Archive for the ‘World’ Category

Shifting Perspectives: President Putin and the West

Posted: March 11, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Simon Yel, World

By Simon Yel , Kuala-Lumpur-Malaysia 

There is always a danger of diplomatic niceties or overt praise coming back to bite you, especially when the positive things you said publicly were about someone who then, er, launches an invasion.
These days, Vladimir Putin is persona non grata in Paris, London and Washington. He is a bad, bad man, say the West’s presidents and prime ministers. But that isn’t what they always thought. Let me  take you on a Putin-themed trip down memory lane..
George W. Bush: ‘I looked the man in the eye. I was able to get a sense of his soul.’
Former US president in 2001
Tony Blair once viewed Putin as ‘open, forward looking’ and a ‘moderniser’
The then prime minister made the comments in 2000.
Silvio Berlusconi admired ‘Putin’s macho, decisive and authoritarian governing style’
Former Italian prime minister in 2001
Barack Obama praised the ‘extraordinary work’ done by Putin on behalf of Russian people
Current US president in 2009.
Gerhard Schroeder: Putin is a ‘flawless democrat’
The former German chancellor says he stands by the comment. He now works for Russian energy giant Gazprom.
Nicolas Sarkozy called Putin a ‘direct, courageous, determined man, capable of accepting and understanding’
The then French president issued the praise in 2007.

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: Letters and Radio Messages of the Late SPLM/A's Leader, Dr. John Garang de Mabioor (Volume 2) Paperback – November 27, 2013

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: Letters and Radio Messages of the Late SPLM/A’s Leader, Dr. John Garang de Mabioor (Volume 2) Paperback – November 27, 2013, ON AMAZON.COM

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: Letters and Radio Messages of the Late SPLM/A’s Leader, Dr. John Garang de Mabioor (Volume 2) Paperback – November 27, 2013, ON AMAZON.COM

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

AN EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

CAPTAIN JOHN GARANG’S 1972 LETTER

TO DOMINIC AKECH MOHAMMED

Southern Sudan

February 5th, 1972 

Dear Dominic:

Thank you for the correspondence you dispatched to this end on January 25th, instantly. Very lucky, I go them today from Kampala through the lorry. It is lucky because I am leaving tomorrow morning for the interior, about 500 miles footwork from where we last met and I will not be back for over 7 months, maybe more.

Find here enclosed a copy of a letter I wrote to General Lagu and the negotiations committee (See Captain John Garang’s 1972 Letter to General Joseph Lagu of Anyanya One, January 24, 1972). I have handwritten it (it is 2:00 a.m) since I have packed my typewriter for tomorrow’s long journey. You may type it and if necessary you have my permission to use it BUT AFTER the negotiations ONLY so as not to prejudice the same. As you can see I am not in favor of these so-called negotiations nor do I have any illusions that much will come out of them. What is more, a settlement with the enemy at the present time is not in the best interests of the Southern Sudanese people, the Sudanese people and the African people for some of the reasons given in the attached seven page letter (refer to Captain John Garang’s 1972 Letter to General Joseph Lagu of Anyanya One, January 24, 1972).

Firstly, the “solution” will be no solution since the Arab military dictatorship of General Numeiry seeks to “solve” the problem within the spirit of Arab Nationalism and the context of a United Arab Sudan. Secondly, the Numeiry regime is illegitimate, a regime of blood, rhetoric, instability and theft, it is only a matter of months before the Numeiry clique is couped out of office by a similar scum of political prostitutes. To sign a “settlement” with such unstable barbarians is criminal and makes one a member of that gang though in a different outfit. Thirdly, the conditions for permanent revolution have not as yet been sufficiently created within our own motion.

The objective of liberation (of armed struggle) is firstly the riddance of oppression and exploitation and the simultaneous creation of conditions and structures for the permanent (continuous) release of our productive forces, which have been so historically damned, deformed, stunted and impeded by exploitation, oppression and humiliation. This last point is central as it focuses on the essence, the particularity of our movement.

