Friday, January 23, 2009

The Kenya Connection

As a follow-up to our essay about Sub-Saharan Africa, in which we described the horrific situation in several African countries and outlined some of the reasons, I’d like to discuss here one country which appeared to be a haven of calm and promise for the future in the vicinity of some of the most dangerous countries but which now has fallen into the same trap as others: We are talking about Kenya. The irony is the direct involvement of then Senator Barack Obama (irrefutable links in the article are a must-read) in helping the communist contender, Raila Odinga, in the elections a little over a year ago.

Kenya used to be a wonderful, peaceful country. I visited it many years ago, and was very impressed by the combination of African culture, a beautiful landscape, and what I considered an only modest intrusion of Western lifestyle. I saw the sprawling capital Nairobi, the beautiful seaside at Mombasa, and the immense and beautiful expanses of the National Park South of Nairobi with its wild animals, the typical trees which always appear to be standing at the horizon, a fascinating Massai village, and, yes, a first hand view of Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. A friend of mine had bought a vacation house near Lake Victoria, because, contrary to other countries in the general area, Kenya was considered safe.

Kenya used to belong to the British Empire, just like other countries in the Sub-Saharan region, and it left the Empire in 1963, but it somehow appeared to have managed the transition to its existence as a free country better than other countries. Was it perfect? No. But, they somehow managed, despite tribal differences and a stark difference between the rich and poor, to succeed quite well, something that was obvious for everybody to see when visiting not only the capital, but also the countryside. It appeared to me that the Massai lived like they had for thousands of years, were able to support themselves, and lived their more or less undisturbed but, from our view, primitive life.

The country was considered one of the success stories of Africa, with an economic growth of about 6%, and an enticing, peaceful environment. Then came the elections at the end of 2007 and all hell broke loose. Both the camp of the current President Kibaki and that of his communist opponent Odinga (educated in communist East Germany) claimed victory, but the supporters of Odinga started to vandalize the country, and so did the supporters of Kibaki. By spring 2008, the country was completely in flames. In the meantime, the opposing parties have agreed to share the power, and generated a government with a President, Kibaki, a new post of Prime Minister for Odinga, and a total of 94 ministers. The result is a high flying government which lives a very rich, opulent lifestyle and completely disregards the poor population, enjoying for themselves a level of corruption so high that it caused even European Governments to stop foreign aid. Even members of the Parliament get something like $17,000 per month and live in palaces, while the population suffers enormously.

It appears that there are many issues for the current desolate situation of the country. Without attempting to get too much into the details, the following factors stick out:

1. Problems between the different tribes, mainly Kibaki’s Kiyuyu tribe (20% of Kenya’s population

and Odinga’s Luo tribe (representing 13%). The resulting violent actions were characterized as ethnic cleansing (or the attempt thereof) with the slogan “No Raila [Odinga] no peace” (sounds familiar?).

2. Problems between political sides, the more Western oriented party of Kibaki and the communist party of Odinga.

3. Odinga also is backed by Saudis and has signed a promise to introduce Sharia law in Kenya (after the elections, many Christians died under the hands of Odinga supporters).

4. A situation left over from the British could have been solved a long time ago: the distribution of land. But the Government was too much involved in corruption activities and serving themselves.

Many reports exist about the current desolate situation in Kenya – the ones I have read are in German and came from people who had lived a peaceful life in Kenya until the unrest hit, one of which came from the correspondent for Der Spiegel. The tendency, unfortunately, appears to be the continuation of the trend which we have indicated in our previous geeeez article. Very much like in Zimbabwe and South Africa, and to a degree in Nigeria, formerly flourishing countries, once rid of colonialism, sink into tribal animosities, while communists are taking advantage of this situation to further the communist cause, with an effect we all know all too well.

An extremely delicate matter in the midst of this has been the involvement by Barack Hussein Obama in the furthering of the communist cause. He has, in a trip in 2007, paid for by US taxpayers, actively supported the communist contender Odinga in the Kenyan elections, to an extent that the Kenyan Government filed an official protest to the US Government about undue involvement by a US Senator in another country by supporting a candidate who was considered by the Kenyan Government as destructive for the country..

