Four years ago, Barack Obama convinced millions of Americans that he would unite the country and the world. He has failed. Inside America, as well as around the world, there is a huge divide between what people want and what they have. In places like the Mideast and Africa, it is a bloody divide. The question many people want answered is: Will violence come to America? It seems possible given global events, terrible leadership and a wrecked economy.
Many people expected more from Obama, the son of Christian and Muslim parents. Barack Obama Sr. was a Luo from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya. With African heritage and an Ivy League education, this President may understand the world and hope that he could reduce the ongoing tribal wars in Africa and, more recently, in the Mideast. But more than three years after Obama took office, violence in large tracts of the world has reached pandemic proportions.
Why Every Liberal Should Visit Africa
As a teenager, I had liberal ideals. My father, who had traveled often to Africa and the Mideast, told me that I could not speak intelligently on those regions and their peoples until I had been there. I got my opportunity in 1990 when I spent one month traveling through South Africa with my uncle.
When we arrived in April, apartheid was on the verge of collapsing. Nelson Mandela was about to be released from prison, and many people in the country were bracing for a civil war. The situation had become so dire that the 747 on which we flew to Cape Town was almost empty. (On the way back to London, every seat was taken.)
I took the trip because my father’s subscribers had much of their money invested in South African gold mining stocks. If those companies were nationalized, many of the newsletter’s subscribers stood to lose a lifetime of profits. It was a trip I had to take.
Because of a world boycott, the South African government and businesses were desperate for anyone to report on what they thought was positive change. Doors were thrown open to us that would have been under lock and key five years earlier.
Our first meeting was with South Africa’s ambassador to the United Nations. Another meeting was with one of the richest men in South Africa. His penthouse office looked out over Cape Town.
During our visit, there was a fear that persisted throughout the country. A few weeks before our arrival, savage fighting had erupted between Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress supporters and the rival Zulu-based Inkatha Freedom Party, led by Chief Mangosuthu G. Buthelezi. It started when thousands of Zulus were forced out of their homes in ANC-loyal areas of the province of Natal.
History records that 1990 had the bloodiest clashes in modern South African history. I witnessed some of it in the streets of Johannesburg and in the gold mines where warring tribesmen fought.
The Darkness Is Spreading
Violence is as old as humanity in Africa. Joseph Conrad understood that when he wrote Heart of Darkness in 1899.
In that novella Conrad wrote: “He (Kurtz) declared he would shoot me unless I gave him the ivory and then cleared out of the country, because he could do so, and had a fancy for it, and there was nothing on earth to prevent him killing whom he jolly well pleased.”
To see how little Africa changed during the 20th century you only have to read the book (also made into a movie) The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War. It is the true story of four photojournalists who covered the violence in South Africa from 1990 to 1994. It was during this period that the country transitioned away from apartheid. It explains the fighting between ANC and IFP supporters.
That was the South Africa that I saw, and it was a story the Western media weren’t telling.
The Spread of Violence
Two decades later, major media groups are doing little to cover the violence that has spilled into North Africa — most notably in Libya and Egypt. And with the falling of one dictator after another, it appears that the Mideast is settling in for a long period of bloodshed.
The violence in Syria has left more than 12,000 dead since March 2011, while tens of thousands of people are homeless. Two weeks ago, in the town of Houla more than 100 people were killed. The United Nations says government forces went house to house and slaughtered men, women and 49 children.
This violence has happened during Obama’s watch as the leader of the free world. So far, he has provided no leadership and no solutions as to how America can stop mass murder. Will Obama slow down this violence? If he cannot, social discourse will spread further out of Africa and beyond the borders of the Mideast.
We have already seen rioting in Europe and even in a couple of North American cities. To date, public outrage is relatively mild; but it won’t remain that way unless the economy starts to grow.
That is the prediction of Wall Street insider Charles Ortel, who warned earlier this year that a worsening economic picture across the globe will see civil unrest hit the streets of America, not on behalf of leftist Occupy Wall Street groups, but by an armed “irascible and vocal Majority.”
Ortel, a managing partner with Newport Value Partners, LLC in New York City, predicted that a crisis in the financial markets will precipitate “a widespread civil insurrection and cross-border war.”
Ortel believes Americans’ access to firearms will cause riots to be bloodier than anything seen in Europe.
Out Of Africa
I remember how happy I was sitting on that plane when it lifted off the runway and I knew that the start of my 45-hour return journey had begun. Today, I don’t like the thought that violence may have followed me halfway around the world. And just as I took precautions during my trip to not do anything stupid (like leave the hotel at night), I also believe it is essential to take precautions at home while we still have the chance.
It is a sucker’s bet to think that the President or the Federal government will protect us and the ones we love. It is up to us to take the steps we must take to protect ourselves.
Yours in good times and bad,
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report