With the impending November 7th presidential and parliamentary election, the usual loud-mouthed quadrennial contest for fact-bending, deception, half-truths, misdirection, and downright lies; the challenge to win the hearts and minds of voters, is in full swing with tight-armour once again.
In inking this write up, I’m trying to maintain a neutral stance on which party and which candidates are the most unfaithful, disingenuous and dishonest. But frankly speaking, lying seems to be reaching its escalating apogee with less than a year until the general election, although I expect some “nasty” political landscape going into November 7th polls, given the politics of insult and name-calling across the political divide.
It’s very amazing how often politicians who are supposed to be fully grown “adults” look into the faces of voters and lie, and the most intriguing aspect is their unwillingness to admit that they lied. The strategy and euphemisms that politicians use in many cases for such bold-faced lies are legend and mind boggling. Politicians are great liars and often misspoke on a lot of issues.
The currently biased media most often than not misinterpret what politicians posit for purely business, political expedience and favouritism. The words of politicians are often misrepresented, twisted, distorted, exaggerated, or taken out of context. They overstated, misstated, understated, and transmogrify facts and opinions. But more intriguing is the fact that politicians never lie, at least that’s what they say and preach to the voters. Yet, the unvarnished truth is that politicians do lie extensively about substantive policies that have a possibility to win them votes.
The multi-million dollar question worth asking is that: Why are politicians so convinced that they can lie to the face of voters and get away with it? Voters in the 21st century have come a long way. Voters are very sophisticated lately and possess elevated thinking and analytical abilities given the internet and the crop of professional civil society groups and the level of political and economic discourse that runs through the media landscape, especially morning shows and press conferences.
Politicians never dream of adhering to honesty as a best policy in political discourse. Political communicators are bent on feeding the public with “baked” information to stimulate voters to vote based on lies and non-issues. This attitude suppresses facts and sound policies which should have been a basis for voting for a preferred candidate.
Party loyalists most often complain about media and opposition biases, but it is interesting to know that the less partisan and strategic voters; often called the “floating voters” for some time now pay a lot more attention to the media, issues raised by credible policy analysts and statesmen, and more importantly their living conditions, especially in a country where elections are usually worn by a few margin. Trust and integrity are still crucial assets for a politician going forward given the social contract principle and the need for accountability.
Politicians know their followers will believe them, even in the face of irrefutable evidence to the contrary. Politicians and their adherents live in an echo chamber in which everyone watches the same news channel, listens to the same talk radio, reads the same newspapers and web sites, and hangs out with the same like-minded people. There exists an impermeable membrane that prevents conflicting information from entering their inner circles.
Many politicians are narcissists; it isn’t difficult to see the connection. Narcissists are arrogant, self-important, see themselves as special, require excessive admiration, have a sense of entitlement, and are exploitative. This constellation of narcissistic attributes causes them to believe that they are right and, even if they are not, they’re too smart to be caught or suffer the consequences.
People don’t want to hear the truth. Truth, as the saying goes, hurts and no one wants to hear things that threaten their existence, their beliefs, or that will make them uncomfortable. It is decidedly better for politicians to tell people what makes them feel comfortable. Why should politicians be the purveyors of bad news and decrease the likelihood of getting people’s votes, when they can tell fairy tales with happy endings which, of course, everyone wants and come out victorious?
Truth matter very much in politics and that those politicians who spew “lies” and “propaganda”, should know that, most people don’t settle on a candidate until much closer to casting their vote. It’s the voters who will at the end punish or reward candidates for what they’ve said on the campaign trail.
I’m very confident that Ghanaians have all the information they need to help them choose wisely on November 7th.
“When Nigeria’s president Buhari took office last spring, he inherited a military that was underpaid, underfed and unable to protect the Nigerian people from Boko Haram. And one reason is that much of the military budget was finding its way into the pockets of the Generals. And just this week, we saw reports that more than 50 people in Nigeria including former government officials stole 9 billion dollars from the treasury”.
US Secretary of State, John F Kerry, at the World Economic Forum, Davos, Jan 2016
President Muhammadu Buhari won a historic election victory in Nigeria last year. He pledged in part to tackle corruption. But months after he took office, some political pundits are still skeptical that he’s doing enough to make good on his promise.
As he campaigned for office earlier last year, supporters of Buhari often reminded the public of his term as a military head of state in the mid-1980s, when corrupt people were put in jail and whip-wielding enforcers kept order on the streets and every nook and cranny of the country.
He is on record to have pledged to put an end to the billion-dollar corruption scandals that plagued the former President, Goodluck Jonathan, and which allegedly drained the national treasury while nearly half of all Nigerians remained in poverty.
- Will Buhari stand the test of time?
- Will Nigerians offer Buhari the need cooperation to transform the fortunes of Nigeria?
- Will Buhari be able to fight the insurgence of Boko Haram and other militant groups in Nigeria?
We looking forward to doing a thorough analysis of the performance of President Buhari at the end of his first term.
Myth #1 – Jews and Arabs have always been in conflict in the region.
Although Arabs were a majority in Palestine prior to the creation of the state of Israel, there had always been a Jewish population, as well. For the most part, Jewish Palestinians got along with their Arab neighbors. This began to change with the onset of the Zionist movement, because the Zionists rejected the right of the Palestinians to self-determination and wanted Palestine for their own, to create a “Jewish State” in a region where Arabs were the majority and owned most of the land.
For instance, after a series of riots in Jaffa in 1921 resulting in the deaths of 47 Jews and 48 Arabs, the occupying British held a commission of inquiry, which reported their finding that “there is no inherent anti-Semitism in the country, racial or religious.” Rather, Arab attacks on Jewish communities were the result of Arab fears about the stated goal of the Zionists to take over the land.
After major violence again erupted in 1929, the British Shaw Commission report noted that “In less than 10 years three serious attacks have been made by Arabs on Jews. For 80 years before the first of these attacks there is no recorded instance of any similar incidents.” Representatives from all sides of the emerging conflict testified to the commission that prior to the First World War, “the Jews and Arabs lived side by side if not in amity, at least with tolerance, a quality which today is almost unknown in Palestine.” The problem was that “The Arab people of Palestine are today united in their demand for representative government”, but were being denied that right by the Zionists and their British benefactors.
