Robert M. Tynes on Thu, 17 Jul 2003 22:02:27 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> fear of "The Bush"

Reply-To: H-NET List for African History and Culture

>Subject: Bush in Africa
>Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 18:58:39 -0400
>Date: Monday, July 14, 2003 4:46 PM
>From: James Igoe
>[Ed. note: The following message does not in any way reflect the views of any
>of the staff of H-Africa. Furthermore, H-Africa takes no responsibility for
>the accuracy of the following account. However, I feel that this message is
>valuable in that it may provoke comment on recent events regarding the United
>States' involvement in Africa.]
>What follows are two accounts of George W. Bush's visit to Sub-Saharan
>Africa. In my opinion they reveal the true attitudes of our current
>administration and their cynical approach to domestic politics and
>international aid. The implicit message that Bush has sent to the
>people of Sub-Saharan Africa is nothing short of shocking. As a U.S.
>citizen I wish to personally apologize for this unacceptable behavior
>and open disdain for the hard won sovereignty of the nations of
>Sub-Saharan Africa.
>Jim Igoe
>University of Colorado at Denver
>Bush in Senegal
>FYI. Not knowing the Senegalese writer of this private message and not
>wanting to cause him/her any trouble, I have deleted the routing
>Dearest friends,
> As you probably know, this week George Bush is visiting Africa.
>Starting with Senegal, he arrived this morning at 7.20 AM and left at
>1.30 PM. This visit has been such an ordeal that a petition is being
>circulated for this Tuesday July 8th be named Dependency Day.
> Let me share with you what we have been trough since last week.
> 1- Arrestations : more than 1,500 persons have been arrested and put
>in jail between Thursday and Monday. Hopefully they will be released now
>that the Big Man is gone
> 2- The US Army's planes flying day and night over Dakar. The noise
>they make is so loud that one hardly sleeps at night
> 3- About 700 security people from the US for Bush's Senegal, with
>their dogs, and their cars. Senegalese security forces were not allowed
>to come near the US president
> 4- All trees in places where Bush will pass have been cut. Some of
>them are over 100 years old
> 5- All roads going down town (were hospitals, businesses, schools
>are located) were closed from Monday night to Tuesday at 3 PM. This
>that we could not go to our offices or schools. Sick people were also
>obliged to stay at home.
> 6- National exams for high schools that started on Monday are
>postponed until Wednesday.
> Bush's visit to the Goree Island is another story. As you may know
>Goree is a small Island facing Dakar where from the 15th to the 19th
>century, the African slaves to be shipped to America were parked in
>special houses called slave houses. One of these houses has become a
>Museum to remind humanity about this dark period and has been visited by
>kings, queens, presidents. Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, and before
>them, Nelson Mandela, the Pope, and many other distinguished guests or
>ordinary tourists visited it without bothering the islanders. But for
>"security reasons" this time, the local population was chased out of
>their houses from 5 to 12AM. They were forced by the American security
>to leave their houses and leaves everything open, including their
>wardrobes to be searched by special dogs brought from the US. The ferry
>that links the island to Dakar was stopped and offices and businesses
>closed for the day.
>According to an economist who was interviewed by a
>private radio, Senegal that is a very poor country has lost huge amount
>of money in this visit, because workers have been prevented from walking
>out of their homes. In addition to us being prevented to go out, other
>humiliating things happened also. Not only Bush brought did not want to
>be with Senegalese but he did not want to use our things. He brought his
>own armchairs, and of course his own cars, and meals and drinks. He came
>with his own journalists and ours were forbidden inside the airport and
>in place he was visiting. Our president was not allowed to make a
>speech. Only Bush spoke when he was in Goree. He spoke about slavery. It
>seems that he needs the vote of the African American to be elected in
>the next elections, and wanted to please them. That's why he visited
> Several protest marches against American politics have been
>organized yesterday and even when Bush was here, but we think he does
>not care. We have the feeling that everything has been done to convince
>us that we are nothing, and that America can behave the way it wants,
>everywhere, even in our country. Believe me friends, it is a terrible
>feeling. But according to a Ugandan friend of mine, I should not
>complain because it Uganda one of the country he is going to visit, Bush
>does not intend to go out of the airport. He will receive the Ugandan
>President in the airport lounge.
>Homes bulldozed to clear way for Bush
>ABUJA - Armed police backed by bulldozers tore down illegally built
>homes and shops in the Nigerian capital Abuja today ahead of a visit by
>US President George W Bush. The operation began yesterday after an order
>from President Olusegun Obasanjo to clean up the city ahead of his
>American counterpart's arrival, officials said.
>In one residential quarter of the city reporter saw around 60 buildings
>- ranging from brick-built structures to makeshift wooden shanties -
>ploughed down as hundreds of residents looked on in despair.
>"They didn't give us any warning," wailed tailor John Emeka, who saved
>his sewing machine but lost much of his stock when a joint taskforce of
>police and environmental protection agents pulled down his business.
>Nearby a stock of computers lay mangled in the wreckage of an electronic
>goods store, and the ownwer of a grilled meat stand argued with officers
>attempting to condemn his barbecue. The police came armed with assault
>and tear gas, but there was no violence as the bulldozers rolled in.
>A senior local official, Babangida Aliyu, told reporters that Obasanjo
>had personally ordered the destruction on a visit last week to the
>Federal Capital Territory's lawmakers.
>"Obasanjo gave specific instructions when he visited, and we have no
>qualms in carrying them out," he said.
>More than 2,000 Nigerian police and intelligence officers have been
>deployed around Abuja to provide security for Bush's visit, the last
>stage in a whirlwind five-nation tour of Africa.
>The US leader is due in Abuja late today after a stopover in Uganda and
>is to return to Washington on Saturday.His trip has so far taken him to
>Senegal, South Africa and Botswana.

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