Thursday, December 28, 2006

The New New Thing

In fashion, and other things, there's always a New Thing. I don't know what is the new New Thing in fashion et al, but the New Thing in international relations, after a very long hiatus, is pre-emptive intervention. This doctrine, as promulgated by the neocons and their ilk is one of the most important developments in recent history. The theories that had been crafted in the aftermath of the Second World War and the Cold War have been reinterpreted to address the new challenges of non-state actors on international relations. The rise of global networks of criminals and terrorists and their potential marriage is a nightmare from which the waking day brings no comfort.

In film and fictional literature, this marriage is being addressed with very interesting results. However, the response of the world powers has been predictable, to say the least. George W Bush's America has chosen the path of direct military engagement with lacklustre results. The recent events in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the wider Muslim world have not been encouraging. The ISG recommendations have been welcomed and lampooned in equal measure. I cannot debate their relevance or lack thereof, but I wish to point out that the US has a golden opportunity to reorient how we think about global security.

Unfortunately, the prism of moral clarity cannot be employed in international relations. Nations shall have to deal with odious characters, dictators and charlatans. Their moral compass cannot guide them to a better understanding of their friends or foes. What needs to be better defined is the national interest. And it is this definition that must ultimately determine how states counter non-state actors and the states that support them. Therefore, if the US were to co-opt the 'evil' players on the world stage such as Hamas and Iran, it will be merely be determining that its moral compass has no place in finally deciding American security. Therefore, it is laudable that Bush hasn't completely buckled under liberal pressure to moralise American foreign policy. Guantanamo and extraordinary renditions are the visible evidence of this amoral approach to foreign policy. It must, though, be followed to its logical end. Whether is citizens accept it or not, the liberties and freedoms they enjoy are an aberration that must be rectified if they are to remain safe and isolated from the problems that afflict the world. If one or two Afghans suffer for their safety, then it is a price they must be willing to pay. If some US citizens are determined to side with the perpetrators of such heinous crimes as the 9/11 attack, they must be rendered ineffective by all means possible. Otherwise, other non-state actors shall be emboldened to strike again at symbols of American strength and prosperity.

In a world where men and women are willing to shed innocent blood, the world powers cannot be hamstrung with the niceties of statute and constitutional law. They must be allowed the lee-way to strike at all havens of crime and terror without worrying about collateral damage. This doesn't mean that they have a free pass to do as they please. They must be willing to put in place mechanisms for the use of force and counter-force. They must be able to better appreciate that societies cannot be reformed by the sword, but by a higher logic. They must also do all that is necessary to protect innocent life, even in those havens of crime and terror. Otherwise, the memories of freedom movements past shall be used to inspire a new crop of Freedom Fighters. To avoid this, they must learn the proper lessons of history, or we are all doomed.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Personality clashes from hell

I work for what passes for a public-private enterprise in these parts known as a parastatal. Mine is in the up-and-coming sector known as environmental justice. It's run by a Committee of seven. One member never turns up for their meetings. Ever. One other comes so infrequently they have nicknamed his appearances technical ones. The rest, including the titular head, are in it only for the money. And the pittance they receive for their pains is jealously hoarded and guarded. I bet they would die fighting to keep the little they get ("You will pry them from my cold dead hands...") for they fight a whole lot more to get it. This past week we have been to our nation's tourist hotspot, investigating environmental hooliganism of the worst sort. The work got done allright, but the amount of grandstanding, backstabbing, infighting and cat-fighting that went on would have made a KKK convention at a Black Panther Party look like a Sunday school cookout. I love this bunch: not a day goes by without some sort of explosion with people pulling rank and cabals being formed. I just hope they don't really kill each other before I get to learn how they can stick it to each other and smile as if their hands were as white as the driven snow!!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Summer Blockbusters, here I am!

I am a movie fanatic. However, that is all I am. I cannot do an Ebert review of a movie. I can only watch and enjoy. I have had so much fun this year I can't wait for the block-buster season to begin. I loved V for Vendetta. I loved X-Men 3. I loved M:I 3. I just hope that Superman, Cars, and Casino Royale live up to my extremely low standards and make me forget my insignificant attempts to make a life for me and my family.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Greed is Good?

