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February 2008

BALONEY WITH (RED) BULL

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I will confess that George W. Bush isn’t a man I’m terribly fond of. What I think of Dick Cheney is even worse. My vision of hell is going hunting with Cheney, and having a beer with Bush afterwards.

Still, I think there was quite a bit of baloney and bull masking as US foreign policy substance, ahead of and during the Bush Visit.

Some “analysts” set off sirens, prognosticating that the Americans are just after our oil. But if they are, so what? We’ve found oil. America wants oil to feed its bottomless energy needs. So bloody what? We just sell them the damn thing! Why is that so complicated? China wants Africa’s oil and minerals too. If everybody wants what we’ve got, as they say on the streets, hey, it’s all good!

I mean, isn’t that what our mothers do everyday? They go to the market in the hope that somebody needs what’s on their stall. For heaven’s sakes, nobody has to apologise for wanting to sell or needing to buy oil. It’s not opium.

Then there’s the worry about the military base. It stems from the Bush Administration’s decision in 2006 to establish Africom or USAfricom (US Africa Command) to be responsible for military operations and relations with African countries, excluding Egypt. The US Armed Forces maintains regional commands around the world. Currently, Africom is subordinate to the European Command and is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Administration wanted it located in Africa, but the idea was unpopular among African leaders. Bush gave up on the proposal after only Liberia offered to host it.

In principle, I wouldn’t see any problem with hosting Africom. There are US military bases in Singapore and South Korea, and they aren’t the worse for it. Besides, they would help in maintaining civil stability on the continent’s trouble-spots if we got the j’s and t’s properly dotted and crossed at the appropriate junctures.

As for the fear that US soldiers would spread HIV, shall we say it’s… er… further baloney and additional bull. The Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart — and I have been there — isn’t crawling with the virus. Besides, there aren’t US military bases in Swaziland, Botswana or South Africa, but they have the worst HIV prevalence rates on the continent.

Admittedly, however, the Bush Administration is currently unpopular on African streets, and it would be imprudent to disrespect that widespread sentiment.

Months ago, our government was emphatic that Ghana would not host Africom or any US military base. Hopefully, now that the White House has also officially certified the persistent speculation as hogwash, the conspiracy theorists with sources inside Bush’s pen-drive can let the matter rest.

As for those who see the value of such a State Visit only in terms of how much money a visiting President gives to our country, I would simply say this: You don’t offer a chair and water to a visitor in expectation of gifts from his journey.

I will confess that George W. Bush isn’t a man I’m terribly fond of. What I think of Dick Cheney is even worse. My vision of hell is going hunting with Cheney, and having a beer with Bush afterwards.

Still, I think there was quite a bit of baloney and bull masking as US foreign policy substance, ahead of and during the Bush Visit.

Some “analysts” set off sirens, prognosticating that the Americans are just after our oil. But if they are, so what? We’ve found oil. America wants oil to feed its bottomless energy needs. So bloody what? We just sell them the damn thing! Why is that so complicated? China wants Africa’s oil and minerals too. If everybody wants what we’ve got, as they say on the streets, hey, it’s all good! 

I mean, isn’t that what our mothers do everyday? They go to the market in the hope that somebody needs what’s on their stall. For heaven’s sakes, nobody has to apologise for wanting to sell or needing to buy oil. It’s not opium.

Then there’s the worry about the military base. It stems from the Bush Administration’s decision in 2006 to establish Africom or USAfricom (US Africa Command) to be responsible for military operations and relations with African countries, excluding Egypt. The US Armed Forces maintains regional commands around the world. Currently, Africom is subordinate to the European Command and is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Administration wanted it located in Africa, but the idea was unpopular among African leaders. Bush gave up on the proposal after only Liberia offered to host it.

In principle, I wouldn’t see any problem with hosting Africom. There are US military bases in Singapore and South Korea, and they aren’t the worse for it. Besides, they would help in maintaining civil stability on the continent’s trouble-spots if we got the j’s and t’s properly dotted and crossed at the appropriate junctures.

As for the fear that US soldiers would spread HIV, shall we say it’s… er… further baloney and additional bull. The Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart — and I have been there — isn’t crawling with the virus.  Besides, there aren’t US military bases in Swaziland, Botswana or South Africa, but they have the worst HIV prevalence rates on the continent.

Admittedly, however, the Bush Administration is currently unpopular on African streets, and it would be imprudent to disrespect that widespread sentiment.

Months ago, our government was emphatic that Ghana would not host Africom or any US military base. Hopefully, now that the White House has also officially certified the persistent speculation as hogwash, the conspiracy theorists with sources inside Bush’s pen-drive can let the matter rest.