The British Hope-Simpson report of 1930 similarly noted that Jewish residents of non-Zionist communities in Palestine enjoyed friendship with their Arab neighbors. “It is quite a common sight to see an Arab sitting in the verandah of a Jewish house”, the report noted. “The position is entirely different in the Zionist colonies.”
Myth #2 – The United Nations created Israel.
The U.N. became involved when the British sought to wash its hands of the volatile situation its policies had helped to create, and to extricate itself from Palestine. To that end, they requested that the U.N. take up the matter.
As a result, a U.N. Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP) was created to examine the issue and offer its recommendation on how to resolve the conflict. UNSCOP contained no representatives from any Arab country and in the end issued a report that explicitly rejected the right of the Palestinians to self-determination. Rejecting the democratic solution to the conflict, UNSCOP instead proposed that Palestine be partitioned into two states: one Arab and one Jewish.
The U.N. General Assembly endorsed UNSCOP’s in its Resolution 181. It is often claimed that this resolution “partitioned” Palestine, or that it provided Zionist leaders with a legal mandate for their subsequent declaration of the existence of the state of Israel, or some other similar variation on the theme. All such claims are absolutely false.
Resolution 181 merely endorsed UNSCOP’s report and conclusions as a recommendation. Needless to say, for Palestine to have been officially partitioned, this recommendation would have had to have been accepted by both Jews and Arabs, which it was not.
Moreover, General Assembly resolutions are not considered legally binding (only Security Council resolutions are). And, furthermore, the U.N. would have had no authority to take land from one people and hand it over to another, and any such resolution seeking to so partition Palestine would have been null and void, anyway.
Myth #3 – The Arabs missed an opportunity to have their own state in 1947.
The U.N. recommendation to partition Palestine was rejected by the Arabs. Many commentators today point to this rejection as constituting a missed “opportunity” for the Arabs to have had their own state. But characterizing this as an “opportunity” for the Arabs is patently ridiculous. The Partition plan was in no way, shape, or form an “opportunity” for the Arabs.
First of all, as already noted, Arabs were a large majority in Palestine at the time, with Jews making up about a third of the population by then, due to massive immigration of Jews from Europe (in 1922, by contrast, a British census showed that Jews represented only about 11 percent of the population).
Additionally, land ownership statistics from 1945 showed that Arabs owned more land than Jews in every single district of Palestine, including Jaffa, where Arabs owned 47 percent of the land while Jews owned 39 percent – and Jaffa boasted the highest percentage of Jewish-owned land of any district. In other districts, Arabs owned an even larger portion of the land. At the extreme other end, for instance, in Ramallah, Arabs owned 99 percent of the land. In the whole of Palestine, Arabs owned 85 percent of the land, while Jews owned less than 7 percent, which remained the case up until the time of Israel’s creation.
Yet, despite these facts, the U.N. partition recommendation had called for more than half of the land of Palestine to be given to the Zionists for their “Jewish State”. The truth is that no Arab could be reasonably expected to accept such an unjust proposal. For political commentators today to describe the Arabs’ refusal to accept a recommendation that their land be taken away from them, premised upon the explicit rejection of their right to self-determination, as a “missed opportunity” represents either an astounding ignorance of the roots of the conflict or an unwillingness to look honestly at its history.
It should also be noted that the partition plan was also rejected by many Zionist leaders. Among those who supported the idea, which included David Ben-Gurion, their reasoning was that this would be a pragmatic step towards their goal of acquiring the whole of Palestine for a “Jewish State” – something which could be finally accomplished later through force of arms.
When the idea of partition was first raised years earlier, for instance, Ben-Gurion had written that “after we become a strong force, as the result of the creation of a state, we shall abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine”. Partition should be accepted, he argued, “to prepare the ground for our expansion into the whole of Palestine”. The Jewish State would then “have to preserve order”, if the Arabs would not acquiesce, “by machine guns, if necessary.”
Myth #4 – Israel has a “right to exist”.
The fact that this term is used exclusively with regard to Israel is instructive as to its legitimacy, as is the fact that the demand is placed upon Palestinians to recognize Israel’s “right to exist”, while no similar demand is placed upon Israelis to recognize the “right to exist” of a Palestinian state.
Nations don’t have rights, people do. The proper framework for discussion is within that of the right of all peoples to self-determination. Seen in this, the proper framework, it is an elementary observation that it is not the Arabs which have denied Jews that right, but the Jews which have denied that right to the Arabs. The terminology of Israel’s “right to exist” is constantly employed to obfuscate that fact.
As already noted, Israel was not created by the U.N., but came into being on May 14, 1948, when the Zionist leadership unilaterally, and with no legal authority, declared Israel’s existence, with no specification as to the extent of the new state’s borders. In a moment, the Zionists had declared that Arabs no longer the owners of their land – it now belonged to the Jews. In an instant, the Zionists had declared that the majority Arabs of Palestine were now second-class citizens in the new “Jewish State”.
The Arabs, needless to say, did not passively accept this development, and neighboring Arab countries declared war on the Zionist regime in order to prevent such a grave injustice against the majority inhabitants of Palestine.
It must be emphasized that the Zionists had no right to most of the land they declared as part of Israel, while the Arabs did. This war, therefore, was not, as is commonly asserted in mainstream commentary, an act of aggression by the Arab states against Israel. Rather, the Arabs were acting in defense of their rights, to prevent the Zionists from illegally and unjustly taking over Arab lands and otherwise disenfranchising the Arab population. The act of aggression was the Zionist leadership’s unilateral declaration of the existence of Israel, and the Zionists’ use of violence to enforce their aims both prior to and subsequent to that declaration.
