Tuesday, August 25, 2009



By Jerry Okungu
Nairobi, Kenya
August 25, 2009

American hypocrisy knows no limits. Americans are not even ashamed of anything if it is in their interest. They are the type of people that have no qualms eating their cake and eating it at the same time. For how else can anyone explain the present revenge” mission they are now promising their blood brothers, the British who have stood by them through thick and thin during the Iraq and Afghanistan war?

The latest example is the controversy surrounding the release of one Mr. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi from a Scottish jail this week.

The man was jailed for life for the bombing of the Pan Am Airliner over Lockerbie in Scotland in what was believed at the time to be a terrorist attack carried out by Libyans with the full knowledge of Muamar Gaddafi.

At that time, Gaddafi was a self confessed supporter of the Palestinian struggle against Americans and Zionists and had no apologies to make even though he denied his country’s involvement in the Lockerbie tragedy.

The trial that took years in Scotland finally convicted Megrahi even though he pleaded innocent all along.

Many years later after the Cold War was over and the Berlin Wall had crumbled, mediators initiated dialogue with Gaddafi to compensate families of the over 200 victims that perished in the crash. The compensation was to be in exchange for the lifting of sanctions against Libya by the US and Western allies. And by extension, it would allow for all members of the United Nations to freely trade with Libya that until then was a pariah state.

Finally Libya is believed to have paid billions of dollars in compensation to the families of mainly American victims. And true to their word, Gaddafi has in recent years enjoyed cordial relations with the very countries that detested him the most. First he hosted former British Prime Minister in Tripoli. This was quickly followed by former American Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, not to mention greetings from the present American president, Barack Hussein Obama.

Earlier in the year, Gaddafi and the Italian Prime Minister have exchanged well publicized state visits where lucrative trade contracts mainly centered on Libyan crude oil were signed. And to cap it all, Italy agreed to compensate Libya for past injustices when Italy was in control of that Arab country.

However, now that Megrahi has been released from a Scottish jail on humanitarian grounds because he is ailing from terminal cancer, the Americans are up in arms claiming injustice or a miscarriage of justice! The same American families that now want to cry foul are the very people who readily accepted blood money for their dead relatives.

Now they are asking fellow Americans who never shared their dollars to boycott British and Scottish exports for releasing the man who killed their families. Moral common sense dictates that if you accept thirty pieces of silver for the death of your relative, you forgo all the rights to punish and even hold a grudge against the killer because you have reasonably and adequately been compensated.

However, despite the American protests, the Gaddafi they will soon meet in Copenhagen for the Climate Change forum will be a different Gaddafi from the one on the 1980s. This time, he will be the Gaddafi that has cultivated cordial relations with key Western leaders apart from being the current chairman of the African Union.

In effect, he will not be the lone Gaddafi that can be shunted aside in such a forum. He will be Africa’s chief spokesman to drive a hard bargain on Climate Change and seek compensation for Africa, whose carbon emission is minimal compared to developed countries.

In Gaddafi, Africa has a chance to thwart Western manipulations as has been the case in such forums in the past. Developed countries have perfected the art of manipulating the African vote especially at the resolution stage in their favour. More often than not, they take African delegations aside, promise them kick-backs and end up disorganizing the African delegation.

The Addis Ababa meeting ahead of the Copenhagen forum must be seen in this light; to correct the mistakes this continent has made in past global forums. It is our hope that the resolutions in Addis Ababa will be binding and that the ten countries that will be headed by Gaddafi at Copenhagen will truly represent the interests of this continent for once and speak with one voice.

Meanwhile, as we await the outcome of the Copenhagen meeting, our region must be weary of negative developments in Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe. If the waters towers in Rift Valley cannot be protected, if the Sudanese Peace Accord cannot hold and if the Zimbabwean Coalition cannot function, then turmoil will continue to dog us with resultant degradation of our environment because civil strife of any kind has no respect for the environment.

jerryokungu@gmail.com: www.africanewsonline.blogspot.com