Posts tagged ‘Kenya’

01/30/2012

Gingrich Supporters Show Racism

At a rally today in Sarasota, one day before the Florida primary, as a Gingrich spokesperson encouraged a crowd to send President Obama back to Chicago, they started chanting “Kenya, Kenya, Kenya,” as if Obama could somehow return to a place he had not come from.

Let me spell out a couple of fundamental facts for the benefit of Newt’s illiterate friends, who do not know how to read. I know it is confusing for them, but President Barack Hussein Obama did not, I repeat, did not, come from Kenya. He was born in Hawaii, in 1961. Hawaii was a U.S State when he was born. This means our President was born in the United States, not Kenya. It means he did not come from Kenya.

Normally, educated people simply ignore comments from idiots and other knuckleheads, like those in Newt’s Florida crowd, but on reflection, we should not remain silent. If we say nothing, while slanderous racially-motivated comments are made, we commit the sin of omission, by doing nothing, like those who remained silent as Hitler rose to power in the 193os, in Nazi Germany.

The ignorance and racism motivating the Gingrich crowd deserves push back. No one would have suggested sending President George W. Bush back to England, where his ancestors came from. No one would have chanted in favor of sending President John F. Kennedy to Ireland. No one would have dared suggest sending President Dwight Eisenhower back to Germany, where his family tree can be traced.

This whole Kenya thing is not veiled racism; it’s obvious racism. Next time some fool suggests sending President Obama “back” to Kenya, give them a piece of your mind. If Gingrich supporters choose to remain ignorant, by failing to read, or learning how to read, it is the obligation of the rest of us to use our voices, so they may perhaps hear true facts. We have the obligation to put an end to their defamatory racist slander.

07/26/2011

Somalia Should Pipe West African Water

A drought responsible for the lowest amount of rain in 50 years has caused a return of famine in the Horn of Africa, in Southern Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. There was a similar episode 20 years ago, and a solution is needed for this recurrent problem.

While there is an immediate need for relief, work must also begin now on pipelines to redistribute the overabundance of water in West Africa to the dry regions of Northeast Africa. Four of the top 15 wettest nations on earth are in West Africa, including: Guinea, which ranks #1, Sierra Leone #3, Gabon #4, and Nigeria #15.

Guinea has a 200-mile Atlantic coast (9 N) and a rainy season from May through Dec. Sierra Leone (8 N), bordering Guinea, also has a swampy 210-mile Atlantic shore, which receives 195 inches of rain each year (April-Dec.) These poor states could benefit greatly from the sale of rain water to the dry regions. Gabon, in the elbow of West Africa (0 N), and also on the Atlantic, has Sep. through May rains. Nigeria, located on the West African south coast, has rain from April through Oct.

Gabon and Nigeria, both rich from oil revenues, have money to finance water pipelines, and experience from pumping oil. They could join with the Economic Community of West African States (ECWAS) to finance two water pipelines, one along a northern route, from the Atlantic at Guinea and Sierra Leone, due east through Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and into Somalia. A southern equatorial pipeline could start in Gabon and go east through the Congo, DRC, Uganda, Kenya, and also into Somalia.

Pipelines would bring a more permanent solution to the recurrent problem. The last time Somalia needed aid, Operation Somalia was authorized in 1992, but relief could not be delivered due to fighting in Mogadishu. President George H. W. Bush decided to prevent mass starvation by authorizing a U.S. Marine airlift. When President Clinton took office in 1993, he increased the size of the mission, under Operation Somalia II. When the U.S. started seizing weapons, however, they were accused of neo-colonialism, causing a Mogadishu mob to down two U.S. helicopters and murder U.S. soldiers, bringing the relief mission to an end.

The drought stricken area should not have to rely on airlifts for relief. Pipelines can and should be built. It’s just a matter of leadership, intergovernmental cooperation, and willpower.

05/06/2011

Bin Laden Intel: Thank Bill Clinton

During Bill Clinton’s Presidency, bin Laden was suspected, in the first World Trade Center bombing (2-26-93), a car bombing against U.S. forces in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (11-13-95), a truck bombing at the USAF Khobar Towers housing complex in Saudi Arabia (6-25-96), the U.S. Embassy bombings, in Kenya and Tanzania (8-7-98), and the USS Cole attack in Yemen (10-12-00).

Under President Clinton, the CIA established a special operation in 1996 called the “Bin Laden Unit,” which started collecting intelligence on his whereabouts. After the embassy bombings, Clinton’s Atty. Gen. used the Intel to indict bin Laden, on Nov. 4, 1998, and the FBI was able to put him on their “Most Wanted” list.

George W. Bush was sworn-in on Jan. 20, 2001. If it had not been for the five years of groundwork done by Bill Clinton and his people, Bush would have had no idea bin Laden was a Sept. 11, 2001 suspect, and no clue he might be hiding in Afghanistan. It was Bill Clinton’s Intel that made possible Bush’s prompt invasion of Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, just one month after 911.

While President Obama and his team deserve 90% of the praise for the recent operation that eliminated bin Laden, if credit is to be shared with earlier presidents, then Bill Clinton must be included. Clinton started bombing suspected bin Laden sites on Aug. 20, 1998. Although Republicans accused him at the time of diverting attention away from his personal issues, it was Clinton in Aug, 1999, who first ordered the CIA to take out bin Laden.

While Clinton did not find him under his watch, neither did Bush, despite having eight years to do so. When U.S. intelligence pinpointed bin Laden’s precise location on Dec. 16, 2001, during the Afghan Battle at Tora Bora, Bush inexplicably denied a Delta Force permission to drop in over a mountain range to capture or kill him, and bin Laden was able to escape into Pakistan.

