I own much of what I know today to my education in Nigeria, my education in Britain but more so to my education the United States. The fact that I am even alive I owe first and foremost to the special grace of God my creator and the Alfa and Omega without whom I am nothing. I believe God brought me to America for a purpose. If I never left my home in Nigeria I should have been dead and forgotten more than 5 years ago when I had a back surgery that could easily have killed me. Before I had the surgery, the doctors needed to take a sample of my bone marrow to determine whether or not the surgery should go forward.
The awesome doctors led by one Dr. Overbee, a Neuro surgeon at the Jewish Medical Center in Manhattan, New York ordered the procedure to stick a needle deep down into my marrow to take the sample they are going to test in the Lab to know if it is infected or not . I was already singing my “Nunc Dimitis”. I was hesitant to allow the procedure to go forward because I thought I might die. It was that moment that I realized for the first time in my life that human beings always pray to go to Heaven but none of us wants to die, and you cannot get to Heaven unless you die first. Not even Jesus was allowed to defy that logic. I have always boasted in conversation with friends, I am not afraid to die, but when I saw Death beckoning to me, I took a hike, like they say in America.
When Dr. Overbee who was to perform the surgery and my primary physician, Dr.Obiora Anyaoku, a Nigerian by the way, but one of the best Nigerian internists in the United States currently practicing at the St John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, New York, explained to me why the bone marrow test was so critical to my surgery t. I had two of my children who are medical doctor’s talk to the two doctors and to advise me on what Dr.Overbee and Dr. Anyaoku had suggested. The two of them, a man and a woman, sad to say, came to the same conclusion that their two senior colleagues had advised. They agree the procedure was inevitable. I had a choice to either live or die. I chose to live. I reluctantly gave the go-ahead knowing up front what I was up against. There was a 50/50 per cent chance I could be crippled for the rest of my life if something went awfully wrong with the procedure. In Nigeria the same kind of procedure could have killed me. That was why I am always the last to criticize our leaders running abroad to do surgery. What I criticize is their criminality to not build such specialist hospitals in a country flowing with petro Dollar.
I went under the knife knowing what I was supposed to know. That was 5 years ago. I am still alive today writing all I write and driving around New York because I am still alive and well and my recall memory and cognition still as sharp as before the surgery. I ought not to fear death at my age as a born-again Christian, because I knew Jesus was 33 when he died, and Pastor Kunle Omotosho of the Redeem Christian Church of God, International Chapel in Brooklyn never stopped assuring his congregation of which I am a member, to never fear Death because our resurrection is assured thru Jesus Christ. I would be the last to fool around with a venomous snake all in the name of faith, and I thank God Pastor Omotosho does not preach or subscribe that. I give all the glory to God for my recovery from the procedure and the painful surgery but also to the country that made that possible for me without taking me to the cleaners or putting my children in debt for a surgery that cost close to 35,000 Dollars. I don’t know about you. When America is on another brink of a crisis or a war with a super power and the former leader of the Warsaw Pact like Russia, I panic, because I have two adorable children currently serving in the US Navy. One of them a Naval Seal is my first son. The other one is a naval rating. I don’t want any of them being in harm‘s way in case America starts another war which is what the Republicans want the president to do.
I get nervous because I love and value America, my home away from home as much as I love the land of my birth. That is just the plain truth. America is just coming out of a 10 year painful and costly war in Iraq and another costly engagement in Afghanistan, the grave yard of Empires. I just figured it out that a possible confrontation with part of the relics of the great Persian Empire, Iran I used to read about as a historian not to talk about the possible war with Syria and even North Korea, the GOP is constantly nudging the first American black President to pursue or declare is not going to be good for America which is just recovering from a terrible Depression. President Obama whose legitimacy as President is yet to be accepted by the GOP or most of its leaders is now being urged again by the same cabal to go into another war because they just want to mislead, humiliate and destroy the young man whom God had chosen to lead America at one of the most difficult times in American history.
Yes, the GOP is doing more harm to America than to Russia by some of their unguided statements about President Obama at a time like now when American ought to be actively supporting our President and not subjecting him to ridicule. The Republicans have to be reminded they are undermining a two term President whose track record in office has been anything but mediocre compared to the records of most of the best Presidents of America if you see what I see. Some of the GOP leaders who are already questioning the strength and the policies of President Obama are making a huge mistake and giving some comfort to President Putin to want to confront President Obama because he would think America’s loyalty to the President is not total. I recall Mitt Romney the GOP last nominee for President describing Russia as the greatest threat to America as a former super power with as many nuclear weapons as America.
Describing President Obama’s policies as feckless, John McCain, a man who has never seen a war he did not like, and a man who wants America to always use her powers like a lion is again rolling out the drums of dissent against the President as if the man is still holding grudges against Obama for derailing his ambition to be President. Lindsey Graham another hawk in the GOP had come out saying Americans and himself included, are already rolling their eyes about the weaknesses displayed by President Obama in not immediately taking a tougher action against Putin. He wants America to confront Russia militarily over Ukraine. That would have been a senseless use of power by President Obama at a time even the Europeans are reluctant to stick out their necks for Ukraine which is in Europe. Obama, as far as I am concerned, is so far doing what he needs to do not just as an American leader but also as leader of NATO and by implication the leader of the Free World ever since the cold war ended some 20 years ago.
