A choice between angels or evils? |
By LeoulMekonen | August 27, 2012
The New York Times article by Jeffery Gettleman "Ethiopian Leader’s Death Highlights Gap Between U.S. Interests and Ideals"is one of the best articles I have read since the death of Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi. I don´t know what readers might think but this is what I love most about USA. Even though the US foreign policy is guided by self-interest and selfishness, US is honest in revealing its own hypocracy to the world. It is seldom governments in Europe reveal their hypocracy to the public. By that the reaction of USA is predictable. But there is one thing the writer of the article Mr. Gettleman miss in the analysis, that is the impact of self-interest driven policy and the image of USA as father of democratic rights in the developing countries.
If stability is more valuable than democratic governance and liberty, why is that we hear deafening news and debates about repression in China, Iran or North- Korea? These countries are led by "strongmen", these countries maintain stability at gunpoint the same way MelesZenawi of Ethiopia did for the last two decades. Why wouldn´t the West change the tone towards these countries? This is a very bad lesson to the rest of undemocratic and developing world. In my opinion, Chinese now have got more acceptance in Africa over the West because the west couldn´t deliver and show a genuine effort in supporting democratic governance. It was since 1960s many African thinkers and intellectuals streched their hand to the west in their effort to democratize African countries. Since, many of African countries and governments then were not a threat to US interest none of these visionary and democracy oriented intellectuals got support. This has left a big scar on the minds and heart of African intellectuals and elites.
Now, if you travel to Africa and for example ask one Ethiopian university student to tell the difference between Chinese and Americans, most probably the student will tell you that the Chinese have smaller eyes while Americans are big in size. But 15 or 20 years ago the moment one mention America or the West, it used to be associated with liberty, democracy and freedom. Such association, we find hardly in todays Africa. Whose fault is it? The West!
Since the self-interest driven US and European foreign policy didn´t make any difference in the lives of Africans in terms of good governance, they view both Chinese and the West as vultures that compete to devour African resources. So, if many Africans asked today to choose between China and US, they prefer Chinese to get more influence in their country. Since the issue of human rights is the same under the influence of both states, Africans will be more inclined to consider the cheap electronic devises from China than the bogus American democracy which they have had never experienced. It is so amazing that the west couldn´t learn from its mistakes. But this situation is not permanent, it can be altered. If the West from today shows genuine interest in democratization of Africa, China will lose its ground within a short period of time. Until then, the Chinese will prevail and the West just remains as a territory that grants democratic freedom and human rights only to its citizens. The time is mature to act.US must reconsider a just, and sustainable solution to Africa based on democratic rights than feeding and arming ”strongmen” who help to achieve the wests´interest. Such policy is like a foundation laid on sand. It will collapse and US ran after new strongmen forever.
Ethiomedia.com - An African-American news and views website.
Copyright 2012 Ethiomedia.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org