TranscriptCNN International interview with Nigeria'sPresident Obasanjo and Publisher Chido Nwangwu onDemocracyand Security Issues

Barbara Bush comments latest in series of blunders

Special to,USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston
CLASSmagazine, TheBlack Business JournalandIgboEvents

WASHINGTON &emdash; U.S. President George W. Bush is not theonly member of his prominent political family to be drawing criticismfor public utterances about Hurricane Katrina: His mother has raisedeyebrows too. In widely reported comments after visting evacuees atthe Texas sportsarena (Astrodome) former first lady Barbara Bush on Monday September5, 2005, seemed to suggest a silver lining for the "underprivileged"forced from their flooded homes in New Orleans. "What I'm hearing,which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyoneis so overwhelmed by the hospitality," she said in a radio interviewfrom the Astrodome in Houston, Texas."And so many of the people inthe arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this&emdash; this is working very well for them," she said.

"I think that the observation is based on someone or some peoplethat were talking to her that were in need of a lot of assistance,people that have gone through a lot of trauma and been through a verydifficult and trying time," White House spokesman Scott McClellansaid Wednesday.

"And all of a sudden, they are now getting great help in the stateof Texas from some of the shelters," he said. Her son, thepresident, has faced criticism for saying on Sept 1 that no oneanticipated that New Orleans' levees would break &emdash; even thoughvarious federal and state agencies had warned of thatscenario.

In his first tour of the devastated region, Bush also praisedFederal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) chief Michael Brown,saying: "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."

Brown has become a lightning rod for criticism over Washington'ssluggish response to Katrina, one of the worst natural disasters tohit the United States, and opposition Democrats have stepped up callsfor Bush to fire him. The president has also come under fire forpaying tribute to ravaged New Orleans as a place he used to visityears ago "to enjoy myself &emdash; occasionally too much," anapparent reference to the days before he quit drinking.

In an effort to raise the spirits of the hundreds of thousands whohave lost their homes, Bush promised to rebuild devastated areasbetter than they were before, but at one point focused on the home ofa powerful lawmaker.

"Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house &emdash; he's losthis entire house &emdash; there's going to be a fantastic house. AndI'm looking forward to sitting on the porch," President Bush said ona tour of the region Friday, drawing nervous laughter.

Some Republicans winced, including one disbelievingcongressional aide who said: "Lott? He's focusing on Lott? Surroundedby poor people, he talks about a sitting senator?"

There have also been echoes of the aftermath of the Sept 11, 2001terrorist attacks, when Bush urged Americans to go shopping and livetheir lives as normally as possible.

In some of her first remarks after the hurricane, First Lady LauraBush told Gulf Coast evacuees: "It's very important to get yourchildren in school. It gives children a sense of normalcy."

The White House later put together a plan to help students andschool districts affected by the hurricane.

Barbara Bush had raised eyebrows two days before U.S. troopsinvaded Iraq, when she told ABC television that she was notinterested in media commentators' concerns about the war's potentialhuman toll. "Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and howmany, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do yousuppose?" she said. "It's not relevant. So, why should I waste mybeautiful mind on something like that?"

Filmmaker Michael Moore used the remark in his fiercely anti-Bushfilm "Fahrenheit 9/11," leading former president George Bush to callhim a "slimeball" and defend his wife as "a decent, wonderfulperson." (Wire reports, compiled on Friday, September 9, 2005)

