Recently in New York, USA
THE powerlessness of the United Nations (UN) was highlighted when the US president, Barack Obama, addressed the UN General Assembly on Wednesday last week.
He described the global body as a mechanism to arbitrate global conflicts and ‘reduce the shadow of war’ when ironically, two weeks before, he had single-handedly rallied together what he called ‘the coalition of the willing’ and started bombing ISIL in Iraq and Syria without going through the same UN whose formation he was now praising.
Then he went on a collision course with Russia over the situation in Ukraine: “Russia’s actions in Ukraine challenge the world post-war order,” he warned. Somehow, he had assumed the role and the voice of the body he was addressing, audaciously asserting America’s global dominance, and calling for the formation of an expanded international coalition to fight ISIL.
He became more belligerent and brazen at the UN meeting on ebola later in the afternoon: “Everyone can count on America to mobilise and lead the world in the fight against ebola.”
He spoke as if the USA was the undisputed leader of the world.
And UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sitting on Obama’s side, looked down at the table silently.
They must have suspected this belligerence, Russia’s Vladmir Putin and China’s Jin Ping when they sent their Foreign Ministers to represent them at the meeting.
Virtually every speaker from the developing world called for the UN to be reformed, raising their concern over the wars in Ukraine, the Middle East, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Somalia and the Ebola pandemic in West Africa, describing them as threats to global peace and security.
With his finger clearly pointed at the USA, Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani challenged countries whose skewed foreign policies help to create extremist groups across the world, to admit their mistakes and apologise to the world.
The major highlight of President Robert Mugabe’s statement was its silence on ISIL.
It seemed he did not want to get embroiled in the hypocrisy and double-standards of the West where not long ago, they supported and armed the very groups they now call terrorists.
It can only be the West’s extreme dishonesty that enables it to make sense of this obvious senselessness.
And President Mugabe was the only leader who reminded the UN about the predicament of Western Sahara, the last vestige of colonialism on the African continent.
New York City is a jungle of concrete and steel and tumbling waves of people moving to the rhythmic sequences of the flashing traffic lights.
So that standing in the city’s famous Central Park, looking past the 100 storey Trump World Tower whose top floors are hidden behind the clouds, past the UN Centre to Ground Zero where the 9/11 Twin Towers used to stand, looking at the planes queuing in the sky to land at JFK Airport, you get an idea of why the USA is fighting so many wars across the globe.
It is a fact that America’s rapid development was significantly helped by cheap slave labour from Africa.
America still requires enormous amounts of cheap resources to sustain the trajectory of its phenomenal development.
America is fighting many wars across the globe to access resources to sustain its development.
If there are rumbles of indignation when our motorists are asked to pull out of the road to allow President Mugabe’s motorcade to pass, in New York, entire streets were closed several hours before Barrack Obama came to the US$5 000 a night Waldorf Astoria Hotel to attend the General Assembly.
By the way, this is the same hotel where it is rumoured our own Morgan Tsvangirai threw the lavish engagement party to Elizabeth Macheka with his entire family in attendance.
If it is true, aren’t those days a far cry from his present circumstances where he fails to settle a medical bill less than a thousand dollars at the Trauma Centre?
There was a chilling similarity between a war veteran from the Iraqi war sitting at the corner of Third Avenue and 57 Street close to the Zimbabwe Embassy in New York and a war veteran at Murambinda on our war to a funeral in Buhera early this year.
His demobilisation number stuck to his shirt pocket, the war vet from the Iraqi war held a cardboard placard asking for donations from people passing by.
He stared at the world as if he was praying.
The war veteran at Murambinda sat in the veranda of a disused building, waving his hands in the air, talking to himself.
The local people told us he talked and behaved as if the war had not yet ended.
The election of Barack Obama to the US presidency was a disaster for Africa. At the General Assembly last week, he tickled African sentimentality by invoking the name of the village where his grandmother lives 200 kilometres outside Nairobi in Kenya and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni went beside himself with Obama’s carefully timed emotional reference: “I remarked to President Obama as I came in at the door that he snatched the words about fighting religious extremism out of my mouth.
“What now am I going to do with this speech?” he waved the prepared speech to the people in the auditorium.
And the people loved him for making the remark and gave him a standing ovation.
In Barack Obama, imperialism has found the perfect hatchet man to tell Africa to tow the line or go hang and our fellow African brothers would do the hanging while he watches with his characteristic grin.
And yet mainstream American media views of Obama’s leadership as weak. This is reflected in the flitting and sparing praise it now gives him after he started bombing ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
American media agitates for war.
It seems this reckless obsession with war is premised on the misplaced belief of the country’s superior global military hardware and technology.
And then if you mix that mistaken belief with Hollywood then you have an America that believes in the fiction they create in their movies.
They believe no one can stand in their way to achieve what they want on the globe and it’s a lie.
The call to arms which you frequently hear from people like Senator John McCaine is a reflection of the editorial thrust of CNN, CBS, FOX, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
There is a glaring absence of an alternative media opinion.
The American media landscape is like a man talking to himself.
The UN has been hijacked by countries from the West, especially our former colonisers, who want to subvert it to continue exploiting our resources.
In the Security Council, it is the veto power from China and Russia that has, on more than one occasion, pulled us back from the brink of an outright invasion by the UK and for blocking full-fledged sanctions approved by the UN.
As the president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff suggested, the Security Council needs to be expanded to also include voices from the developing world.
On the way back home, someone despondently wondered whether Harare would one day develop to the dizzy heights of New York City.
And the answer lies in the words of a song in Ayi Kwei Armah’s classical novel – The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born.
“Those blessed with power
And the swiftness of the eagle
Let them go
I will travel slowly
And I too will arrive.”
It is indisputable that Harare will one day arrive.