by PATRICK BOND
Durban, South Africa.
Would Barack Obama’s re-election advance African democracy and prosperity? Evidence suggests not, though the alternative in the November 6 election would probably be worse.
Obama’s most important important policy speech on Africa, in Ghana in 2009, contained the famous line, “Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.”
According to a recent puff piece in South Africa’s leading ezine, Daily Maverick, Obama’s top Africa official, Johnnie Carson, last month claimed that “the US wants to work with African nations to strengthen democratic institutions, good governance and efforts to stamp out corruption [and] to spur economic growth through market-driven, free trade principles.”
Yeah right. Washington’s deregulatory support for Wall Street’s market-driven binge and purge in 2008-09 contributed to the worst global economic crash in 80 years, resulting in around a million South African job losses. And official data reveal that the top 1% snagged 93% of all new income in the US since 2009, because the rancid system wasn’t fixed by a president in hock to banksters.
“Free trade principles”? Who can forget White House support for the vast ongoing agro-corporate subsidies which thwart African production. And as for corruption, is there any capital city whose political system is more conclusively bought by corporate campaign contributions than Washington, resulting in such extreme malgovernance that Obama cannot even make an effort to convict a single banker for world-historic economic misdeeds?