About my role as Information Officer for the Anyanya, it is true that there has been such talk, but after I finished my infantry training last October, I made a concrete analysis of the situation and objective factors indicated that I could not make my total contribution in that capacity. You know what I mean. And if that be the case, it would be an intolerable situation. I joined the Movement with total commitment and dedication. I have sacrificed (I don’t consider it so) all the benefits paper dehumanizing education is supposed to confer on the dehumanized, decultured native holder, I am resolved to give the ultimate sacrifice, my life, for I am bound by nothing else but duty and commitment to Africa and the African people starting with the Southern Sudanese people, as a matter of course. African liberation can only primarily be effected through combat and everything else must be built around the combat, must enhance and give political character to combat. 

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: (Volume 1)

It would take me a book to go into analytical, historical and practical exposition of this line, but it is sufficient to say that this is why I turned down the “Information” work and chose active combat, and so tomorrow I go to the interior to (eventually soon) take over command of a full battalion. War is war, should anything terminate my usefulness (services) to the African people and revolution, it is incumbent upon you to continue with the struggle and/or to prepare the children and generations to come for the revolution. It is our duty.

I am indeed sorry about brother Vuzi Zulu that he comes at a time I have to leave. It would have been my duty and pleasure to cooperate with him since I presume we are engaged in the same revolution. (I would have also found that out). At any rate, pass my regards and explanation to him on his return. Some other time we shall meet.

Yes, I shot all the five colored films you gave me. After the training I went to Kampala but failed to develop them, as they don’t have facilities for developing Ecktochrome film in Kampala. When Allen Reed came he took them to Nairobi and they were developed and printed on slides. He then returned them and gave me a bill of 80/= (eighty Uganda shillings) which I promptly paid and I got all the slides. Two days later he came to me in Bumbo (twenty miles from Kampala) and begged me to borrow him some of the slides to teach his (Southern Sudanese) photography cadets who were there assembled in Kampala and that he would return them the following day.

He went and disappeared, till now I have not seen him—a complete breach of trust. Please convey the charge of theft to him from me, and collect those slides from him, I had actually told him that I was going to send them to you. The balance, I have left them locked up in Bumbo as I could not send them in time expecting Allen to return the borrowed ones and then send them in lump. This concurs with your other remarks.

Also please convey my sincere appreciation to FOPANO, ANAM, and OFPA for their endorsement “in principle” to cooperation with you and the Movement in our “efforts towards the liberation of Africa” and to Roy Inis and Core for the inclusion of “the Southern Sudanese Liberation Movement” in its support of African Liberation Movements.

Tell those citizens of Africa, snatched away from the great BLACK womb of our Mother, that time has come for their consciousness and ours on the mainland to merge (again) with one big black consciousness that will pull Mother Africa from the bloody teeth of the monster and usher in the total release of our productive forces long damned, deformed and impeded by centuries of oppression, exploitation and emasculating humiliation.

Greetings to all our students and brothers.

Brother Garang Mabior Atem

Southern Sudan, February 5th, 1972


The Genius of Dr. John Garang: The Essential Writings and Speeches of the Late SPLM/A's Leader, Dr. John Garang De Mabioor (Volume 1)

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: The Essential Writings and Speeches of the Late SPLM/A’s Leader, Dr. John Garang De Mabioor (Volume 1) on AMAZON.COM

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: The Essential Writings and Speeches of the Late SPLM/A’s Leader, Dr. John Garang De Mabioor (Volume 1) Paperback – November 15, 2013; by PaanLuel Wël (The Editor)

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

AN EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Don’t Get Derailed from your own History: Dr. John Garang Speaking on the History of the Sudan (1988) 

