With the death of Gaddafi, another African leader who was recently brought to his knees and humiliated by the West, I wonder if these events are not a new form of the historic and deliberate conspiracies put in place by the West in order to control African resources by removing, from power, strong African leaders who do not uphold the West's economic interests in Africa.
The truth is that all leaders are corrupt in some ways and are even assassins at times; life and death decisions come with their job description. But no one person or leader is all good or all bad. To be a leader, you are left to make difficult decisions that could affect millions and sometimes billions of people. The results of your decisions can be fruitful for some while devastating for others. But the leaders of each nation, by their simple definition, are those who have the role and responsibility of weighing the impact that their behavior will have on their nations and their people whether the effect be for good or for bad.
In the case of the African continent, it has known a number of African leaders who emerged to free their people and lead their lands to real and total independence from the West after colonial occupation. Those leaders, Patrice Lumumba, Thomas Sankara, Modibo Keita and others, were quickly assassinated or imprisoned. Corrupt allied puppet leaders were put in the place of these legitimate leaders by the West in order to advance western financial institutions that were developed specifically to exploit Africa's resources. Institutions, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, also prevented Africans from the right of profiting from their own resources by keeping their governments in insurmountable and unpayable debts to the West. These foreign institutions and governments operated in a seemingly well intentioned and legal manner to facilitate corrupt practices that seemed to be caused solely by African leaders, giving Africa the image of being incapable of managing their own resources and being the sole culprits of the injustice and corruption that was keeping their own people in extreme poverty.
Presidents such as Mobutu of Zaire, Compaore of Burkina, and Traore of Mali are some of the corrupt assassins and dictators who were involved in the removal of their predecessors. These new leaders were not elected democratically by their own people, but were part of western countries conspiracies to remove legitimate African leaders and replace them with corrupt ones who would turn a blind eye to defending the rights of their countries and support both their own personal as well as western countries economic interest instead. These so called African leaders were more than happy to gain power with the help from the West which in turn let them rule indefinitely and steal unscrupulously from their own countries, in exchange for letting the former colonial rulers continue to exploit Africa's natural resources and use aid money as a way of laundering money to fuel their own economic growth. The western powers knew that African nations would stay indefinitely in financial debt to the West and in industrial and political retardation with these practices. Yet, it was evident that the majority of educated Africans would either follow in the example of their corrupt leaders in order to enrich themselves or for lack of any other example of proper behavior, fight against these leaders and their practices, or be eliminated either by death, imprisonment or exile from their nations. The rest of their population would lack the education and resources to do anything but accept their fate as a destiny of destitution.
Leaders like Gaddafi, who was unpopular with the West, were in an ongoing battle. They were not western puppets and therefore, were subjected to media propaganda or conspiracies to smear their characters and remove them for power. Another example of this type of propaganda, is President Mugabe of Zimbabwe who is still perhaps the only true African leader who is still living and in power although he suffers the same slanderous propaganda as he continues to uphold the interest of his people and fight against western nations which are still infuriated by his rejection of their interest in exploiting Zimbabwean resources. Mugabe's infallible stance has made him an enemy in western eyes and caused the western powers to ridicule him and impose sanctions on Zimbabwe. Of course, the strategy of imposing sanctions against an entire country is used to cause misery and strife on a population, not specifically on a leader, so that the same population can, out of frustration, revolt against their leader. Except in the case of Zimbabwe, the West's strategy has yet to work as most Zimbabweans, who for the majority support their chosen leader, have pride in the good he has done for his people despite the instability triggered on their country by the West.
A recent trend to forcefully remove African leaders, who have not engaged in Western plots of exploitation, has risen like President Gaddafi in Libya and President Laurent Gbagbo of Cote d'Ivoire. Both Libya and CI have strong economic power due to valuable natural resources which are in the interest of the West. Both Presidents Gbagbo and Gaddafi were not in serious danger of attack by the West until they started threatening the financial interest of the West. Gbagbo, the now imprisoned former leader of CI, one of the largest cocoa producers in the world, wanted to create his own currency and break free from the CFA which would endanger French economic interests and investments in CI. Gaddafi was using the important revenue of Libyan oil resources, 9th largest in the world, for nation building in many of Africa's most vulnerable countries, funding a large percentage of the African Union and developing African economic power where he saw fit, without the approval of the West. And similarly, both countries had civil wars erupt this year which were backed by foreign military forces in order to remove them permanently.
