"US Military Base In Ghana: From 'Baloney!' To 'What’s In It For Us'? Part Two." by Nana Akyea Mensah, the Odikro...
This is a second part of my reaction to Mr. Ochere Darko's article Obama’s Visit – What’s In It For Us And U.S.? Ghanaweb.com, Feature Article of Monday, 25 May 2009. For those who did not get the opportunity to read the first part you may access it here; US Military Base In Ghana: From "Baloney!" To "What’s In It For Us"? Part One, Feature Article of Wednesday, 3 June 2009 (A Rejoinder To Feature Article of Monday, 25 May 2009, Obama’s Visit – What’s In It For Us And U.S.? By Asare Otchere-Darko). In the first part, my only intention was to express my surprise with all my might of wonder. I now want to make a sober reflection in the abominations contained in the article under review. I begun this way:
"This article is bound to have two parts or more. This is because I feel I am already suppressing my disdain, finding it difficult to believe that we have been lied to over such a serious matter, and refusing to appreciate why Ghanaians should even be called upon to accept a US military bases here simply because it is a done deal! I am sure we shall need to talk about all of that, but first of all, I wish to take some time to express my shock and dismay with all my might of wonder, to learn that what was openly referred to as "Baloney" and nothing to worry about is underway, far advanced, and virtually inevitable! I am very angry that Ghanaians have been lied to so blatantly by their own elected President. Boiling at the autocratic insolence behind the "what's in it for us?" question that Mr. Ochere-Darko is now posing. I am certainly amazed that a matter of fundamental concern to each and every citizen could be cooked up to such an extent without an open and frank national democratic debate whatsoever!"
THE OCHERE-DARKO THESIS:
Naturally, in the second part I would like to settle down to the essential thesis of Mr. Ochere Darko and deal with them one by one. I shall quote extensively to those who have not read the article together on one page. Mr Ochere Darko does not mince his words:
"This article argues that in the excitement surrounding President Obama’s July visit to Ghana, what has been missing is an analysis of what is in it for the United States, an understanding of which is crucial for Ghana if it is to capitalise on the immense opportunity provided by this trip. Highlighting the significance of the deepwater oil find in 2007, the article sets out why Ghana is now the subject of strategic U.S. energy and military interests which, as far as the Obama administration is concerned, has raised the stakes considerably in Ghana–United States relations. As the potential gem in the crown of what Washington terms Africa's ‘New Gulf’, the article highlights how Ghana’s pending oil-rich status will shift the terms of negotiation during the trip. Furthermore, America’s preference for Ghana as the physical location for the U.S. African Command (AFRICOM) headquarters, and its concern not to cede strategic ground to China in this region, mean that in 2009 Ghana has an unprecedented hand of cards to play in this game of international diplomacy. Our task as a nation – and the Government’s task as our representatives - is to make the strategic decisions to ensure that we aren’t simply the honoured recipients of President Obama’s first visit to Africa, but that we come away with more concrete deliverables to help us meet our own strategic goals."
The thrust of his thesis is that the US wants to establish military bases in Ghana and it is up to us to make the strategic choice which would lead us to the economic Nirvana. More...
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