Voting for a MacDonald’s President
Thomas Freidman has won three Pulitzer prizes for his journalistic work, most recently in 2002 “for his commentary illuminating the worldwide impact of the terrorist threat”.
By any account, he is an “establishment” chap: the kind of blue-eyed boy who knows when to beat the drums of war for Washington using the very powerful platform of the New York Times’ op-ed pages.
I don’t like his politics, but that doesn’t really matter. But one can’t help but admire his style of writing and you have to respect his more than 30 years experience in the field.
He primarily covers international affairs, which in American geocentricism means Washington’s foreign policy.
In 1996, perhaps having had enough of how economists and political scientists try and inveigle us with their high-sounding nothings, Friedman came up with a rather simple theory on which countries are likely to go to war. It is now commonly referred to as the MacDonald’s Theory.
In a nutshell, he postulated that “no two countries that both have a McDonald’s (fast-food franchise) have ever fought a war against each other”.
He said, “In the 1950s and ‘60s developing countries thought that having an aluminium factory and a UN seat was what made them real countries, but today many countries think they will have arrived only if they have their own McDonald's and Windows 95 in their own language.”
Remember, this was written in 1996.
One response to the MacDonald’s Theory – who was probably as un-enamoured of Friedman’s politics as I am – was quite blunt in his/her criticism, saying: “The McDonald’s Theory of War has always been a spurious fantasy bordering on the delusional, as is much of Friedman’s work.”
Of course, it is a rather simplistic theory, and one that has been proven wrong by the US-Panama, Yugoslavia-NATO, Israel-Lebanon and Russia-Georgia wars; which all involved countries that have a MacDonald’s.
But still, it seems many people still believe it. And one of them is Malik Obama, a step-brother to the big guy up there in Washington, DC.
Malik Obama contested a gubernatorial seat in Kenya in the recent election whose outcome was a kick in the groin of Western politics of interference.
The less famous Obama, who shares a father with the more illustrious chap overseeing the simultaneous bombing of several countries across the globe, got less than 3 000 votes in his bid to become a Governor in Kenya – losing by around 140 000 votes to the winner.
During the campaign trail, he told the media that he would use his powerful contacts in Washington, DC to bring development to the rural constitution he was contesting in.
“Why would my people settle for a local connection when they have a direct line to the White House?” he asked (I can imagine with more than just a little swagger)
His campaign ran under the not-so-modest slogan of “Obama here, Obama there”.
And what was it his contacts in Washington, DC were to do? They were to bring a MacDonald’s fast-food outlet to the rural constituency!
A MacDonald’s would solve all of Kenya’s problems, of course. The malnourished would become obese, the cattle herders would eat burgers, and there would be no war with anyone else who also has a MacDonald’s…
For America’s sake, I certainly hope the more illustrious Obama has a sharper intellect than his woe-begotten Kenyan half-brother.
As for Africa? Well, I think we are kind of getting used to the type of leader who believes that America equals good and African equals bad.
We have had the likes of Malik Obama for well on 60 years now, ruining our continent while enriching other folk. In fact, we have had such – pardon my calling them such – half-wits for a very long time.
Half-wits collaborated with slaver traders to ship our ancestors to the Arab world, Europe and America centuries ago. (One half-wit, according to Walter Rodney in “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa”, even wrote a PhD thesis in Latin justifying slavery.)
Half-wits colluded with imperialists to assist Europe colonise Africa and to perpetuate that oppression. (Another half-wit called Kwasi Kwarteng – a Ghanaian-British MP ‑ recently wrote a book saying colonialism’s “dual mandate” was to “make money, the second part was to develop the colonies for the benefit of the indigenous peoples themselves”.)
Half-wits have killed Africa’s stuttering steps towards true Independence and have yoked us to neo-colonialism in such a manner that our natural resources, worth trillions of dollars, have failed to provide basics like roads, water, medicine, education and food. (Yes, there is a half-wit who is currently in power after having murdered Thomas Sankara).
If anything, this final breed of half-wit, the one who yokes us to bondage after the nominal declaration of Independence, is Africa’s biggest scourge.
So we should not laugh at Malik Obama. He is but an epitome of the kind of ruler we generally find across Africa, with a few historical and contemporary exceptions.
Our leadership is largely a client of the MacDonald’s mentality, the mentality that makes us believe there is no salvation without America.
Fortunately, the people of Kenya saw this and went for the fittingly named Uhuru Kenyatta.
This year, the Southern African states of Madagascar (general), Mauritius (Presidential), Mozambique (local government), Swaziland (Parliamentary and local government), and Zimbabwe (general) are all going to hold their elections. It remains to be seen if they will go the half-wit MacDonald’s way, or they will vote for uhuru.