In the course of the war that ensued, Israel implemented a policy of ethnic cleansing. 700,000 Arab Palestinians were either forced from their homes or fled out of fear of further massacres, such as had occurred in the village of Deir Yassin shortly before the Zionist declaration. These Palestinians have never been allowed to return to their homes and land, despite it being internationally recognized and encoded in international law that such refugees have an inherent “right of return”.
Palestinians will never agree to the demand made of them by Israel and its main benefactor, the U.S., to recognize Israel’s “right to exist”. To do so is effectively to claim that Israel had a “right” to take Arab land, while Arabs had no right to their own land. It is effectively to claim that Israel had a “right” to ethnically cleanse Palestine, while Arabs had no right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in their own homes, on their own land.
The constant use of the term “right to exist” in discourse today serves one specific purpose: It is designed to obfuscate the reality that it is the Jews that have denied the Arab right to self-determination, and not vice versa, and to otherwise attempt to legitimize Israeli crimes against the Palestinians, both historical and contemporary.
Myth #5 – The Arab nations threatened Israel with annihilation in 1967 and 1973
The fact of the matter is that it was Israel that fired the first shot of the “Six Day War”. Early on the morning of June 5, Israel launched fighters in a surprise attack on Egypt (then the United Arab Republic), and successfully decimated the Egyptian air force while most of its planes were still on the ground.
It is virtually obligatory for this attack to be described by commentators today as “preemptive”. But to have been “preemptive”, by definition, there must have been an imminent threat of Egyptian aggression against Israel. Yet there was none.
It is commonly claimed that President Nasser’s bellicose rhetoric, blockade of the Straits of Tiran, movement of troops into the Sinai Peninsula, and expulsion of U.N. peacekeeping forces from its side of the border collectively constituted such an imminent threat.
Yet, both U.S. and Israeli intelligence assessed at the time that the likelihood Nasser would actually attack was low. The CIA assessed that Israel had overwhelming superiority in force of arms, and would, in the event of a war, defeat the Arab forces within two weeks; within a week if Israel attacked first, which is what actually occurred.
It must be kept in mind that Egypt had been the victim of aggression by the British, French, and Israelis in the 1956 “Suez Crisis”, following Egypt’s nationalization of the Suez Canal. In that war, the three aggressor nations conspired to wage war upon Egypt, which resulted in an Israeli occupation of the Sinai Peninsula. Under U.S. pressure, Israel withdrew from the Sinai in 1957, but Egypt had not forgotten the Israeli aggression.
Moreover, Egypt had formed a loose alliance with Syria and Jordan, with each pledging to come to the aid of the others in the event of a war with Israel. Jordan had criticized Nasser for not living up to that pledge after the Israeli attack on West Bank village of Samu the year before, and his rhetoric was a transparent attempt to regain face in the Arab world.
That Nasser’s positioning was defensive, rather than projecting an intention to wage an offensive against Israel, was well recognized among prominent Israelis. As Avraham Sela of the Shalem Center has observed, “The Egyptian buildup in Sinai lacked a clear offensive plan, and Nasser’s defensive instructions explicitly assumed an Israeli first strike.”
Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin acknowledged that “In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”
Yitzhak Rabin, who would also later become Prime Minister of Israel, admitted in 1968 that “I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to the Sinai would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive war. He knew it and we knew it.”
Israelis have also acknowledged that their own rhetoric at the time about the “threat” of “annihilation” from the Arab states was pure propaganda.
General Chaim Herzog, commanding general and first military governor of the occupied West Bank following the war, admitted that “There was no danger of annihilation. Israeli headquarters never believed in this danger.”
General Ezer Weizman similarly said, “There was never a danger of extermination. This hypothesis had never been considered in any serious meeting.”
Chief of Staff Haim Bar-Lev acknowledged, “We were not threatened with genocide on the eve of the Six-Day War, and we had never thought of such possibility.”
Israeli Minister of Housing Mordechai Bentov has also acknowledged that “The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail, and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territory.”
In 1973, in what Israelis call the “Yom Kippur War”, Egypt and Syria launched a surprise offensive to retake the Sinai and the Golan Heights, respectively. This joint action is popularly described in contemporaneous accounts as an “invasion” of or act of “aggression” against Israel.
Yet, as already noted, following the June ’67 war, the U.N. Security Council passed resolution 242 calling upon Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories. Israel, needless to say, refused to do so and has remained in perpetual violation of international law ever since.
During the 1973 war, Egypt and Syria thus “invaded” their own territory, then under illegaloccupation by Israel. The corollary of the description of this war as an act of Arab aggression implicitly assumes that the Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, West Bank, and Gaza Strip were Israeli territory. This is, needless to say, a grossly false assumption that demonstrates the absolutely prejudicial and biased nature of mainstream commentary when it comes to the Israeli-Arab conflict.
This false narrative fits in with the larger overall narrative, equally fallacious, of Israeli as the “victim” of Arab intransigence and aggression. This narrative, largely unquestioned in the West, flips reality on its head.
Myth #6 – U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 called only for a partial Israeli withdrawal.
Resolution 242 was passed in the wake of the June ’67 war and called for the “Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” While the above argument enjoys widespread popularity, it has no merit whatsoever.
The central thesis of this argument is that the absence of the word “the” before “occupied territories” in that clause means not “all of the occupied territories” were intended. Essentially, this argument rests upon the ridiculous logic that because the word “the” was omitted from the clause, we may therefore understand this to mean that “some of the occupied territories” was the intended meaning.
Grammatically, the absence of the word “the” has no effect on the meaning of this clause, which refers to “territories”, plural. A simple litmus test question is: Is it territory that was occupied by Israel in the ’67 war? If yes, then, under international law and Resolution 242, Israel is required to withdraw from that territory. Such territories include the Syrian Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.
The French version of the resolution, equally authentic as the English, contains the definite article, and a majority of the members of the Security Council made clear during deliberations that their understanding of the resolution was that it would require Israel to fully withdraw from all occupied territories.
Additionally, it is impossible to reconcile with the principle of international law cited in the preamble to the resolution, of “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”. To say that the U.N. intended that Israel could retain some of the territory it occupied during the war would fly in the face of this cited principle.
