Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

What The Papers Say

America's aggression on Grenada


Two thousand American troops and some 300 soldiers drawn from Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent last Tuesday invaded the Island Republic of Grenada where a left wing military group had overthrown the hitherto Marxist Government of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop. Maurice Bishop himself came to power in 1979 through a coup d'etat.

Many countries, including fellow members of the NATO alliance, have condemned the American-led invasion as an act of aggression and a violation of the sovereign rights of the people of Grenada to choose their own form of government. The population of Grenada is just about 110,000 inhabitants. With a standing army of 800 soldiers and a militia of 2,000 people, Grenada is one of the world's smallest countries not even as big or populous as anyone of the United States 50 states.

This cowardly display of military arrogance by the United States against a smaller, weaker sovereign neighbour, is the latest in the antics of superpower efforts to tell other countries how to run their own affairs.

We recall the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, and the United States actively directed and funded insurgency in Nicaragua. A notable difference in respect of Grenada is that unlike in the past, the United States did not wait this time for the customary (but usually false) invitation from nationals of the country it is invading.

And what is the purpose of the invasion? According to president Reagan, his troops are in Grenada to "restore democracy," and to "protect innocent lives, to forestall further chaos and to restore law and order." Far from convincing any objective watcher of the international scene, the United States has only demonstrated its capabilities to bully and pillage a smaller neighbour.

We therefore call on the world community to condemn this rape on Grenada's democracy. The people of that country have an inalienable right to change their leadership no matter how distasteful it is to the United States. In any case, the deposed prime minister came to power through a coup of his own. It is therefore illogical to question the morality in overthrowing him through a coup simply because the United States, acting out of paranoia, decides to lift thugs. As it is thuggery is limited to the actions of the weak among nations.

On the other hand, we call on the American Congress which appears to be the only body capable of checking the excesses of the American president to call a halt to his foreign interventions. President Reagan is at best trying to shore up his domestic image through foreign interventions and former President Jimmy Carter warned earlier that Reagan would plunge America into a big war. President Reagan appears set to confirm that prediction on a larger scale unless a serious check is placed on his belligerent posture.

We call for the immediate withdrawal of all the American-led occupation troops currently in the Republic of Grenada. Their presence is reminiscent of the Italian occupation of Ethiopia before World War II.

Racing against hunger


Some years ago, the World Food Conference promised that by next year (1984), no child shall go to bed hungry. This promise cannot be fulfilled because of several factors.

In his message in connection with this year's World Food Day, the Director-General of the FAO admitted that despite many achievements, the Conference could not "meet that rash, but well intentioned promise". It has not yet overcome the destitution of the poor nor has it diminished the despair of the hungry millions, especially those in the developing countries.

In an obvious attempt to eliminate or control the causes of this failure, the World Food Conference scheduled for next year, will take stock of how far it has fallen short of its promise to adequately take care of the food needs of mankind.

Again, the critical food and livestock situation prevailing in, at least, 22 African countries has compelled the Director-General of the FAO to convene an Wednesday. emergency meeting in Rome on Wednesday.

The meeting has become necessary because in spite of "constructive response from donor countries their assistance fell short of the identified needs" of the receiving countries.

Two things stand out clearly from the admission of the FAO Director-General and the proposed emergency Rome meeting on Wednesday. Firstly, they show that the food situation in the developing countries, including Ghana, is far from being satisfactory and is nowhere near solution. Secondly, they show how unsafe it is for any nation to rely on food aid.

A people who want to be truly independent politically and economically and are determined to uplift their social life should, surely, not expect food aid as a means of solving their food problem. It must be recognized that food aid generally is a temporary measure to satisfy an immediate requirement, and no nation should rely on it.

It is in recognition of this fact that the present Government has been harping on the need for Ghana to be self-sufficient in food production.

Ghana is basically an agricultural country; she is endowed with all the riches of the soil, and with a little more hard work, and barring any natural hazards, she should be able to overcome her food problem.

We admit that people have gone into farming; it is equally true that some food is being produced. But the most important question is: have we produced enough to lift the nation from its subsistence level for the rest to be stored against the lean times? Until such a situation is achieved, no Ghanaian can feel secured from hunger. This is the significance of the message calling on all Ghanaians to get actively involved in farming.

This is enough indication as to what crisis Ghanaians will face if we, as a people, cannot secure our food requirements by producing more for use all year-round

talking drums 1983-11-07 which is the voice of the people