In Ghana, Comparative Prosperity in West Africa
Of all the countries we've visited on my Holland-America cruise in West Africa, Ghana, the first modern nation to emerge independently out of colonial Africa in 1957, is today far more prosperous and dynamic than its neighbors in West Africa. This is obvious to any visitor. One modern building after another is going up, the highways are often wide and busy. The markets are teeming.
Our guide explained to us on the way into town that one reason Ghana is booming is that in recent years much trade from landlocked central Africa countries to the rest of the world has been diverted through Ghana to avoid the religious and other conflicts that have embroiled other coastal countries, such as the neighboring Ivory Coast and Nigeria, or even further distant coastal countries such as Senegal, The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
One advantage Ghana has is that it only has about 16% Muslim population, thus avoiding the interrnecene strife that has marked Nigeria and the Ivory Coast where fundamentalist Muslims constitute a majority or close to it and live in constant disturbance with Christian citizens.
We're now going to bypass such conflict-ridden countries as Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Congo and Angola while sailing to Namibia (four days at sea). But first, we stop tomorrow in Lome, capital of Togo.
On the way out of Accra this afternoon, we stopped to see some of the elaborate caskets people have constructed to accompany them into eternity. Some are automobiles, others airplanes, the way they'd like to go. I thought of ordering coffins in advance for Sam Zell and David Hiller, but wasn't certain what they'd like. Perhaps a huge dollar bill.
Cruise ships are not too common in this part of the world -- just two this year for Accra's port of Tema. But there were dozens of other ships, freighters, in port. And the Ghana authorities gave our tour buses motorcycle escorts.
Bill Clinton's ugly assault on Bill Richardson for endorsing Barack Obama shows once again the power-grabbing instincts of the Clintons. It can only hurt Hillary in the Puerto Rican primary June 3, because Latinos will wake up to the machinations of the Clintons.
There are also reports that Bill Clinton blew up and launched a tirade against Richardson in a private meeting last weekend with California super delegates. He is certainly not doing his wife any good. He needs relaxation, perhaps from his old sidekick, Monica Lewinsky.
Obama and Sen. John McCain, as proven both by their public service and their positions in this campaign, are warriors for the right, as God has given them to understand the right, while the Clintons are snivelers, would-be petty tyrants.
With McCain, it is partially his heroic service in the Vietnam war, five years of capitivity and torture in North Vietnamese prison camps, plus his independence in Congress. With Obama, it is his brave, ever perseverant campaign, and his noble speech recently on the race issue. Both are devoted to the highest American ideals
Like Richard Nixon and Robert Mugabe, the Clintons are devoted only to their own vainglorious power. They should, they certainly must, be send packing by the electorate. Hillary keeps saying she is too tough to quit, very similar to what Nixon said during Watergate. Later, we learned he had drank heavily that last year.
Again, a salute to Richardson, to Lee Hamilton, to Ted Kennedy, to Bob Casey, to Pat Leahy, to other honest public servants who have stood up to the power grab. They all have come to know the Clintons for what they are, and, in endorsing Obama, they show they know a good candidate when they see one. Now, today, there are reports that Jimmy Carter is hinting he's for Obama and that Gov. Corzine of New Jersey may switch to him.