There is an exigency to go back to our historical roots, back to historical Sudan from the dawn of humanity to the present time. This is urgent and necessary because some people have been striving to erase us from history; they have been trying to derail us from our own history, from our own historical roots. Lest some people may get confuse and succumb to this misguided machinations from Khartoum that have been presenting the Sudan in terms of two parameters to the exclusion of the others—Islamism and Arabism. This ‘back to our roots’ initiative can be summarized in few points as follows. With respect to the history of the Sudan, there are some people, based on their own selfish interest, who say the history of the Sudan commenced with the arrival of the Turks in 1821. Others claim that the history of the Sudan started with the Mahdi, that is, when the Mahdist state (1885-1898) was established in the Sudan. There are some people, particularly among the Europeans, who insist that Africa history, along with the Sudan, began with European colonialism, that is, the coming of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan or the Anglo-Egyptian condominium (1898-1956). Just here in Southern Sudan, there are some people that even go as recent as 1947 when the Juba Conference was convened to decide whether Southern Sudan should be part of the Sudan or to separate and remain an independent entity or join up with the East Africa countries. There are some, still, who argue that the history of the Sudan started with the invasion of the Sudan by the Arabs from the Egypt and the Middle East. All these chauvinistic narratives on the history of the Sudan are according to some vested interests of certain speakers, of certain sections of the Sudanese society.

The first thing to be said is that we in the SPLM/SPLA go as far back as we can in the history of the Sudan. According to recorded and unrecorded history, archaeological and written history, human civilization started right here in the Nile Valley—in the Sudan and Egypt. And so the Sudan, along with Egypt and the whole of the Nile Valley, is a major part of human civilization, as we know it. This fact again is something out there for anybody to check and to verify. This is important because the historical roots are very important and they cannot just be traced to 1947 or to 1955 to 1880s or to 1820s or nineteen hundred or sixteen hundred. So we in the SPLM/SPLA go all the way back to the dawn of human history, and remember and reconstruct whatever is remember-able and whatever is reconstruct-able, because it is from all these roots that we will create the New Sudan.

So our history is not as shallow as some people would want us to believe. Our history is rich and deep, and we must get into that depth and that richness, and coming from there, taking what we can take and leaving what we do not want. It is up to us, it is our choice. In order to construct from the past, the very past, the medium past and the present to construct the future, we must go back to and reconstruct the very past. So a creation of the New Sudan would mean the complete reconstruction of the past. In order to create the present and the future, we must correctly reconstruct the past, not with lies but with the truth, not by saying John Garang is a descendant of Abbas. No, we must go on to the facts and these facts are readily available in history for people who want to know the truth. So we have said that in order for us to have a correct assessment of our present so that we pass into the future, we have to go all the way back and come with our history and combine whatever is useful to reconstruct our history as it should be, not as some are trying to portray it within the prism of their prejudiced outlook.

——————————-

There are two ways to view and understand our history as Sudanese people: the history as in the past and history as of the modern times. I call them Sudanese diversities. For this purpose, I want to go down the corridors of history to show that we, the Sudanese, are indeed the historical people and that the New Sudan has an anchor in history. Having an anchor in history is very important because if we cannot find an anchor in history, then we can create one, lest the struggle at the end of the day is meaningless. I will therefore present this anchor in history in terms of the present character of the Sudan and as it connects with our historical roots. The Sudan is characterized by two diversities: contemporary and historical diversities that go back thousand of years, indeed to the dawn of humanity. By historical diversity I mean that we did not just pop up as Sudanese from nowhere. We have been here, we have been there and we are still here now. And the proof of that is, of course, I am standing in front of you here. It means that I must have come from somewhere. When you look at the history of the Sudan, you can find it in old books. In the Bible, for example, where it makes references to Kush and/or Ethiopia; and these are interchangeable names for what is now the geographical Sudan. In the ancient times, we had the kingdom of Wawat, the kingdom of Irtet, the kingdom of Majda and the kingdom of Annu. Annu is believed by some historians to be the present Anyuak or Annuak people that were believed by ancient Egyptian to be the gods of the Nile. That set somewhere in the south to be the source of the Nile, and that was giving water to Egypt, and as the Bible says, Egypt is the gift of the Nile. So it is the gift of Annu or the Anyuak people of Southern Sudan to the Egyptian people.

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: (Volume 2)

You come down the corridors of history to the Nubian Christian kingdoms of Merowe, Makuria, Alwa and Soba. The first non-Jewish Christian or the first gentile Christian was a Sudanese. You read it in the Acts of the Apostles [Acts 8 V 27], as the Ethiopian Eunuch. That Ethiopian Eunuch has been researched and he has been found out to have been an official in the court of the king of Merowe. Merowe is north of Khartoum. As mentioned before, in 1821 was the Turco-Egyptian Sudan, the spread of an occupation of the northern part of our country by the Turco-Egyptian rule, down to the Mahdist state (1885-1898), down to the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan or the Anglo-Egyptian condominium (1898-1956), the modern independent Sudan from 1956 to the present. All these I called the historical diversities. As you can therefore see, we have a long history. People and kingdoms have lived, thrived and disappeared in the geographical area that constitute the present modern Sudan. Yet the present and previous rulers of Khartoum present a false picture of our country as if the Sudan started with them and as if the history and reality of Sudan consists only of two parameters—Arabism and Islamism.  Of course they argue this way so as to stake a claim to the Sudan and they do this to the exclusion of others. This is why there have been wars in the Sudan. Our contention in the SPLM/SPLA is that the Sudan belongs to all the peoples that now inhabit the country, and that its history, diversity and richness is the common heritage of all the Sudanese people. The attempts have been made in the past to try to push some people out of the rail of history and I am not accepting this. That is why I want to anchor our movement, and our struggle and the New Sudan, to anchor it deeply, in our long history. This is one form of diversity, the historical diversity.

The second form of diversity in the Sudan is the present diversity, the contemporary diversity. The Sudan has over 500 different ethnic groups, speaking more than 130 distinct languages. These ethnic groups fall into two categories, roughly the Africans and people of Arab origin in the Sudan, but they are all Sudanese people. The Indigenous African Sudanese—those whose mother tongue is other than Arabic—were 69% of the population according to the 1955 colonial census, while the Arab Sudanese—those whose mother tongue is Arabic—were 31% of the population according to the 1955 colonial census. Another fact that many people do not know or do not want to know is that indigenous Africans are more in the North than in the South: 39% of the total population as compared to the South’s 30%. Ethnicity is thus one major form of contemporary diversity. Another form of contemporary diversity is religion. We have two major religions in the country—Islam and Christianity, and traditional African religions. The Muslims are mostly in the North and constitute about 65-70% of the total population, while Christians and followers of Traditional African Religions constitute the remaining 30-35%.

These two forms of diversities, the historical and the contemporary, constitute the Sudanese reality, and thus, any form of governance must be based on, and must take into account, these two forms of diversities. However, all governments that have come and gone in Khartoum since 1956 have attempted to create a monolithic Arab-Islamic state to the exclusion of other parameters of the Sudanese diversity. They simply ignore or deliberately fly in the face of this Sudanese reality. This is the fundamental problem of the Sudan, and the justification for our armed struggle. What has happened is that a group of people in Khartoum, in 1956, hijacked the Sudan. They hijacked the Sudan and defined it in their own image, that the Sudan is an Arab-Islamic state. No, it is not. I called it hijacking because Sudan is a Sudanese state for the Sudanese people, not an Arab-Islamic state for Arabs and the Muslims.

——————————-

This is our point of departure from those naysayers. Therefore, it is necessary for each of you to study, to learn what is available out there, without preference, about our historical roots and about our rightful place in the history of mankind. The fact that we are here in 1988; the fact that the various Sudanese nationalities are here—that alone, the reality of our presence in the Sudan today, shows that there was a civilization(s) here. Otherwise, we would not be talking today as Dinka or as Nuer or as Shilluk or as Zande or Latuho or whatever all the nationalities there are in the Sudan. It is the solidity of their cultures that has made them to be present today in 1988; otherwise, they would not be present, for they would have been lost like many lost nationalities of human race. So the assertions, the lies that are said, what is said that Sudanese civilization or state started in such and such a year should be far from our thinking, because the Sudan is rich with cultures that go very deep into the dawn of humanity itself. If we study these cultures in historical motion, we will find their richness and depth undisputable. This is an important point of departure that unites us, and it is in sharp contrast to the narrative of those who want to hijack the Sudan by making it in their own artificial image. This is because if you take the history of the Sudan from one point of view, because if you say it is Arab civilization or a Dinka civilization or a Nuer civilization or a Shilluk civilization or a Fur civilization or a Latuho civilization or Nuba civilization and you speak to that viewpoint only, that would be a sectarian culturalism because you are taking one of the cultures and defining the New Nation through a single cultural entity. Absolutely not, for you cannot create a new harmonious nation out of imposition of one culture on the rest, this is impossible. So we take that point of departure and we will be consistent with it.

