DUBYA IN AFRICA
[Col. Writ. 7/10/03] Copyright '2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Do not trust the horse, Trojans. Whatever it is, I fear
the Greeks even when they bring gifts.
-- Virgil (70-19 BC), "Aeneid"
What in the world is George W. Bush doing in Africa?
Rarely has a world leader seemed more lost, more ill at
ease, than the recent portrayal of the incumbent U.S. president
strolling around in Africa.
While the former occupant of the White House, William J.
Clinton, could boast of some personal relationships and even
empathy with Blacks, Bush has always seemed somewhat tone deaf
when it came to Black affairs, even somewhat clumsy.
His early campaign days took him to the Southern cultural
battleground of South Carolina, when the issue of the racist
Confederate flag was raging. Did Bush take a stand opposing
the standard that flew against the forces of the Union? He didn't.
When he was challenged early in his administration as to
his civil rights agenda, he pointed to Cabinet appointments Dr.
Condoleeza Rice and Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and
snickered, essentially, "Here's my civil rights program."
He directed the Justice Department to oppose the University
of Michigan affirmative action cases then-pending in the Supreme
Court, calling them "quotas."
He seemed to be doing all he could to placate the farthest
right of the right-wing of his party, and went out of his way
to conflict with Black leaders.
From his days as Texas Governor to his days as president,
Bush seemed to not care what Black Americans thought of him.
Then, he visits one of the most sacred sites in African-
American memory, the last place many of the martyred millions
saw before their horrific trek into the nightmare awaiting them
in the West, and quotes Martin Luther King as if the two of them
One cannot help but really wonder, what is this guy doing
What the U.S. seeks in Africa is what nations have always
sought abroad - self-interest.
European nations did not colonize the vast majority of the
African continent to "help" Africans (although they often claimed
to do so). They leached the life out of millions, through
repression, exploitation, land-theft and racist terrorism because
they could steal the wealth, whether in labor or resources, of
a rich continent.
Nigeria (one of the nations visited by Bush) is among the
largest exporters of oil to the United States. Some 15% of U.S.
oil comes from there. In a decade or so, over 25% of oil will
come from there.
Other African nations are rich in minerals and other
resources, such as natural gas, diamonds, gold (South Africa
is the world's largest producer!), uranium, manganese, you name
Now, do you really believe that Bush is traipsing through
the African veldt because he wants to "help" them? Or does he
want to help his pals in big business?
Bush is in Africa for the same reason that he forced the
invasion of Iraq -- for money.
That's the new globalism, which is nothing but prettified
New Age colonialism, the unbridled greed of industrial nations
for more, and more of the world's wealth.
Whenever I see rich and superrich folks like Bush (and those
he fronts for) talking about 'helping' poor people, I am reminded
of the words of the British economist, John Maynard Keynes
(1883-1946) who once remarked, "Capitalism is the extraordinary
belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will
somehow work for the benefit of us all."
As the U.S. economy lurches towards freefall, and as
manufacturing jobs flee south across the U.S. border, as cities and
states slash essential services, does it seem reasonable that an
American president will rush to 'help' Africans when America
faces such serious challenges?
Like a lion silently stalks his prey is how Bush stalks the
African veldt. He comes, not to give, but to get.
Copyright 2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal