Saturday, June 29, 2013

Obama's tour de fiasco

International solidarity is a damn good thing when you live in a country that’s a little on the languid side politically. What great news to hear Obama’s $100 million tour of 3 African countries wasn’t the tour de force he’d hoped for, but a fiasco! We don’t have to tell millions of Africans they should shudder at his presence since the tour, the presence of AFRICOM & US troops in Uganda only spell increased US plunder. They have his number! He was greeted in South Africa by hundreds of activists organized by trade unions who pulled no punches in their denunciations of Obama & US foreign policies. Signs showing no respect read: “When you sow terror you reap terror,” “Orphan maker Obama,” “ Hands off Iran,” “Obama/Netanyahu: war criminals,” & “No you can’t Obama” in response to his campaign slogan, “Yes we can.” The man here carries a placard calling Obama “The Kitchen Boy of the White House," which may be a regrettable reference to Obama's nationality but also lists Obama's criminal policies.

Obama claims he’s not planning a photo op with Nelson Mandela on his death bed (though if it didn’t expose him as an opportunist he certainly would!). Protestors weren’t taking any chances so they demonstrated outside Mandela’s hospital to make sure he didn’t show up. Our man will however be visiting Robben Island where Mandela was imprisoned & deliver a speech lauding Mandela’s life. Some media claim there are powerful symbolic linkages between the two men (oh yeah!?) but nobody else is able to discern them--certainly not the hundreds of protestors in South Africa!

Obama says he doesn’t want to lay claim to Mandela’s mantle because he’s not worthy (& he’s got that straight!) but he also claims Mandela & the anti-apartheid movement drew him into political activism. In a pig’s eye! There isn’t a single thing linking Obama to activism in plebeian social movements of any kind unless he was currying favor for votes. He also hasn’t done one thing to address the massive unemployment & incarceration of Black youth or the police violence against them. He’s got nothing to write home about! 

By the way, the trip to Senegal, Tanzania, & South Africa involved hundreds of US Secret Service agents, an aircraft carrier & other ships, fighter jets & military cargo planes to airlift 59 support vehicles & 14 limousines. Since millions of people are losing their homes here, we would suggest next time he leave the kids home, fly coach, sleep in youth hostels, & travel by bus--though no one wants to be that up close & personal to a war criminal.

(Photo by Jerome Delay/AP)

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