As for those who see the value of such a State Visit only in terms of how much money a visiting President gives to our country, I would simply say this: You don’t offer a chair and water to a visitor in expectation of gifts from his journey.

I will confess that George W. Bush isn’t a man I’m terribly fond of. What I think of Dick Cheney is even worse. My vision of hell is going hunting with Cheney, and having a beer with Bush afterwards.

Still, I think there was quite a bit of baloney and bull masking as US foreign policy substance, ahead of and during the Bush Visit.

Some “analysts” set off sirens, prognosticating that the Americans are just after our oil. But if they are, so what? We’ve found oil. America wants oil to feed its bottomless energy needs. So bloody what? We just sell them the damn thing! Why is that so complicated? China wants Africa’s oil and minerals too. If everybody wants what we’ve got, as they say on the streets, hey, it’s all good! 

I mean, isn’t that what our mothers do everyday? They go to the market in the hope that somebody needs what’s on their stall. For heaven’s sakes, nobody has to apologise for wanting to sell or needing to buy oil. It’s not opium.

Then there’s the worry about the military base. It stems from the Bush Administration’s decision in 2006 to establish Africom or USAfricom (US Africa Command) to be responsible for military operations and relations with African countries, excluding Egypt. The US Armed Forces maintains regional commands around the world. Currently, Africom is subordinate to the European Command and is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Administration wanted it located in Africa, but the idea was unpopular among African leaders. Bush gave up on the proposal after only Liberia offered to host it.

In principle, I wouldn’t see any problem with hosting Africom. There are US military bases in Singapore and South Korea, and they aren’t the worse for it. Besides, they would help in maintaining civil stability on the continent’s trouble-spots if we got the j’s and t’s properly dotted and crossed at the appropriate junctures.

As for the fear that US soldiers would spread HIV, shall we say it’s… er… further baloney and additional bull. The Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart — and I have been there — isn’t crawling with the virus.  Besides, there aren’t US military bases in Swaziland, Botswana or South Africa, but they have the worst HIV prevalence rates on the continent.

Admittedly, however, the Bush Administration is currently unpopular on African streets, and it would be imprudent to disrespect that widespread sentiment.

Months ago, our government was emphatic that Ghana would not host Africom or any US military base. Hopefully, now that the White House has also officially certified the persistent speculation as hogwash, the conspiracy theorists with sources inside Bush’s pen-drive can let the matter rest.

As for those who see the value of such a State Visit only in terms of how much money a visiting President gives to our country, I would simply say this: You don’t offer a chair and water to a visitor in expectation of gifts from his journey.

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ALL SHALL PASS

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A friend of mine is trying to encourage her 17-year-nephew to pull up his trousers. I’m sure you know what’s in fashion these days. The boys’ trousers shall be
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A GAME CALLED BLAME

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I’m a little amazed at the tons of blame that is being heaped onto the Black Stars and their coach after their narrow defeat by Cameroon.

Some snigger at the inclusion and contribution of Andre Ayew on the grounds that the occasion was too important for his teenage mind and adolescent cartilage. His father was just as youthful when some coach took a chance with him. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, remember?

I’ve also heard others pour scorn at the goals which Junior Agogo scored. One overweight analyst called them easy tap-ins for any old arthritic. He had forgotten, first, that the ball wasn’t always resident in front of the “tap-in” area; that it had been manoeuvred from far afield through a minefield of 10 Nigerian opponents; and second, that Asamoah Gyan also had a tap-in but failed to tap it in. That clearly suggests that even tap-ins aren’t always easy to simply tap-in. After all, with a pre-positioned goalkeeper as the sole obstacle, aren’t penalties too tap-ins? Yet, some of the world’s best have been known to spray the ball into the stands instead of simply tapping it in.

I, too, was initially upset with Asamoah in that Namibia game but, hey, s…t happens.  I don’t hold it against him.

Maybe some of these guys are finding it hard to deal with all the attention Agogo was getting from the girls – all the Agogomania. The young man will be out of town next week so they can have their girls back.

Some want the coach sacked for being allegedly “technically unimaginative” in the game against Cameroun. Admittedly, coach Claude le Roi isn’t terribly cuddly. But he’s the same man who coached the team to beat Guinea. And Morocco. The same man who made those changes which caused the seismic shift in the final minutes of the game against Nigeria.  The same victories over which these morning-after, omniscient technical gods, with their gift of perfect hindsight, jubilated all night long.

If we were all half as committed to and worked a quarter as hard at our jobs as these young citizens do at theirs, life would be a lot better in our country.

So let’s give them credit. Let’s stop the blame game. And the nit-picking. And the fault-finding.  And the fuss.

The boys played their hearts out. They gave everything they had.

Well done, Black Stars

Well done, coach..

Well done, Ghana.

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