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BALONEY WITH (RED) BULL

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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