Diaspora By Ekerete Udoh
The bloodhounds have been unleashed and are roaming around menacingly looking for blood they have thirsted for more than four years now. After four years of looking for open scars to feast upon or new tissues to rip open which, so far has turned out to be a wild goose chase; after four years of magnifying every little issue and expecting to score political points and extend their ideological mileage which, again has been an exercise in futility as attested to, by their defeat at the last Presidential elections, the Republicans believe they have gotten Obama by the jugular.
They believe they have gotten him where they always desired; weakened, vulnerable, defensive and distracted from running the nation and the free world. You could see the glee and excitement in their faces. You could hear their media god-Rush Limbaugh and other far right loonies openly using the “I” (impeachment) word and drawing comparisons to Nixon’s ‘Watergate’. You look at all those shenanigans and of double standards they have employed and the fighter in you just got riled up. You begin to scram at the spineless of your party-the Democrats and how they could cede ground and narrative to those lying and cantankerous Republicans instead of being proactive and taking the fight to their ideological ring and scoring technical knockout with the force of logic and persuasion, or in this instance to fight their battle with all the mud and slime to boot. In politics, sometimes all is fair game and playing politics within the realms and norms of decency is an alien proposition to today’s Republicans. They should not be made t believe they have the sole monopoly on slime and subterfuge. Being reactive as the Democrats have been lately is getting me so mad and angry.
As I write this column I am screaming my lungs out at the media managers and other strategists within the DNC-Democratic National Committee and the White House for letting the Republicans run wild with lies they often pass off as truths. You wish you could jolt the Democrats and the White House to realize that the Republican are coming for the jugular and that in fights like this, all bets are off- its take no prisoner because the little space you allow them may mark your Waterloo.
Since the unfortunate attacks of the U.S Consulate in Benghazi, Libya last September 11 which claimed the lives of the Ambassador-Chris Stevens and four others, the Republican Party and its strategists, its media echo chamber and all its coterie of conspiracy theorists have manufactured all kinds of ‘truths’ to tar the Obama administration for not being ‘truthful’ with the American people as to the circumstance of that attack. They have accused the Obama administration of carefully editing out the word terrorism from the initial talking points that former UN Ambassador-Susan Rice had used during her appearance on the Sunday news programs shortly after the attacks. They have accused the administration of lying to the American people that the attack was a function of the video tape that had inflamed Muslims all over the world. In all of this, their motivation has been to damage the Obama administration and inflict mortal wounds to the presidential aspirations of Senator Clinton in 2016, even before it gathers momentum.
The Benghazi affair was a big campaign issue- one which the Republicans had thought would poison the American peoples mind against Obama and help elect Mitt Romney as president. Since the attack up until the dying hours of the election last year, the Republicans hammered this issue and the constant drip-drip in their friendly media outfits such as Fox News and the conservative media yielded little traction in the mainstream media. The American people had made up its mind to return Obama for a second term, which they resoundingly did, on November 6, 2012. But it seems the Republicans are still hell-bent on resurrecting an issue that American people care less about.
For the past two weeks, the dominant news has been the Benghazi, the IRS investigation of some conservative groups such as the Tea Party and the phone records of Associated Press Correspondents that the Justice Department was said to have collected. In all of these tri-fec-ta mostly Republican amplified scandals, the Benghazi one appears to be the most dominant. The ideologically driven and uber-partisan Chairman of The House Committee on Oversight and Governmental Reform-Congressman Darrell Issa of California and the sore loser of the 2008 Republican Presidential elections- Senator John McCain and his ideological soul-mate Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina have been chasing after straw, looking for anything that may link the Obama White House to any appearance of a cover-up on the incident. They have seized upon the e–mail by state Department spokeswoman-Ms. Victoria Nuland in which she altered a few words in an e-mail concerning the talking points that were put together by the CIA in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. The Republicans have been chorusing this line ever since that the Obama administration was engaged in a cover- up to tilt the election in their favor, because in their ideologically twisted minds, if the full disclosures of the actual events of Benghazi had been reveled, Mitt Romney would have been the occupant of the White House today. Wishful thinking you would say!
