By David Himbara
US Senator Jim Inhofe Loved And Championed Ivorian Dictator Laurent Gbagbo. After Gbagbo’s Fall From Power, Inhofe Found Another African Dictator To Worship – General Paul Kagame
The US Senator James Inhofe loved and championed the cause of Laurent Gbagbo to the very end. Even after his fall from power, the former Ivory Coast dictator Gbagbo still has one committed ally in Washington – the Republican Senator Inhofe from Oklahoma.
When the Ivorian government led by Alassane Ouattara came to power through the ballot, Inhofe would have none of it. The Senator took to the Senate floor to mourn his fallen friend Gbagbo and his wife, Simone. Inhofe demanded new elections in Ivory Coast:
“I am aware that my position is different from that of the Obama Administration, which has recognized Alassane Ouattara as the winner. I ask, however, that you change your position in light of the evidence I have provided, and that you call for a new election. Such a change would not be viewed as inconsistent, but a wise reevaluation in light of new evidence presented. It is also consistent with our American dedication to the principle that democracy works best when it works for all and not for some. I am convinced that only through a new election will the people of Cote d’Ivoire end the increasing bloodshed, stop another civil war and ensure free and fair elections.”
The violence Gbagbo had unleashed killed over 3,000 people. Gbagbo was subsequently arrested and transferred to the International Criminal Court at The Hague, where he became the first head of state to be tried there.
Fast forward to 2018. Inhofe has found himself another African dictator – Rwanda’s strongman Kagame. According to the Senator, the changing of Rwanda’s constitution to allow Kagame to stay in power until 2034 was most welcome. Inhofe cursed the Obama Administration for opposing the power grab by Kagame:
“When the people of Rwanda decided to amend their constitution to allow President Kagame to run for an additional term, the Obama Administration condemned them. They publicly shamed Kagame for the country’s actions and doubled down when he ran for re-election. The Obama Administration did not have a category for a democratic process that was different from ours; they did not have a category for a new nation needing stable leadership for a longer than expected period to ensure the country’s transition out of genocide was successful. The Obama Administration did not respect the democratic process of Rwanda simply because they did not agree with it. The Obama Administration also failed to recognize the amazing progress Rwanda has made to improve their economy and the health and education of their people, nor did they recognize the superb security assistance Rwanda provides in the region…Now is our time to catch up. President Paul Kagame will soon be sworn in as the Chairman of the African Union. In him, we have a visionary leader who has accomplished great things for his country. He has also established himself as a highly influential figure among African heads of state because he has set a bold vision for a future Africa that is autonomous, self-sufficient, and open for business. This vision is 100% complementary to what the United States policy toward Africa should be.”
My biggest puzzle is this. Senator Inhofe was drawn to the Ivorian dictator Gbagbo and his wife Simone because the three claimed to be Christians. What is the link between Inhofe and the Rwandan dictator? Kagame claims to be many things but I am not aware that Christianity is among them. Or it might be that the Oklahoma senator is simply addicted to African dictators.
Be that it may, when Kagame eventually lands at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for the deaths of over 5 million deaths in Rwanda and DR Congo between 1996–2003, I hope Inhofe will still be in the US Senate. Inhofe will take to the senate floor and praise yet another dictator. At 84 years, the Oklahoma Senator appears to be in good health and ready for the next round of dictator worship.