US President Obama, his country’s first African-descent head of state, can be assured of a lasting legacy of his presidency by imposing a comprehensive US arms embargo on this continent of his fathers at the cusp of constructing new states of organic sensibilities – away from the terror of the genocide state. Obama should expand this initiative to involve other arms-exporters-to-Africa especially on such forums as the UN security council and the G-8. Arms ban to Africa should be internationally mandatory and enforceable (Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, Readings from Reading: Essays on African Politics, Genocide, Literature, 2011: 193).
It should now be evident that Africa does not figure distinctly in the frame of Obama’s assumed policy of “retrenchment” of spheres of US interventionism abroad. On the contrary, Africa very much represents the territorial zone of US’s not-“retrenchment”. Despite Obama’s criticism of the British and French leaderships on post-Libya invasion intra-coalition relations, he has in fact privileged the role of these dual lead-conqueror states of Africa in the pursuit of other goals of US interventionism on the continent more under the contemptuous tactical rubric of “Africa is direct responsibility of London and Paris”, a throwback particularly to the 1950s-1970 era of the Dwight Eisenhower-Lynden Johnson presidencies, which also manifests itself in that working slogan already cited, “leading-from-behind”. We will refer to one other goal as an example and this has profound consequences across the African World and history. Considering this importance, it requires a bit of background for elucidation.
(Aba massacre:… genocidist Nigeria military gun down 22 peaceful Biafrans involved in an early morning open air prayer session for freedom, National High School Aba, Biafra, Thursday 9 February 2016)
“African American son”
In introducing the section of The Atlantic interview with Obama that focuses on Israel, Jeffery Goldberg recalls a conversation between Obama and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu which perhaps captures the “frosty” characterisation that many an observer has used in describing the latter’s relationship in the past seven years. “Obama felt that Netanyahu was behaving in a condescending fashion,” Goldberg writes, as the Israeli leader had “launched into something of a lecture about the brutal region in which he lives…” Obama retorts: “Bibi, you have to understand something … I’m the African American son of a single mother, and I live here, in this house. I live in the White House. I managed to get elected president of the United States. You think I don’t understand what you’re talking about, but I do.”
So, what would the following from some of the brightest minds of this assemblage think of the tragedy – Olaudah Equiano, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Frederick Douglass, WEB Du Bois, James Baldwin, Léopold Sédar Senghor, CLR James, Eric Williams, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Chinua Achebe, Cheikh Anta Diop, John Henrik Clarke, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, George Lamming, John Coltrane, Julius Nyerere, Alain Locke, Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Ivan Van Sertima, Aimé Césaire, Nicolás Guillén, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Mariam Makeba, Ossie Davis, Marcus Garvey, Ruby Dee, Louis Armstrong, George James, Walter Rodney, Jacob Carruthers, Toni Morrison, Théophile Obenga, King Jaja of Opobo, Duke Ellington, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Christopher Okigbo, Kwame Nkrumah, Martin Delaney, Adu Boahen, Nwafor Orizu, Mbonu Ojike, Bethuel Ogot, Amilcar Cabral, Max Roach, Bob Marley, Robert Sobukwe, George Russell, Okot p’Bitek, W Arthur Lewis, Chancellor Williams, Patrice Lumumba, Kenneth Onwuka Dike, David Diop, Adiele Afigbo, Peter Tosh, Kofi Awoonor, Molefi Kete Asante, Charles Mingus, Uche Okeke, Wangari Maathai, Ifeanyi Menkiti, Esiaba Irobi, Maurice Bishop, Dedan Kimathi, Michael Echeruo, Maulana Karenga, Alioune Diop, Eni Njoku, Ama Ata Aidoo, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Eric Dolphy, Ousmane Sembéne, Mariama Bâ, Léon-Gontram Damas, Agwuncha Arthur Nwankwo, Sydney Poitier, Abbey Lincoln, Uzo Egonu, Langston Hughes, Emmanuel Obiechina, Mariamba Ani, Thomas Sankara, Hilary Beckles.
(George Russell Sextet here plays “Nardis”, a composition by Miles Davis [personnel: Russell, piano; Don Ellis, trumpet; Dave Baker, trombone; Eric Dolphy, bass clarinet; Steve Swallow, bass; Joe Hunt, drums; recorded: Riverside Records, New York, 8 May 1961])