We must stop them! (Baffour's Beefs).

Author:Ankomah, Baffour

"If we were truly realistic... we would not permit any foreign power with which we are not firmly allied, and in which we do not have absolute confidence, to make or possess nuclear weapons"--the American general, Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project

In my native Ghana, the elders say it so nicely: "Barima ne nee otua dua" (A man is he who have something between his thighs). Political correctness did not exist in those days, so I am prepared to forgive the elders for forgetting about women in that line. But where are the "African men" when it comes to one of the most crucial issues to affect our modern lives -- the attempt by America to extend its hegemony over the world by force of arms and intimidation, which it is disguising not too cleverly as the prevention of the "world's worst leaders from having access to the world's worst weapons".

So far, we've just had one African "man" bold enough to make himself heard loud and clear on this issue. Last September, Nelson Mandela spoke out on the threatened invasion of Iraq by America and Britain -- an unjustified invasion dressed up as a morally-inspired war to "disarm Saddam Hussein" of his weapons of mass destruction and effect a "regime change" in Baghdad. On 30 January, Mandela again emptied his chest on Iraq, this time even more strongly (see excerpts on p12). May God and our ancestors bless his chest.

I must concede, however, that Mandela is now able to say these things because he is out of office and feels unconstrained by fears of his country losing its all-important foreign handouts. He has acknowledged this point himself. The African Union and other African leaders and countries have expressed similar opposition but their voices have been understandably muffled because of the constraints of office.

This is where the people of Africa, unencumbered by diplomatic niceties, should take over from where our leaders' muffled voices have ended, by joining the growing worldwide Anti-War Campaign and organise mass but PEACEFUL (the emphasis is on peaceful) demonstrations in our cities, towns and villages to, first, show solidarity with the innocent people of Iraq who are at risk of being turned into "collateral damage", and, second, to express our revulsion and total rejection of the idea being foisted on the world that some few chosen countries have the divine right to produce and keep weapons of mass destruction and others don't.

A dangerous precedent will be set if global opinion...

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