Where is the outrage over “their” hypocrisy?

Hypocrisy – hy•poc•ri•sy: The state of pretending to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that one does not actually have; from the Greek word ὑπόκρισις (hypokrisis), which means “jealous”, “play-acting”, “acting out”, “coward” or “dissembling”. Hypocrisy involves the deception of others and is thus a kind of lie: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy – hy•poc•ri•sy: a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially: the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypocrisy

From afar, I find the hand-wringing by Kenyans over the hypocrisy of the US position that it “cannot ignore ICC indictment” amusing to say the least. The ululation virtually devolves into self-flagellation in the blogosphere! I have lived in the US for over thirty years, seventeen of them in the famed Silicon Valley and I can say that the time spent stateside has given me the vantage point and experience to speak with some authority on America’s hypocrisy on a host of issues. The American position re: holding to account president-elect and vice-president Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto on the charges of crimes against humanity is hypocritical given its history. And before I get any hate mail from those who think I am an apologist or spy for the US, let me point out as clearly and succinctly as I possibly can that I am neither a spy nor an apologist for America. I am certainly not oblivious to the evil that the US has perpetrated throughout its history – past and present. From slavery to the invasion of Iraq and now the drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, the US has acted with near-absolute impunity that has raised hackles throughout the world, certainly in the affected regions, the Middle East in particular. The shouts of American (and British) hypocrisy are therefore spot on and very valid. However, coming from Kenyans, given the country’s history since independence and as recently as 2012 (violence in Tana River), I would have to say that said cries of hypocrisy are disingenuous.

Commenting on the article in the April,2 issue of the newspaper Daily Nation that prompted this piece; a blogger named KingMenes writes that:

“Americans and the so called West are hypocrites. Kenya and Kenyans have to be careful when dealing with these countries. Wherever the west sticks its finger, there are ruins and sufferings for generations. Think of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Korea. The US is a dishonest nuclear armed superpower that is solely bent on retaining it world domination at any cost. Kenyans have to be careful because even though these guys have been our friends, they have NEVER wished Africans well and they don’t care. When you see them around, always know at the back of your mind that they are PROTECTING THEIR INTERESTS ONLY. They don’t give a damn about our country. If US really believed in ANY justice let alone international justice, they would be signatories to the ICC. What about US paying for slavery and the Western Europe Countries paying for slavery and colonialism. How can the US and the West shout about justice when their countries are built and founded on crimes against humanity like slavery and colonialism?”

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/US-cannot-ignore-ICC-indictment/-/1064/1736826/-/10g43hxz/-/index.html

KingMenes’ comments is one of almost four hundred comments, all invariably complaining about US hypocrisy. I find it interesting that while complaining about US hypocrisy, these same bloggers near-unanimously turn a blind eye or treat with kid gloves the blatant hypocrisy of Kenya’s leaders. As previously mentioned, the complaints of US hypocrisy are not invalid at all. Indeed one can forcefully argue, with ample supporting evidence that the American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan wrought death and suffering to hundreds of thousands; human suffering on scale indubitably grander than the suffering perpetrated by Kenya’s leaders and endured by Kenyans. That aside and in keeping with the rather disrespectful, jingoistic and partisan tone struck by Mr. Macharia Gaithao in his hit piece on the out-going Prime Minister titled “As Raila licks his wounds, Kenyans will be watching Uhuru’s next move” that appeared in the April 1 issue of Daily Nation, I say to all those pro-Uhuru/Ruto partisans ululating over America’s insistence on holding to account the president-elect and his VP, quit the whining already!

If those Kenyans screaming about American hypocrisy were to look at their own leaders through the same lenses that they trained on America and her leaders, they would immediately see the hypocrisy of people like Kenyatta Pere and Fils, Moi, Kibaka, Raila, Oyugi, Ruto, Michuki “if-you-rattle-a-snake” etc. The hypocrisy of these revered Kenyan leaders match, point for point, the hypocrisy of the dreaded Americans. From corrupt deals and pilfering of (national) resources to political assassinations, torture, muzzling, threatening and intimidating dissent by using hired thugs, you name it, American leaders have either done it or been accused of doing it and so have Kenyan leaders. Somehow all those Kenyans accusing the US of hypocrisy have forgotten Pio Gama Pinto, Tom Mboya, Ronald Ngala, JM Kariuki, Robert Ouko, Goldenberg, Triton, Anglo-Leasing, the maize scandal, the $120million “typing error or whatever” (the latter being the president-elect’s response when asked about a mysterious amount that appeared on the supplemental budget during his tenure as Minister for Finance – http://www.kenyaforum.net/?p=422). In an upcoming piece tentatively titled Kenya’s GOP – Jubilee Coalition that compares the 2007 presidential campaign run by the Republican candidate John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin to the one run by Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto in 2012/2013, I offer the following perspective specific to the crimes against humanity facing Messer’s Kenyatta and Ruto:

“Unfortunately for Kenya’s Republican Party, Jubilee’s leading candidates and eventual winners of the presidential elections as determined by Kenya’s Supreme Court are not as fortunate as another pair of Republican candidates swept into office by a narrow Supreme Court verdict. Republicans George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, who were also “elected” into office after the Supreme Court (US) voted 5-to-4 against charges of electioneering fraud brought on by former VP Al Gore in the infamous 2000 “Hanging Chad” US Presidential Elections, seem to have escaped a date with the ICC because of their 2003 decision to invade Iraq; an invasion predicated on lies, lies and more lies.”

The one ill America and her leaders had committed or been accused of committing hitherto 2007 that Kenyan leaders could claim they had not committed was crimes against humanity. Now thanks to the president-elect and his VP, we can check that off the Kenyan bucket of things to do i.e. commit crimes against humanity! I would argue that at least the Americans did not commit the crimes against humanity AGAINST American citizens like our leaders are accused of doing, most certainly not in the scale Uhuru and Ruto are accused of. Now one can make a compelling argument that the drone strike that took out Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a 16-year-old American born in Denver, on President Obama’s orders, was a crime against an American citizen ergo a crime against humanity and equivalent to what Kenyan leaders did in 2007 – http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/u-s-drone-strike-kills-16-year-old-American-citizen. However, that would be a stretch!

So to paraphrase Bw. Gaithao’s characterization of Raila’s post-Supreme Court behavior, Kenyans should quit being so churlish. They should stop with the fake indignation and haranguing and face up to the fact that their masters of impunity – Uhuru and Ruto – have finally come face-to-face with an entity with deeper pockets and gravitas to match in The International Criminal Court.

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Filed under Democracy, International Criminal Court - ICC, International Relations/Global Issues, Kenya, Politics, The Hague

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