I acknowledge that it is difficult to be consistent with it when people are confused, when people have vested interests, when people are sectarian, when people are tribalistic, when people are sectionalistic, then it is difficult to be consistent because the vested interests will divert people. But the real revolutionaries understand that point of view and they will go consistently with it. The language I am using here is of course an inflammatory language that states ‘don’t tell me about Arabs’. But this is not our language, this is the language of someone that is angry and he can be excused because he is angry for a reason. It is necessary to be angry in order to become a revolutionary. You must be angry in order to rebel against oppression as was mentioned earlier by comrade Yusuf Kuwa Mekki. After you become a rebel, you transform yourself into a revolutionary. So we will, and you must, accept this language as coming from an angry man and we understand why he is angry—he is protesting against his deletion from history.

Therefore, we will immerse ourselves into the Sudanese situation, we will transform the Sudanese situation, so that they believe in the objectivity of the New Sudan, in which there is no anti-Arabism, and no anti-Africanism, no anti-Islam or anti-Christianity but we form a new synthesis, a new synthesis that is a culture, that is a nation, that is a state, that will have its role to play on the African continent, in the Middle East, in the World, because we have to make our contribution to the human race and we have the capability to make this contribution. So this is the intellectual background of our objectives as a Movement—the SPLM/SPLA.

From this intellectual background anchored in history, in order to have success, we must envision what success is, what it looks like, what it feels like. So what do we mean by success? One, we must form a revolutionary state in Khartoum, and secondly, that revolutionary state must have a revolutionary army in Khartoum, because you cannot have a revolutionary state without the revolutionary army. It is a contradiction. Likewise, you cannot have a reactionary state and a revolutionary army because one would take the other away and it has happened in many places. For example, a minority cliques can stage a coup d’état, install themselves in power and proclaim revolution. They claim to have made a revolution while the whole army remains reactionary. There is General such and such and he maintains his position and Major General such and such still maintains his position, and he likes his position and the privileges that his position avails him and he has his local and international connections. It is a matter of time before the reactionary army gets rid of the revolutionary state.

The summary of this argument boils down to one objective: the establishment of a revolutionary army and a revolutionary state in Khartoum. This, more than anything else, is the true meaning, and our definition, of success. If we have not achieved these two objectives—a revolutionary state with a revolutionary army—then we are continuing the armed struggle until these two are formed because one would not succeed without the other, they are complementary, one is indispensable to the survival of the other. And it is not the SPLM/A only that is going to form the state because there are other revolutionary forces in the country. Our task is how to fuse together these revolutionary forces in order to establish these objectives of a revolutionary state with a revolutionary army. I gave you the other background before in order to arrive at the necessity of these objectives because without the revolutionary state and the revolutionary army to safeguard it, you cannot destroy neocolonialism, you cannot destroy religious fundamentalism, and you cannot destroy racism in the country.

Certainly, you need a revolutionary state with a revolutionary army in order to do these because any other situation won’t work, and won’t succeed, simply because say if we get rid of Sharia and there is somebody who is not a revolutionary and you tell him to cancel Sharia, he would think that he would go to hell and who would want to go to hell? He won’t do it because in his mind, there is a hell waiting for him. How do you convince someone to embrace going to hell? Of course we know that this is a misguided view but it is a fact we have to deal with; armed revolutions are conducted within the paradigm of the prevailing reality, whether that actuality is based on facts or on myths is beside the point.  So you need a revolutionary state and a revolutionary army in order to implement the revolutionary program. The revolutionary program also has to be constructed, and you need a revolutionary state and a revolutionary army in order to construct and implement the revolutionary program. This is our history since the dawn of human age and this is our noble goal and objective to the suffering people of the Sudan: to establish a revolutionary state with a revolutionary army to construct and implement a revolutionary program of the New Sudan Vision.