The pattern is clear: Earlier or later, basically all Sub-Saharan countries will end up in anarchy, caused by the inability to reach a National agreement because of tribal differences, and supported by people who further communist causes (like Obama, Mandela and Mugabe). The result is devastating: Formerly flourishing countries sink into complete dependence on outside help, corruption climbs to new heights, and the leaders live a high lifestyle while the population suffers enormously because they don’t know anymore how to nourish themselves (thank you, Bono, I know you mean well, but you are achieving exactly the opposite of what you intended).

This geographical region is enormously rich in resources and it would be a shame to not put that to work for the people living there. They will not be able to solve this by themselves after what has happened there. I maintain my position that “Imperialism Light” is the only hope these people have at this time. However, given the current structure of the UN, and the new administration in Washington, this is not going to happen. So, we will witness one country after the other go down. What a terrible shame.

Mr. Z


Anonymous said...

Mr. Z,
A most interesting article as usual.

"(thank you, Bono, I know you mean well, but you are achieving exactly the opposite of what you intended)."

Exactly! Perhaps the best way to define the devastating results of paternalism is, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".


I.H.S. said...

Mr.Z, I'm really without a comment right now, but allow me so time to digest this. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

My wife lived in Nigeria most of her childhood. She was there during the civil war. Nigeria and the rest of sub Saharan Africa have gone right down the tube since then, with no end in sight. The best thing we can do is stay out of any involvement there and let them handle their own business as far as I can see. If Hussein wants to meddle there, let him send Hillary. What have we got to lose in that case?

Z said...

Hermit, I don't just seems SO awful to let an amazing country like Kenya get this bad. I don't like the idea of our helping every country in the world (!) but I fear for the brain drain that's going on in Africa and the fact that the people who seem to get control are not putting their people FIRST.

They have wonderful bright young people going to college in America and Europe and never going back to share what they've learned!
And WHAT is creating this penchant for the leaders becoming so selfish...witness Mugabe in Zimbabwe!! The WONDERFUL BREAD CAPITAL OF AFRICA is now a destitute PILE of NOTHING with the people hurting SO badly! I know a woman who's lived there for about thirty years and she's a Christian missionary...she spoke to a group I belong to and said you can't believe the horrors committed on the people there and how he treats them. Many Americans don't realize how really awful S. Africa's becoming under Mandele and their new leaders,'s dangerous to walk the city streets there and wasn't before. These are not stupid people! These are people who need a little help from people who won't RAPE the land but help and leave.

I knew a Nigerian woman who won't go back....she said "when I was little, we had food and jobs and happiness under the British, then they left and my people are suffering ever since." I couldn't believe my ears because all I'D been taught is that the Western countries had done nothing but take advantage of these countries..and MANY DID! But not all. I don't know what to suggest now.........Mr. Z suggests "Imperialism Light". How can a proud people accept that? WOULD they? What if the Western countries just came back, taught, made business contacts, set up infrastructures, and left (my choice!)? USING the African kids who've come to the West for university in that endeavor?

DEMOCRACY again is the only answer. The people have to LEGALLY vote for someone who represents THEM, who wants to help them. AND there ARE people there who can do that!! There just has to be.

But, then, we can't even get a legal election HERE, can we.

Z said...

PLEASE read the link "irrefutable.." in the first paragraph!
I JUST ADDED IT because I had the wrong link and THIS is an important article to read and to check out the links for more. There is input from British papers, the Chicago Sun, Washington Post, etc...

Steve Harkonnen said...

My ship, USS Forrestal, was supposed to visit Mombasa Kenya, but back at the time, fuel restrictions prevented us from going down that way. We would've went through the ceremony where we cross the equator, so that makes me a wog and not a shellback.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mr.Z , for printing this. This article is a very coherent chronolgy of events and matter here .
Sen. Obama is up to his neck in blood.


christian soldier said...

I knew about BHO's involvement with Odinga and thus-communism...the overview on Kenya herself was an eye-opener -history always makes events clear...even to the extent of actually observing what totalitarianism can wield in such a short time -as displayed in Kenya..

Some of us knew that BHO's leanings to socialist communism were going to injure this Republic..the United States ..My prayer is that we were wrong...

Anonymous said...

VERY well said Mr. Z! I think all of us have noticed the wretched state of sub-Saharan Africa and their seeming inability to come to grips with modernity.

A customer of mine--and a good friend--is a heart surgeon who does work in Rwanda and the surrounding countries as part of "Doctors Without Borders." Years ago she'd go off for weeks intending to save the world. Now when she comes back it looks as though Africa is beating her down something awful. She finally admitted to me that Islam, ignorance, communism, and tribalism/savagery may just be too much for her. She says that she is FILLED with joy at the lives she saves and improves while she's there, but is horrified at the barbarism.