Race and the Hurricane: HowardDean, Kanye West and Laura Bush disagree on Bush's treatment ofBlacks, poor in Katrina's aftermath. U.S. Democratic party leadertells Baptists that U.S. must face the racial "ugly truth" aboutdeaths in Gulf region. Race was a factor in the rising death tollfrom Hurricane Katrina, Howard Dean told members of the NationalBaptist Convention of America on Wednesday at the group's annualmeeting. Dean, Democratic Party chairman, made the comments to theBaptists' Political and Social Justice Commission. The BaptistConvention has an estimated 3.5 million members representing 3,000churches and is one of the largest black religious groups in thecountry. "We must . . . come to terms with the ugly truth that skincolor, age and economics played a deadly role in who survived and whodid not," Dean said. Dean said Americans have a moral responsibilityto not ignore the devastating effects of damage caused by HurricaneKatrina when it struck the Gulf Coast. The former presidentialcandidate said the government will be judged on how it treats theold, the young and the poor. "People are poor in different parts ofthe country. They are not refugees. They are Americans," he said.Dean said that instead of considering proposed estate tax breaks, theSenate should channel the $760 billion savings into disaster relieffunds. "Shall we give that to the wealthiest people in the country,or should we rebuild New Orleans?" Dean said. Kanye, America's younghip-hop icon, said during a tv telethon that Bush does not care aboutBlacks. Bush's wife, Laura, said in a radio interview that Dean andKanye's views of her husband are "disgusting."

AADD: AfricaAttention Deficit Disorder. AU.S. disorder that hurts Africa. By David Sarasohn of NewhouseNews Service: Today's pictures are from Niger, but they could be fromlots of places in Africa, and from lots of times during recentdecades. These children with the matchstick legs, and the eyes biggerthan their fists, could have been from Biafra, a runaway province ofNigeria, in the 1970s, or from Ethiopia in the 1980s, or the Congo inthe 1990s. The hideous massacre stories, this time from Darfur, couldbe from Liberia, or Sierra Leone, or -- most bloodily -- Rwanda. TheAIDS stories come steadily from the same places. Full commentaryhere


2006 CALENDAR, FRIDAY May 5, AND SATURDAY MAY 6, 2006: CLASS magazine, USAfrica and (characterized by The New York Times as the largest and most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks), will hold the USAfrica 14th internationally-acclaimed 2006 BEST OF AFRICA awards dinner in honor of African professionals and our annual Mothers' Day Honors on FRIDAY MAY 5 and on SATURDAY MAY 6, 2006. Nominate some African professionals and community builders. E-mail: It will be an invitation-only event. The open annual international townhall meeting, USAfrica Forum, will hold on Friday May 5, 2006. USAfrica was founded in May 1992, in Houston, Texas by television broadcaster and multimedia media executive Chido Nwangwu. Contact USAfrica/CLASS event manager Alverna Johnson and Chuck Obazei at 713-270-5500. or 832-45-CHIDO (24436) - E-mail:

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle onthe Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century. By ChidoNwangwu

Summary: Africa's most acclaimed and fluent writer of theEnglish Language, the most translated writer of Black heritage in theworld, broadcaster extraordinaire, social conscience of millions,cultural custodian and elevator, chronicler and essayist, goodwillambassador and man of progressive rock-ribbed principles, theEagleon the Iroko, Ugo n'abo Professor Chinua Achebe,has recently been selected by a distinguished jury of scholars andcritics (from 13 countries of African life and literature) as thewriter of the Best book (Things Fall Apart, 1958) written in thetwentieth century regarding Africa. Reasonably, Achebe's message hasbeen neither dimmed nor dulled by time and clime. He's ourpathfinder, the intellectual godfather of millions of Africans andlovers of the fineart of good writing. Achebe's cultural contexts are, at once,pan-African, globalist and local; hence, his literarycontextualizations soar beyond the confines of Umuofia and any Igboor Nigerian setting of his creative imagination or historical recall.His globalist underpinnings and outlook are truly reflective of thetrue essence of his Igbo world-view, his Igbo upbringing anddisposition. Igbos and Jews share (with a few other other cultures)this pan-global disposition to issues of art, life, commerce,juridical pursuits, and quest to be republicanist in terms of thevitality of the individual/self. In Achebe's works, the centrality ofChi (God) attains an additional clarity in the Igbo cosmology... itis a world which prefers a quasi-capitalistic business attitude whiletaking due cognizance of the usefulness of the whole, the community.I've studied, lived and tried to better understand, essentially, therigor and towering moral certainties which Achebe have employed inmost of his works and his world. I know, among other reasons, becauseI share the same ancestry with him. Permit me to attempt a briefsentence, with that Achebean simplicty and clarity. Here,folks, what the world has known since 1958: Achebe is good! Eagle onthe Iroko, may your Lineage endure! Therehas never been one like you!

