Archive for February 2007

Axis of slavery

February 27, 2007

Like the legendary Sisyphus, condemned to continuously roll a large stone to the top of a mountain, most North Koreans seem to be in perpetual bondage.  Faced with the reality of dying of hunger, Korean women, as reported in last week’s New Statesman, choose to be sold as brides in
China. There, they become second-class citizens, attending to the sexual and domestic needs of their masters.
 
This is unacceptable in this 21st century. North Korea, once described as an axis of evil by President George Bush of the
United States, has not realised that the world has moved away from absolute communism. It continues to subject its citizens to untold hardship and deprivation.
 Instead of adopting the economic policies of its more prosperous neighbours, China and South Korea,
Pyongyang continues to delude itself by building nuclear weapons. Will nuclear weapons feed its citizens? Will they bring prosperity, which the country desperately needs?
 

I do not think so. The repressive policies of that communist country are resulting in its continuous isolation by other countries of the world. Such countries as
Zimbabwe, which adopt similar unpopular policies, are finding it increasingly difficult to feed their citizens and maintain a cordial relationship with the rest of the human society.
 Surely, William Wilberforce will be turning in his grave by now. Having spearheaded the abolition of slavery some decades ago, the man will be wondering why that word is creeping back into our lexicon. North Korean leaders have a duty to pacify Wilberforce by liberating its citizens from starvation.  

Cameron is right

February 20, 2007

Like a diamond, children are a wonderful gift to any society. They are the future leaders of any country. Their welfare, therefore, is of paramount importance.

This, perhaps, explains the standpoint of Mr David Cameron, as reported in last weekend’s Financial Times, that the well-being of children and families was more important than wealth creation. 

 Surely, the British Conservatives’ leader knows that wealth creation is important. He knows that it puts food on the table of most people; that it enhances the quality of life of individuals. Without it, nations will not meet their financial, foreign, and other obligations.  

But, he also realises that when wealth is lost, as an old adage put it, nothing is lost. But when character is lost, all is lost. This point is brought home when we recall that the main character of an individual is moulded at infancy and in the family. 

The family is the microcosm of a society. The criminal tendencies in most of our youths today are largely attributable to the loss in family values. Of what use is wealth when armed robbers, raised from dissonant families, will not allow you to enjoy it.  Even some of those who have made that wealth had confessed that it did not give them happiness. Two of the world’s richest men, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, have given most of their acquisitions to charity. This is because they know that they cannot leave this world with their wealth.  Ultimately, children are the hope of any nation. When that hope is lost, the future is lost.       

US and black power delusion

February 13, 2007

The United States of America is a nation living in delusion. Its citizens erroneously see the country as the defender of freedom and democracy in the world. Today, some analysts want its black citizens to believe that they are gaining more political power.  The main thrust of this illusion, as reported in last week’s The Economist, is the emergence of a black American, Mr Barack Obama, as a presidential aspirant in the Democratic Party. The rising number of black political appointees is also seen as an evidence of this so-called black power. 

The question is, does a mere declaration of interest in the presidential race by one black man presuppose that the race is gaining more power?  A few years ago, Americans played up the same illusion when the black civil rights leader, Rev. Jesse Jackson, contested for the presidency. But he did not even win the primaries.

Even the celebrated Obama does not have as much support among blacks as Mrs Hilary Clinton. A Washington Post/ABC News recent poll reportedly put Clinton’s support at 60 per cent and Obama’s at 20 per cent. So, how does this support the black-power argument?  As for black political appointees, it is a fact that an appointee is as powerful as his master wishes him to be. President George Bush can wake up tomorrow and decide to sack his black ministers. Where then will their power lie if this happens? Black Americans should not be distracted. They should discountenance the recourse to label people by the colour of their skin. They should pursue noble ideals and aim at distinguishing themselves in all endeavours.