The Star (Nairobi)

16 February 2013

Kenya: Why I Believe Carson More Than Obama

opinion

International Criminal Court prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda is accusing the government of refusing to cooperate with her office as far as evidence ... ( Resource: International Court Accuses Kenya of Lack of Co-Operation

As a sequel to Obama's video address to Kenyans, the Boston Globe and numerous Kenyan media houses quoted US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs as saying "Choices matter and they have consequences...........Individuals have reputations, individuals have images, individuals have histories".

It's not something you take lightly when a diplomat uses a not-so-subtle diplomatic language. And I usually multiply the diplomatic language by a factor of 10 to know what the diplomat would say in private and out of the media waves.

The roadmap to the Obama video address would normally be preceded by a plethora of Washington meetings and meetings about meetings out of which a strategic plan on how to approach Kenya was probably devised. How Obama's speech and then Carson's words fits into such a strategic plan is what Jubilee top brass and Kenyans should deeply ponder about.

Having done damage control in 2008, the US from the outset appeared set to undertake preventative measures in 2013. And in doctor-speak, the "least invasive preventative procedure" would have been the ICC duo staying out of the ballot. With Uhuru and Ruto on the ballot, this diplomatic high stakes game starts early.

When Jubilee attacks the US, they are playing with fire. The implication is that the power of the US both in terms of capability to diplomatically make other nations isolate Kenya is huge. And The west might attach donor and military support to our neighbours relations with Kenya.

It wouldn't be surprising for Uganda, or Tanzania- EAC members to cut a deal with the US to abandon Kenya at its hour of need at the UN convention for example and instead choose to be on the side of bread that's buttered thus isolating Kenya. The US has enough carrots to institute such a diplomatic onslaught.

Jubilee has mentioned distant management of government from The Hague. The Technologies Uhuru promises to use like Google Hangouts are American, and can be "jammed" from California's Google Headquarters.

Skype is property of Bill Gates through Microsoft, its parent company. The US, as you can see has capability and reaches to totally black out Uhuru's ability to run his Hague-based remote state house.

And lessons from The Julian Assange case are that an enemy of a single western nation becomes an enemy of the entire western world. Wikileaks fundraising activities were extremely impacted in the aftermath of the diplomatic cables debacle. Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover which are all processed in American banks shunned Wikileaks resulting in massive budget constraints for Wikileaks.

The Jubilee are exposing themselves to the radar of the most powerful nation, and technologies like radar evading drones might be used to record voices and videos at rallies, without being sighted or heard by the Kenyans who attend such rallies. Such evidence could augment what the ICC already has. Kenya could lose its privacy big time.

By their anti-US rhetoric, Uhuru and Ruto are playing into American hands. Before sanctions are imposed sound evidence would be required to convince congress to approve such a measure. Such evidence collection might be ongoing, as we speak.

Through their Anti-American rhetoric, Uhuru and Ruto are availing footages to confirm that they are potential enemies of the United States and its interests which isn't a pretty tag to bear. Their pronouncements can be used against them in Congressional debates to approve a sanctions package.

The entry of the no non-sense John Kerry into the State Department will also change the dynamics, as he settles in his office. Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz-Kerry, was born and raised in Maputo Mozambique. Teresa will check Kerry's conscience on African affairs.

As a man who has been chairing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry is probably privy to intelligence emanating from Kenya, and is probably already well versed with intra-Kenyan political dynamics. He actually sat on the same committee during the hearings of the post-elections violence. He will easily settle in his job.

Another problem touches on Kenya's defence readiness. Remember accusations of crimes like the Jubilee presidential ticket is accused of labels them a perception of "dangerous people", until the courts prove otherwise. Kenya's purchase of defense hardware could be closely monitored and maybe restricted to curtail what the western diplomacy-speak calls stockpiling. Uhuru's capability to "harm" is what the west would seek to mitigate.

From Saddam Hussein of Iraq, to Assad of Syria, the greatest fear of the international community for a person bearing the tag of crimes against humanity would be the lethality of the weapons they order for their nation, because already out there are perceptions as to what they are "capable of committing to humanity".

That is the implication when Carson says "Individuals have reputations, individuals have images, and individuals have histories".

The writer is a Security Analyst and blogger, who comments on topical issues

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