A young father writes his One year old son: "If only my heart had a voice...."

INSIGHT: Why America should halt the genocide in the Sudan. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder and Publisher of Certain facts and the continuing, bigoted impudence of Islamic Sudan offer clarity to why the U.S should aggressively halt the genocide and gory events in Africa's largest country. The Sudan has almost 918,000 square miles in size and a war-weary population of 30million. Even as I call for a red line to be drawn against the rag-tag army of Arab-taliban-fascists in Africa and the assorted troops of religio-criminal rapists who have since four decades set upon the southern Christian, indigenous African Sudanese, I agree with Gen. Powell that "America will be a friend to all Africans who seek peace; but we cannot make peace among Africans." He is right. Africans must respect and love each other. Continued here....
POLICY INSIGHT: Africa, Blair and United Kingdom's commendable push for development assistance. By Chinua Akukwe, contributing editor of
Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa  
Why Bush should focus on
dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide
A KING FOR ALL TIMES: Why Martin Luther King's legacy and vision are relevant into 21st century.

DIPLOMACY Walter Carrington: African-American diplomat who put principles above self for Nigeria (USAfrica's founder Chido Nwangwu with Ambassador Carrington at the U.S. embassy, Nigeria)
Out of Africa. The cock that crows in the morning belongs to one household but his voice is the property of the neighborhood. -- Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah. An editor carries on his crusade against public corruption and press censorship in his native Nigeria and other African countries. By John Suval.

Osama bin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria and Africa's stability
What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu
Africans reported dead in terrorist attack at WTC
September 11 terror and the ghost of things to come....
Will religious conflicts be the time-bomb for Nigeria's latest transition to civilian rule?
INTERVIEW: 'Nigeria needs a democratic system guided by the truth....' Senator Francis J. Ellah, the Eze Nwadei Ogbuehi of Ogba in Rivers state of Nigeria. He is a highly regarded elder statesman with outstanding political credentials and a former Second Republic Senator and a delegate to Nigeria's ongoing national political reforms conference in Abuja.
Bola Ige's murder another danger signal for Nigeria's nascent democracy.

How far, how deep will Nigeria's human rights commission go?
Rtd. Gen. Babangida trip as emissary for Nigeria's Obasanjo to Sudan raises curiosity, questions about what next in power play?
110 minutes with Hakeem Olajuwon
Nigerian stabbed to death in his bathroom in Houston.
Cheryl Mills' first class defense of Clinton and her detractors' game 
It's wrong to stereotype Nigerians as Drug Dealers

Private initiative, free market forces, and more democratization are Keys to prosperity in Africa

Steve Jobs extends digital magic

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's burden mounts with murder charges, trials

Since 1958, Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" set a standard of artistic excellence, and more. By Douglas Killam

Lifestyle Sex, Women and (Hu)Woman Rights. By Chika Unigwe

Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as his O.J Simpson's case. By Chido Nwangwu

USAfrica The Newspaper voted the "Best Community Newspaper" in the 4th largest city in the U.S., Houston. It is in the Best of Houston 2001 special as chosen by the editors and readers of the Houston Press, reflecting their poll and annual rankings.

USAfricaFORUM: Africa, Blair and United Kingdom's commendable push for development assistance. By Dr. Chinua Akukwe

'Live 8' global concerts put focus on Africa, poverty.... Singers from U2's Bono to billionaire Bill Gates called for the leaders of the world's wealthiest nations to relieve African poverty at ``Live 8'' concerts in London and nine other cities. About 200,000 people jammed into London's Hyde Park on July 2 at the start of a week of music and demonstrations to pressure heads of G-8 nations meeting July 6-8 in Gleneagles, Scotland, to increase aid and debt relief to Africa and also rewrite trade rules.

