Feature Article, by Nana Akyea Mensah,
- a rejoinder to '“Osagyefo Dr.” Hosni Mubarak', Feature Article | by Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
"Anyway, throughout his adult career as a journalist with an axe to grind with the perceived opponents and detractors of his father and his neo-Fascist CPP government, Mr. Nkrumah has preponderantly highlighted the pan-Africanist credentials of “Osagyefo-Dr.” Kwame Nkrumah. So, logically, one begins to wonder why the younger Mr. Nkrumah has, this time around, conveniently chosen not to equally highlight the positive aspects of the Mubarak government which, fundamentally, is not very different from that of the CPP."
- Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., '“Osagyefo Dr.” Hosni Mubarak', Feature Article | 6 hours ago.
It is very strange, even by the decadent Okoampa standards, that of all the monumental, unprecedented, and historic events currently unfolding in North Africa and the Middle East, his first shot at it is to disturb our sense of what is proper, by once more launching into yet another diatribe against Kwame Nkrumah and his family.
There is however a very simple explanation to this rather bizarre attack on Gamal. The puppets of US imperialism in Africa are having sleepless nights in the wake of what is happening in Egypt today. What better way of damage control than to deflect the puppet status that Akufo-Addo shares with Mubarak and replace that with the great Osagyefo himself? I am sure I am not the only person who is seeing through this. That is why we have so many people in Tahrir Square today!
In the first place, what is wrong with what Gamal said?
Okoampa opens his latest attack on Nkrumah and Gamal thus:
"I was quite amused to read about the recent interview that Mr. Gamal Nkrumah granted Mr. Paul Adom-Otchere of Ghana's Metro-TV (See “Gamal Nkrumah: Mubarak Must Go…But Power Should Not Be Given to ElBaradei” (Peacefmonline.com 2/2/11). What particularly amused me was the following quote from the half-Egyptian son of Ghana's flamboyant first president and self-knighted “Life-President”: “The West should…accept [the fact] that the people of North Africa and the Middle-East desire more democracy and desire to elect leaders of [their own] choice [choosing?] and not leaders that suit Israel or leaders that serve Israel's interest.”'
Gamal was expressing his personal opinion on what was going on in a country he knows well and loves as much as he loves Ghana. Indeed, the news story Okoampa is referring to, Gamal Nkrumah backs Mubarak's exit but not ElBaradei, begins this way:
"Gamal Nkrumah, son of Ghana's first president Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, has backed calls for Egypt President Hosni Mubarak to resign but insists that the reigns of Egypt should be handed over to a more youthful person and not ElBaradei."
Strangely enough Okoampa did not give any explanations which made what Gamal is saying wrong! He rather resorts to a puerile character assassination in order to counter the political opinions of Gamal. J. B. Danquah used the same technique to a dramatic effect in the course of the Akyea Mensah Murder Trial. I know Okoampa is aware of the tactic because he has written extensively about it.
And before anyone is left with the impression that the criticism of ElBaradei, the man the US is probably hoping to take over from Mubarak, is only a forlorn thought by Gamal Gorkeh Nkrumah. it is because they have not been following what is going on very closely! He was under tremendous pressure before he decided to leave Vienna for Cairo. Those who watch Aljazeera are aware of the sentiments that are coming from the people in Tahrir Square even before he addressed them a few days ago. Democracy Now!'s senior producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous is in Egypt. According to Amy Goodman, his "round-the-clock tweets are being read around the world. Last night, CNN International highlighted one of them.
CNN INTERNATIONAL: Let’s go to a trends map here that we’re looking at to see the trending topics out of Cairo on Twitter. Now, still at the top here is Mubarak. But what’s interesting to note is how ElBaradei has come up in a popularity so much in the last few hours. That’s referring to Mohamed ElBaradei. Now, let’s see what some Twitter users there are saying about him.
"Baradei seen as non-corrupt, is respected. But he lived away too long, didn’t join earlier protests & this revolt was done w/o his help."AMY GOODMAN: That was CNN International last night reading one of Sharif’s tweets. Sharif grew up in Mubarak’s Egypt. He was only three years old when the current regime came to power. He comes from a prominent Egyptian family with a long history in the arts, literature, film and politics."
