Sunday, January 13, 2008


For years, the United States has helped arm dictators. There were “good” reasons for doing this: to keep them out of the communist bloc, to keep the oil flowing, to keep the arms makers happy etc. The irony is, Americans have often come to regret it.

America armed the Shah of Iran before the militants in the streets overthrew him. America armed Suharto in Indonesia. He used American arms to invade East Timor and repress its people. America armed the generals and colonels throughout Central America. They ruled through death squads and terror even when civilian Presidents were elected.

America armed the generals who ruled Pakistan, in violation of US law that sought to block aid to countries developing their own nuclear weapons.Pakistan and India almost used nuclear weapons against each other in May 1990.

America armed Marcos in the Philippines and Noriega in Panama. However, the most blatant case was the US Government's support, legal and illegal, for Saddam Hussein's military build-up.

There are clear signs that are noticed whenever a dictator is on the rise in a country: Political violence flares up. People are shot at and killed by the country's police and military, warring groups reject truces, foreigners especially from the UK and US are warned to leave that country, the opponents of the dictator mass up in the streets to protest his illegitimate actions, horrifying pictures and images of brutality are shown by independent observers and media houses, freedom of the press is muzzled, the dictator’s spokesmen and lieutenants act so dippy that people wonder if they are living in denial.

All these signs and many more have already been seen in Kenya. Kibaki’s government spokesperson, Dr.Alfred Mutua, has declared repeatedly that Kibaki has done everything possible to resolve the problem between his illegitimate government and the ODM. According to him, the crisis has continued because ODM leaders have been unable to call their warring supporters to order. As a keen watcher of the Kenyan crisis from its pre-genesis to this moment, and as a monitor of the political pulse of this nation for 20 years now, I find Dr. Mutua’s appraisal or analysis of the Kenyan crisis sorely disappointing; in fact, shocking. The whole world knows that Kibaki stole the election. Period. He is like a rat that is trapped and he is looking for a way out. Thank God for cheap opportunists like Kalonzo Musyoka who are giving him some lease of life at the expense of their own future political ambitions. The mistake that the UK and US can make right now is to continue supporting, arming and legitimizing Kibaki's dictatorship.

Decades of irresponsible governance, presidents for life, one-man rule, one party states, confused ideological systems, and military dictatorships have set Africa back and consolidated its marginalization in the global system. The UK and US have a huge opportunity right now to be on the forefront in the ongoing struggle for democracy, accountability, social justice, popular participation, gender equality, and the empowerment of the people of Kenya, their constituencies and communities.We hope history will never judge them harshly for squandering this opportunity!

For details on Kibaki rigging the elections go here:

Here is the link:

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