Barack Obama wins election for second term as president

Posted: November 7, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Speeches, World

Text of Barack Obama’s speech after re-election

President Barack Obama’s speech in Chicago after his re-election Tuesday night, as transcribed by Roll Call:

By The Associated Press

President Barack Obama’s speech in Chicago after his re-election Tuesday night, as transcribed by Roll Call:

Thank you so much.

Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.

It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.

Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.

I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time. By the way, we have to fix that. Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference.

I just spoke with Gov. Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight. In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.

I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America’s happy warrior, the best vice president anybody could ever hope for, Joe Biden.

And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. Let me say this publicly: Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation’s first lady. Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes you’re growing up to become two strong, smart beautiful young women, just like your mom. And I’m so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now one dog’s probably enough.

To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics. The best. The best ever. Some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning. But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together and you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley. You lifted me up the whole way and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you put in.

I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics that tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym, or saw folks working late in a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else.

You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who’s working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home.

That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.

That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.

But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers. A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow.

We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this – this world has ever known. But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being.

We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag. To the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner. To the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president – that’s the future we hope for. That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go – forward. That’s where we need to go.

Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin.

Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over. And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead.

Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together. Reducing our deficit. Reforming our tax code. Fixing our immigration system. Freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do.

But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.

This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great.

I am hopeful tonight because I’ve seen the spirit at work in America. I’ve seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors, and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job. I’ve seen it in the soldiers who reenlist after losing a limb and in those SEALs who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them watching their back.

I’ve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm. And I saw just the other day, in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his 8-year-old daughter, whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care.

I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father, but meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd listening to that father’s story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes, because we knew that little girl could be our own. And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. That’s who we are. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your president.

And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight.

I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.

America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.

And together with your help and God’s grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth.

Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless these United States.

http://seattletimes.com/html/politics/2019622154_apusobamatext.html

Barack Obama wins election for second term as president

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/barack-obama-wins-election-second-term-president-041852102–election.html

Obama Wins New Term as Electoral Advantage Holds

Voters returned President Obama to the White House, but he will face a Congress with the same divisions that marked his first term.

What Are They Saying About Obama’s Victory?

http://news.yahoo.com/saying-obamas-victory-


  By Sam Akaki

Saturday, 27 October 2012 00:00
The upcoming US presidential election will be a de facto international presidential election. Whoever wins will not only become – symbolically and in reality – the chairman of the five-member central committee of the world, which is the UN Security Council,  he will also indirectly be in charge of the preeminent global currency, which is the dollar. Crucially, the US president will be the Commander-in-Chief of the supreme army, the nuclear-armed North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Under Article 5, “The parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.” This explains why Syria can only watch, helplessly, as Turkey, a NATO member, closes its air space, trains, arms and sends rebels into Syria.

Moreover, NATO is not only expanding although its main adversary the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) collapsed in 1991 it is also freely choosing and picking which opposition groups are terrorist organizations or pro-democracy fighters, and which country is to be invaded on the spurious excuse of pre-emptive humanitarian intervention to maintain international peace and security.

These realities will present African peoples at home and in the US with a particular dilemma. By instinct, we should vote for Barack Obama.  After all, he is “one of us”, his father having been a black Kenyan!

The ‘one of us’ syndrome based on our ethnicity, tribe and clan is central in the African DNA makeup, which invariably determines how we provide public services to our own.

But as Obama’s African policy has shown in the last four years, it will be a monumental self-delusion for any African at home and in the US to believe that his second term in the White House will bring better news to the continent.

The uncomfortable truth is that the difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is only skin deep. Like Romney, Obama is first and last an ambitious US politician, who wants to be president of the last super power of the world.

To achieve that ultimate goal, both men are competing to appear a better US citizen than the other, declaring their uncompromising commitment to pursue not the 1832 Monroe doctrine, but the 1961 President John Kennedy’s doctrine.

The Monroe Doctrine noted that the United States “would neither interfere with existing European colonies (in Africa and elsewhere) nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries.” That was before John F. Kennedy arrived.

By contrast, in his in January 1961 inauguration speech, Kennedy said “let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of our liberty.” By “our success”  Kennedy meant US imperial domination of the world!

Regardless of Obama’s campaign rhetoric, his Africa policy will not be guided by any consideration about is late father’s tribal origin or religion, but by US special interest to maintain political, economic and military dominance of the world.

President Obama or Romney will without hesitation use the USAID to maintain soft control over the continent through politically-motivated humanitarian and development assistance. At the same time, the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) will keep a close military eye and ear on Africa from the ground, air, sea and space. Any African leader or military commander who thinks his or her official and personal secrets are safe is a fool.

President Obama or Romney will use the Bretton Woods institutions, which are the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to manipulate African economies and by extension, social and political conditions, which suits the US.
Whoever wins, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will not relax the pressure on African countries to introduce legislation to implement the one-way Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). These, among other things, will potentially allow western technology companies to “own” anything and everything including trees and shrubs anywhere.

The US, which has not ratified the Rome Statue, will continue to selectively use the ICC as a double-edged political weapon not only to punish non-compliant African leaders such as Omar al Bashir and Robert Mugabe, but also to protect leaders of US client states who torture their own people and invade their neighbours.

While some US companies continue to trade with Iran, President Obama or Romney will demand and get the UN Security Council to impose punitive sanctions on any African country that buys oil from Iran.

NATO intervention in Libya may have been its first on African soil, but it is unlikely to be the last whoever wins. Neither Obama nor Romney will lift the sanctions on Eritrea, Sudan or Zimbabwe.

US entry visas will not become any more easily available for African students or old people wishing to visit their grandchildren just because Obama or Romney has become president.

Finally, according to the Census Bureau, 15 percent of Americans, or more than 46 million people, live below the poverty line, defined as an annual income of USD 23,000 for a family with two children.

The vast majority in this group are African-Americans. They will not become better off with well-paid jobs, adequate housing and health-care cover when and if Obama or Romney takes office next January. That is why I say Africa’s unpalatable choice in the 2012 US presidential election is between the devil and the deep blue sea. We are damned if “one of us” Obama, wins and we are damned if he loses on November 6th!
But why criticize Obama for putting America first and last?  What a different place would Africa be if our leaders could also put behind their personal interests, clan, tribe and ethnicity – and tackle the population explosion and youth unemployment, which are driving millions of young men and women to die abroad?

Ed’s Note: The writer is a Ugandan-born former parliamentary candidate in the 2010 UK general elections, founder executive director of Optimum Population for Sustainable Development in Africa (OPSUDA) and Democratic Institutions for Poverty Reduction in Africa (DIPRA). The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of The Reporter. He can be reached at sam.akaki@hotmail.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Sudan, South Sudan agree on metering to avoid disputes

Posted: September 29, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan, Reports, World
Tags: , ,

(Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan plan to avoid future disputes over oil exports with a metering system, but have failed to end a $1.8 billion row over how much Juba will pay for seizing northern oil facilities after its secession.

On Thursday, the African neighbors signed a deal to restart oil exports from the landlocked South through a Sudanese Red Sea port. In January, Juba had shut down its entire output of 350,000 barrels a day after failing to agree on export fees.

When the row escalated, Juba had accused Sudan and the mainly Chinese oil firms operating in the new republic of publishing incorrect production data to the disadvantage of the South.

Oil facilities in both countries were built before South Sudan became independent from Khartoum in July 2011, putting three quarters of oil production in the south but locating processing, refining and sea export facilities in the north.

To avoid any future arguments over export volumes, both sides plan to “review and ensure…effective metering facilities”, according to the final agreement published by the African Union (AU) late on Thursday.

The agreement did not outline any concrete steps but said each party had the right to ask oil firms to install additional metering systems.

The neighbors also agreed to set up a committee headed by an African Union-appointed official to review payments and technical issues to avoid disputes.

Global Witness, a group campaigning for transparency, said it was disappointing that oil payments and audit reports would not be made public.

“This lack of public accountability is particularly concerning given the allegations of high-level corruption that both governments are facing,” Global Witness campaigner Dana Wilkins said in a statement.