One could go on to address various other logical fallacies associated with this frivolous argument, but as it is absurd on its face, it would be superfluous to do so.
Myth #7 – Israeli military action against its neighbors is only taken to defend itself against terrorism.
The facts tell another story. Take, for instance, the devastating 1982 Israeli war on Lebanon. As political analyst Noam Chomsky extensively documents in his epic analysis “The Fateful Triangle”, this military offensive was carried out with barely even the thinnest veil of a pretext.
While one may read contemporary accounts insisting this war was fought in response to a constant shelling of northern Israeli by the PLO, then based in Lebanon, the truth is that, despite continuous Israeli provocations, the PLO had with only a few exceptions abided by a cease-fire that had been in place. Moreover, in each of those instances, it was Israel that had first violated the cease-fire.
Among the Israeli provocations, throughout early 1982, it attacked and sank Lebanese fishing boats and otherwise committed hundreds of violations of Lebanese territorial waters. It committed thousands of violations of Lebanese airspace, yet never did manage to provoke the PLO response it sought to serve as the casus belli for the planned invasion of Lebanon.
On May 9, Israel bombed Lebanon, an act that was finally met with a PLO response when it launched rocket and artillery fire into Israel.
Then a terrorist group headed by Abu Nidal attempted to assassinate Israeli Ambassador Shlomo Argov in London. Although the PLO itself had been at war with Abu Nidal, who had been condemned to death by a Fatah military tribunal in 1973, and despite the fact that Abu Nidal was not based in Lebanon, Israel cited this event as a pretext to bomb the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, killing 200 Palestinians. The PLO responded by shelling settlements in northern Israel. Yet Israel did not manage to provoke the kind of larger-scale response it was looking to use as a casus belli for its planned invasion.
As Israeli scholar Yehoshua Porath has suggested, Israel’s decision to invade Lebanon, far from being a response to PLO attacks, rather “flowed from the very fact that the cease-fire had been observed”. Writing in the Israeli daily Haaretz, Porath assessed that “The government’s hope is that the stricken PLO, lacking a logistic and territorial base, will return to its earlier terrorism…. In this way, the PLO will lose part of the political legitimacy that it has gained … undercutting the danger that elements will develop among the Palestinians that might become a legitimate negotiating partner for future political accommodations.”
As another example, take Israel’s Operation Cast Lead from December 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009. Prior to Israel’s assault on the besieged and defenseless population of the Gaza Strip, Israel had entered into a cease-fire agreement with the governing authority there, Hamas. Contrary to popular myth, it was Israel, not Hamas, who ended the cease-fire.
The pretext for Operation Cast Lead is obligatorily described in Western media accounts as being the “thousands” of rockets that Hamas had been firing into Israel prior to the offensive, in violation of the cease-fire.
The truth is that from the start of the cease-fire in June until November 4, Hamas fired no rockets, despite numerous provocations from Israel, including stepped-up operations in the West Bank and Israeli soldiers taking pop-shots at Gazans across the border, resulting in several injuries and at least one death.
On November 4, it was again Israel who violated the cease-fire, with airstrikes and a ground invasion of Gaza that resulted in further deaths. Hamas finally responded with rocket fire, and from that point on the cease-fire was effectively over, with daily tit-for-tat attacks from both sides.
Despite Israel’s lack of good faith, Hamas offered to renew the cease-fire from the time it was set to officially expire in December. Israel rejected the offer, preferring instead to inflict violent collective punishment on the people of Gaza.
As the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center noted, the truce “brought relative quiet to the western Negev population”, with 329 rocket and mortar attacks, “most of them during the month and a half after November 4”, when Israel had violated and effectively ended the truce. This stands in remarkable contrast to the 2,278 rocket and mortar attacks in the six months prior to the truce. Until November 4, the center also observed, “Hamas was careful to maintain the ceasefire.”
If Israel had desired to continue to mitigate the threat of Palestinian militant rocket attacks, it would have simply not ended the cease-fire, which was very highly effective in reducing the number of such attacks, including eliminating all such attacks by Hamas. It would not have instead resorted to violence, predictably resulting in a greatly escalated threat of retaliatory rocket and mortar attacks from Palestinian militant groups.
Moreover, even if Israel could claim that peaceful means had been exhausted and that a resort military force to act in self-defense to defend its civilian population was necessary, that is demonstrably not what occurred. Instead, Israel deliberately targeted the civilian population of Gaza with systematic and deliberate disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks on residential areas, hospitals, schools, and other locations with protected civilian status under international law.
As the respected international jurist who headed up the United Nations investigation into the assault, Richard Goldstone, has observed, the means by which Israel carried out Operation Cast Lead were not consistent with its stated aims, but was rather more indicative of a deliberate act of collective punishment of the civilian population.
Myth #8 – God gave the land to the Jews, so the Arabs are the occupiers.
No amount of discussion of the facts on the ground will ever convince many Jews and Christians that Israel could ever do wrong, because they view its actions as having the hand of God behind it, and that its policies are in fact the will of God. They believe that God gave the land of Palestine, including the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to the Jewish people, and therefore Israel has a “right” to take it by force from the Palestinians, who, in this view, are the wrongful occupiers of the land.
But one may simply turn to the pages of their own holy books to demonstrate the fallaciousness of this or similar beliefs. Christian Zionists are fond of quoting passages from the Bible such as the following to support their Zionist beliefs:
“And Yahweh said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: ‘Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are – northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants could also be numbered. Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.” (Genesis 13:14-17)
“Then Yahweh appeared to him and said: ‘Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in the land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.” (Genesis 26: 1-3)
“And behold, Yahweh stood above it and said: ‘I am Yahweh, God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.” (Genesis 28:13)
Yet Christian Zionists conveniently disregard other passages providing further context for understanding this covenant, such as the following:
“You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out.” (Leviticus 20:22)
“But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments … but break My covenant … I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it. I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste … You shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.” (Leviticus 26: 14, 15, 32-33, 28)
“Therefore Yahweh was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone…. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.” (2 Kings 17:18, 23)
“And I said, after [Israel] had done all these things, ‘Return to Me.’ But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also.” (Jeremiah 3: 7-8)
Yes, in the Bible, Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, told the Hebrews that the land could be theirs – if they would obey his commandments. Yet, as the Bible tells the story, the Hebrews were rebellious against Yahweh in all their generations.