The idea of building African countries and creating an independent continent whole and free has never been the true intention of institutions such World Bank, IMF, United Nations etc. or western governments, or else the African continent would possibly be more prosperous than their own nations. How many billions does it take to build one nation, one road, one city? None of these institutions have achieved any real developmental success on the African soil. And for such intellectuals with so much funding at their disposal, they cannot pretend that they do not realize that their development plans are just that, plans that are never meant to reach a successful conclusion. In reality, these organizations should have all been temporary institutions with short term goals and contractors with a set completion date. Instead, they are continuously and generously funded and the money is said to be for African aid and development when less than 35% of those funds actually go towards aid or development. The majority of their financing is to pay administrative cost such as salaries, benefits etc. for those' noble' people who say they want to make a change in the world and work for these institutions, when the reality is they have no vested interest in the continents or people they are trying to save, but have more of an interest in making sure their jobs remain long-term careers that can keep their lifestyles and pension plans fruitful. What would be the result if these institutions really did what they sought to do and put the majority of their resources in the nations they say they are trying to help? What if they didn't offer large salaries and benefits for those who joined them? Perhaps the people who would go after the jobs would have more of a sincere interest in saving lives, a type of merge between the IMF and Peace Corps, who knows?
Throughout the years, I have met many people who work for these institutions and have been stunned to realize that some of them honestly have a true disdain for Africa and Africans (although they parade around in the West saying they are noble for saving Africa and Africans). The truth is, they are employed as long as long as Africans keep suffering and logically it's not in their best interest to end Malaria or Aids or poverty. A friend once told me about a colleague of hers who resigned, from a leading developmental agency, when he realized that the project he had been working on to bring irrigation and clean water to one African village had been going on for 15 years without completion! After he was called again to organize another conference on the project to discuss it with partners, his eyes were suddenly open to the fact that more money had gone into conferences and planning for the project then to actually implementing it. He quit his job the same week and now works for a less lucrative development agency which actually does produce results for African development. Another example is of a high ranking USAID official I met, who bragged openly about how many nannies, chefs, and chauffeurs she employed for her small family of four while working in one of the poorest countries in the world, all to the amusement of other expatriate colleagues.
The revolution of the African continent will be difficult when most of Africa's intellectual property is helping to build economies in the West. And those educated and prosperous Africans who remain on the continent are only still there because they are profiting for the vicious and corrupt cycle created by western governments and their institutions. The real victims are those Africans struggling in continued poverty with little or no education about the globalization and who still believe that the "white" man is completely altruistic and going to save them. They are not educated enough to know that they are actually keeping the "white" man in a prosperous business through their misery. Either way, as long as African suffering can lead to great employment in the West, then African suffering will find a hard time ending.
Unlike foreign aid organizations and institutions though, Gaddafi's investments in African nations, such as Mali, were true investments that actually accomplished their goals in the specified time they declared. Hotels, government buildings etc. built by Gaddafi as gifts or investments brought jobs to Malians and pride to the people, not just money in the form of aid that brings pity and corruption for Africans and better employment benefits for westerners without realizing tangible results.
In Gaddafi's case, yes, he was a dictator; yes, he ruled perhaps too long; yes, he should have listened to the signs and the angry words of his people. Yet the West had no right or obligation to meddle in the Libyan people's struggle and to hunt down their leader like a fugitive. Either way, nations that talk about democracy should practice it. When leaders like George Bush walk the world freely after causing wars under false pretenses and winning elections under suspicions of fraud and causing the death of millions of innocent people in foreign nations, then who is to say which leaders are evil and which are not? Which leaders deserve a due process of law and which deserve to become international outlaws and hunted down, wanted dead or alive? Who decides which human life is worth protecting and which is worth destroying? In order to have democracy and peace, we must act democratically and peacefully. Gaddafi might have been bad in the eyes of many, but was NATO good in bombing his country to engage in an illegal coup and assassination? Were their actions parts of a legitimate democratic process or just a form of bullying nations into a new form of colonialism where the West chooses the type of regimes that they will let continue and those they will eliminate?
In the end, it's not up to the West to rule out leaders that they do not approve of, especially through violent attacks or warfare. It's up to the nations to develop and fight their own battles. Allegations of crimes against humanity are not a reason to immediately bomb an entire country and kill innocent people in the name of giving them freedom and protection from a leader who is being ousted for the same crimes the self-declared freedom fighters are also committing in the name of democracy. The reason for the creation of the United Nations was to monitor the world interest on a global platform to facilitate dialogue. NATO is a military force created by Western countries in order to help defend elitist member states in case they are attacked. Obviously, there are no Libyans or even African nations who were voting for air strikes and a NATO military backed rebel revolution since there are no African nations in NATO. Gaddafi and thousands of innocent civilians were brutally murdered by air strikes and drones in Libya, as part of West's self-declared humanitarian mission to save Libyans from death. Either way, a dead Libyan is still has a mourning family whether the burial is caused by the hands of NATO or Gaddafi. In real terms, an eye for eye is a losing practice, and violence only leads to more violence. Historically, if the UN defended Africans on the basis of humanitarian causes and urgency, what exactly were the UN, US President Bill Clinton and NATO doing while 800,000 Africans were being slaughtered in the Rwandan Genocide? There was no immediate action taken in that case. The Rwandan's cries were ignored because there was no immediate economic interest, just Africans killing each other. Where was the need to fight for democracy and freedom then? In that case, every UN regulation had to be reviewed proven, re-proven and delayed before a military effort and intervention of a foreign land could be approved, and by then it was too late almost 1 million people.
Now with the son of Africa, and yes, President Obama is of equal African and American descent, as the chosen leader of the most powerful nation of the West, many of us had HOPE for more reconciliation, respect and understanding of the different people and cultures of the world. But like those African puppet leaders put in control shortly after colonial rule in Africa who were weak in to the temptations of western promises of continued power, they had the right face but the wrong intentions. Is Obama the new version of the puppet leader, the African American version with the tanned skin color, the impeccably white smile, the traditional Muslim name with a seemingly well intentioned motive to free Libyans and the world from dictators and tyranny, but who is only camouflaging and facilitating the economic objectives of the West? Is he ignorant to the fact that he is being used, or is he a well aware participant? Either way, Obama has a great image and smile, and had the power to move millions in his favor with his inspirational speeches, but with this US aided attack on Libya, he becomes a questionable player in an age old game and strategy to control foreign economies through false pretense, when the true intention of the rapid invasion of Libya can only be that Gaddafi was a unpredictable nuisance causing a roadblock to America having their share in the 9th largest oil reserves in the world.
If not, where is the proof of all of Gaddafi's crimes? Was there a hearing and security panel? If there was, the world must have missed it. All we saw and witnessed were bombs on civilians and photos of an assassinated foreign leader by his so-called own countrymen backed by NATO and US drones. And like Obama proves, just because the color is there, does not mean the heart is there. These rebel Libyans did their jobs well and they will certainly benefit from the downfall of Gaddafi in order to establish their own corrupt regimes based on the self-serving rules of the West. If history repeats itself, like in Iraq, we will see a strong interest and presence of US companies and government in helping to rebuild Libya, exploit its oil reserves, organize elections, promote democracy, and elect a very US friendly Libyan President. In the end, the truth becomes transparent that when any leader of a wealthy country outside of the fabulous superpowers, and specifically on the African continent, does not comply with western "democratic' or more intently "economic' objectives, he can quickly find a rebellion brewing in his homeland, a quick demand from the UN for his resignation, and his permanent removal from power, or even from existence, by the use any means necessary.
The only winners in this Libyan conflict and the violent murder of Gaddafi and thousands of innocent people will be westerners and well-connected Libyans who will gain new contracts to rebuild Libya which will help the foreign economies of the countries that were most involved in the revolution, and enrich a minority of Libyans who will continue to cooperate with the West. The puppet leaders, put in place or aided by the West, will help to harness a puppet regime that will never sincerely stand up for the benefits of their own people, but will facilitate the interest of the West while the West closes it eyes to their corruption or any other crimes they will commit against their people and country. A modern version of old colonial occupation will arise where the West controls foreign countries through manipulative legal rebuilding contracts, privatization and land ownership schemes, all in the name of democracy, with the help of a well-orchestrated civil wars, bogus elections and a new government aided by foreign military forces for the economic benefit of the West. This new form of colonialism is just a modern approach to an age old practice: how to lie to get what you want while acting like you are doing the opposite of what you are actually doing. Basically, the political hoodwinked hustle returns in the 21st century, and this time around Americans are making sure they get their piece of colonial pie.
But like all happy endings (not Hollywood ending), the inevitable will have to occur. The universe will have to set a course of redemption for the good people and nations of the world to rise again. Their children have been exiled and are gaining valuable education, training, and love for the land of their ancestors while in land of the oppressors, whether they realize it or not. When the lost children of Africa decide to return home to build and teach their people what they have learned, then Africa will be on the right course of development and no longer a victim of the crimes of the West, but the final benefactors. If and when they choose to return to the African continent, their knowledge, experience, integrity and sincerity in seeing their continent truly advance will be the necessary and missing link needed for Africa's successful development and the breaking the vicious cycle of corruption, exploitation and poverty. When the great migration of the forgotten children of Africa becomes the saving grace of the African continent, then will see it as Jesus Christ said: "The first shall be last and the last shall be first". Matthew 20:16