For OIL we fight

Posted by By at 7 April, at 00 : 00 AM Print

For OIL we fight


Note: This is an old satire written during the military rule in Nigeria.

Perturbed by the lack of support for the democratic movement in Nigeria by the Western nations, I called the United States Information Service in Accra to find out the reason for the apathy. I am, well, eh, acquainted with the Information Officer, Mr. MacBoeing Donald, and I’ve his card to prove that we’ve met. He must have left instruction to pass me through to him without delay. I was connected to his office without fuss.

“Hey,” he boomed into the telephone, “nice to hear from you again. What can we do you for this time?” His voice was bohemian, as usual.

“Something just cropped up. I need your help.” I replied, trying to match his happy-go- lucky tone.

“Anything I can do, mate.”

“I am glad to hear that. I would like to pass a message to the President.”

“Message, to the president, what president?” His voice was a trifle hesitant. “anyhow, shoot.”

“The military junta are messing up my country, I wonder if the US can intervene.”

“Where are we talking about, now? What do you have in mind?” His voice was becoming less friendly, even a bit hostile.

“I am impressed with those precision, radar-guided, computer-aided smart bombs you guys have been throwing at Baghdad and Mogadishu and Haiti, I wonder if your forces can throw a few in the general direction of Abuja to scare the shit out of those dictators lording over my country. This is an appeal from democratic-minded Nigerians, for whom I’ve appointed myself spokesman. What say?”

“Are you sure you get the right number this time, Mr…, sorry, I still can’t get the hang on that name of yours?”

“Sure as hell. We admire what you guys are doing in Iraq and Somalia, making the world safe for democracy. We are really not asking for special treatment. Our appeal falls under the New World Order proclaimed by your last president – God protect his bedroom.”

“Catholic nonsense. What do you think we are, a bunch of globo-cops?”

“Please, please, Mr Boeing, do not desert us at our hour of direst needs. We had a free and fair elections which the military junta canceled with a fiat. Our president-elect is languishing in jail like a common criminal. Our democratically-elected representatives are roaming the world capitals like some vagabonds without a country. The junta has imposed a brutal dictatorship on us. Newspapers are closed. Trade unionists as well political activists are routinely put in jail! A curtain of authoritarianism has descended on our country. Please do not condemn us to perpetual military dictatorship. We’re appealing for American humanitarian intervenshawn.”

“The name is MacBoeing, to remind you for the umpteenth time. And “intervenshawn,’ what sort of lingo is that?”

“Never mind the lingo, are you going to pass on my message?”

“What message? What’s in for us. Mr ….?”

“Like I told you, I represent millions of Nigerians who are impressed with the speed with which you guys rolled Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. Do the same for us. Deliver us from the clutches of brutal dictators. That’s our message, our appeal.”

“And what’s in for us. Missiles don’t come from thin-air.”

“Are you putting a price a democracy?” I cried.

“I am not putting a price on anything. Don’t you read the papers. We liberated Kuwait, that’s for real. But it set them back by sixteen billion dollars.”

“Now, I see. No money, no liberation. Is that it?”

“Don’t put word in my mouth. But please be realistic. One cruise missile cost about two million dollar, a tomahawk goes for around one. Stealth aircraft cost upwards of half-a-million to keep in the air for one hour. The YF-22 and YF-23 advanced tactical planes are so expensive to operate that their operating costs are still top secrets. You can bet your ass that they are more than equal the total budgets of the colonial inventions you guys call countries around here – pardon my language. Advanced Paveway, Sparrow HARM, Hellfire, Maverick, Sparrow, Sidewinders missiles do not come cheap. Neither do Ultra-sophisticated Stratofortress planes. You have to take into consideration that American forces are the best paid in the world. Whom do you and your group expect to pay for them? The United Nations, the joke you call ECOWAS, that giant talking-shop call OAU, the bleeding-hearts at the Red Cross or the CARITAS?”

“I am disappointed,…”

“So am I. Now if we don’t have anything more to discuss, shall we say our byes?”

“We have OIL?”

“Hey, now man, we’re talking. Why didn’t you say that before? That surely put a new perspectives on things. According to the Bush Doctrine, which is still the official policy of the United States government, no nation should be held ransom by a bunch of nitwits in military uniform. Now, our records here are impeccable – Kuwait, Nicaragua, Grenada, Panama, just to name you a few. Shall we make appointment to draw up the proposals? This afternoon OK with you?” His voice was rising.

“Money talks.” I answered wryly.

Mr MacBoeing laughed broadly into the telephone. “It sure does. It also rent military power. Those Bosnians were born fools, going to war without the resources to buy the best firepower money can buy.”

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