary institution that primarily and exclusively caters to their especial religious and doctrinal needs, nevertheless, I would rather have the establishment of such an institution, or even institutions, undertaken by Ghanaian Muslims themselves, with remarkable material assistance from the Government of Ghana, rather than its/their being supported by a totalitarian pseudo-religious regime such as presently exists in Iran.

It also clearly appears to me that the Iranian leader visited Ghana, Benin and Niger to primarily inspect propaganda projects and ideological beachheads tactically established by the revolutionary regime of the bloody Ayatollahs. Otherwise, the prime podium for addressing Ghanaian students and scholars ought to have been the country's flagship academy, the University of Ghana. In brief, I personally find Dr. Ahmadinejad's hosting at the Islamic University College in Accra to be immitigably offensive and an unpardonable affront to the intelligence of the Ghanaian citizenry at large.

I find it to be deeply offensive because it is also divisive, and I think the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress government owes Ghanaians an immediate and unreserved apology. Needless to say, while, indeed, Ghana is a sovereign nation with an inalinable right to determine the choice of its friends, as well as enemies, nonetheless, it goes without saying that national sovereignty does not operate in a vacuum; and the decisions that the leaders of economically vulnerable emergent democracies like Ghana make, in terms of political alliances, have repercussions and perennial and far-reaching consequences.

For instance, I don't particularly care very much for the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; nonetheless, I also don't believe that it makes strategic sense - socioeconomically, politically and culturally - for Ghana to so brazenly thumb its nose at both the United States and Israel, and the rest of their Western allies who have had and continue to have far greater socioeconomic, political and cultural impact on Ghana and much of the developing world than Iran.

But even more importantly, as I had occasion to point out recently, any Ghanaian aged 50 years or more, and is politically enlightened knows fully well that the so-called Iranian revolution of the Ayatollahs of the late 1970s and '80s was about anything but a "positive stance against oppressors of the world." Indeed, the sort of violently stage-managed electoral process that returned Dr. Ahmadinejad to power a couple of years ago, with the hermetic support of the Ayatollahs, is definitely not one that Ghanaians ought to emulate, although it bears striking resemblance to the patent travesty that was Ghanan's Election 2012. And, in retrospect, the latter may well have endeared the Iranian pseudo-theocracy to the democratically illegitimate Mahama regime.

Indeed, it is rather curious for a man who piggishly insists on the complete absence of homosexuality or non-heterosexual cultural practices in Iran to be grand-standing about oppressive Western regimes. Indeed, the wanton and vengeful bloodbath that epitomized the Iranian revolution was about anything but liberty and justice of the individual; and so it is not clear precisely what he means when President Ahmadinejad pontificates about his intransigent stance against "oppressors of the world."

If the preceding is the kind of collaborative inter-governmental affinity that the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress seeks to forge with Iran, then Ghanaians had better brace up for a very bleak future, one that possibly includes acts of terror and cross-border confrontation of apocalyptic proportions. This may well be what Prof. Keith Bluwey meant when he, reportedly, warned Ghana against the risk of "offending the sensibilities" of our Western partners (See "Ghana Warned Ahead of Ahmadinejad's Visit" Ghanaweb.com 4/15/13).

_______________________________________________________ *Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D. Department of English Nassau Community College of SUNY Garden City, New York April 20, 2013 E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net ###

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame