Cote d'Ivoire: A “Chocolate Revolution” Or War For Oil? Part Three

Ochere-Darko writes in "Cote d'Ivoire needs a chocolate revolution", Ghanaian Chronicle, Opinion | Fri, 04 Feb 2011 as follows, reflecting on the Revolutions currently going on in the Arab world:

“How does this apply to Laurent Gbagbo and the Ivorian crisis? If a solution is not found quickly enough for Cote d'Ivoire the rebels would strike and the consequences could be worse than the application of a surgical legitimate force by international forces.”

A friend of mine, commenting on Ochere-Darko's call for a “Chocolate Revolution” in La Cote d'Ivoire, was very laconic:

'Ochere-Darko lives in a fantasy land: "application of a surgical legitimate force by international forces"! Not legitimate, and there is no such thing as a surgical use of force. That is just a myth used by people trying to sell war.'

I think he meant Ochere-Darko is being ridiculous if he thinks anyone is going to take him seriously, because this same friend once commented:

'The problem for Africa is the same as it was in the first waves of colonialism. Africa has too much that other people want. The western industrial world was built on wealth taken from Africa. Henry Stanley probably offered the best short explanation of the origins of the Anglo-Ashanti war, and this remains metaphorically true today. “King Coffee”, (Asantahene Kofi Kakari) he said, “is too rich a neighbour to be left alone with his riches.”

And that remains the problem for Africa, it is too rich in resources, and it has been carefully encouraged to remain politically poor and divided, the Cold War, the IMF, World Bank, structural adjustments, foreign aid, diplomatic advice, military assistance, etc., so that outsiders can continue to plunder the wealth. What I don't like about Mr. Ochere Darko is that he appears to recognize this, but seems perfectly willing to sell out his own people.'

And this is exactly Ochere-Darko and the Akufo-Addo's Danquah Institute is about. Here is how Ochere-Darko argued for the establishment of US military bases in Africa:

"Top on the list is the United States' military and energy security agenda. Before the 9/11 bombing in 2001, conventional thinking in Washington perceived no vital strategic interests for the U.S. in sub-Saharan Africa. But this has changed. Today we can see a significant shift away from America's traditional geopolitical calculations regarding oil production and supply. The U.S.'s National Intelligence Council (NIC) estimates that by 2015, 25 percent of American oil imports will come from West Africa, compared to 16% today – an estimate even considered as too conservative in some quarters. Already West Africa supplies as much oil to the U.S. as Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, our oil is light and sweet, making it easier and cheaper to refine than Persian oil. Plus its offshore location reduces transportation costs and minimises risk of political violence and terrorist attacks."

He therefore recommends:
"The way forward is a pro-active policy to build a new Gulf of energy security and prosperity in a part of the world that is relatively receptive to American presence. With significant discoveries being made in the Gulf of Guinea oil basin, off the coast of Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Congo and Cote d'Ivoire, according to the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy, the United States will be importing in the year 2020 over 770 million barrels of African oil a year. And Ghana with its stability, notable responsiveness to America, deepening multiparty democracy and promising investment climate is seen as the perfect epicentre for the growth and fulfilment of this interest. In the eyes of America, geography, geology and ideology all favour Ghana as the gem in the crown of this new policy."

Mr Ochere Darko argues that:
"Furthermore, the U.S. is, understandably, bent on establishing a regional command for Africa, similar to U.S. Forces Korea, with a homeport situated on the African continent to protect their interests. West Africa is its natural home, given the need to protect energy interests in the Gulf of Guinea. Liberia has offered but simply cannot match the kind of convenience available in Ghana. It can be a win-win situation.”

One trick Ochere-Darko used which I have never forgiven was to make it look as though allowing our lands to be occupied by a foreign military power is a from of liberation! Here is what he wrote:

“Obama's chief policy adviser assured Africans two months before the 2008 presidential race, “Barack Obama understands Africa, and understands its importance to the United States. Today, in this new century, he understands that to strengthen our common security, we must invest in our common humanity and, in this way, restore American leadership in the world.” Now is the chance for him to seek and effect the real change that will finally show the world that Africans are capable of more than managing their own affairs – but, crucially, Ghana must take up the opportunity provided by the state visit and the U.S.'s burgeoning strategic interest in us, to be the nation that demonstrates this. - Gabriel Asare Ochere-Darko, " (Obama's Visit – What's In It For Us And U.S.?", Feature Article of Monday, 25 May 2009. "The author of the article is the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, a think tank based in Accra.”)

“Now is the chance for him to seek and effect the real change that will finally show the world that Africans are capable of more than managing their own affairs"? Does that sound familiar? It is obviously a sacrilegious reference to the Independence Eve declaration by the great Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah:

“And as I pointed out, I made it quite clear that from now on, today, we must change our attitudes, our minds! We must realize that from now on, we are no more a colonial people but a free and independent people! But also, as I pointed out, that also entails hard work!

That new African is ready to fight his own battles and show that after all, the black man is capable of managing his own affairs! We are going to demonstrate to the world, to the other nations, that we are prepared to lay our own foundation! Our own African identity!”

I do remember very vividly a fellow Board Member of the Danquah Institutes's take on this speech:

“At best, it is a pleonastic declaration that Ghanaians would rather do without; for, ever since those of us who are about Mr. Mahama's age can recall, including the vice-president himself, March 6 has always been an invariably monotonous celebration of Kwame Nkrumah, almost as if the Nzema-Nkroful native was the only Ghanaian citizen who significantly contributed to both our beloved country's attainment of sovereignty from Britain and the massive decolonization of the African continent which latter landmark, by the way, had far more to do with U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's “Atlantic Charter” than any single or even group of African leaders.” (See: March 6 has always been a one-man show, anyway, by Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Feature Article, Monday, 15 February 2010). I just wondered why Ochere-Darko did not allude to Roosevelt instead!

There is an African proverb which simply says, “a snake shall always give birth to something long!” This homage that we see the Vices of Danquah paying to the Virtues of Nkrumah, reminded me of Antonio's warning to Bassanio in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. You see, in the Holy Bible, it is written that the devil tempted Jesus by quoting from the Holy Scriptures! "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" ( Matthew 4:6). The King James Bible is what most of us are very familiar with. The response of Jesus must ring a bell:

"Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."

Matthew 4:7
Which brings us to Shakespeare's warning about people like Ochere-Darko who is doing the dirty and stinking job for Akufo-Addo and his imperialist owners:

“ANTONIO:Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart...”!
The Danquah Institute Is A Neocolonialist Institute!

John Nichols rightly asks:
“But why would anyone else treat Cheney seriously? Why would the press repeat his over-the-top charges without noting that Dick Cheney has a track record of reading the world wrong, imagining threats where they do not exist and neglecting real dangers? Why would it go unmentioned that the man who is questioning John Kerry's judgement thought Nelson Mandela was a terrorist?”(See: Dick Cheney: Vice President of the Apocalypse, by John Nichols).

I have always loved this comment on Cheney:
“Well, the Cheneys of the world are just going to have to take stock of the new progressive tsunami in the making. There is no white, non-white divide. The divide is progressive, non-progressive. And Cheney and the likes of him are on the wrong side of the fence.”

The Danquah Institute is clearly an apparatus of the Cheneys of this world, and it is one of those intitutions whose propaganda must be thoroughly resisted. The reason has been eloquently given by Mr. Kwesi Pratt as:

“That is why, it is important for us to resist all attempts to establish foreign military bases on African soil especially forces of the United States, must be prevented from establishing on African soil. Clearly because they are not on African soil to protect our interests, they are on African soil to facilitate the exploitation of our resources for the benefit of the tiny minority that controls the wealth of the American people and who are sitting on top of this world exploiting the Chicanos, exploiting the African Americans and exploiting all of the other independent and healthy forces in the United States on America. We have to resist all attempts to build U.S. military bases in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa.

Nkrumah has taught us:
"IN order to halt foreign interference in the affairs of developing countries it is necessary to study, understand, expose and actively combat neo-colonialism in whatever guise it may appear. For the methods of neo-colonialists are subtle and varied. They operate not only in the economic field, but also in the political, religious, ideological and cultural spheres.

Faced with the militant peoples of the ex-colonial territories in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, imperialism simply switches tactics. Without a qualm it dispenses with its flags, and even with certain of its more hated expatriate officials. This means, so it claims, that it is 'giving' independence to its former subjects, to be followed by 'aid' for their development. Under cover of such phrases, however, it devises innumerable ways to accomplish objectives formerly achieved by naked colonialism. It is this sum total of these modern attempts to perpetuate colonialism while at the same time talking about 'freedom', which has come to be known as neo-colonialism."

- Kwame Nkrumah, On The Mechanisms of Neocolonialism.

Forward Ever! Backwards Never!!!
Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro
Member, International Solidarity Committee
Pan-Africanist International

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Articles by Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro