“When a love comes to an end, weaklings cry, efficient ones instantly find another love, and the wise already have one in reserve.” - Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).
In a rare departure from my usual topics of Nigeria and the African continent, I find myself enjoying the Obama show that came to town and kept Londoners enthralled for 48 hours. Barack has had European leaders eating out of his charmed hands and Michelle even got a hug from the Queen! S**t like that is not even supposed to happen, apparently. All the historians are furiously searching their worn out records, for the last time her Majesty touched anyone, not to talk less of an American!!!
In any case, the Obamas have truly played their part and eased Gordon Brown's woes in the process. The grumpy Bear at Number 10, must have been hoping frantically for a break in the horror show currently consuming him and his government. The thing is though, when one looks a bit deeper, it is quite clear that the cure has been temporary indeed and even though the American charmers did the best they could, ultimately even with the recent ground-shattering elections, America has lost too much moral authority in today's world. Any American charm offensive is made effective by the Obamas, but be honest, the things we like about the first couple are basically their unAmerican traits! Intelligence, Charm, depth and gravitas, will top the list. The world seems tired of all things American (well, except the Obamas), or am I just speaking for myself?
Don't get me wrong, I love America. It’s easily the greatest country on earth!
I love its music, its actors, its sense of show business, the razzmatazz, the money making, the big cars, the big egos, the self-belief, the home of the good, bad and the ugly, the land of the Kennedys, Ali, Martin Luther King, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, Tyson, Jesse Owens, J Edgar Hoover, Joseph McCarthy, The Klu Klux clan, the NRA. The CIA, FBI, the Grammys, Oscars, Hip-Hop, Biggie Baby and the land of Oprah. The land of the free, America has it all.
But in the quest to remain the most powerful country on earth, America has had its fair share of involvement in upheavals; the Vietnam War stands out like a sore thumb. The ‘honour’ of being the only country, to have dropped a weapon of mass destruction on another, is imprinted in history and with the Iraq war; we had America, once again, on the road to nowhere.
Like everything in life, the American era will end. Historians, depending on their politics, will either paint her a sinner or saint. The foretelling of its end should not be seen as this writer’s wishful thinking, but as a statement borne of evidence; all things expire. The British, Roman and Ottoman Empires, all massive entities at their peak, eventually crumbled – It’s the law of Nature – and as evident from our history books, very few people who lived during those times, could have imagined their impending extinction.
Those ‘blessed’ by the gift of hindsight, would tell you, that the first signs were clearly manifested in the events of 9/11. The invincibility is gone and the hyper-power myth destroyed. Like Tyson felled by Buster Douglas, the Aura has been punctured and the Ego brought down to earth. The beginning of the end should not be mourned or seen as a tragedy, for if the Romans (who gave us so much) could be swept away by the tides of time, everyone else must be fair game. It happened to the dinosaurs for God’s sake! They ruled the world once, although some will argue Rumsfeldosaurus, almost took us back in time!
So, whilst the Chinese, Russians and even the Iranians (you didn't know?) rub their hands with glee in anticipation of 'their time', the rest of us, including the writer of this piece, mourn America’s fading power and influence, a lot more unfortunately will die trying to save it, but as the hawks and neo cons experienced during the last administration, it is exhausting trying to save a terminally ill person. The disease is in its advanced stages and even when your lead doctors are the Obamas, all you can do is administer the drugs and pray.
Of course, I fervently hope that I am wrong, because Nigeria and Africa have no greater ally!