NIGERIA:A NATION ON THE BRINK.


BY OLUSEGUN OGOLO green white green

 

Nigeria is on life support (that’s a fancy phrase for a semi failed state), and it’s amazing how determined our politicians are to pull the plug.

I know it is well advised to speak positive things; however,  the operations of faith goes beyond a positive confession.

Faith also requires corresponding action.

Unfortunately, the corresponding action we’re seeing from Nigerians is lethargy and stupor; a people so dazed and confounded by happenings in  their environment  that their will and wiliness to effect a change has been impaled  by an inexplicable fear of death.

That Nigeria is blessed is trite. How then do you juxtapose the abundance of natural resources with the fact that our country is in the same league with Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia (countries that are apparently going nowhere) when it comes to all human development indices.

The late Fela Anikulapo Kuti was vilified for his mannerism, but this great Nigerian had a message and to me, the message is more important than the messenger.

In SORROW,TEARS AND BLOOD (lyric below),Fela provides a clear reason why there may never  be an ‘arab spring ‘ style change in Nigeria.

With all the thievery, injustice and lack of respect for human life happening in our country,When will Nigerians rise up to the fact that praying for change also requires ACTING  in line with desired change?.

When are we going to awake to the fact that citizens of a nation are the ones who effect the change they desire  not ANGELS: in fact the  only societies where Angels were permitted to effect changes are those of Sodom and Gomorrah (and you know the story).

The PDP has been in government since 1999 with nothing to show for their existence other than that they have put the country in reverse gear; the newly formed APC is living in a bubble and may even be a worse evil than the PDP.

Shouldn’t Nigerians rise up against these old and directionless politicians and tell them to leave us alone?

While I do not advocate a break up of the country, there is a very urgent need to convene a conference to determine the future governance structure of the country.

SORROW,TEARS AND BLOOD (LYRIC) Everybody run run run Everybody scatter scatter Some people lost some bread Someone nearly die Someone just die Police dey come, army dey come Confusion everywhere Hey yeah!

Seven minutes later All don cool down, brother Police don go away Army don disappear Them leave Sorrow, Tears, and Blood

[Chorus] Them regular trademark!

Them leave Sorrow, Tears, and Blood Them regular trademark That is why

[Chorus] Hey yeah!

Everybody run run run…

La la la la My people self dey fear too much We fear for the thing we no see We fear for the air around us We fear to fight for freedom We fear to fight for liberty We fear to fight for justice We fear to fight for happiness We always get reason to fear

We no want die We no want wound We no want quench We no want go I get one child Mama dey for house Papa dey for house I want build house I don build house I no want quench I want enjoy I no want go Ah!

So policeman go slap your face You no go talk Army man go whip your yansh You go dey look like donkey Rhodesia dey do them own Our leaders dey yab for nothing South Africa dey do them own

Them leave Sorrow, Tears, and Blood…

Ah, na so Time will dey go Time no wait for nobody Like that: choo, choo, choo, choo, ah But police go dey come, army go dey come With confusion

Obama’s Road to Damascus: The War for Regime Change in Syria


Dominic Tierney.THE ATLANTI.Sep 6 2013

The more Obama lobbies Congress, the greater the danger for mission creep.

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Obama pauses while speaking about Syria during a joint press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt at the Prime Minister’s office in Stockholm. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

