Thursday, January 10, 2008

Obama's Questionable Allegiances

Barack Obama needs a lot more foreign policy scrutiny than he has been getting, and perhaps now that he's a contender, he'll get it.

Daniel Johnson gives it to him in "The Kenya Connection" (New York Sun, January 10, 2008) and raises very disturbing questions. He brings to our attention the fact that in August 2006, Senator Obama spoke at rallies in Nairobi in support of one of Kenya's presidential candidates. Odd, don't you think? Even at that level of detail, it is curiously reckless for a United States Senator with presidential ambitions to be inserting himself into the internal political affairs of a foreign nation. The fact that Obama is of immediately Kenyan descent is no excuse. (His father was Kenyan.) In fact, it draws attention and invites deeper investigation.

Even more alarming is the candidate to whom Obama gave his public blessing: Raila Odinga, the man who claims to have had his election victory stolen from him on December 27 by his opponent, Mwai Kibaki, and in whose name people have been burning and slaughtering these past two weeks. (See the report and the film here.) Johnson fills us in on the background of this Odinga fellow, the president of choice for the man who could be our own President by this time next year.

  • "Mr. Odinga's father, Oginga Odinga, led the Communist opposition during the Cold War and Raila Odinga was educated in Communist East Germany."

  • "His eldest son is named after Fidel Castro and his daughter after Winnie Mandela."

  • "Even more sinister has been Mr. Odinga's electoral pact with the National Muslim Leaders' Forum — a hardline Islamist organization that represents Kenya's Muslim minority. According to this document, dated August 29, 2007, Mr. Odinga promised the Muslim leaders that, if elected, he would establish Sharia courts, not only in the northern and coastal regions where Kenyan Muslims are concentrated, but throughout the country."

  • "Mr. Odinga in effect offered to Islamize Kenya in return for Muslim votes, despite the fact that Muslims make up only 10% of the population, compared to the 80% who are Christian. Mr. Odinga himself is nominally an Anglican, yet he signed a document that refers to Islam throughout as 'the one true religion' and denigrates Christians as 'worshippers of the cross.'"

  • Barack Obama's father and Raila Odinga share the same tribe, the Luo, and indeed Mr. Odinga claims that Obama's father is his uncle, and thus that Barack Obama is his cousin.
I am no Africa scholar, but it seems that Mr Obama, as a sitting U.S. Senator, campaigned on behalf of an anti-Western, communist sympathizing, Islam imposing, closely related fellow tribesman in a foreign country, Kenya, which had previously been a stable, pro-Western democracy, something rare in that region. This is VERY SERIOUS.

Even more serious are the doubts raised by Mr. Obama's attitude toward Islam, which has so far received much less scrutiny than might be expected in a post-September 11 presidential election. If Mr. Obama did not know about Mr. Odinga's electoral deal with the Kenyan Islamists when he offered his support, then he should have known. If he did know, then he is guilty of lending the prestige of his office to America's enemies in the global war on terror. We need to know exactly what Mr. Obama knew about Mr. Odinga, and precisely when he knew it.

Of course, the Democrats these days are not interested in foreign policy beyond "bring the troops home." These are perilous times.

9 comments:

Jon S said...

David,

Fine post, but one question: how does one reconcile Odinga being both a communist and an Islamist? A fervent commitment to one seems to cancel out the other. Or is he just a garden variety socialist?

David C. Innes said...

Greetings, Jon.

I don't know the details on this guy, but I do know that much of communism has been or became a simple power grab. There are more than a few Islamists who used to be socialists or communists. The most obvious connection is totalitarian power on the one hand and fashionable political trends on the other, i.e. opportunism. But I am looking into it. I will be offline this weekend.

By the way, thanks for the Dave Barry on your blog. These are my questions too.

Bill said...

Can we believe Obama? Is he a muslim?
Is his record as hollow as the hole in a doughnut? He is all cotton candy and fluff it seems on the campaign trail. Your blog story exposes the behind the wall dangerous barack hussein obama. His middle name ain't hussein for nothing. He wants you to think his muslim roots are something not to worry about.

http://storyreportscomments.blogspot.com/

Afayemarie said...