What Jewish and Christian Zionists omit from their Biblical arguments in favor of continued Israel occupation is that Yahweh also told the Hebrews, including the tribe of Judah (from whom the “Jews” are descended), that he would remove them from the land if they broke the covenant by rebelling against his commandments, which is precisely what occurs in the Bible.
Thus, the theological argument for Zionism is not only bunk from a secular point of view, but is also a wholesale fabrication from a scriptural perspective, representing a continued rebelliousness against Yahweh and his Torah, and the teachings of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ) in the New Testament.
Myth #9 – Palestinians reject the two-state solution because they want to destroy Israel.
In an enormous concession to Israel, Palestinians have long accepted the two-state solution. The elected representatives of the Palestinian people in Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) had since the 70s recognized the state of Israel and accepted the two-state solution to the conflict. Despite this, Western media continued through the 90s to report that the PLO rejected this solution and instead wanted to wipe Israel off the map.
The pattern has been repeated since Hamas was voted into power in the 2006 Palestinian elections. Although Hamas has for years accepted the reality of the state of Israel and demonstrated a willingness to accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip alongside Israel, it is virtually obligatory for Western mainstream media, even today, to report that Hamas rejects the two-state solution, that it instead seeks “to destroy Israel”.
In fact, in early 2004, shortly before he was assassinated by Israel, Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin said that Hamas could accept a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Hamas has since repeatedly reiterated its willingness to accept a two-state solution.
In early 2005, Hamas issued a document stating its goal of seeking a Palestinian state alongside Israel and recognizing the 1967 borders.
The exiled head of the political bureau of Hamas, Khalid Mish’al, wrote in the London Guardian in January 2006 that Hamas was “ready to make a just peace”. He wrote that “We shall never recognize the right of any power to rob us of our land and deny us our national rights…. But if you are willing to accept the principle of a long-term truce, we are prepared to negotiate the terms.”
During the campaigning for the 2006 elections, the top Hamas official in Gaza, Mahmoud al-Zahar said that Hamas was ready to “accept to establish our independent state on the area occupied [in] ’67”, a tacit recognition of the state of Israel.
The elected prime minister from Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, said in February 2006 that Hamas accepted “the establishment of a Palestinian state” within the “1967 borders”.
In April 2008, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter met with Hamas officials and afterward stated that Hamas “would accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders” and would “accept the right of Israel to live as a neighbor next door in peace”. It was Hamas’ “ultimate goal to see Israel living in their allocated borders, the 1967 borders, and a contiguous, vital Palestinian state alongside.”
That same month Hamas leader Meshal said, “We have offered a truce if Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders, a truce of 10 years as a proof of recognition.”
In 2009, Meshal said that Hamas “has accepted a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders”.
Hamas’ shift in policy away from total rejection of the existence of the state of Israel towards acceptance of the international consensus on a two-state solution to the conflict is in no small part a reflection of the will of the Palestinian public. A public opinion survey from April of last year, for instance, found that three out of four Palestinians were willing to accept a two-state solution.
Myth #10 – The U.S. is an honest broker and has sought to bring about peace in the Middle East.
Rhetoric aside, the U.S. supports Israel’s policies, including its illegal occupation and other violations of international humanitarian law. It supports Israel’s criminal policies financially, militarily, and diplomatically.
The Obama administration, for example, stated publically that it was opposed to Israel’s settlement policy and ostensibly “pressured” Israel to freeze colonization activities. Yet very early on, the administration announced that it would not cut back financial or military aid to Israel, even if it defied international law and continued settlement construction. That message was perfectly well understood by the Netanyahu government in Israel, which continued its colonization policies.
To cite another straightforward example, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate passed resolutions openly declaring support for Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, despite a constant stream of reports evidencing Israeli war crimes.
On the day the U.S. Senate passed its resolution “reaffirming the United States’ strong support for Israel in its battle with Hamas” (January 8, 2009), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) issued a statement demanding that Israel allow it to assist victims of the conflict because the Israeli military had blocked access to wounded Palestinians – a war crime under international law.
That same day, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement condemning Israel for firing on a U.N. aid convoy delivering humanitarian supplies to Gaza and for the killing of two U.N. staff members – both further war crimes.
On the day that the House passed its own version of the resolution, the U.N. announced that it had had to stop humanitarian work in Gaza because of numerous incidents in which its staff, convoys, and installations, including clinics and schools, had come under Israeli attack.
U.S. financial support for Israel surpasses $3 billion annually. When Israel waged a war to punish the defenseless civilian population of Gaza, its pilots flew U.S.-made F-16 fighter-bombers and Apache helicopter gunships, dropping U.S.-made bombs, including the use of white phosphorus munitions in violation of international law.
U.S. diplomatic support for Israeli crimes includes its use of the veto power in the U.N. Security Council. When Israel was waging a devastating war against the civilian population and infrastructure of Lebanon in the summer of 2006, the U.S. vetoed a cease-fire resolution.
As Israel was waging Operation Cast Lead, the U.S. delayed the passage of a resolution calling for an end to the violence, and then abstained rather than criticize Israel once it finally allowed the resolution to be put to a vote.
When the U.N. Human Rights Council officially adopted the findings and recommendations of its investigation into war crimes during Operation Cast Lead, headed up by Richard Goldstone, the U.S. responded by announcing its intention to block any effort to have the Security Council similarly adopt its conclusions and recommendations. The U.S. Congress passed a resolution rejecting the Goldstone report because it found that Israel had committed war crimes.
Through its virtually unconditional support for Israel, the U.S. has effectively blocked any steps to implement the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The so-called “peace process” has for many decades consisted of U.S. and Israeli rejection Palestinian self-determination and blocking of any viable Palestinian state.
