Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (2 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   1 comment

Life Arts

Karibu (Welcome) To Tanzania, President Obama:

      (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 1   Supported 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 7/2/13

- Advertisement -
While the Visit To Promote Big Power Closed The City Down, A Dynamic Film Festival Showcases The Country's Cultural Energy And Opens Minds


Zanzibar, Tanzania: The Big Show had arrived with the Secret Service bringing all traffic in Dar es Salaam to a halt as President Obama set down in Tanzania, the third stop on his three country African "tour." The cheering crowds were out on cue, as a military band played the US National Anthem, not once but twice, less anyone miss the gesture.

I spoke today with some Tanzanians who were there. They seemed shell shocked. "I felt like we were being invaded," said one. In preparation for the visit, homeless people and venders--all poor and vulnerable--were rounded up and literally thrown out of town as officials cleansed the downtown to make the setting for the Presidents more sparkling.

All traffic was halted for Obama's 45 car motorcade and the city "frozen" with no one allowed in or out. "We had American flags draped everywhere including over our national monuments. There were security people and undercover cops everywhere. It was very intimidating." The sense I had was that rather than feel good about American benevolence, many locals were pissed off and felt pushed around.

Obama is here to promote more capitalist enterprise--foregoing aid for trade with 150 US and African business leaders on hand to see how they can capitalize on Washington's sudden interest in Africa's growth.

The US is playing a poor catch-up game with China whose trade with Tanzania totaled $2.47 BILLION last year as opposed to a skimpy $360.2 million with the US.

  Fresh from a symbolic stop at Nelson Mandela's prison cell on South Africa's Robben Island, you would think that the President might have a word of thanks to offer Tanzania for its long years of support for Mandela's ANC in exile where his law partner Oliver Tambo escaped capture, as he organized resistance to apartheid in a country then known for African Socialism and the self reliance doctrine of its brilliant founding president Julius Nyerere,   also known as Mwalimu, (The teacher.)

Mandela would never had been freed from that cell if the ANC in exile, based here and in other "frontline states, " hadn't had support to help it build its armed struggle and solidarity networks that would soon get the world organized against apartheid.
- Advertisement -


Tanzania had guts to defy the bullies of the apartheid state by providing offices and a School to the ANC, despite threats.

Barack Obama left his uplifting pro-liberation rhetoric behind in South Africa, in order to get down to business in Tanzania. His little "present"--a power initiative parsed out to many countries over five years, a corporate creation and nothing like the Tennessee Valley Authority that was born during the depression as a more cooperative way of governments providing rural electrification in league with Co-ops.

Obama is focusing on cutting deals that will profit power companies like our own General Electric--- that's the "power to the people' he champions--while, in sharp contrast, another form of power--cultural power-- is on display a two hour boat ride out in Indian Ocean on Zanzibar, a scenic Island nation with its own government that is also part of the United Republic of Tanzania.

I am on Zanzibar for the 16h annual edition of one of the most impressive festivals in the world, the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) that brings regional and international filmmakers to show their work , and join a multi-cultural event that also showcases musicians, artists, storytellers from all genres, and even a fabulous fashion show representing local designers.

Ironically, while the presidential party waved the American flag in in Dar, the festival has been showing films made worldwide, including in Iran and Palestine, two countries out of favor in official Washington.
- Advertisement -


Festival Director, Martin Mhando, a Tanzanian who also teaches in Australia, projected quite different values than the ones the politicians use in their official capacities.

Here's how described ZIFF's intent to unite the region, known as the Dhow Countries, named after the sailing ships that created a web of regional identity through trade, back into the middle ages.

"The spirit of the Dhow countries has always been that of sharing--sharing the values of justice, freedom, love and harmony in our history of maritime relations., " he writes  in the Festival program. "We have tried to include as many perspectives as positive from the 48 countries represented in the films shown that reveal diverse viewpoints on events and issues."

Next Page  1  |  2

 

News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags
- Advertisement -
Google Content Matches:

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Israel Gives All Jews A Bad Name

Is There A Threat of Fascism in the USA?

Free Marketers Going After Occupy Wall Street --Danny Schechter

COG OR COA: WHY IS OBAMA MORPHING INTO BUSH 2?

WHO OWNS OUR MEDIA AND WHY IT MATTERS

WERE THE BANKS TOO BIG TO FAIL OR THE BANKERS TOO BIG TO JAIL?

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

like a used car salesman or a baby kissing politic... by Paul Repstock on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2013 at 12:25:09 AM