Bush later said at a March 13, 2002 Press Conference: “I just don’t spend that much time on him…I don’t know where he is…I truly am not that concerned about him.” By 2005, Bush had re-directed Delta Force away from the bin Laden objective to other unrelated missions in Iraq. The NY Times reported Bush closed the CIA unit that had been looking for bin Laden, in late 2005 (7-4-06). This was the same time bin Laden had opened his Pakistani hideaway.

The partisan desire of the right-wingers to praise Bush for a mission Obama carried out is illogical. If they want to give some credit to their former president, for whatever they think he might have done during his eight years in office, then it only logical to also give Bill Clinton credit for the work he did, during the last five years of his presidency. They can’t have it both ways.

05/03/2011

Bin Laden’s 20-Year War

Bin Laden’s 20-year War started when the first President Bush made the mistake, in the Gulf War (1990-91), of stationing American troops in Saudi Arabia. Since Saudi Arabia is to Muslims, as the Vatican in Rome is to Catholics, bin Laden was outraged that the infidel was permitted on his sacred Holy Land.

Bin Laden’s Army took the offensive, and fought their first battle against the U.S. at the World Trade Center, where they had only minimal success, as a bomb went off at the base of the buildings, but they withstood the blast, and only six Americans died (1993).

Bin Laden’s Army next won two battles on Saudi Arabian soil. A car bomb exploded at the U.S. military base in Riyadh, where five Americans died, and 60 were wounded (1995). The next hit was a more forceful blast at the USAF Khobar Towers complex, near Dhahran, where 19 Americans died, and 372 were injured (1996).

While U.S. forces held their ground at the Saudi bases, Bin Laden’s Army opened an East African Front, and scored two more victories, as bombs went off at the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (1998). 224 were killed and 4,000 were injured in Kenya, and 11 died and 85 were wounded in Tanzania (1998).

As bin Laden became enemy number one, his Army strategically retreated into Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. President Bill Clinton counter-attacked against bin Laden’s suspected sites, with air strikes, but Osama avoided harm, as the Taliban refused to cooperate, despite sanctions against Afghanistan (1999).

Bin Laden’s Army next hit U.S. forces on the Arabian Peninsula Home Front, in Yemen, where they attacked the USS Cole, as it was docked at the Aden port, killing 17 American sailors (2000).

Emboldened by their successes, Bin Laden’s Army struck at the heart of his enemy’s capitol in Washington, and again in New York. Like the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor (1941), bin Laden scored a dastardly victory on Sept. 11, 2001, as the Pentagon burned, and the World Trade Center came down, killing 3,000. Bin Laden’s Army had won a major battle, but America was awakened, and bin Laden had now signed his own death warrant.

Even though fundamentalist bin Laden was born, raised and indoctrinated in Saudi Arabia, and 15 of bin Laden’s 19 attackers on 911 were also Saudi Arabian, President Bush II decided not to overthrow the backward Saudi Kingdom. He instead entered Afghanistan (2001). After initially wanting bin Laden dead or alive, Bush II announced he abandoned the hunt for bin Laden. He then lost his compass completely and started an unrelated war in Iraq (2003).

Meanwhile, Bush II gave bin Laden what he had always wanted. He withdrew all U.S. troops from the Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia (2003). Upon doing this, the offensive phase of bin Laden’s War against the U.S. ended. There were no longer any attacks against U.S. Air bases, U.S. Navy ships, U.S. Embassies, or U.S. cities. Bin Laden himself simply slipped into seclusion.

After President Obama won the presidency (2008), U.S. troops levels in Afghanistan increased by 30,000 (2009). Bin Laden was located in neighboring Pakistan (2010). The 20-year war that had begun in 1991, when an Islamic fundamentalist was offended by Bush I and his decision to open U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia, ended on May 1, 2011, as Special Forces for a President named Barack Hussein Obama, finally took out Osama bin Laden.

03/29/2011

Kenyan Colonial View Deserves Respect

Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, said President Obama may be harboring a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview. I don’t usually pay much attention to right-wingers like Newt, but his comment was so profoundly ignorant that it has stuck with me, and it has bothered me for six months now. I finally decided to write about it.

The first questions I would ask Newt are: Don’t you have a Kenyan anti-colonial view? If not, why not? Shouldn’t all Americans have an anti-colonial view? After all, wasn’t the U.S. the first anti-colonial? Don’t you realize Kenya and the U.S. had a similar experience with colonialism?

Anyone who has ever studied basic history knows England colonized the world and that Britain had an empire that spanned the Americas, Asia and Africa. What they may not know, is that scores of colonies were liberated from their European masters during the third quarter of the 20th Century. The Netherlands, France, Britain and Portugal all faced revolutions against colonial rule between 1945 and 1975.

Gandhi struggled with Britain, as he brought independence to India (1947). Indonesia, (a place where Obama actually did live), had to fight to remove Dutch colonial rule (1949). After bloody wars in Southeast Asia and North Africa, French colonialists were defeated in Vietnam (1954) and Algeria (1962). When Britain refused to leave the Egyptian Suez Canal (1956) and Kenya (1963), guerilla tactics had to be employed. Such measures were also used in Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Angola before Portugal finally gave up their colonial ghost (1974).

In Kenya, yes, the Mau Mau was a secret society that used guerilla tactics against British colonial rule (1952-60), but that needed to be done. The Kenyan people had a right to be free from London. They had a right to self-governance. Over 10,000 died in their struggle against English colonialism and they deserve the respect of all who believe in freedom and the principle of self-determination. I hope President Obama, and all Americans, including the clueless Newt Gingrich, would respect the Kenyan anti-colonial viewpoint, because it was inspired by George Washington, and is really no different than our own.