Thanks for setting the record straight..wish more Americans would wake up and realize Obama's history.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Just adding more on Kenyan history. Raila Odinga seem to have learnt well from his father how to distabilize Kenya. The father Oginga Odinga, made Vice President by President Kenyatta tried to overthrow him with the help of communists just one year after Kenya won independence in 1963. Here is a paste and link:

http://www.eastandard.net/archives/july/sun11072004/reports/rep10070402.htm

SECRET CABINET PAPERS
How Kenya’s best kept secret became a hotbed of insurgents
By John Kamau

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dateline: Saturday, December 12, 1964. At around 3 pm, just as Kenya turned into a republic, the newly sworn-in President Jomo Kenyatta’s convoy drove from State House, Nairobi to the flag-decked Thika Road to officially open what he described as "Kenya’s best kept secret" and Jamhuri Day’s "big surprise" – the so-called Lumumba Institute.
He didn’t know it was a communist school of politics designed to topple him.

Forty years later, questions are still asked about how the new Vice President, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, managed to trick Kenyatta to approve a plot to topple him. It was a move that not only left top schemer Tom Mboya dazed but also confused Kenyatta’s inner circle — composed of Mr Mbiyu Koinange, Mr James Gichuru, and Dr Njoroge Mungai.

And when they realised what had happened they threw senior Chinese and Russian "spies" stationed at the institute out of the country. Others simply disappeared.

"It was simply a scheme to remove Kenyatta via the party but I think Oginga Odinga was too fast and politically impatient," Nairobi politician Wanguhu Nganga, who was the institute’s deputy principal, told the Sunday Standard this week.

The premises as it looks today and after major renovations.

Jomo Kenyatta who opened the Lumumba Institute off Thika Road with Bildad Kaggia (left), Mama Ngina Kenyatta and Jaramogi Odinga.


So embarrassing is this episode of Kenya’s history that it is hardly talked about. The Lumumba Institute, now known as Pan African Christian College, a bible school off Thika Road, is long forgotten, hiding its Cold War past in the 20-acre land that had been purchased by Odinga for purposes of the plot.

"When it was bought for evangelical work, the entire place was neglected", says Wilfred Hildebrandt, the principal of the christian college.

To the Kenyatta government Lumumba Institute was a dream come true for the ruling party Kanu, which, it was thought, would now have a base to train its members, activists and youth wingers.

The building of the institute was a state secret — at least as Kenyatta and his inner circle knew. But one man, the newly appointed Vice President Odinga, knew another meta-secret about the institute.

Although, Kenyatta was the only other trustee of the institute besides Odinga, the President didn’t know that Lumumba Institute was part of a communist plot to train radicals who would later stage a coup within the ruling party, Kanu, to replace the West-leaning politicians with a new cabal led by Odinga.

And on July 16, 1965, some 16 days after the first batch of 84 students graduated from the institute, they staged a "coup" at the Kanu headquarters, then at Nairobi’s Mfang’ano Street, and ostensibly "removed" the entire Kanu leadership apart from Kenyatta and Odinga.

We can now reveal that behind the scenes, other than Odinga, was a key Chinese undercover agent, Mr Wang Te Ming, who travelled on a diplomatic passport and masqueraded as a journalist. Ming was once a Chinese volunteer soldier during the Korean War and had risen to the rank of a major.

Another plotter was a South African communist, Mr Hosea Jaffe, a Cape Town University-trained engineer who was teaching mathematics at the Duke of Gloucester School, now Nairobi School. He was kicked out of Kenya on the orders of Dr Njoroge Mungai just after the coup at Kanu headquarters.

Kenyatta, we now know, had been told that the institute would be used to "elaborate the spirit of harambee" or as Bildad Kaggia, the institute’s first chairman had put it: "The task of national reconstruction required an institution dedicated to the inculcation of the spirit of harambee in relation to all aspects of social, economic and political effort."

Odinga had also convinced President Kenyatta that the objects of the Lumumba Trust, which was to manage the institute, was to "establish and maintain a college, university or school" and to "grant scholarships and bursaries".

