Why We Have To Accept That All World Leaders Have Blood On Their Hands
Former US president George H.W. Bush passed away on Nov. 30 at the age of 94, and as the nation prepares for the days of mourning leading up to his funeral, there’s the accompanying symptoms of how this notable death is once again cementing the active fibers of discourse invading all sides of the aisle.
As a registered Democrat who didn’t get vote in the presidential elections until my college years, there’s no denying that the last two decades have been a wild ride.
After growing up in the “shithole” country, that was eaten alive by bible-wielding invaders, who are still using the rich resources of a former colonial territory to oppress the tragically oppressed — I can attest to the tumultous existence that results from the brutality of White supremacy — and how it irrevocably paralyzes the path to progression for over-wrought captives.
It takes a series of events to set up all the elements that produce what grossly resembles a “shithole,” and we also have to reiterate that none of the “holes” were “shitty” before uniformed representatives of the British Empire landed on the shores of a wealthy and picturesque region.
This haven was violently torn asunder — with looting and the overwriting of the primal instincts of natives.
And now centuries later, the grim consequences of Nigeria’s shattered legacy has taken an even bleaker turn, as the headlines echo the terminal status of a suffocating climate, that consistently demonstrates agonizing symptoms of failing health, that won’t ever reverse in the direction of marked improvement.
The gangster military regimes of the eighties and early nineties helped to propel and solidify the levels of Nigeria’s governmental dysfunction, that were inspired by the rulebook of the British invaders, that unfortunately wasn’t discarded when our independence in 1960 was bedazzled with the falsehood that we were actually “free.”
I lived through the rampant military coups, and the vile treatment of being the child of civil servants, who patriotically left the comfort and security of their adopted country to return to their homeland.
They were determined to apply their US education to an already diseased workforce. They naively signed up for the punishment of diligently working their asses off, for the payback of either adapting the corrupted trajectory to the top, or honorably resigning to the more treacherous route.
It’s basically the complete breakdown of governing structures, that were erected to feed into the bribery system, that keeps the poor buried in lackluster fare, and self-appointed leaders bursting with stolen funds.
Their greed is enabled by the allotted currency from western nations that perform transactions to maintain the flow of oil — at the expense of violated compatriots.
When I escaped from the systemized turmoil of my home country and settled in country of my birth, I was finally able to indulge in the simple privilege of being able to cast my ballot for the future leader of a nation, that I was really just getting to know.
I helped to get Bill Clinton elected in 1992 — under the guidance of my politically-savvy college friend.
Needless to say the United States has become way more than the country that hosted my birth when my parents were knee deep in college coursework — because I’ve essentially spent most of my adult life as an American citizen.
The love/hate relationship I’ve fostered with Nigeria has evolved into a more empathetic view, especially after the enhanced knowledge of how world powers like the US and the United Kingdom, have righteously conspired to operate under the shield of global unity, when self-interests and executions of those incentives — illustrate a drastically different picture.
The Clinton years were turbulent, and we didn’t need the anchor of social media platforms like Twitter to inform us of the blinding chaos in The White House. As a young college student, wrapped up in the pages of American Literature and scenic design for school productions; all I could muster was the political controversy over that infamous ”stained dress.”
Years later, thanks to influential interactions, and the ease of clicking through the wealth of search engines; the exposure to how the Clinton administration played an extreme role in the systemized condemnation of the Black and Brown population with the exploitive assistance of the judicial system — proved to be the eye-opener into how the office of the presidency can dutifully incite the worst crimes against humanity.
By the time president George W. Bush came into power in 2001, I was trying to survive the hard knocks of the concrete jungle, also known as New York City, which left very little time or energy to care about the state of our union. But all that changed after the 9/11 attacks, and how the unfathomable reality of terrorism by Islamic militants turned our world upside down.
The horrific aftermath finally redirected my attention back to the seat of power.
The recovery process introduced me to documentarian Michael Moore, and his 2004 Oscar-nominated offering — Fahrenheit 9/11. The controversial film helped to further demonize an already embattled president, who purposely entered the US into the Iraq war of 2003; with the intentions of destabilizing the regime of a dictator, who was supposedly harboring “weapons of mass destruction.”
As it turned out, the “War on Terror” turned out to be a sham, as Saddam Hussein was forcibly removed from power, and eventually assassinated, without revealing where the “weapons of mass destruction” were being housed.
That was because such a thing never existed.
And there was also the confusion of why Iraqis were being brutalized for a crime they didn’t commit. Fahrenheit 9/11 helped to fill in the blanks with the infusion of useful information that divulged the financial interests the Bush family business shared with the Saudi Arabian government, the bin Laden clan, and the Taliban.
That’s when it all began to make sense; as the collage of queries took shape and formed the incredulous reasoning behind the ill-fated invasion of Iraq, and why it took exactly a decade for the devious mastermind behind the deadliest terrorist attack on US soil — to be dealt with accordingly.
This sobering revelation of how even American presidents aren’t above utilizing their citizens as convenient preys to serve the pursuits, that end up destroying the basic functionality of tax payers and victims of war-torn wastelands — matured the misleading perspective that my parents had misguidedly fed me — all my life.