Story by: Jeremy R. Hammond
The November election, provided it goes ahead, could be a watershed for the Congo, which has never seen a peaceful transition of power.
South African President President Jacob Zuma has recently returned from his working visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His trip focused on economic cooperation between the two countries over the next ten years, but the next twelve months will be dominated by politics. It is politics that will captivate the nation, with looming elections having already seen great support from the West, encouragement, with measured optimism, to ensure leadership takes concrete steps to make a democratic transition a reality. But will President Joseph Kabila leave office in accordance with the DRC Constitution or try to cling to power thus undermining that country’s economic and political future? President Zuma might yet find himself navigating the ebbs and flows of the Congolese police—like Nelson Mandela did in the late 1990s.
In 1960, when the former Belgian Congo became independent, Congolese income per person amounted to 98 percent of Africa’s average. Today, it amounts to 19 percent. The Democratic Republic of Congo is widely considered to be the richest country in the world regarding its abundance of natural resources; its untapped deposits of raw minerals are estimated to be worth in excess of US$24 trillion. The Congo has 70% of the world’s coltan, a third of its cobalt, more than 30% of its diamond reserves, and a tenth of its copper. However, at $434 nominal GDP per capita in 2015, the DRC remains, along with Burundi and CAR, one of the three poorest countries in the world. The people of the DRC suffer all the woes associated with poverty. In 2013, life expectancy was 50 years. Africa’s average was 60 years. In 2012, 100 out of every 1,000 Congolese infants died before their first birthday. In 2015, a mere 52 percent of the DRC’s population had access to clean water. Africa’s average was 76 percent. The DRC also scores below Africa’s average in calorie consumption and educational attainment.
The fact that the world’s 19th most populous country, of 82 million citizens, is suffering from extreme deprivation may serve as a testament to over five decades of misrule and conflict. Mobutu Sese Seko, who presided over the country from 1965 to 1997, was no doubt one of Africa’s most corrupt and cruelest dictators. The wars that resulted in his overthrow and bloody succession struggle involved nine African countries, and cost the Congo between one and two million lives.
And today, the DRC remains one of the world’s worst run countries. In 2013, the DRC ranked 205th out of 211 countries in the World Bank’s rule of law survey. It came 197th in terms of corruption and 206th in terms of political stability and non-violence.
Although the DRC has achieved an average annual GDP growth of 8% between 2010 and 2014, this has not translated in the improvement of the living conditions of Congolese people. The Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World Report ranked the DRC 110th out of 123 countries surveyed in 2013. The 2015 World Bank’s Doing Business report showed that the DRC had the world’s 6th worst business environment. In terms of starting a business, enforcing a contract, registering property and trading across borders, the DRC scored well below Africa’s average.
The presidential election, which is scheduled for November 2016, could be pivotal. President Kabila, who took over as President after his father’s assassination in 2001, is banned from seeing another term in office by the Constitution. In a predictable fashion, Mr. Kabila first attempted to postpone the election and now claims that it cannot be organized on time. If he departs from office, Mr. Kabila will be able to hold his head up high in the knowledge that he has stabilized the country after a series of bloody conflicts. If he decides to cling onto power, he could risk Congo’s economic and political future.
In contrast with the bad old days, when Mobutu managed to intimidate or buy off his opponents, the opposition is holding firm and insisting that the Constitution be followed. Amongst the candidates to replace Mr. Kabila, which, at the time of this article’s publication, may include career politicians such as Léon Kengo wa Dondo and Moise Katumbi, is Bernard Katompa, a successful businessman who spent some of his formative years in South Africa. Mr. Katompa was an executive at BHP Billiton, one of the largest mining companies in the world, where he played key roles in successfully reengineering its operations internationally. He founded and ran Standard Bank’s ‘Liberty Africa‘, a financial institution established to provide insurance and other wealth management services to the untapped African market.
Katompa has a keen appreciation for economic reforms. If elected to the Presidency, he has promised to work with the World Bank to transform the DRC’s business environment from one of the world’s worst to one of Africa’s best. That should help sustain and perhaps even speed up economic growth in the country. A secondary benefit of economic liberalization will no doubt be the reduction of corruption. With fewer laws and regulations that make it cumbersome for businesses to operate in the DRC, the Congolese bureaucrats will have fewer opportunities to exact bribes and favors.
In addition to policy changes, Congo’s economic and political future will depend on improvements in the rule of law. In order to build an impartial, reliable and efficient judiciary, Katompa proposes the creation of a judicial review committee that would preside over a selection, appointment and disciplining of Congolese judges. To achieve his goal, he should not shy away from reaching out to other countries and hiring retired justices from those African countries where the rule of law is relatively robust. In the selection of the committee members, Katompa will show his seriousness about improving the rule of law in the DRC.
The November election, provided it goes ahead, could be a watershed in a country, which has never seen a peaceful transition of power. The international community led by South Africa should insist on the Constitution to be followed. As for Mr. Kabila’s successor—that will be in the hands of the Congolese people.
Story by Marian Tupy
Newly disclosed emails show that Libya’s plan to create a gold-backed currency to compete with the euro and dollar was a motive for NATO’s intervention.
The New Year’s Eve release of over 3,000 new Hillary Clinton emails from the State Department has CNN abuzz over gossipy text messages, the “who gets to ride with Hillary” selection process set up by her staff, and how a “cute” Hillary photo fared on Facebook.
But historians of the 2011 NATO war in Libya will be sure to notice a few of the truly explosive confirmations contained in the new emails: admissions of rebel war crimes, special ops trainers inside Libya from nearly the start of protests, Al Qaeda embedded in the U.S. backed opposition, Western nations jockeying for access to Libyan oil, the nefarious origins of the absurd Viagra mass rape claim, and concern over Gaddafi’s gold and silver reserves threatening European currency.