Your "enlightened imperialism" may yet be the only long-term answer.


Ducky's here said...

Sorry z, anything marked "The True Story" likely isn't. As they say, "the truth will be known when the last witness is dead".

Kenya's still doing pretty well. Growing middle class.

Jungle Mom said...

If I recall correctly, Odinga and Obama are actually cousins. There is a lot of footage of the campaigning Obama did for him.

Just go live there ok? If it's so great, or even Venezuela, just go see for yourself, we will await your report.

Anonymous said...

Jungle Mom wrote:
Just go live there ok? If it's so great, or even Venezuela, just go see for yourself, we will await your report."

January 24, 2009



Z said...

Ducky, I keep telling you to READ THE LINKS>
Maybe you'll believe your side..the WASHINGTON POST?
Honestly, what kind of information are you getting?
Do you see who's in control there?
Do you think Zimbabwe's going well, too?

Average American said...

There IS a perfect solution! We can even kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Sinjce we all know or at least suspect that NObama might be Kenyan, why don't we invade Kenya and capture and jail Odinga and Kibaki. Then we can install NObama as THEIR dictator and have new elections here. Everybody is a winner!

Average American said...


The extra nice things about my last comment are that NObama would be able to spend more time with his black granny and maybe even watch out for his brother George. Oh, ya, and he can rescue his Auntie from Boston and bring her home where she belongs. Yup, they could be one big happy family again! Jezzz, I'm starting to sound like a liberal, all mushy gushy feelings and everything. Sorry, I just like family reunions.

Z said...

Well, Average.
He sure does have family there, but many of us have family somewhere else in the world, right?

I'm hoping Obama does something about the Kenyan problems...somehow.
I just wish it would be encouraging young Kenyans to get educated (many ARE!) and going back and kicking the bad guys out! Hand UPS, not hand OUTS.

Funny, as angry as I am with his having supported the communist in Kenya who's killed CHristians and done so much wrong for the people, I don't want a scandal here for OUR country with our president over this.

Except, I do want people to know the truth. And I believe this is the truth; that he did support some pretty terrible guys who are doing awful things to people who were living successful, happy lives before. I'm hearing Kenyan tourist safaris are far less these days..that brought money into the country, and now that's even gone. And people haven't the opportunity to see those beautiful lands because of the cruelty of the new leaders.

The Obama connection seems secondary (for Kenyans) to the strife and nastisness that's happening there. Our main thrust in Mr. Z's writing this (as the problems in Africa have always bothered him so much), is for people to be aware of what's happening there these days.

Anonymous said...

My view on Sub-Saharan Africa in a nutshell:

Either we should
Or we should

Who NEEDS 'em?

Callously yours,

~ FT

shoprat said...

Perhaps what Obama is doing over there tells us where his heart truly lies.

Anonymous said...

Did you know that ODINGA is half-Irish?

His mother was a member of the O'Dingleberry Clan back on the Auld Sod.


~ FT

Z said...

SHoprat, I hope not.

This piece is to explain the complexities and horrors of Kenya and the rest of Sub Saharan Africa.

This is not a post meant to slam Africans. I DO care what happens to ALL PEOPLE around the world.
I just feel that hand UPS are more beneficial in the long run than Hand OUTS and I'd be encouraging (as is Mr Z) our country to help in that way. This isn't a country, Kenya that is, which doesn't know some freedom and remember it from not too far long could work there again.

We've done REALLY decent and obvious and LIFE SAVING work in Africa with HIV/AIDS and while Africa is a very difficult situation (any dictatorship is a difficult situation!), I'm hoping Obama appoints a committee OR (better yet) urges the UN to get involved. The UN ought to do SOMETHING good, huh!??!!

Anonymous said...

As Z said, we wrote this article because of concern about what happens in this wonderful part of the world. It is truly painful to see what has happened to many of these countries over the last 50 years or so, and the rapidity of the downfall is breathtaking in some instances, the latest and fastest down spiral being Kenya.

One would have wished that we had never set foot into Africa and leave it untouched. It's too late for that - then the question becomes: What now? If we just withdrew, the vacuum would be filled by the Chinese and the Russians. That cannot be the right answer. Just sending food and money is not the right answer, either (see the links at the end of the article).

