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Columnists, Conversation of an Angryman

Come And See American Wonder…

Posted: Sep 14, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Today’s kids are knowledgeable without being wise. They learn grammar but they do not learn street wisdom. Yesterday’s kids learnt both grammar and street smarts – the hard way. In primary school, one used to have a lot of journeymen stop by the school and after a chat with the headmaster, the pupils would be assembled and asked to pay stipends to watch the journeymen do some tricks. Each pupil was supposed to come with the “stipend” the next day to be part of the “orchestra.”

You had to convince your parents that watching this show were an important part of your education. We had all sorts: magicians, “supermen” (who told us how they wrestled with and killed lions and how they battled with machines in America and came out tops,” fraudsters who appealed for help because they had suffered some form of disability and needed some cash to pay hospital bills, etc. You believed everything because you would not dare think that the headmaster could be part of subterfuge or be dumb enough not to spot a fraud.

A favourite song that the magicians used to sing as they made birds disappear or appear and do tricks with cards was “Come and see American wonder, when hungry, cook and eat your mother…” We would sing along and then gasp at the trick. They would smile home with our money. The “American wonder” would be on us. They would go home with their kill and continue to search for the next hunting ground.

Last week as Kim Davis languished in a Kentucky jail for refusing to issue marriage certificates to homosexuals and lesbians, one was reminded of the song, “Come and see American wonder…” Of course one left out the part about my dear, old mother.

British prime minister, Winston Churchill once described the former Soviet Union as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” He added the caveat that the key to understanding the Soviet Union was the Soviet Union’s national interest. Hmmm! He could have been talking about  America.

After World War 11, Americans rounded up the Nazis who were involved in the horrendous massacre of the Jews and tried them at Nuremberg for war crimes. These malefactors’ defence was that they were obeying state orders, and if they had failed to do that which they were asked to, Adolf Hitler, the bloodthirsty tyrant would have had them killed. They claimed that their conscience was against it but it was a state policy which they could do nothing about it. Does this sound like a good defence to you? The Tribunal did not buy it.

The tribunal held that, like the disciples of Jesus, who were prepared to die for what they believed in (to die for their conscience) and actually died, every man’s first duty was to his conscience. Any man who would not stand by what he believed in was not worth his patch on earth. They sentenced the Nazis to death for their actions.

But over fifty years later a woman who believes that her first duty is to her conscience sits in jail for doing what America recommended the Nazis. American wonder! Kim Davies, the county clerk of Kentucky, who was released last week spent about a week in jail simply because she placed her conscience above state policy. American wonder!

Former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, is said to be a murderer. Poor Charly! His “murderous activities” in buying diamond from rebels intensified the war in a neighbouring country. Many people died in the war – watch the film “Blood Diamond.” America frowned seriously on the unnecessary death of the many and considered his conduct war crime. But one suspects that it was American planes which dropped bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki,  in the Second World War which led to the death of over 80,000 civilians in Hiroshima and over 73,000 civilians in Nagasaki. This you are assured on oath was not a war crime because Japs are criminals and you cannot commit a crime against a criminal. In other words, United States did the world a favour by a strategic reduction of the world population. American wonder.

The United States of America would not sell weapons to Nigeria for a long time because of official concerns over the extra-judicial killing of Boko Haram members by the Nigerian military. Yet USA has some of the most high profile cases of extra-judicial murders (especially of African Americans) by the white police establishment. It has  become a serial genocide as one African American after the other is being killed in cold blood by the American policemen. At least in Nigeria, those killed are terrorists, but in America those killed as decent law-abiding citizens some of whose only crime is that they have black skin. American wonder.

Fancy the case of Patrick Lumumba, who popular literature claims was killed on the orders of America and Britain. Lumumba of Congo was viewed as a threat after he attempted to nationalize European businesses in his country. The West did not want him to set a precedent which would cause other African nations to toe the same policy line and the West would lose their pre-colonial investments in Africa. American wonder.

One understands that President Goodluck Jonathan’s defiance of American pressure not to sign the anti-homosexuality worked against him. When he signed it, many African countries found the spine to resist American pressure and threats and sign the anti-gay laws. A livid Barack Obama, who could not release million dollars to feed the poor in the poorest regions of the world, voted three hundred million dollars to fight for same sex marriage all over the world. The sensitivities and mindset of the nations of the world did not matter in this decision matrix. A curious sense of proportion! American wonder.

So there you are! America believes that whether you support same sex marriage or not is not important. Kim Davis should not think or allow her conscience to be a factor in her work. They did not say the same thing to the Nazis. That is what? American wonder.