Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hosting AfriCom in Kenya - Let us welcome Obama.

Security: Host AfriCom at Wajir in Kenya.


Security is the wide base that holds the broad pyramid of any Civilization.  Infact, in all known Civilizations of the world, military power was always the draw-horse preceeding the wagon of economic progress.  With modernity, democracy and the much-vaunted rule of law, militarism has had to take a lower profile, to sit silently on the back-benches of public governance and discourse, to attend his illustrious diplomatic masters, as states and societies have sought to project softer, sweeter faces to the court of world opinion.  But such facades should not lull the keen observer into any stupor, and we should make no mistake about the magnetic pull that attracts glory to the gun and yields honey after 'smoking the hive.'


The Colonialist lugged his religion in the left hand, and his rifle in the right.  This was no accident of adventure.  It is the thing it was meant to be: where the locals spurned the message of Love, Morality and opportunity, a few rounds of rumbling lead shots would exorcise their impundent ghosts and silence the leading rebel for ever. 


'See, if he is the Son of god Khau-khii, why can't he raise himself up from the dead?'  How would a caveman respond to such logic from the 'Stranger with a fire-stick, who could shut the Grand Magician up?'


Religious and folk lore abounds in histories of tribal increase through the ransacking, pillage and annihilation of weaker, less spirited contemporaries.  Of course, current reality makes it imprudent, plainly unpopular and unwise, to seek economic progress by plundering and despoiling other nations' produce while riding the military power-horse.  But then, that is not to say that it ended with Napoleon.  The twenty-first century David attacks and sacks his neighbour's granaries using more subtle means, but back of all of which there is a clenched military fist in the velvety glove of aid, grants and free trade.  The face smiles, but the voice is guttural, the feet ready to pounce and pound, the hands bear a huge stick called 'reform,' while the eyes betray a lurid lust for the host's resources.


But right here, where the beastly bear appears to overwhelm us with the stench of his unwelcome intrusion, is where our opportunity lies.  We lose everything by resisting the irresistible.  The tree that bends with the wind lives long and learns to scatter its own seed, while the reed that resists the gale breaks in rue.  Knowing this, and aware that the best student learns from his teacher, to beat him, then it is our opportunity to page the grizzly king, and learn his ways to sharpen our own insticts.  The more extensive our acquaintance with those who have excelled, the greater will be our powers of invention (creation of new ideas), and the purer, more original will be our conceptions. 


So, if China, yes, the Oriental multitude, the million-man army from the East seeks a military base here,  let them have it.  If the Americans - Cousin Barack's blessed aunts, remember - say that they are seeking a camp for their homeless African battalion of their warrior class, then by the Hills of Kirinyaga, if we are the true home of the Maasai moran, we must be kindred spirits.


Consider the outcomes with me, supposing we decide to host AfriCom here in Kenya. What infrastructure goes into the institution of a full Yankee base?  Roads, railways, water, communications, military hardware 'gifts' to the host nation, personnel training, equipment, a general perception of security in the Horn of Africa, medical infrastructure, some level of employment for the local community, the unlocking of unimagined opportunity, etc., etc.  We could negotiate for a large scale 'peaceful' nuclear energy programme, have progressive partnerships with some of the world's highest institutions of research, learning and innovation.  Part of the collateral damage will be in 'the rise of the Marines' - the Pointies or QuarterBlacks, I call them, and that will involve 'lots of love.'  If the airlifts of JFK and Mboya gave Obama to the world, our girls could always do with reciprocation, or does anyone disavow little Johnnies anymore?   Further, security will make our country highly attractive to serious investment flows into Africa.


Effectively, we become a Fifty-first American state, sort of, protected under the futuristic Missile Defence shield, joining Poland, Germany, South Korea, Japan, and Australia as strategic global defence posts.  In geopolitics, as in no other human endeavour, does it ring more true that decisions are made by those who attend, and to my mind, I can’t find an easier ticket reservation for the high table, than by hosting the reception.  Host AfriCom, and become Africa’s chief barracks.


Note that we are six (fighter-jet) hours away from all end-points in Africa, three hours away from Saudi Arabia and Israel, and would offer the perfect support for the bases in Germany and Turkey, in case of any imbroglios in Persia. For fifty future years, we enjoy proper security, and therefore have freedom to pursue liberty and happiness.  A half century of peace and stability would establish us as the gateway to Africa, an entrypoint into the jungle that is Sub-Saharan Africa.  If Africa is the continent of the future, then Kenya's NEP is the doorknob to that future.  And that is how we should understand Mssrs Rannerberger and Carson, why Bill Clinton made Nairobi the capital of American diplomacy in the Cradle of man.  How about long-term strategy?


And it would call a halt to Yoweri Museveni's oedipal military games, and Paul Kagame's expansionist ideals.  The region would be on order and alert to Nairobi's call.  What is Somalia in the face of a half-century Yankee siege?  Yemeni and Al Quaeda will have to close base in Somalia and seek for refuge elsewhere, in an increasingly hostile world.  This is our redemption in this region.  Perish piracy, perish Eritrea, Djibouti and Ethiopia's silly sibling meanness. 


But our notoriously mundane and ethically low leadership is beholden to non-issues in terms of appeasing undefined 'African' traditions and not thinking strategically.  State House is mulling this opportunity, and the instinct for corruption is holding a nation for ransom.  If we delay, some wiser elder will bag this gift that forever gives, and send us to bed, on empty tummies.  These things are very rare in their occurrence..


What if we refuse to be their hosts? We do not gain much.  We do not 'see' any loss.  Life just moves on at our blurred Vision 2030 pace.


Host AfriCom Now!

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