The UN, I am afraid, is not the right answer either. As long as everybody pursues its own National interests as is the case today in the UN, nothing effective comes out of that body. So it has to be through individual partnerships between countries, however, the definition of that "is above my paygrade"....

One of the points of the article was to point out that the activities of Mr. Obama in Kenya turned out to be doing a disservice to that country - the last thing Africa needs are communist ideas, the result of which can be well observed in other countries in that region.


ExPreacherMan said...

Mr. Z,

Well said... but anyone who thinks BHO and the UN are reliable allies for America or Kenya are naive.

Mr. BHO and his affinity for Odinga, Socialism and taking out of one man's pockets to give to another is the savior of neither Kenya nor America.

Most Americans have no idea of the principles of free enterprise.. so how can we expect our leftist President and government to spread freedom anywhere?

A couple of my wonderful friends were run out of South Africa when the savior of Africa, radical Socialist Mandela, was imposed upon the country.

Continue to pray for America and Kenya.

In Christ eternally,


Z said...

Hi, EX Preacher..

I'm afraid Mr. Z shares YOUR view of the UN, and so do I, but a FUNCTIONING, FAIR UN should do something there.....of course, that's not the case!

Most people don't understand Mandele...they think he is a total hero with no negatives, too.
We buy into the media spin and then we're lost. And you're a terrible person if you dare suggest he's not the answer for Africa.
The facts are that S. Africa is a mess now.....TOTAL mess. It used to be a mess only in the Black everywhere is dangerous and terrible. And we don't hear that in the news. I find that so wrong.

Pat Jenkins said...

mr.z i think i will be repeating this alot over the next four years, but for a man who is of a race who has suffered many years of suppression, to allow further such suppressions is saddening!.. well done!

JMK said...

With an AIDS rate of appx 7% (1.2 Million cases), a life expectancy of 56 years an infant mortality rate of 56/1,000 and a “HIGH” degree of risk for infectious diseases, there’s little “OK” about Kenya.

Leave it to Ducky to try and put a positive spin on a failed state with a global economic report that reads in part, “The regional hub for trade and finance in East Africa, Kenya has been hampered by corruption and by reliance upon several primary goods whose prices have remained low. In 1997, the IMF suspended Kenya's Enhanced Structural Adjustment Program due to the government's failure to maintain reforms and curb corruption. A severe drought from 1999 to 2000 compounded Kenya's problems, causing water and energy rationing and reducing agricultural output. As a result, GDP contracted by 0.2% in 2000. The IMF, which had resumed loans in 2000 to help Kenya through the drought, again halted lending in 2001 when the government failed to institute several anticorruption measures. Despite the return of strong rains in 2001, weak commodity prices, endemic corruption, and low investment limited Kenya's economic growth to 1.2%. Growth lagged at 1.1% in 2002 because of erratic rains, low investor confidence, meager donor support, and political infighting up to the elections.”

Man, no wonder the American Left has fallen so far that it's come to rally around a guy (Barack Obama) who's based his agenda on tax cuts, lauded the market-based economy as the "BEST possible economic syestem" and continuing the NSA Surveillance program and ratcheting UP the military.

Looks like the opposite of what Nixon said ("We're ALL Keynesians now") can really be rephrased as "We're ALL Capitalists now."

I guess that's progess for you.

Anonymous said...

Africa may be "a wonderful place," but WE would be SO much better off if only we had stayed away from it completely.

We are paying --- right this very minute --- fir the sins of our forefathers.

Africa is to the West what KRYPTONITE is to Superman.

~ FT

I.H.S. said...

FT, I'm sorry but could you elaborate on what you meant by your statement, please?

The Merry Widow said...

As I see it, the European colonialists were looking at resources and borders, NOT tribes...when they were forced out by the court of public opinion, they had not had the chance to educate generations of Africans in a wider view.
So, as soon as they left, the tribes started vying for power...there is so much potential lost because of the abrupt pullouts...
G*D bless and MARANATHA!

I.H.S.-Yes, it is troubling, but how the colonial powers were forced out before dealing with the education of the people is an example of how NOT to do it.

Z said...

TMW, that is exactly what Mr. Z's said for years...pulling out so abruptly, forced by the Africans themselves, was the absolute worst thing that could have happened.
It hadn't been enough time...