Hillary’s Death Squads
A March 27, 2011, intelligence brief on Libya, sent by long time close adviser to the Clintons and Hillary’s unofficial intelligence gatherer, Sidney Blumenthal, contains clear evidence of war crimes on the part of NATO-backed rebels. Citing a rebel commander source “speaking in strict confidence” Blumenthal reports to Hillary [emphasis mine]:
Under attack from allied Air and Naval forces, the Libyan Army troops have begun to desert to the rebel side in increasing numbers. The rebels are making an effort to greet these troops as fellow Libyans, in an effort to encourage additional defections.
(Source Comment: Speaking in strict confidence, one rebel commander stated that his troopscontinue to summarily execute all foreign mercenaries captured in the fighting…).
While the illegality of extra-judicial killings is easy to recognize (groups engaged in such are conventionally termed “death squads”), the sinister reality behind the “foreign mercenaries” reference might not be as immediately evident to most.
While over the decades Gaddafi was known to make use of European and other international security and infrastructural contractors, there is no evidence to suggest that these were targeted by the Libyan rebels.
There is, however, ample documentation by journalists, academics, and human rights groups demonstrating that black Libyan civilians and sub-Saharan contract workers, a population favored by Gaddafi in his pro-African Union policies, were targets of “racial cleansing” by rebels who saw black Libyans as tied closely with the regime.
Black Libyans were commonly branded as “foreign mercenaries” by the rebel opposition for their perceived general loyalty to Gaddafi as a community and subjected to torture, executions, and their towns “liberated” by ethnic cleansing. This is demonstrated in the most well-documented example of Tawergha, an entire town of 30,000 black and “dark-skinned” Libyans which vanished by August 2011 after its takeover by NATO-backed NTC Misratan brigades.
These attacks were well-known as late as 2012 and often filmed, as this report from The Telegraphconfirms:
After Muammar Gaddafi was killed, hundreds of migrant workers from neighboring states were imprisoned by fighters allied to the new interim authorities. They accuse the black Africans of having been mercenaries for the late ruler. Thousands of sub-Saharan Africans have been rounded up since Gaddafi fell in August.
It appears that Clinton was getting personally briefed on the battlefield crimes of her beloved anti-Gaddafi fighters long before some of the worst of these genocidal crimes took place.
Al-Qaeda and Western Special Forces Inside Libya
The same intelligence email from Sydney Blumenthal also confirms what has become a well-known theme of Western supported insurgencies in the Middle East: the contradiction of special forces training militias that are simultaneously suspected of links to Al Qaeda.
Blumenthal relates that “an extremely sensitive source” confirmed that British, French, and Egyptian special operations units were training Libyan militants along the Egyptian-Libyan border, as well as in Benghazi suburbs.
While analysts have long speculated as to the “when and where” of Western ground troop presence in the Libyan War, this email serves as definitive proof that special forces were on the ground only within a month of the earliest protests which broke out in the middle to end of February 2011 in Benghazi.
By March 27 of what was commonly assumed a simple “popular uprising” external special operatives were already “overseeing the transfer of weapons and supplies to the rebels” including “a seemingly endless supply of AK47 assault rifles and ammunition.”
Yet only a few paragraphs after this admission, caution is voiced about the very militias these Western special forces were training because of concern that, “radical/terrorist groups such as the Libyan Fighting Groups and Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are infiltrating the NLC and its military command.”
The Threat of Libya’s Oil and Gold to French Interests
Though the French-proposed U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 claimed the no-fly zone implemented over Libya was to protect civilians, an April 2011 email sent to Hillary with the subject line “France’s client and Qaddafi’s gold” tells of less noble ambitions.
The email identifies French President Nicholas Sarkozy as leading the attack on Libya with five specific purposes in mind: to obtain Libyan oil, ensure French influence in the region, increase Sarkozy’s reputation domestically, assert French military power, and to prevent Gaddafi’s influence in what is considered “Francophone Africa.”
Most astounding is the lengthy section delineating the huge threat that Gaddafi’s gold and silver reserves, estimated at “143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver,” posed to the French franc (CFA) circulating as a prime African currency. In place of the noble sounding “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine fed to the public, there is this “confidential” explanation of what was really driving the war [emphasis mine]:
This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).
(Source Comment: According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.)
Though this internal email aims to summarize the motivating factors driving France’s (and by implication NATO’s) intervention in Libya, it is interesting to note that saving civilian lives is conspicuously absent from the briefing.
Instead, the great fear reported is that Libya might lead North Africa into a high degree of economic independence with a new pan-African currency.
French intelligence “discovered” a Libyan initiative to freely compete with European currency through a local alternative, and this had to be subverted through military aggression.
The Ease of Floating Crude Propaganda
Early in the Libyan conflict Secretary of State Clinton formally accused Gaddafi and his army of using mass rape as a tool of war. Though numerous international organizations, like Amnesty International, quickly debunked these claims, the charges were uncritically echoed by Western politicians and major media.
It seemed no matter how bizarre the conspiracy theory, as long as it painted Gaddafi and his supporters as monsters, and so long as it served the cause of prolonged military action in Libya, it was deemed credible by network news.
Two foremost examples are referenced in the latest batch of emails: the sensational claim that Gaddafi issued Viagra to his troops for mass rape, and the claim that bodies were “staged” by the Libyan government at NATO bombing sites to give the appearance of the Western coalition bombing civilians.
In a late March 2011 email, Blumenthal confesses to Hillary that,
I communicated more than a week ago on this story—Qaddafi placing bodies to create PR stunts about supposed civilian casualties as a result of Allied bombing—though underlining it was a rumor. But now, as you know, Robert gates gives credence to it. (See story below.)
Sources now say, again rumor (that is, this information comes from the rebel side and is unconfirmed independently by Western intelligence), that Qaddafi has adopted a rape policy and has even distributed Viagra to troops. The incident at the Tripoli press conference involving a woman claiming to be raped is likely to be part of a much larger outrage. Will seek further confirmation.
Not only did Defense Secretary Robert Gates promote his bizarre “staged bodies” theory on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” but the even stranger Viagra rape fiction made international headlines as U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice made a formal charge against Libya in front of the UN Security Council.
