‘’Something is pardonable when one government is in power but when another is in power unpardonable, things that the media would have been so loud under my administration, it happens every day and it’s like its business as usual. That is the hypocrisy of our civil society and religious and traditional leaders, everybody is quiet, suddenly some say they don’t watch TV anymore and that they watch animals. In our time, they were not watching animals, they were watching political discussions. You are now tired of too much politics……you’ll be tired because your darling government is super incompetent and so you are tired of hearing the analysis, that’s the hypocrisy we face in our country. So let us not buy into their propaganda.’’ ------- Former President John Mahama.
It is now clear that the immoral and intellectually-empty concept in our politics we call equalisation is the new standard in our government of today. This is all the more depressing and ridiculous when we realise that the exploitation of the past is not for the purposes of defensible avoidance, or for better performance and conduct for the present, but rather a justification, no matter how far-fetched, for present curious actions and policies.
Equalisation is the death knell of ingenuity, the end of the promise of positive change and a real danger to our political stability overall. It even spells the end of ideological differentiation, leading to the helpless wail of the citizens that all politicians are the same. This is false. All politicians are not the same.
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The news of a new security cooperation agreement between the United States and Ghana this week has come as a shocking development to many Ghanaians since the Gitmo Two matter, which played a large disruptive part to the advantage of the present government, then the opposition, in our election two years ago. It is very possible that by the time you read this, this controversial agreement would have been ratified by our Parliament making it legal and binding, making it appear that this contribution to the public debate on it would be moot.
However, since the duration of the new agreement is itself debatable, it is clear the ramifications for our sovereign status will be with us for a long time.
The most important aspect of this new agreement, unexpected and sprung on the unsuspecting public, is the brazen hypocrisy and Himalayan dishonesty embedded in an agreement which runs counter to all that our current government held dear only two years ago in opposition.
Because of this background, the present agreement has been heavily politicised, as it should be. Led by the Defence Minister, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, government supporters of this new agreement have sought mightily to place this as a continuation of an earlier agreement in 2015, that is, in the time of former President John Mahama. This is a flat out terminological inexactitude. No agreement in the world now, regardless of outright conquest of the affected country, can have the perpetual nature of the agreements which resulted in the seizure of the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal by Britain and the United States, and both of which have been abrogated and the confiscated properties returned to Egypt and Panama respectively. This is what we are being presented with by our own government, surrendering Ghanaian territory without a fight or securing corresponding advantages in return. This is tragic.
Both the 1998 and 2015 agreements crafted for specific purposes had expired, but this had not stopped our current government from exploiting them for purposes of equalisation, as if the New Patriotic Party(NPP) would have agreed with them had the party been aware at the material time.We know that this is patently false. The new agreement, moreover, contains new and radical provisions which have rightly provoked public protests because they are a shameless attack and reduction of our sovereignty in our own land. Mr Nitiwul agrees in his attached memorandum to Parliament that the previous agreement has lapsed, and, therefore, cannot be the inspiration for a new agreement with radically different provisions [see last sentence in clause three of the memo]. In any case, if the present agreement were a continuation of a past agreement, it would not have taken eight whole months to add the provisions which have sparked so much public concern. Assuming without admitting that there is the need for a renewal and extension of an enhanced agreement immediately presupposes that the old one is dead and unenforceable. Any references to the old agreement would be for purposes of interpretation, as the lawyers would say.
American defence posture
The quarrel over whether an American base has been invited to be established is misconceived because it deliberately avoids the recent facts of American defence posture worldwide. Recent bases are normally built for brigade-strength, not division-strength manpower, meaning they are now properly forward and staging posts not a full military base with the panoply of permanent barracks. But that is the foreign policy of America which would not concern us unless they bisect with our own domestic or foreign interests. The argument for that has not been made by our government which has the mandate to craft and pursue our foreign interests.
The list of freebies granted the Americans is long and indefensible for a sovereign country to grant without corresponding returns. No taxation of American personnel including contractors whatever that means, personal and otherwise. Immunity from prosecution. Diplomatic immunity. Non-use of Ghanaian driving documents, to name those which readily leap to the eye. The combined effect will be the rapid Americanisation of our culture without the filter of sovereignty. Mindless cultural norms and punk behaviour will be mainstreamed. Sexual crimes via normal interaction between Ghanaians and American servicemen and women will transform our justice system into the law of the jungle as citizens are barred from seeking justice in our courts. The Philippines, Egypt and Panama got rid of their perpetual base status.
I have not referred to the intervention of the American Embassy on this matter for a simple reason; it is our sovereignty, not theirs, which is at stake. American foreign policy for about a century now, is aiming for global control, apparently to secure their economic interests. The new resurgent China seeks the same ends with economic muscle as the Americans rely on their military. We must remember that Takoradi and Accra used to be coaling stations for British Royal Navy ships, just as Kamina in Togo had a powerful transmitter to communicate with German ships and submarines prior to World War One. All these are distant relics of our collective memory of a bad past. This too, shall pass.