Palms were flying mid-air when the lecturer asked the class those who have ever travelled abroad. The students spoke of their exhilarating experiences in Europe and America. I remembered when it got to my turn and I told them I travelled to Burkina-Faso, they all laughed me off as if I was a jester in some pito spot in savanna-land. The curious lecturer probed further of my visit to Burkina-Faso.
I have heard about Thomas Isidore Sankara and the agrarian reforms he introduced. I have read how the African Che strove to make his people self-reliant. In fact one of his quotes, “Imperialism is a system of exploitation that occurs not only in the brutal form of those who come with guns to conquer territory. Imperialism often occurs in more subtle forms, a loan, food aid, blackmail. We are fighting this system that allows a handful of men on Earth to rule all of humanity.” When I got to the land of the upright, I visited the isolated grave of Sankara. My eyes were drenched in tears in protest of how heroism is remembered.
I have been to America a couple of times through the Larry King Talks Shows, BBC news, films and others. I discovered that any war that America is humiliated, they have a Chuck Norris and a Sylvester Stallone to reclaim them victory. Michael Moore an astute American documentary maker in his film, Bowling for Columbine (2002), tries to form an objective view, investigate an infamous school shooting incident and the indiscriminate use of guns in America.
In the film, Moore revealed the sophisticated military prowess of America to drive home a point on domestic gun use. He indicated that, in 1953, America overthrew prime minister Mossadeq of Iran and installed Shah as dictator, in 1954, she overthrew democratically-elected president Arbenz of Guatemala in which 200,000 civilians were killed, in 1963, Moore added, the U.S backed the assassination of South Vietnamese president Ngoh Diem and the year 1963-1975 saw America military kill four million people in South East Asia. On September 11 1973, she staged a coup in Chile and democratically elected president Salvadore Allende was assassinated and tyrant Augusto Pinochet was installed. In the wake of this coup, 5,000 Chileans were murdered.
Moore further revealed that the U.S also backed the military rulers of El Salvadore in 1977 in which seventy thousand (70,000) Salvadorans and four American Nuns were killed. In 1980, the U.S as Moore hinted recruited and trained Osama bin Laden and fellow terrorist to kill Soviets. They were given three (3) billion dollars and expert training and weaponry by the CIA.
The following year the Reagan administration trained and funds “Contras” 30,000 Nicaraguans died. In 1989, CIA agent Manuel Noriega also serving as president of Panama disobeys orders from Washington this made U.S invade Panama and removes Noriega 3,000 Panamanians died. In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait with weapons from U.S. Again, Moore added that in 1998, Bill Clinton bombed a supposed weapon factory in Sudan. The factory turned out to be making aspirin.
Enviably, America is mighty and have clear definitive visions of what she wants. People have argued if America had not intervened in the politics of some countries, they would have been worse or better off. To the Americans, the interest of their country supersedes that of any other country or an individual. Hardly have I heard of a republican or democrat appointed ambassador speak of the interest of their party faithful before anything else. I am sure if by mistake such words sneeze out, they would be relieved of their duties. The country knows what she wants so well that they have even made amends with countries that they have in the past, done some irreparable damage to. These countries have become ‘super’ that America has no choice than to renegotiate a form of mutual co-existence.
The high level of division and acrimony amongst some leaders of Africa to which Ghana is no exception have made many ‘superpowers’ put a circlet through their noses and control them in many ways that are questionable. The divide and rule agenda as was used by foreigners in the past is still alive and well and it is only pitiful we do not see it even when it stares us in the face.
Aside the physical military base in Ghana, there cannot be a total demilitarization of America in any country they wish to stay. Their use of sophisticated and intercontinental ballistic weapons is unsurpassed and indescribable. Their base could even be in existence now in an obscure corner in their embassy or an undisclosed place. Mails could be tracked, whispers taped, data stolen and satellites revealing how much oil and mineral wealth that the antiquated technical machines in Ghana are yet to discover.
Do I have to blame America? Big No!. The founding father of Ghana; Kwame Nkrumah offered us a bright future and warned us of what was to come. For those who might want to debate, just as there was a Chaka Zulu, a Chris Hani, a Joe Slove, a Steven Biko, a Walter Sisulu, an Oliver Thambo, a Winnie, etc in South Africa and only Madiba taking the glory as founder, there were equally others and an exceptional Nkrumah.
My issue is, where are the modern founding fathers of Ghana? What are they building for this country? Is it one youth, one gun, one goldmine one Chinese, or one Gambaga home, thousand witches? To those who crave the law, is it one goat one judge? Which prophets and seers will the next generation celebrate? It certainly cannot be the prophets of doom who see only premature deaths, election victories and national catastrophes.
If the world has to feed nine (9) billion people by 2050 what is Ghana’s agenda towards food security? The arguments can continue but methinks the American military base is already here though not conspicuously seen. I will not want to dwell in the past founding fathers and dabble in arguments which saw great and learned professors and historians argue back and forth. I want to see modern founding father(s) who will in clear terms tell me how much Ghana has been priced to the Chinese, Americans, and others whose covert operations God himself knows.
In 1962, respected President Kennedy tasked Americans to make a voyage to the moon. When will the modern founding fathers equip our technical universities to make us bicycles, motorbikes and cars? When will they clear the filth, tackle the alarming graduate unemployment and ensure citizens actually sleep with all eyes closed without any fear?
God bless my homeland Ghana!!
University of Ghana.
MA Theatre Arts (Media Arts Option)