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Ear to the Ground

Obama Acknowledges Africa’s Pain, Encourages Progress

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Posted on Jul 11, 2009
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AP photo / Haraz N. Ghanbari

President Barack Obama speaks to the Parliament of Ghana in Accra, Ghana, on Saturday.

“I have come here, to Ghana, for a simple reason: the 21st century will be shaped by what happens not just in Rome or Moscow or Washington, but by what happens in Accra as well.” President Obama spoke to Ghanaians in their capital on Saturday, acknowledging the enormous challenges that face their continent and placing the quest for solutions in the hands of the African people.

The White House via The Wall Street Journal:

[...] We must start from the simple premise that Africa’s future is up to Africans.

I say this knowing full well the tragic past that has sometimes haunted this part of the world. I have the blood of Africa within me, and my family’s own story encompasses both the tragedies and triumphs of the larger African story.

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By christian96, July 12, 2009 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

I’ll have to shoot my mouth on this article a little
bit.  Ghana’s kind of special to me.  Spent 3 weeks
in a bed and breakfast in Jerusalem in September
1999.  A black fellow, Jackie, worked for the bed
and breakfast.  He was from Ghana. Nice fellow.
He kind of looked like Jackie Robinson, the baseball
player.  His real name was Ernest.  Can’t remember
how he got the nickname, Jackie.
Seems to me if things are going to get better in
Ghana, America or anyplace on the planet we need
to start using our talent better.  There’s a lot of
smart people in all nations but their ideas never
get heard.  We need to set up “Ideas Centers” throughout every nation.  Each “idea center” would
have an “idea commission” made up of real smart
folks.  When somebody came up with a smart idea(s)
they would submit the idea(s) to the commission
in writing.  If they can’t write, they get one of
their smart friends to write for them.  The idea
commission then reads the idea(s) and places them
into a category labeled “local ideas,” “regional
ideas,” or “national ideas.”  The “ideas commission”
then selects the best 5 ideas for the month and
places those ideas in newspapers and on the internet
for folks to read.  If the ideas are local, they
would be place in local newspapers and the internet,
if regional they would be placed in regional papers
and the internet and if national they would be placed
in national newspapers and the internet.  There could
be local, regional, and national meetings where folks got together to discuss and refine the ideas.
Then, the ideas would be placed on a local, regional,
or national ballot for all folks to vote on.  This
could become better than baseball and apple pie!
It could even be done on an international basis after
the ideas are decided upon in each country.  Well,
that’s my ideas.  It would be one way to get voices
and ideas heard that aren’t being heard.  If we are
going to survive on this planet it’s going to be
through folks working together to solve our problems.

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By thebeerdoctor, July 12, 2009 at 3:58 am Link to this comment

Folktruther is quite accurate about the African Command military presence. This is the neoliberal way. Making claims they care about you is like putting a velvet glove over the iron fist. But that iron fist is most certainly there, which shows that the neocon and the neolib, in the end, are not different at all.

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By Xntrk, July 11, 2009 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

“No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny, and now is the time for it to end.”

Obama said this in Ghana. Was he talking about them? or us?

I agree with LostHills:
Anywhere, London, Paris, Moscow, Italy, Egypt, Africa, South America… Anywhere but here in the US where he’s supposed to be head honcho. I suppose it is easier to tell other people how to live than it is to fight bill through Congress. If the audience disagrees, he doesn’t have to hear about it for the next 2 weeks. I think he believes he was elected Pope rather than President.

That said, he had little if any interest in foreign shores prior to being President. He and Palin have that in common. Neither of them really gives a damn about any place that’s beyond the horizon.

As an adult, Obama made one trip to a resort in Mexico. I think his first trip to Canada was after the election. Man, what a lack of imagination in someone with a great education, early cross-cultural experience, and a bi-racial background. Compared to him, I’m a cosmopolitan and world traveler.

Disappointing, and the more I see and hear, the more disappointing he is. At least Bush had his stupidity to hide behind

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By Clark, July 11, 2009 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Our common humanity”, “ready to partner.”

Blah, Blah, Blah, OBlahma.

I hope the people of Ghana take a good, long look at Nigeria and the history of pollution, injustice, and murder by the oil corporations.

In his speech, Obama mentioned Nigeria in terms of fighting malaria, but the most pertinent reason for his stopping in Ghana is that, as in Nigeria, the U.S.A. and its multinational sharks have smelled blood(oil) and are circling closer for the kill.

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By LostHills, July 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

Obama’s gotta travel around the world modeling new outfits and spouting platitudes because he can’t figure out how to get this country out of the hole it’s in. 7 million more unemployed Americans since he took office. More American soildiers killed, more Iraquis dead, more Ahghans dead, more Pakistanis dead, and more Bonuses for AIG. I’m not sure how many countries there are in the world right now, but if doesn’t make some positive changes somewhere he’s going to run out of places where people will cheer him real soon…..

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By Folktruther, July 11, 2009 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

the US gets an increasing percentage of its oil from Africa.  Threfore it wants it to be Free&Demcratic; oil, and this may lead to the need it liberate it from Dictatorship and Tyranny.  To this end the US has created an African Military Command effective October, 2008, to provide Security to African oil.  For some reason no African country wants US bases in its territory, so the US command HQ is Stuttgart, Germany.

the US is already engaged militarily in Africa, notably in the Dafur region of Sudan, where there is a genocide of Sudan oil- Chevron and Exxon not getting any, or enough.  The US has therefore funded rebel groups of child soldiers to stop the oil genicide by helping to kill tens of thousands of people and mass refugees, as in Iraq.  The UN has ruled there is no genicide but they are referring foolishly to people, rather than oil.

Now Obama is spreading his rock star appeal to Africa, possibly to get bases for the African Command and to get Africa to declare a Darfur Genocide, allowing a Western military prescence to rescue its oil.  Since none of this is printed in the American mainstream mass media, the American people identify with African pain, and hope it is relieved by the African Command.

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