Named after Patrice Lumumba, the slain Congolese leader, the institute was to "provide courses and arrange seminars and discussions for Kanu workers and officials", and that was the catch, both ways.

Just outside the gate, a bronze statue of Lumumba had been erected and a plaque that read: "This institute is dedicated to Lumumba, the patriot who died at the hands of Imperialists and their agents for his firm championship of genuine African political and economic independence and socialism in Africa".

The key words here were "socialism", "imperialists", and "their agents". As Kenyatta cut the tape to formally open the institute, Lumumba’s brother stood by and somehow, may be as a result of political naivety, Kenyatta missed the fine print. He also hardly noticed the many under-cover agents who were to work with Odinga on the Lumumba project.

Unknown to many, the 20-acre land on which the institute stood had been bought by Odinga and the buildings erected in a record five months at a cost of 27,000 pounds (current rates Sh3.5 million) with funding from communist countries. Initially there were two old buildings on the farm. One building was occupied by the principal, New Delhi-trained political scientist Mathew Mutiso, the father of Kilome MP John Mutinda Mutiso, who was born at the institute.

The second was occupied by Wanguhu Ng’ang’a, the deputy principal, while the registrar, F. Oluande occupied a new maisonette. There was also the Kenyatta Conference Hall and a kitchen that had been built with funds from East Germany.

"Everything in that kitchen came from East Germany," recalls Ng’ang’a.

Initially the institute was to admit 108 students — mainly Kanu leaders at the district level or their appointees, but all that was left to Odinga. As Kenyatta and his advisers were to later realise, that was a major blunder.

Kenyatta had left Odinga to coordinate the building and running of the institute, a brainchild of the VP’s. Odinga handpicked the socialist-leaning Kaggia as the chairman of the board of management.

"Although we were all leftists, and had leftist ideologies, we were independent of Odinga and were not under the thumb of anybody," says Ng’ang’a, who trained in Czechoslovakia as a journalist.

Other members of the board included another communist, Mr Pio Gama Pinto, Mr Ochieng Aneko, Mr S. Othigo Othieno, Mr Kungu Karumba, Mr Fred Kubai, Mr F Oluande, Mr Paul Ngei, and Mr Joseph Murumbi – a well groomed set of communists and their sympathisers.

Pio Gama Pinto, an avowed communist, had spent much of his time fundraising for the institute and wanted it to succeed.

The curriculum had been selected methodically — general principles of socialism, history of political organisation, African road to socialism, Kiswahili, Accounts and, oh well, the biography of Jomo Kenyatta.

Donations to the institute had started to flow in from Eastern Europe. On March 4, 1965, Odinga received books, blankets and two cinema vans from Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, East Germany and China.

Two weeks later, the first batch of 114 students — mainly district Kanu officials consisting of chairmen, secretaries and treasurers — joined. Odinga had brought in two Russian "lecturers", Mr Alexei Zdravomyslova and Mr Andrei Bogdanov to teach "principles of socialism".

"They were very social, very human," says Ng’ang’a, but couldn’t tell whether they were into any mischief. Other teachers besides Mutiso, and Nganga, included Mr J. Thuo, Mr S. Nzioki, Mr J Wanyonyi, and (Prof) Munoru.

Odinga’s project had started in earnest with Russians and Chinese working behind the scenes to help him ascend power through a party takeover.

David C. Innes said...

Thanks for that link and paste. They are helpful. I wish I knew how to delete the duplicate, however.

katherine.love said...

Dr. Innes,
Lately me and Zuzia have been talking about Muslims and I've been thinking about Obama's allegiance to Islam. I found your post very interesting and it provided more details for my thoughts.

Having spent some time living in a Muslim nation, I'm prone to lend a voice for their defense. However, the one on one encounters that I had with citizens is different than militant Islam. The more I consider Europe and the invasion of Islam, the more unsettled I feel about America's future if we follow Europe in this way.

But how can we say no? Tricky.

Thanks for the post.
(as far back as it is)
kate.

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