By Jack Wheeler
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea – It took coming here, to the darkest pit of hellhole Africa, for it to finally dawn on me who Obama really is, to what total extent he isn’t American at all, but African.
Freedom House, in its 2014 Worst of the Worst report, highlights Equatorial Guinea as “one of the world’s most repressive societies.” Its dictator, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, is a murderer who ran the Black Beach Prison where countless prisoners were tortured to death. He has ruled since 1979, declared himself to be his country’s God who “can decide to kill without anyone calling him to account and without going to Hell” in 2003, and was elected by leaders of the 54 member-states of the African Union (AU) to be its chairman in 2011.
His picture is everywhere in the country:
Obiang uses his country’s oil revenue as his personal piggy bank, enriching his friends and family while the average citizen of his country lives on $1 a day. He has a number of presidential palaces and bought a $31 million dollar home in Malibu, California, (and a $15 million dollar apartment in Paris) for his playboy son Teodorin, whom he is grooming to succeed him.
But there is nothing at all exceptional about him. He is merely yet another example of what in Africa are called Big Men – narcissistic, charismatic sociopaths who gain power however they can, never let go of it, look upon themselves as demi-gods for whom ordinary morality does not apply, utterly convinced they deserve to be worshiped with total obedience and to live in complete extravagance while being completely indifferent to the poverty of others.
Remind you of anyone in America?
Africa’s most infamous Big Man today is Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s dictator since 1980. There are many others. Jose Eduardo dos Santos, a Communist guerrilla leader, has been dictator of Angola since 1979. Idriss Deby of Chad since 1990, Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea since 1991, Yahya Jammeh of Gambia since 1994, Paul Biya of Cameroon since 1982, Blaise Campaore of Burkina Faso since 1987 when he murdered his predecessor in a coup.
Nowadays, these banana republic tinpot dictators are viewed by the international community as anachronisms. The only reason anyone pays attention to them is resources, like oil in Equatorial Guinea or Angola.
But when Obama was born in 1961 and during all the years when he was growing up, Africa’s original Big Men bestrode the world’s stage. The first leaders of de-colonized independent Africa – none of them elected, all handed power or seizing it – were lionized internationally as heroes of the Third World. Whatever extravagances or bloody “excesses” they engaged in were whitewashed.
Occasionally, when some psychopath became too flamboyant, like Uganda’s Idi Amin, he was condemned. But Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah – whose soldiers’ marching chant was “Nkrumah can do no wrong! Nkrumah can do no wrong!” – really could do no wrong internationally. Time magazine ran a cover story on him as “dawn’s early light” in Africa, while the Soviet Union awarded him the Lenin Peace Prize in 1963.
He was a Marxist, of course, who hated the West and its capitalism. Ghana, as Britain’s Gold Coast colony, was amazingly productive and prosperous when Nkrumah took over in 1957, and he ran the economy straight off a cliff. Julius Nyerere did exactly the same thing when he took over Tanganyika/Tanzania in 1961, ruling until 1985. He’s still being lionized: In 2009, the U.N. General Assembly designated him a “World Hero of Social Justice.”
Africa’s biggest Big Man of all was Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta. He was too smart to be a Marxist and kept the economy going with British help as Kenya’s first president from 1963 to his death in 1978. He was also utterly ruthless. If he couldn’t buy off a potential political opponent, he had him assassinated. One of them was a charismatic fellow named Tom Mboya.
Mboya had gone to Oxford where he learned his Marxism. He was best friends with Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah. As Mboya’s popularity grew, Kenyatta tried to placate him with a cabinet position as minister of economic planning and development. It failed, as he openly talked of challenging Kenyatta’s rule. On July 5, 1969, Mboya was shot to death by a gunman on a street in Nairobi. He was 39 years old.
Ten years earlier, in 1959, Mboya organized with Nkrumah’s help the Airlift Africa Project granting scholarships to students from Kenya and a number of African countries to attend U.S. universities. One of the first to receive such a scholarship was a young friend of Mboya’s and fellow Luo tribesman named Barack Hussein Obama.
After his dalliance with Ann Dunham at the University of Hawaii and Ruth Baker in Massachusetts, Obama Sr. returned to Kenya in 1964, where Mboya got him a job as senior economist for the Ministry of Finance. When Mboya was assassinated, Kenyatta had him fired, and according to his son’s book, “Dreams From My Father,: he became an alcoholic. A Big Man, Jomo Kenyatta, destroyed Obama Sr.’s life and his chance to be a Big Man himself as the protégé of Mboya.
When you read Obama Jr.’s account of his father in the context of decolonized Africa and its tradition of Big Men, you realize what his dream is: to be an African Big Man himself.
The current president of the United States is not an American, not in his soul. He is an African. Not an “African-American,” for that term only appropriately applies to descendants of Africans brought to America as slaves.
Obama Jr. is completely lacking in that ancestry and cultural heritage. His ancestry and heritage is half black African, which he embraces, and half white American, which he despises. He has no interest in being an American president. He wants to use the presidency to be a Big Man, to be worshiped and obeyed, to rule by executive decree, to live like a king and play more golf than conduct the business of state.
By now, you are no doubt focusing on the most worrisome feature of this, that Big Men never give up power willingly and will do whatever it takes to retain it. America has the deepest, most historically entrenched traditions of elected government in the world. How will America’s Big Man attempt to subvert them?
Whatever he tries, we have to be ready for it. Come what may, America’s African Big Man has got to be evicted from the White House at least by January 2017. Seems like an eternity away, doesn’t it? Yet now that we understand who and what he really is, it will easier to serve him his eviction notice.
Jack Wheeler, whom the Washington Post called “The Indiana Jones of the Right,” has been to every country in the world. He is the Editor of To The Point at tothepointnews.com.