What this new email confirms is that not only was the State Department aware of the spurious nature of what Blumenthal calls “rumors” originating solely with the rebels, but did nothing to stop false information from rising to top officials who then gave them “credence.”
It appears, furthermore, that the Viagra mass rape hoax likely originated with Sidney Blumenthal himself.
Story by: Brad Hoff
There are 8 thermal power plants in Ghana which can generate electricity from gas and, in the absence of gas, from light crude oil or diesel. If properly serviced and fueled, these plants can contribute 1300 MW steadily to our national grid (the government-owned hydro plants can add roughly 700 MW even at low capacity such as right now) and more or less help meet current demand. Nearly half of this thermal power is generated by fully private owned entities or private sector-led joint ventures with government.
Apart from the Government’s own VRA, and the SSNIT-owned CENIT, there are two other very critical players. These are private investors in the Ghanaian electricity sector, TAQA and Sunon Asogli, who between them contribute more than 500 MW of the 1300 MW mentioned above.
TAQA and Sunon Asogli raised the more than $500 million needed for these investments from overseas funds, among them the FMO, AFD, OPEC Fund, IFC, China-African Development Fund, and other really credible Development Finance Institutions (DFIs). Both companies, as well as others such as Cenpower, have been in the market for a while now justifying to investors why another $1 billion is needed to add 1000 MW of power to the Ghanaian grid as soon as possible.
An additional 1000 MW of power will more or less replace the highly unreliable hydro segment of our current electricity generation mix. Needless to say, that will *indeed* end dumsor, and even create a surplus for export (at least 700 MW from the three main hydro plants). Sunon Asogli has been working on this for 4 years now, and TAQA for 2 years. CENPOWER has been chasing funds for about a decade.
One major reason why raising funds to pay for this fairly credible prospect of 1000 MW of fresh power is the fact that a good chunk of the 1300 MW power that is *already* available to be delivered to homes and workplaces in Ghana doesn’t get paid for on time. In fact, the government-owned company that buys virtually all this power, ECG, owes the producers about $500m. This leads to lack of fuel and other inputs, and poor servicing, which in turn reduces how much in practice gets generated on a day to day basis. Consequently, it takes a lot to convince investors to put up the necessary cash when existing players are owed so much money.
This is the simplified context of the current power crisis. If you were the government, what would you do? Wouldn’t you, in your search for solutions, call the 4 main players in the sector – VRA, TAQA, Sunon Asogli, and CENIT – and give them even half the concessions currently being promised the likes of Ameri Energy and Karpower to encourage them to:
A. Produce at full capacity, and thereby reduce the average shortfall accounting for the worst of the load-shedding from about 600MW to about 250 MW?
B. Add an additional 300 MW in output, just like TAQA added 110MW to the Takoradi T2 plant within a year based on revamped terms with the government?
Why would you go and engage a whole set of new characters with dubious track records in supplying energy and pay through the nose for this ’emergency’ power that takes as long as ‘routine’ power to come on-stream?
AND WHY WOULD YOU COMMIT $1.5 BILLION OF OUR SCARCE RESOURCES OVER 5 YEARS TO GENERATE 600 MW YEARLY when with 20% of that amount you can spur the private sector to GENERATE 1000 MW?
CREDIT: Bright Simons
Most countries in the world are democratic. The leaders are elected by the masses for specific term, and Africa is no exception. India is the biggest democratic country in the world. Yet it is still a developing country after many years of independence, while China is a developed country with same time period of independence. This crux of it is that, some setbacks created by democracy rule.
Democratic rule though has become the order of the day, it is also responsible for wide spread of corruption.Our democracy is such that, there is no single power that can control misdemeanour of leaders. The lower rank officer can defy his superior in-spite of being unfair at his job.Some leaders & officials try to steal the resources of the country and deceive the common people; the electorates.
It is important to state that, the extent of corruption is limited in democratic countries which have one supreme power. This is because the power to execute the bills or laws are present under that supreme person, and so those persons or institutions who intend to bribe will do it to the supreme power and his subordinates. Other officials are more often than not in control and possibilities of misbehavior are limited.
But in democratic countries where there is no supreme power, the bribe and thievery is perpetrated by all the leaders. It suffices to say that, in one sense all leaders are ready to steal the resources of the country or state as they intend to be very rich. The more corrupt the public officials, the more the illegalities and hence the country becomes more poorer. This often translates into prices hikes and excessive taxation policies to maintain government budgets which mostly follow the misusing cycle.
The African version of democracy; especially Ghana is most often burdened with the following set-backs:
- There is a possibility for wide spread and evergreen corruption.
- There is no protection for the lay man, as leaders misuse or misbehave any how in the public space.
- Leaders most often play divide and rule games. They divide the citizenry based on religion, languages, ethnicity etc. in order to gain votes to the corridors of power even though they are not qualified enough to manage the public purse.
- They encourage dubious business practices to get support for election campaigns. Most politicians support rich and influential people in society for their business aspirations in turn for monetary benefits like party funding etc.
- The prime motive of the politician is to get into power to make money and other benefits to the detriment of the ordinary people and the country. They mostly use protest and strikes as a means for publicity. Previously these strikes and protest lead to democratic governance. French Revolution, American Revolution etc. led to the establishment of democracies. But currently behind every strike and protest there is a political hand. The political parties can even halt parliament and other strategic state institutions from functioning smoothly.
- In democratic countries, the media is seen as a strong tool, such that, it can influence the voting behavior and arouse passion for a cause. In many countries, some media channels work for some political parties. These media houses often broadcast news items that become problematic to the security of the Country. Their main goal is to portray one leader as bad and other as good in the eyes and minds of the citizenry.
In conclusion, democracy is widely considered to be the best political system imaginable. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that democracy has become a secular religion. The largest political faith on earth. To criticize the democratic ideal is to risk being regarded an enemy of civilized society. That notwithstanding, the African version of democracy is only good at making its citizens poorer and poorer, hence the need to give it a critical look.