COMPENSATION ROW

Diplomats had hoped the agreement would settle all disputes but both nations failed to agree on how much South Sudan should pay Sudan in compensation for taking over oil facilities once owned by state firm Sudapet.

Sudan demands $1.8 billion for Sudapet’s assets, said Pagan Amum, Juba’s chief negotiator.

“We are not going to pay this,” he said after the signing ceremony in Ethiopia on Thursday.

The agreement, which was brokered after three weeks of talks in Addis Ababa, only said the parties would try reach a deal within two months. Lengthy international arbitration would then probably follow.

Both sides also agreed that Sudan will have to pay back proceeds from two disputed oil shipments, transported by the Ratna Shradha and ETC ISIS vessels, which Sudan seized as compensation for what it called unpaid transit fees.

Southern officials had previously demanded the return of four oil shipments worth more than 6 million barrels, seized since December by Sudan, which has never confirmed or denied the figures.

Juba will give up claims from southern oil diverted to refineries by Sudan when the row over transit fees escalated. “The Government of South Sudan shall not bring any other claims,” the agreement said.

Under the final deal, South Sudan will pay between $9.10 and $11 a barrel to export its crude through the north. Juba will also pay $3.08 billion to help Sudan overcome the loss of three quarters of oil production due to southern secession.

South Sudan’s government expects resuming oil production will take three to six months after the pipelines were watered and some fields were damaged during fighting between the two nations in April.

South Sudan plans to build pipeline to Kenya but analysts are skeptical as it would be difficult to build across rough terrain hit by tribal violence.

(Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Alison Birrane and Jason Neely)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/28/us-south-sudan-oil-idUSBRE88R11J20120928


September 15, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan has urged UN chief to press South Sudanese government to cease its support to the rebel Sudan people’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) stressing such links hamper the ongoing efforts to settle the unresolved issues.

Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, Permanent Representative of Sudan to the United Nations met on Friday 14 September with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to brief him on the latest developments on the ongoing talks with South Sudan as the UN Security Council prepare to discuss the issue on 22 September.

The parties made progress on the different files except the border demarcation and the disputed areas while the mediation plans to hold a presidential summit on Abyei between Omer Al-Bashir and Salva Kiir on 21 September.

The parallel process with the SPLM-N, on the other hand, is stalled as the parties trade accusations of delay of humanitarian relief, plans to topple the regime with the support of South Sudan and Darfur rebels.

Daffa-Alla said he urged Ban Ki-moon to put pressure on Juba government to disengage politically and militarily with the Sudanese rebel group which fights the government in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. He stressed that such relation breaches the rules of international law.

According to SUNA, the Sudanese diplomat told the UN chief that Khartoum would not hold direct talks with the rebel group until the latter formally disengage politically and militarily with the newly independent South Sudan.

The two parties hold indirect humanitarian and political talks as they meet the mediation separately.

Sudan says the two former divisions of the SPLA in Blue Nile and South Kordofan are still receiving they salaries, weapons and ammunition from Juba. It further says the leaders of the Sudanese rebellion are instructed by the SPLM leader and South Sudan President Salva Kiir.

Juba and SPLM-N denied the accusations. Following the referendum on self determination of January 2011, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the north Sudan established an independent structure as their comrades in South Sudan were preparing to proclaim their independent state in July 2011.

But Khartoum speaks about disengagement to highlight the close relations and the continued support they receive from the SPLM in Juba which is the ruling party.

South Sudanese top negotiator Pagan Amum arrived in Addis Ababa after a long stay in Washington for medical reasons.

Also, Princeton Lyman, US envoy for Sudan and South Sudan arrived to the Ethiopian capital where he met with the chief mediator, Thabo Mbeki to discuss the recent development on the talks.

Daffa-Alla told Ki-moon that the Sudanese delegation was keen to be in Addis on the date fixed by the mediation while the rebels belatedly arrived to Addis Ababa and left two days later to Washington obstructing the talks.

SPLM-N leadership is in a visit to the United States for talks with the American officials and to seek the support of members of Congress and civil society groups as the campaign for US presidential election has already started.

 

http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article43909