A war that begins to punish Assad for using chemical weapons is likely to turn into a grander campaign to overthrow the Syrian tyrant. Obama is about to walk the road to Damascus: the president who sought to end Middle Eastern conflict will convert to the goal of violent regime change.
When the White House first outlined the use of force in Syria, the aims were described as limited, controlled, and proportionate. Missile strikes would chastise Assad, degrade his military forces, and deter the further use of chemical weapons–a quick punitive expedition. Washington has long hoped for Assad’s departure as part of a new transitional regime in Syria, but this was not the immediate objective. “I want to make clear,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney: “the options that we are considering are not about regime change.”
But if it isn’t a war for regime change already, it may well be soon.
First of all, Assad could retaliate against U.S. military installations in the region or against Israel–essentially forcing the president’s hand. If Assad’s forces kill Americans or Israelis, then Washington will go for the jugular.
But even if the Syrian regime absorbs a U.S. strike, Obama could still walk the road to Damascus. The president may face domestic pressure to escalate the goals. For sure, the American public is weary of fighting in the wake of Afghanistan and Iraq. But precisely because people are so sick of war, the administration may try to sell the campaign by describing Assad as uniquely evil. How then can we let this devil remain in power?
And for Americans, overthrowing a demonic tyrant is at least a comprehensible goal. By contrast, a quick shot across the bows makes little sense to anyone. If Assad quits using chemical weapons and goes back to slaughtering his people with conventional arms–you call that a victory?
The more effort Obama invests in winning congressional backing, the more he’ll be tempted to raise the stakes. Is he really going to spend all this political capital–all this wooing and arm-twisting–just to dump some ordinance into Syria and go home?
The mission creep is already happening. Obama has toughened his line in a bid to win the backing of hawks like John McCain. The use of force, Obama said: “fits into a broader strategy that can bring about over time the kind of strengthening of the opposition and the diplomatic, economic and political pressure required–so that ultimately we have a transition that can bring peace and stability, not only to Syria but to the region.”
After the rockets’ red glare streaks across the Levant, the United States will own the conflict. We will leave the audience and join the actors on stage. Suddenly, Washington will be expected to respond to every major event in Syria. If the rebels commit atrocities, or Assad’s forces capture a city, all eyes will turn to Obama: what now, Mr. President? Rather than face a neverending story of intractable conflict, the White House will seek resolution through regime change.
Both military success and failure could spur the United States to escalate its goals. If U.S. missile strikes go more smoothly than expected and Assad’s support crumbles, we may naturally heighten our ambitions.
More surprisingly, if Washington faces battlefield failure, Obama will also be tempted to go after Assad. Like a gambler on a losing streak, the White House may double down in a bid to win it all back. At this point, we’ve planted the flag and cannot allow the rebels to lose.
Are we ready for regime change? There’s no coherent Syrian opposition and jihadist groups are running rampant. Trying to patch together a new government could suck all the oxygen out of Obama’s second term.
After his revelation on the road to Damascus, Paul was blinded for three days. Let’s hope Obama can see the path ahead with greater clarity

Deter and degrade: US expands target list


David Sanger. THE  AGE.September  7, 2013

aExpanding targets in Syria: Barack Obama. Photo: Getty  Images

Washington:  US President Barack Obama has directed the Pentagon to develop  an expanded  list of potential targets in Syria.

The new planning is  a response to intelligence suggesting that  President  Bashar al-Assad’s government  has been moving troops and equipment used to  employ chemical weapons while Congress debates military action.

Officials said Mr Obama  was  determined to put more emphasis on the  ”degrade” part of  the administration’s  goal in a military strike against  Syria – to ”deter and degrade” Dr Assad’s ability to use chemical weapons.

That means expanding beyond the original list of 50 or so   main target sites  developed with French forces before Mr Obama delayed action last Saturday.

 

For the first time, the administration is talking about using US and French  aircraft to conduct strikes on specific targets, in addition to ship-launched  Tomahawk cruise missiles. There is also a renewed push to get other NATO forces  involved.

The strikes would be aimed not at the chemical stockpiles themselves – which  would risk a potential catastrophe – but rather the military units that have  stored and prepared the weapons and carried out attacks against Syrian rebels,  US military officials said on Thursday.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin  Dempsey, said   other targets would include equipment that Syria uses to protect the chemicals –  air defences, long-range missiles and rockets, which can also deliver the  weapons.

Senior officials know  that to win the fight on Capitol Hill, they will have  to accept restrictions on the military response, yet to make the strike  meaningful they must expand its scope.

”They are being pulled in two different directions,” a senior foreign  official involved in the discussions said. ”The worst outcome would be to come  out of this bruising battle with Congress and conduct a military action that  made little difference.”’

One senior official said Mr Obama intended to become more  involved in direct  lobbying for a military authorisation  and there was  talk of  an  address to  the nation.

As the target list expands, the administration is moving closer to carrying  out military action that  could also  tip the balance on the ground, even though  the administration insists this is not the primary intent.

The bulk of the US attack is still expected to be  by cruise missiles from  some or all of the four destroyers within striking range of Syria in the eastern  Mediterranean. But military planners are now also preparing options to include  attacks by bombers which could carry more munitions, potentially allowing the US  to carry out more strikes if the first wave does not destroy the targets.

In recent days the US Navy has moved the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz into the  Red Sea, within striking distance of Syria.

But  Defence Department officials said  the carrier and its squadrons of F-18  Super Hornets  were not likely to join any attack unless Syria launched major  retaliatory strikes.

Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel told legislators on Wednesday that a US  operation would cost ”tens of millions of dollars”, the first time any  administration official has put even a rough price tag on the possible  strike.