The most foolish statement so far has come from Ruddy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York who has foolishly described Putin as a more decisive leader than Obama because the man has acted in half a day, while Obama was still dragging his feet. Poor Ruddy is advising America to shoot first and then ask questions later which is as dumb as the GOP’s “Stand your Ground Law in Florida” which the GOP juggernauts have been defending for years. It was the most tactless statement I have ever heard and Americans have to be thankful to God that the arrogant Ruddy never became President of the greatest nation on Earth. If Giuliani thinks the way he governed New York City was the same way he would have governed America, Americans were right to shoot his presidential ambition down before it gathered any moss. The Republican saber rattling policies are the wrong way to deter Putin from invading Crimea or the mainland of Ukraine. Crimea is 60% Russian. It is right at the border of Russia. If there is a Referendum in Crimea today as to whether or not they would rather join Russia or Ukraine, the great majority of them would settle for Russia. I have been there before and I know they would go for Russia in a heartbeat. Putin is probably doing what is doing today to force the international community to agree to hold a plebiscite in Crimea, and if that happens it is a foregone conclusion that Russia and Putin are going to win by double digits. Americans may easily fall to the mistake of believing that they are the only wise people in the world. American would be the first to argue as the champion of Democracy that no people should be annexed against their own wish. If that dictum is good for Ukraine, it should equally be good for Crimea. That is where Putin is headed, and that makes a lot of sense to me as a disinterested party. I can see Putin caving in and withdrawing from his threat to invade Ukraine if he gets that little concession from the international community. Mark my words.
Some GOP leaders have said that Putin is scared to death to have Democracy at his borders. Shouldn’t he, if he is really the great leader of his people? Have those GOP leaders forgotten so quickly that the former Soviet Union had engaged America in a cold war for many years. America had dared not declare a “hot” war against the old Soviet Union under a man like Khrushchev at one point in world history. Have Americans forgotten that Russia is not Iran or Iraq or North Korea. Come on folks, we are talking about the former leader of the Warsaw Pact which America had only succeeded in bringing to her knees under Gorbachev with his “Glasnost “and “Perestroika” or restructure policies which more or less conceded victory to America in the cold war and consequently paved the way for the edge America has enjoyed today over Russia which has been terribly weakened by its unavoidable embrace of Democracy. Russia is yet to fully learn and comprehend as we speak the few contradictions in the capitalist system as opposed to their own totalitarian Communism which is definitely more evil than Capitalism.
Russia took a big hit when she lost in one fell swoop 15 of her Russian Republics most of which have now decided to pitch their tents with NATO or the European Union following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. Putin, a KGB operative still has a big national pride in his ability to pick up the pieces for Russia and to reposition his country in the committee of nations. His ultimate goal to which he is entitled is to reclaim some of Russian’s lost glory by seeking to create a Euro Asian counter force to the European Union and NATO. Why must Americans continue to believe that Russians must continue to be subservient to America for the rest of their life as a nation. America is doing what is best for their best interest and Russia is doing the same. What is wrong with that?. If China is doing everything to push America to second place as the world’s largest economy why can’t Russia do the same thing? I commend Putin for what is doing for his country but America must find some ways to continue to put Russia in a box like they have done since the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Why, for goodness sake does America want to deny to Putin the kind of nationalism they want American leaders to exude? It is a legitimate question to ask if any of you reading this love America as much I do. I said it a long time ago in one of my articles on the supremacy of America in the world and where it all began. The moment Americans pioneered international organizations like the United Nations and economic giants like the World Bank, IMF and NATO without an immediate and commensurate response from the old Soviet Union, Russia must know it has lost the cutting edge to America because America can use those institutions to punish and victimize Russia any time they assert their sovereignty and autonomy .Putin as a KGB officer with ears and eyes for intelligence probably knows a whole lot about America than America is giving him credit for. I agree, to a point, that Russia may be on the wrong side of history by invading Crimea which is the closest to the Russian border and where most of the people living there are Ukrainians with a historical linkage and loyalty to Russia.
The Lingua Franca in Ukraine today is the Russian language. Kiev the capital of Ukraine is one of the strategic corner stones to the Soviet Union at one point in their history. America is foolhardy to expect every world leader to kowtow and defer to America on every Geo political issue. The Russians are different from the Chinese, another great power who knows how to stoop to conquer far better than the Russians. The Chinese are never shy to tell America what they think America wants to hear. They always claim that China is still a developing nation even though China is now the big financier and the highest creditor to America right now. China has bought investments in major cities of America and the crown jewel of America’s economic power house, the Silicon Valley in California. The Republicans are even criticizing Obama for cutting the US Military at a time smart weapons like the Drones and intercontinental Ballistic missiles have replaced outdated conventional weapons in the American arsenal of War. They forget that economic power is what made America a military power to begin with. Cutting down on the Military as contemplated by Hagel and Obama is to shift emphasis from outdated weapons to laser directed smart weapons and robots just like the introduction of computer has drastically reduced the number of personnel needed at a work place. It was a smart move by Chuck Hagel, a Republican and Obama, a die-in the- wool democrat with a lot of sense.
China is moving at a jet speed to become a super power but their body language will not tell you that. Russia’s pride as a super power has been terribly wounded when they lost the cold war to America and when they lost 15 of their powerful Republics. Putin is seeking to regain the lost glory of Russia. America may not like everything Russia is doing, but there are lots of Russians who support what Putin is doing. I don’t blame Putin so much but he has to know he has to be careful in appearing to underrate President Obama the conqueror of Osama Bin Laden. Obama is not your average American President like George Bush Junior. He is a hybrid of two powerful cultures the world has known. He has the African blood and the Caucasian blood flowing in his veins. He is what the Yorubas call “Alujonu Iberu” a mythical figure with a lot of power and history behind him. Above all, he is the anointed of the Lord for the position he currently occupies. Take it or leave it.