"This is our moment to stand up for what's right,'' U2 lead singer Bono told the audience in London. ``We can't fix every problem, but those we can, we must,'' he said, mentioning malaria, AIDS and deaths caused by dirty water. U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, host of the G-8 summit, is making African poverty reduction a focus of the meeting. Performers at "Live 8'' -- including Paul McCartney, Cold Play, Madonna and REM -- want to raise popular awareness of the continent's economic deprivation.

The concerts will reach a potential global audience of 5.5 billion people through television, Internet and other media, organizer Bob Geldof said. They occur 20 years after the Live Aid concerts that Geldof also arranged to combat African poverty. Africa is the only continent to have become poorer in the last 25 years, according to the United Nations. More than 300 million Africans live on less than $1 a day, and less than half of children on the continent complete primary school. In the last 50 years, there have been 186 coups and 26 wars in Africa, with more than 7 million people killed, the UN says.


Apple's Switch to Intel: The Ultimate Power Move? Steve Jobs' decision to build Macs with Intel chips may finally give the company a shot at challenging Microsoft's Windows." By David Kirkpatrick
June 16 and South Africa's treble historic events. By Nkem Ekeopara
"Our ordeal with KLM"
"They bumped me and my daughter from a confirmed flight; then flies out with 5 pieces of our luggage...." TONY IGWE in exclusive interview tells Publisher Chido Nwangwu of 5 hours of anguish and disappointments at the George Bush International Airport in Houston, on Friday March 26, 2004
CNN International debate on Nigeria's democracy livecast on February 19, 2002. It involved Nigeria's Information Minister Prof. Jerry Gana, Prof. Salih Booker and Publisher Chido Nwangwu. Transcripts are available on the CNN International site.

Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No
CNN, Obasanjo and Nigeria's struggles with
Why Obasanjo's government should respect
CNN and Freedom of the press in Nigeria.
Jonas Savimbi, UNITA are "terrorists" in Africans' eyes despite Washington's "freedom fighter" toga for him. By SHANA WILLS

Africa suffers the scourge of the virus. This life and pain of Kgomotso Mahlangu, a five-month-old AIDS patient (above) in a hospital in the Kalafong township near Pretoria, South Africa, on October 26, 1999, brings a certain, frightening reality to the sweeping and devastating destruction of human beings who form the core of any definition of a country's future, its national security, actual and potential economic development and internal markets.
22 million Africans HIV-infected, ill with AIDS while African leaders ignore disaster-in-waiting

In a special report a few hours after the history-making nomination, Founder and Publisher Chido Nwangwu places Powell within the trajectory of history and into his unfolding clout and relevance in an essay titled 'Why Colin Powell brings gravitas, credibility and star power to Bush presidency.'

Beyond U.S. electoral shenanigans, rewards and dynamics of a democratic republic hold lessons for African politics.
Bush's position on Africa is "ill-advised." The position stated by Republican presidential aspirant and Governor of Texas, George Bush where he said that "Africa will not be an area of priority" in his presidency has been questioned by Publisher Chido Nwangwu. He added that Bush's "pre-election position was neither validated by the economic exchanges nor geo-strategic interests of our two continents."

These views were stated during an interview CNN's anchor Bernard Shaw and senior analyst Jeff Greenfield had with Mr. Nwangwu on Saturday November 18, 2000 during a special edition of 'Inside Politics 2000.'
Nwangwu, adviser to the Mayor of Houston (the 4th largest city in the U.S., and immigrant home to thousands of Africans) argued further that "the issues of the heritage interests of 35 million African-Americans in Africa, the volume and value of oil business between between the U.S and Nigeria and the horrendous AIDS crisis in Africa do not lend any basis for Governor Bush's ill-advised position which removes Africa from fair consideration" were he to be elected president.
By Al Johnson