[LETTERS] EAC countries should pursue their common interests and ignore threats

Joseph Rwagatare nailed it on the head! It’s interesting how the US envoys across the region have come out full steam in synchronised threats to our governments about serious reprisals should they go ahead with the ban.
Workers at C & H Garments Ltd in Kigali's Special Economic Zone. The factory produces garments for export and local markets. / Faustin Niyigena.
Workers at C & H Garments Ltd in Kigali's Special Economic Zone. The factory produces garments for export and local markets. / Faustin Niyigena.

Editor,

RE: "Why US is keen to stop ban on used clothes: it is big business" (The New Times, August 19).

Joseph Rwagatare nailed it on the head! It’s interesting how the US envoys across the region have come out full steam in synchronised threats to our governments about serious reprisals should they go ahead with the ban.

I, too, read the Daily Monitor report of Amb. Deborah Malac’s ‘courtesy call’ on (Uganda) Speaker (Rebecca) Kadaga and the very undiplomatic threat of her government’s retaliation should Uganda go ahead with the ban on caguwa as agreed by the East African Community Summit. Such coordinated nakedly bullying tactics from the US are usually used – especially where several countries are involved at once – only where its own merchantile or other perceived geopolitical interests are sufficiently high – not for a mere heap of beans.

These threats immediately reminded me immediately of the similarly naked February 2013 threats from the then US assistant secretary for African affairs Amb. Johnnie Carson to Kenyans that they could expect serious consequences from America and a number of her allies should they dare go against American injunctions not to do so and elect Uhuru Kenyatta to the Presidency, instead of the obvious American preference Raila Odinga.

More than an issue of banning hand-me-downs from America’s flea markets and remaining that country’s dumping ground in more ways than one, these and other similar episodes that somehow filter through into the media provides us with an object lesson in how the US really throws around its overwhelming weight to get many of our governments to knuckle under to her interests at the cost of their own.

Forget the hypocritical twaddle about human rights and concerns for the welfare of our people, this is what international relations has always been about and remains about to this day: a country applying its power in the service of its own purely merchantalist interest.

Never be fooled by those high sounding phrases you hear uttered in dulcet tones in public, behind the diplomatic curtain it is naked self-interest that rules and a game in which holds are rarely if ever barred.

Mwene Kalinda

 

 

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