I am personally very comfortable with these views! These are two young Egyptians that I personally admire a lot. I have Gamal on my mailing list, and I do follow Sharif on twitter. And they are very good examples of young and extremely brilliant and principled Egyptians untainted by imperialist flirtations that can rise to the occasion!
"If You Cannot Deal With The Testimony, Destroy The Witness":
Instead of dealing with the message Gamal is presenting, Okoampa resorts to invectives, name-calling, and character assassination, just as his mentor, Dr. J. B. Danquah, had done before him. It is a tactic Okoampa is very familiar with. He has even written about it concerning how Danquah used it to destroy the witnesses to the case in which Nana Akyea Mensah was believed to have been ritually murdered by eight of his own relatives. This is Okoampa's own account of the silly tactic:
"Consequently, it appears that the first major, modern Ghanaian playwright was forced by circumstances other than purely legal to proceed with his Herculean role as a Defense Maestro or Conductor, for Danquah does not appear to have personally mounted a spirited challenge against the prosecution. And, indeed, as Rathbone wanly recalls: Danquah, who watched the inquest proceedings which usefully rehearsed the prosecution evidence for the defence as they were also implicitly commital proceedings, wrote to the Okyenhene [- Nana Ofori-Atta II -] on 27 September 1944: The evidence against the accused is very strong particularly the evidence of Botwe, Fosu, Gyekye and Mireku. But I feel certain that very conclusive evidence is available both at Kibi and in Ashanti against all these witnesses (Murder And Politics 98; Ellipses appear in the original)." See: "The Enduring Legacy Of Dr. J. B. Danquah PART 9", Feature Article of Sunday, 8 May 2005, by Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame.
If you cannot deal with the message, destroy the messenger. It did not work, even though Danquah tried very hard to destroy the reputation of many decent Ghanaians in order to save his brothers from the gallows! And it is not going to work today, simply because it is Okoampa and not J. B. Danquah doing a mischievous character assassination! I wish someone would be kind enough to help this tormented soul wake up from his self-inflicted nightmare, and smell the coffee! He must abandon the character assassination tactic.
Just as it did not save Asare Apietu, Kwame Kagya, Kwaku Amoako Atta, Kwadwo Amoako, Kwasi Pipim, Opoku Ahwenee, A. E. B. Danquah and Owusu Akyem-Tenteng, from being sentneced to death by hanging on the neck until pronounced dead, it will not help in distancing an imperialist puppet like Akufo-Addo from Mubarak.
I think it is about time that I take my grandson through some history lessons.
To begin with, I shall want to point out that there are significant differences that even a mentally retarded individual could see between Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Africa and Mr. Hosni Mubarak of Sharm el-Sheikh! What we see in Nkrumah, his life, political career, his goals for the rapid development of Africa, as well as the very manner of his overthrow are all very much different from the jaundiced picture my grandson Kwame Okoampa wants us to believe!
My grandson points out that the overthrow of Nkrumah was executed by "the gallant men of the Ghana Armed Forces and the Ghana Police Service, led by [Messsrs.] Kotoka, Harlley and Afrifa." As to who engineered it, he was very economical with the facts. 'While charges of U.S. involvement are not new, support for them was lacking until 1978, when anecdotal evidence was provided from an unlikely source,' writes Paul Lee, '—a former CIA case officer, John Stockwell, who reported first-hand testimony in his memoir, In Search of Enemies: A CIA Story.
"The inside story came to me," Stockwell wrote, "from an egotistical friend, who had been chief of the [CIA] station in Accra [Ghana] at the time." (Stockwell was stationed one country away in the Ivory Coast.)
Subsequent investigations by The New York Times and Covert Action Information Bulletin identified the station chief as Howard T. Banes, who operated undercover as a political officer in the U.S. Embassy"
There is definitely a big difference between a CIA-inspired coup d'etat and what we are seeing in the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, and other major cities of Egypt today! This is not a coup d'etat resulting from a conspiracy between our security forces and foreign imperialist interests! Indeed, the Americans were very swift to recognize the National Liberation Council which replaced the CPP after the coup, and amazingly clueless as to how to respond to the on-going Egyptian Revolution. So, I am constrained to diagnose my grandson's problem, within a severely limited range of possibilities, as either as a result of political mischief, misanthropy, ignorance, naivety, and or he is probably writing in his capacity as a genuine fool.
What do we see as the US response to the will of the Egyptian people? We know from declassified documents such as the one compiled by Paul Lee. He talks about preparations that lasted for years! Here we are nine months before the coup:
'As it turned out, the coup did not occur for another nine months. After it did, Komer, now acting special assistant for national security affairs, wrote a congratulatory assessment to the President on March 12, 1966 (Document 260). His assessment of Nkrumah and his successors was telling.
"The coup in Ghana," he crowed, "is another example of a fortuitous windfall. Nkrumah was doing more to undermine our interests than any other black African. In reaction to his strongly pro-Communist leanings, the new military regime is almost pathetically pro-Western."
In this, Komer and Nkrumah were in agreement. "Where the more subtle methods of economic pressure and political subversion have failed to achieve the desired result," Nkrumah wrote from exile in Guinea three years later, "there has been resort to violence in order to promote a change of regime and prepare the way for the establishment of a puppet government."' See: Documents Expose U.S. Role in Nkrumah Overthrow, By Paul Lee, Special to SeeingBlack.com.
"Mubarak Is Not A Dictator"!
It is clear Mubarak is not only their man, but their main man in the Arab world. His dictatorship has been plodded on by a massive life-support of almost two-billion dollar aid each year, for the past thirty or so years he has been in power. Democracy Now! has an interesting interview with Chomsky. When asked about President Obama’s remarks the other night, February 02, 2011, on Mubarak, Chomsky said: "Obama very carefully didn’t say anything... He’s doing what U.S. leaders regularly do. As I said, there is a playbook: whenever a favored dictator is in trouble, try to sustain him, hold on; if at some point it becomes impossible, switch sides."
"NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, Obama very carefully didn’t say anything. Mubarak would agree that there should be an orderly transition, but to what? A new cabinet, some minor rearrangement of the constitutional order—it’s empty. So he’s doing what U.S. leaders regularly do. As I said, there is a playbook: whenever a favored dictator is in trouble, try to sustain him, hold on; if at some point it becomes impossible, switch sides.
The U.S. has an overwhelmingly powerful role there. Egypt is the second-largest recipient over a long period of U.S. military and economic aid. Israel is first. Obama himself has been highly supportive of Mubarak. It’s worth remembering that on his way to that famous speech in Cairo, which was supposed to be a conciliatory speech towards the Arab world, he was asked by the press—I think it was the BBC—whether he was going to say anything about what they called Mubarak’s authoritarian government. And Obama said, no, he wouldn’t. He said, "I don’t like to use labels for folks. Mubarak is a good man. He has done good things. He has maintained stability. We will continue to support him. He is a friend." And so on. This is one of the most brutal dictators of the region, and how anyone could have taken Obama’s comments about human rights seriously after that is a bit of a mystery. But the support has been very powerful in diplomatic dimensions. Military—the planes flying over Tahrir Square are, of course, U.S. planes. The U.S. is the—has been the strongest, most solid, most important supporter of the regime. It’s not like Tunisia, where the main supporter was France. They’re the primary guilty party there. But in Egypt, it’s clearly the United States, and of course Israel. Israel is—of all the countries in the region, Israel, and I suppose Saudi Arabia, have been the most outspoken and supportive of the Mubarak regime. In fact, Israeli leaders were angry, at least expressed anger, that Obama hadn’t taken a stronger stand in support of their friend Mubarak."
The current US Vice President, Mr. Joe Biden, even went as far as to say, in the face of the massive opposition to Mubarak's rule, that "Mubarak is not a dictator"! Here are his own words: "Look, Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things that he’s been very responsible on relative to geopolitical interests in the region, Middle East peace efforts, the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing relationship with Israel. And I think that it would be—I would not refer to him as a dictator."
I watch Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! every working day, and so naturally, I did not miss the brilliant comments of Professor Juan Cole, professor of history at the University of Michigan. Professor Cole writes regularly about Middle East issues on his blog, "Informed Comment," which is found on-line at JuanCole.com. His most recent book is Engaging the Muslim World. So, I believe he has one or two things to say the people like my grandson need to know:
"SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: That was Vice President Joe Biden. Juan Cole, your response?
JUAN COLE: Well, Vice President Biden seems to be wanting to define a dictator not with regard to domestic policy, but with regard to the responsible role the regime plays in the international world system, you know, from Washington’s point of view. But certainly, from the point of view of human rights activists in Egypt, there are strong dictatorial tendencies in the Egyptian government. It’s seen a lot of phony elections. It’s used repressive techniques..."
Indeed, the tergiversative proclivities being displayed by the Americans, the White House and the State Department is a clear indication yet, that far from being the instigators, the US has not even managed to have a clue, as to how to even respond to the popular demands of the Egyptian people. That in itself is no surprise at all. What is surprising is any comparison with Kwame Nkrumah!
Within a space of a week, the US policy on the Egyptian crisis has been nothing but pussyfooting. First, the only thing they could find to say was that there should be no violence on both sides. Then they quickly replaced that with "Time for Mubarak to initiate reforms". Then came the talk of the need for Mubarak to consider an orderly transition. If you add "Mubarak is not a dictator", we have four in a week!
Okoampa writes as though the Danquah-Dombo-Busia puppets of imperialism and neo-colonialism played a passive role towards the evolution of one-party democratic centralism in Ghana. I once had the occasion to explain to him, that a political party is very different from a political army. Political Parties win votes. Political armies win wars. Ghana's constitution has never had a place for political armies. The United Party which was the mother of the Afrifa-Busia-Kufour tradition, also known as the "Mate Meho" meaning "I have broken away [from Ghana]". That was how they called themselves!
With the "Mate Meho" colonialist zombies throwing bombs day and night, they abondoned their role as a political party and became a political army. They transformed themselves into a political army after failing to win votes even when their colonialist owners had imprisoned Nkrumah and given them a free range to campaign with cash and logistics.
To win a war that they themselves had declared, Nkrumah had no choice other than chasing the elephant into the bush! Thus putting all the blame of Ghana becoming a one-party state is a completely insane distortion of our history. In fact, in other West African states, just like their support for Mubarak, the US support for the one-party states was very strong, especially the over one hundred years old one party state of William Tubman of Liberia.
Their current darling of West Africa, Alassane Ouattara was the last Prime Minister in the 33-year one-party rule of the Ivory Coast which ended with his death in 1990! Mrs. Sirleaf Johnson was also a Minister in the 100-year old one-party state of Liberia by the True Whig Party! These, of course, in Joe Biden's words, were not dictators simply because they were US allies! This is a history of an injustice that Liberians have paid dearly for and continue to pay to this day.
It takes two political party to make the two party state Ghana was on the eve of the First Republic. Just as if you are lucky enough to have a life-partner, you cannot be called "a single man", even though your partner might not necessarily be a man, you cannot call a state a two party state when one political party has vacated its post and turned itself into a political army! In other words, if your partner leaves you, you can then call yourself, a "one-party state", sorry, a single man!
This is what happened to President Nkrumah when the United Party abandoned all civilities and embarked upon a campaign of deadly hostilities, including bomb throwing, against a democratically and popularly elected President of the Republic of Ghana. The verandah boy who warned the chiefs they would "run away and leave their sandals behind" was not called "Osagyefo" for nothing. If you ask for it, he would give it to you roundly and squarely. He urgently had a nation to build. He did not have the time nor the choice. Hence the One-Party state!
The reason he would not tolerate such thugs was clear:
“We in Africa who are pressing now for unity are deeply conscious of the validity of our purpose. We need the strength of our combined numbers and resources to protect ourselves from the very positive dangers of returning to colonialism in disguised forms. We need it to combat the entrenched forces dividing our continent and still holding back millions of our brothers. We need it to secure total African liberation. We need it to carry forward our construction of a socio-economic system that will support the great mass of our steadily rising population at levels of life which will compare with those in the most advanced countries” - Kwame Nkrumah, "Africa Must Unite!", 1960.
The Osagyefo had the same dreams we see in the eyes of the demonstrators! And we hear them say just that! Mubarak and Akufo-Addo represent some of the "entrenched forces...
still holding back millions of our brothers"! Did you see the alacrity with which he was supporting the US-France led war effort on La Cote d'Iviore recently?
I rest my case!
Please let's stay in touch and on top of the NPP! Give me a follow on twitter! I shall give you a follow! Twitter: /twitter.com/TheOdikro
"To all men of goodwill, organize, organize, organize! The struggle is
far from over! We need Tahrir Squares in all our cities to make them world banks for the Asomdweehehe! We prefer self-government in danger, to servitude in tranquillity!
Forward ever, backward never"!
Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.