It also prepared me for Bush’s successor, even though it was hard not to get overwhelmed by the Messiah-like reception that heralded the most bedazzled presidency ever to emerge.
There was nothing more fulfilling or gratifying than being able to participate in the historic inauguration of the first-ever Black president of the United States of America.
2009 was indeed one of the best years of my life, and the presence of The Obama family in The White House only helped to increase the euphoric tendencies, that presented the possibility that our worst days were behind us. You can’t fault me for surrendering to the fantastical themes, that embraced the refreshingly upbeat climate that had endured the previous years of mind-numbing fodder.
For me, the early days of the administration allowed the reconnection with the fundamentals of our political prowess, and how that sweet reunion indicated the pride that comes when you are feted by the imagery of a First Family that resembles your template.
But like all things that are delivered with ribbons and bows, the gorgeous packaging usually gets uglier as you dive deeper into the crevice of global atrocities and societal mayhem.
President Barack Obama was one of the finer ones, who looked and acted the part that he was bequeathed, and his almost “savior-like” reflexes, meshed seamlessly with his cool, calm and collected demeanor, which gave him the authority of pure perfection.
Yet, we can’t deny that despite the legions of admirers and unrelenting subscribers to the Obama brand, there’s definitely evidence of betrayal by a suave and exemplary leader, who couldn’t escape the blueprint of the blemished legacy that haunt his predecessors.
Aside from the ongoing humanitarian crisis in war-torn Yemen, that began with the Obama administration’s ill-advised alliance with Saudi Arabia — involving military intervention that profited the US through the supply of weaponry, still being utilized to blow up and maim innocent little bodies — there’s also the destructive interference in Nigeria’s 2015 elections.
Obama’s trusted and long-time senior advisor and close friend, David Axelrod relied on the schemes of his Chicago-based political consulting firm to engineer the electoral win of a former dictator and current president of Nigeria — Muhammadu Buhari — who ruled with an iron fist from 1983–1985.
Those couple of years ushered in the fieriness of what military rule can exact on the vulnerable, who are helplessly rendered to the statutes of lawlessness and the erasure of basic human rights.
As always, the hefty financial returns that are guaranteed for services rendered, seemed to perplexingly justify the nefariousness of resurrecting a nationalized criminal back to the station that he horrendously disorganized; before he was defeated in one of many bloody coups.
The Obama administration did what needed to be done to keep the Northern region of my homeland accessible for the steady supply of the resources that continue to sustain the lifeblood of westernized cultures — while draining the life of Nigerian citizens — who aren’t able to avenge the indignities that are regulated to the “shittiest hole” of them all.
It was daunting to reconcile with the truth behind Buhari’s political victory and fateful comeback, and how the leader that I trusted the most — ended up fucking up any hopes of the land of my heritage — ever regaining the momentum that has been permanently eroded.
And now with the passing of president George H.W. Bush, during a period when the country is potently divided after weathering the sickening fiesta of the 2016 elections, that cursed us with the glaring toxicity of the Trump administration — with all its repulsiveness and life-threatening attributes — we are tasked with assessing the endearing qualities of a revered former Commander-in-Chief.
The 41st president of the United States only served one term, and the only event this Nigerian girl associated him with, was the activation of the Gulf War in 1990, that lasted a year.
But as the nation mourns, social media erupts in the war of words over whether or not the elder Bush deserves to be ceremoniously lauded, and celebrated without issue or accountability.
It’s only fair to recall the awfulness of the behind-the-scenes coercion on behalf of the administration’s ambitious “War on Drugs,” in 1989, that resulted in a televised speech by the president in the Oval Office, that was meant to graphically illustrate the evils of illegal hardcore substances.
President Bush Sr. was advised to handle a bag of crack cocaine, as evidence of a drug sale that was busted just minutes away from the grounds of The White House.
Of course it was later established that the whole story was fabricated in an effort to heighten the severity of the drug crisis — by alluding to how pervasive it was — with emphasis on the proximity to the most distinguished address in the nation.
The life of Keith Jackson, an 18-year-old petty drug dealer was mercilessly altered; thanks to his insertion into an equation that the president’s men manipulated at his expense, and with a mandated decade-long incarceration — that was lifted in 1998.
The details of this harrowing episode should haunt the legacy of a president who set the stage for the decades of wrongful imprisonment and unfairly extended prison sentences — that still assaults the Black and Brown population — who are languishing in tight cells for minor misdemeanors.
All this to say that we have to finally accept that all world leaders have blood on their hands.
No president is without fault or sin, and each administration has to contend with how deep the wounds are and whether history will be generously affable.
For people of color, the systemic aggrievances, that are still activated, make it challenging to join the procession of mourners, without the bitter taste of the traitorous former leaders, who unapologetically advanced political agendas with the stolen futures of the murdered, imprisoned and bereaved.
But for America, the lessons learned are typically unraveled to reveal the underbelly of societal strife, that can build the residency of a new leader who will undoubtedly give his predecessors the glory of never amassing a rap sheet that will torment and tarnish his terrifically abhorrent presidency.
In his case, we have to agree that some messes should never be cleaned up.