Late yesterday (May 15) the White House released over 100 pages of e-mail exchanges that showed there was no cover –up and that the talking points actually emanated from the CIA. That has not stopped the Republicans from still pounding the issue and trying to tie the administration with not being transparent with the American people with the actual events of the Benghazi attacks. Which begs the question: Where were these Republicans when few weeks to the horrific attacks of 9-11-2001, President Bush was warned of an imminent terrorist attacks on the homeland and he did nothing to prevent it? Why did the Democrats subsume their ideological drive to milk the issue and resisted the urge to score political points and instead rallied behind the president after the warning was actualized on September, 9, 2001? Does it mean the Democrats were stupid or politically naïve? No, the Democrats knew that the attacks of that day defied ideological leanings; it was not a Democratic attack neither was it a Republican attacks. It was an American attack and everyone was an American and thus, was incumbent upon all to check their political and ideological leanings at the door and to be draped in non-ideological and non-partisan colors. Why is it so difficult for the Republicans to do such when a national tragedy befalls a sitting Democratic president as it happened in Benghazi?
It is on record that President George W. Bush lied his way to the Iraq war. He employed every deceitful means and deliberately manipulated the American people into supporting the war with Iraq under the false pretense that Iraq was awashed with weapons of mass destruction and failure to move in right away to destroy those weapons of mass destruction may result in a mushroom cloud popping out of a major American city someday. All voices of reason were drummed out and those who cautioned or advocated a deliberate approach were called unpatriotic.
It eventually turned out that the weapons of mass destruction did not exist. It was a work of fiction by an Iraqi opposition figure who was determined to have America come to take out Saddam Hussein. This was a real scandal- a cover -up of monumental proportions. Did the Democrats huff and puff? Did the Democrats engage in endless congressional hearings aimed at unraveling the lies and manipulations of the war? No, they didn’t. Apart from a few concerns here and there that were raised especially within the far left, the issue was allowed to die for the greater national good. Why do the Republicans employ a different standard?
The Democrats must fight and fight dirty if it must. This whole notion of the Republicans holding themselves as the custodian of the nation’s security must be punctured and permanently demystified. It was annoying and painful watching Obama at a press conference with the visiting British Prime minister-David Cameron the other day looking tentative and oratorically halting as he was peppered with questions on Benghazi. The media managers of Obama must take this fight to the Republicans and reveal their shallow motivations and ideological witch-hunt. Thank God, the Attorney General Eric Holder appears to have shown some spine when he told the cantankerous Chairman of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee- the very odious Congressman Darrell Issa that his conduct “as a Congressman is shameful”. That should be the way to deal with these shameless Republicans who exploit national tragedy for political gains. They should not be treated decently since decency does not exist in their political playbook.
THE MASSACARE OF POLICEMEN IN NASARAWA
I am a liberal by ideological definition, but a dye-in the wool conservative when it comes to issue of national security. The people whom we send out to protect us from harm and the machinations of the bad people must be of paramount concern to us. The life of one security personnel killed in line of duty is an enormous loss. Here in New York City, the New York City police officers are our best friends and the notion that over 100 of such officers would be killed in one fell swoop when they were sent on an assignment is totally unthinkable. They would be hell to pay if such were to happen!
It breaks my heart to see the mangled bodies of police officers that were killed in Nassarawa by the cult group called “OMBATSE”. Those people who slaughtered the police officers must be fished out and dealt with. An example must be made of this situation so that next time some other groups entertain similar idea, the specter of what had happened in Nassaraw would provide a chilling effect. Losing over 100 lives of law enforcement officers is intolerable and unacceptable and this flagrant abuse of the sanctity of the human live must stop, and a deterrent established