Who is the better devil: Hillary or Trump?


UNLIKE the US election campaign of 2008 which attracted huge attention from Africans because one of their own sons, Barack Obama, was a presidential candidate, the US national elections scheduled for November 2016 are far less exciting this time around.
And there are many good reasons we should be wary and on guard, and not get too excited about who, between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, will emerge the winner.
The plain truth is, both candidates have not shown much interest in Africa and have said very little so far about our continent.
Both candidates have said much about Asia, Europe and the Middle-East, a lot about their prospective policies on China and Russia and almost nothing about Africa.
In fact according to some commentators, ‘the closest that Africa has come to being a hot topic was when Trump mispronounced the Nation of Tanzania while speaking about terrorism.
Additionally, some animal rights activists have protested the fact that ‘two of Trump’s sons go on hunting trips to shoot big game in Africa’.
Accordingly, it is fair to say the Africa that Trump gets to know something about is the Africa based on touristic impressions which his sons gather from their hunting trips and regale him with as exciting stereotypical stories from the African wilderness.
The only time the official Republican Party platform mentions Africa explicitly for policy purposes is a section referring to fighting terrorism.
It states: “We urge governments throughout the continent to recognise this threat to their own people.
“We support closer co-operation in both military and economic matters with those on the front lines of civilisation’s battle against the forces of evil.”
The choice of language itself is telling.
The US is projected as a messianic country carrying out a jihadist battle against the forces of evil threatening to engulf Africa.
Similarly, fighting terrorism is a priority to the Democratic Party.
On its party platform, the party promises to ‘combat wildlife trafficking and make counterterrorism efforts a priority’.
It continues: “We will work to end the reign of terror promulgated by Boko Haram, al-Shabab, AQIM and ISIS.”
Both the Republican Party represented by Donald Trump and the Democratic Party, represented by Hillary Clinton, are not preoccupied with policy issues pertaining to Africa except as a possible strategic frontier for fighting terrorism.
There are a number of reasons for this:
l Most Americans, including the two presidential candidates, are abysmally ignorant about Africa;
l Most Americans are more inclined to vote for the two candidates on the basis of the promises these two are making on bread and butter issues on the domestic front and not necessarily on foreign policy issues.
And this is a voting trend which applies to most countries in the world.
Talking to ordinary people on the street, one gets the impression that most would prefer Hillary Clinton to win the elections, partly because she would be the first female President of the US and partly because she is the better known of the two candidates.
In a sense she would be making history and is likely to be an inspiration of some sort to the African girl-child.
As for Trump, he is less known in Africa.
His stance on immigration in regard to Moslems and his intention to build a big wall to keep out the Mexican immigrants from entering the US illegally makes him come across as a bigoted and racist character.
And most Africans, including African Americans, know what that kind of racism has done to them in history.
Trump’s stance against Moslem immigrants makes him far less likeable in countries such as Nigeria, half of whose population is Moslem as well as countries such as Egypt and most North and West African countries whose cultures and values have been influenced by Islam.
The same applies to those countries in East Africa hosting significant numbers of Moslem populations.
But the key question remains: Is the Hillary Clinton presidency good for Africa?
The answer is far from positive for a number of reasons:
First and foremost, as Secretary of State, she spearheaded the destruction of the Libyan state and the subsequent assassination of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Most of us still recall her infamous words: “We came, we saw, he died.”
Further, Libya under Gaddafi hosted one of the most advanced welfare states in Africa, so advanced that most of its citizens enjoyed a standard of living well-above that enjoyed by some citizens of some Southern European countries.
Libya championed the unification process of the African Union (AU) and did a lot to fund that process.
Today Libya has become a failed state, courtesy of Hillary Clinton and NATO.
Even President Obama has admitted that the destruction of the Libyan state is one of his biggest foreign policy blunders.
It created a vacuum and generated chaos on a grand scale which Africa has not yet recovered from.
But Hillary Clinton has not yet acknowledged this mess.
It is common cause that the fall of the Libyan state has had a domino effect which has destabilised the Central African Republic, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon.
Hundreds of thousands of people are now keen to escape the instability created in North and West Africa by a hugely foolish foreign policy blunder championed by Hillary Clinton.
All are today desperately trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea and go to Europe.
The rest is history.
Second, it is Hillary Clinton, together with other Congressmen, who sponsored the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA) which effectively and in a cynical fashion imposed economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.
ZDERA is not only undemocratic in the way the US seeks to impose its will over a tiny country thousands of kilometres away from its shores; it is a travesty of how democracy is supposed to function.
The US has no right whatsoever to legislate anything on behalf of a sovereign state such as Zimbabwe.
The law has had a devastating effect on our economy in the sense that it forbids international finance institutions, of which Zimbabwe is a member, to render financial assistance to our country.
Judging from her record as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton might turn out to be one of the most interventionist presidents of the US.
Africa should brace itself for more lessons on ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ which, ironically, the US is, in practice and on a daily basis, still unable to avail its black citizens notwithstanding all the laws it has passed to grant them such rights.
We should also brace ourselves for more pressure to accommodate the US army, AFRICOM, which is specifically meant to control Africa on behalf of the Western world and to contain growing Chinese influence in Africa.
With Africa hosting more than a billion people, most of them young and energetic and growing in numbers, it represents the kind of future which both America and Europe can only ignore at their own peril, never mind the party platforms of the Democrats and the Republicans which say little about Africa.
Further, with over 11million square miles area-wise, most of them hosting all manner of minerals that one can think of, Africa has everything which the Western world needs to keep going.
This rich endowment explains why Africa has not been left alone by the West since the days of slavery.
It has provided the labour and the resources that have built the Western world.
This is why Africa is still hosting, against its economic interests, predatory multi-national companies from the same imperialising West.
In brief, the silence on African issues in the US elections is a strategic silence, a misleading silence in so far as Africa remains a target for Western domination.
And this imperial agenda has been there and will be there well after the Clintons and Trumps of this world are gone.


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