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The way of nations

By Owei Lakemfa
THE tragedy in Afghanistan continues with the massacre of 70 persons by NATO bombers for the crime of scooping fuel from two oil tankers, and the results of fraudulent national elections.

In Gabon, former dictator Omar Bongo’s son, Ali continues in his late father’s footsteps: Stolen elections and the use of brutal force to silence dissent.

Britain is on a different plane; some of its citizens are plying pressure on the Gordon Brown administration to help siphon some of Libya’s petro dollars under the guise that some bombs used  in the anti-colonial war in Northern Ireland contained explosives allegedly supplied by Libya.

The British gold diggers taking advantage of the weak leadership of Brown who is also being pilloried by its traditional allies in the West and America for the just release of the Lockerbie “bomber”  are hoping that payment of compensation to families of the Lockerbie victims by Libya even when it knew it was innocent of the crime, can be repeated in the Northern Ireland case.

Their claims are that they were victims of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) attacks during the deadly anti-colonial war in Northern Ireland and that some of the IRA bombs were made with explosives like Semtex plastics  which Libya allegedly once supplied to “terrorists” around the world.

First is that the IRA was not a terrorist organisation but a liberation movement to decolonise Northern Ireland which had been forcibly merged with Great Britain to found the United Kingdom. This was partly  why Washington welcomed the political body of the IRA, the Sinn Fein led by the “terrorist” Gerry Adams to the United States.

Secondly, there is no conclusive evidence that Libya built the IRA bombs or supplied them explosives. Thirdly, as there are victims of Irish bombs so are there victims of British bombs in Northern Ireland. So what compensation is Britain paying to them. Should the UK  not first pay these victims as an example for others to copy?

Fourthly, why are these victims of the IRA not seeking justice rather than their mere  cry for financial compensation? Can it be that the “economic meltdown” is so severe that these Britons have found an ingenious way out of their financial problems?

If Britain seeks compensation from Africa for IRA victims, what compensation has it paid for the massacre of Africans like the Kenyans during its inhuman colonisation of the continent? What compensation has it paid for the massacre of Zimbabweans by its citizens like Ian Smith? Why has Britain not paid compensation to South Africans for its decades of economic, political and military support for the evil Apartheid  regime?

What compensation has it paid Africa for the looting of its human and natural resources with which the British economy was built ? What reparations has Britain paid for centuries of slavery and the looting of African towns and artefacts?

Tragically for these British “victims” Britannia no longer rules the waves so it cannot just invade Libya and seize its resources. Also, Libyans are no fools.

In Gabon, as usual the Bongo family rigged elections as they have done over the decades their corrupt father, Omar ruled the country. Omar the father had established a dynasty of corruption, brutality and bare-faced theft of Gabonese wealth.

These had included making his children ministers. To them, it was business as usual. So they and their French collaborators did not envisage the angry tide of reaction of the ordinary Gabonese who following the announcement on Thursday September 3 of Ali Bongo as the winner of the elections to replace the late Omar Bongo, took to the streets.

In reaction the Gabonese security forces under the  directive of the President- select used maximum force on the populace.

This was apparently pleasing in the eyes of French President, Nicholas Sarkozy, who rather than ask that brute force against the Gabonese be stopped or the allegations of wide spread rigging be investigated, sent the Bongo clan and its murderous collaborators congratulatory messages. Obviously he wants the Omar Bongo legacy of fraud, dictatorship and transfer of stolen Gabonese  wealth to France to continue.

Another type of rigging played itself out in the bleeding nation of Afghanistan. Like the magical Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria, the Hamid Karzai group in several polling centres recorded more votes than the maximum number of voters registered. Polling booths with a maximum 500 voters registered 600 votes for Karzai.

The scale was so much that the official Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) ruled that there were clear and convincing evidence of large scale electoral fraud. An initial 200,000 votes were cancelled with an additional 800,000 pencilled for possible cancellation.

While not ruling out vote recount, the body has directed that new ballots be cast in all places where there were more votes than the registered number of voters, where 100 per cent of votes were allegedly cast in the war torn country and where a candidate is supposed to have won at least 94 per cent of the votes cast.

What is clear is that the elections held under the watchful eyes of  the Western army of occupation were massively rigged and that Karzai the hitherto darling puppet of the West and America would face crisis of legitimacy even as the Talibans get better in their war against foreign forces in their country.

Last Friday, the occupying forces handed the Taliban another unsolicited public relations gift when they mindlessly dropped two 500 pound bombs on Afghans scooping fuel from two fuel tanks.

There is still a hot dispute amongst the occupiers over who ordered the two F15s to murder the over 70  Afghans killed in the air strikes.

The coalition blame the local German commander. This drew sharp reaction from German Chancellor Angela Merkel who warned other countries in NATO not to rush into “premature judgements”.

Various nations have their individual ways but fraud and the occupation of other peoples lands cannot be an acceptable way.


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