Someone ought to tell U.S. State Department and Secretary of State John Kerry that not everyone agrees.
Writing, on behalf of President Obama, Mr. Kerry notes that “since independence” (which was when again? Was it 20 May, or 1 January, or 1 October?). Since independence, he says Cameroonians have “sought to build a stable, prosperous, and democratic society.”
But, which Cameroon is the Secretary writing about? Is it the same Cameroon that I have read about elsewhere in damning human rights literature published under the same authoritative pen of the State Department or some Cameroon I know nothing of?
For Secretary Kerry, Cameroonians are celebrating “43 years of unity”. Really? Which of the Cameroons and which Cameroonians? Two children born more than a year apart do not carry the same age just because they live under the same roof. Not any more than one of the two children collapses the name of their sibling so they are known by one name.
Maybe, that is what Mr. Kerry celebrates as a “stable” and “united” Cameroon! Why do I think I have seen this before? The State Department sent similar love lines to Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi. After all, they, too, built “stable” and “united” countries, right?
Wrong! There is proof aplenty that this is an infatuation with the “auto writer” at the State Department computer terminals. Secretary Kerry’s next paragraph is written like “stability” was the oxygen Cameroonians depend on for life. “Stability” is the new one-word foreign policy of the USA since what?… Bay of Pigs? Since Vietnam? Since Iraq? Since Afghanistan?
The world’s most perfect democracy has not seen a dictator it has not kissed on the mouth on the autocrats Independence Day or what passes for it. Take the U.S. and Cameroon on this 20 May 2015 and Mr. Kerry is not afraid to be “Spin Doctor in Chief”. Apparently – and this has to be news – Washington and Yaounde” are “working together” (hand in glove as in “ton pied, mon pied”) to “bolster regional stability”. Stability, again?
Mr. Kerry adds that Washington and Yaounde “are both helping to stabilize” (“there, they go again!)… The two, Mr. Kerry was saying, are working to” stabilize (there, they go again!) the Central African Republic”.
How exactly are they working together? Obviously, not shy, Mr. Kerry offers answers. The U.S., he says, “provides equipment” – the euphemism for arms, weapons, bombs, etc. The U.S., he adds, is also providing “training” to Cameroon’s “lack of home training” troops currently “deployed… as peacekeepers” to the Central African Republic. Am I wrong to think that peacekeepers not yet trained could be a source of the instability that leads to and justifies the next Peacekeeping Mission to “stabilize” and build “stable” and “united” even if in banana republic.
You read right. The State Department is not protecting the Southern Cameroonian minority. Certainly because that minority is under “zero threat”. These are dispensable, stateless citizens. They are less important than the major things the U.S. says it is working to handle.
“We”, writes Secretary Kelly… We, the U.S. and Cameroon “continue to protect endangered species.” Do not expect protection, you Southern Cameroonians! The U.S. and Cameroon, said Kerry, are working (shall I add together?) to “reduce the impact of climate change, curb wildlife trafficking, and improve maritime security.”
In other words, the Secretary wants stability for endangered species; stability of climate; stability of wildlife; stability of the seas and maritime life; and stability of – you just name it!
What a waste for citizens committed, indeed, to advancing democracy and fighting misrule! If only Secretary Kerry could do more than just print out, sign, stamp and disseminate what is tantamount to a shameless endorsement of dictators on their country’s national day! Surely, Mr. Kerry knows that if President Ronald Reagan had changed the U.S. Constitution to strike out term limits and stayed on in power to this day (President Paul Biya of Cameroon was first in power while Reagan was in the White House)… If Reagan stayed on, as Mr. Biya has, the USA would neither be stable nor united. It would certainly not be building a “prosperous and democratic society”.
So, why on God’s earth, does Secretary Kerry say that this is the path Cameroon is traveling when he knows it is only right for Cameroon if it was also right said about the Soviet Union, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
As an American, would Citizen Kerry accept national day best wishes from a Cameroonian leader if those wishes came on a day other than July 4? Would he accept to celebrate July 4 on another day just because President Reagan or President Obama or the soon to-be incoming President Hillary Clinton replaced July 4 with some other day by presidential fiat or some executive action?
Further… Would Citizen Kerry consider the USA independent if this “Obamaland” did not have its own currency and, instead, was saddled with some second-rated British Pound Sterling (like the CFA franc) known as the USA Pound, for example? Would Citizen Kerry say that the USA is independent whereas U.S. fiscal and monetary policy decisions are made and/or dictated by the Secretary of the Exchequer out of London, not by the Federal Reserve? Would Citizen Kerry still call the USA independent if a percentage of U.S. currency reserves are stored with the British Treasury, supposedly on behalf of the USA (as the French claim to do for the Cameroons and other French-speaking countries?
The “stable” and “united” Cameroon of which Mr. Kerry writes (see the full sickening with diplomacy note below) is a mere figment of the State Department’s imagination. Remember the many notes sent each year while ignoring the plight of the citizens of the several republics of the Soviet Union, loomed together (despite cries for independence there as in Southern Cameroons). Too many people, born free, are held prisoners by countries considered “stable” and “united.”
There used to be a United Republic of Cameroon – a product of the Republic of Cameroon and of British Southern Cameroons. Today, the State Department is “working together” with Yaounde to ensure that Southern Cameroons is only part of a “stable” and “united” Cameroon. Good luck, Mr. Secretary Kerry!
Southern Cameroons (independent on 1 October 1961) is not a part of the “La Republique du Cameroun” (independent on 1 January 1960); not any more than the state of New Mexico is part of Mexico.
About the Author:
Boh Herbert is (former) veteran CRTV news anchor, currently works for the World Bank and writes from Washington DC.
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