Gordon Gekko! The most influential movie business figure ever. I think Dubya and Co. just love him to death. Else how do you explain their obsession with getting it right in iraq. By all accounts, there is no way they will get it right. The Iraqis have proven without doubt that western ideas of democracy are mere hyperbole. What they really want to do is slaughter each other and export this violence to parts abroad.

Greed made the Coalition of the Willing invade Iraq. Greed is keeping them there. Soon they will realise that greed is not enough. For you to succed in your greed, you shall also need intellectual fortitude and foresight. Planning and execution, especially of war, cannot be left to wannabes. That Dubya and Blair are learning this the hard way should be a lesson to all future warmongers. If it is just to punish someone for something stupid they did, then by all means go to war and withdraw immediately you win. If it is some abstract idea of 'Planting the seeds of democracy", then you are best served by suffering your pain in silence.

I love the Ayatollahs of Iran. This lot has not diluted its message in close to thirty years. That they are hated the most by the west speaks volumes of their fortitude and foresight. It is debatable whether their desire for the Bomb is wise or not. But they know they have the west by the scrotum. An invasion at this juncture is not impossible, merely difficult to conclude safely. Even the Jewish Bomb is no good. The fall out will inevitably engulf them too. They are screwed either way. Local dissidence has been ruthlessly snuffed out or pushed out. Either way, it is pretty much non-existent.

If Dubya and Teflon Tony want to make Iraq a consistent supplier for feeding their greed, they need to act as the Ayatollahs. That is what the Iraqis understand. That is what they need. That is the only thing that will work.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


This cannot be a good time for US foreign policy. They now have to choose between the lesser of two evils. If they leave Palestine to its own devices, the Hamas-majority Legislature may just prove very good at fund-raising and ultimately slip farther away from US control, however tenuous it may be today.
On the other hand, the US may continue to fund that government, essentially giving money to a bunch of thugs hell-bent on spreading anarchy and violence worldwide and the US will become the dubious backer of a terrorist state.
But is this really that strange? The US, for years, gave enough money and firepower to Saddam's Iraq to wage a war with Iran. The US, in the Great Game against the former USSR, gave enough money and firepower to dozens of Third World dictators to thwart whatever latent Socialist and Communist tendencies that may have existed.
Therefore, the US should not feel shy about funding a Hamas-dominated Palestine. It will be in line with what they have done for decades. They cannot simply walk away from their legacy or wish it away from their psyche. This is what the US does. So, let us let them get on with it!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Muslims are within their rights to be pissed off at the toons doing the rounds and the Danish must review their freedoms in a more conservative context. When we took political science in First Year at Uni, we were taught about the Social Contract. Man agreed to give up absolute freedom for state sponsored security. Over the centuries, we have whittled down this contract to almost the bad old days of the State of Nature.
What the news-editors in Denmark did was attrocious. Just because you have the right to say something offensive, doesn't mean you should. Taking on Islam is playing with fire. Like it or not, when it comes to the Prophet they are all fanatics. They will not take kindly to His denigration, even of it is done 'in context'. They will react, sometimes violently, but always vocally. So we need to tread carefully when we tangle with their objects of veneration. They are not Christians. They don't have our sense of tolerance for depicting Jesus Christ in various cases of embarrasment. This should guide our relations and interactions when addressing their needs and proirities. Commentators are wrong to suggest that the muslims 'over-reacted'.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Whoever told them that they were indestructible should pay them back for all the pain they are about to undergo. Ndile was right. Uncle Moody did them a favour by installing TVs at Kamiti. Now the likes of Saitoti and his merry band of Goldenberg suspects should become very comfortable guests of the serikali. However, they shouldn't be treated the way Samuel Moroto was at Molo. They really shouldn't put them in the same cells with ordinary every-day gansters.

But seriously, Bosire should be shot. Billions lost forever is not a very comfortable statement to make. And to spend 400 billion of our tax shillings to do so is or should be crime. How can billions simply disappear? It's not as if these guys are rocket scientists. And now that Mwiraria has paved the way for himself to fall on his own sword so that Kibaki doesn't have to deal with the repercussions of stupid politicians, the KACCc should move swiftly to put the Anglo-Leasing saga to bed.

Otherwise, why the fuck is Ringera making 2 million shillings when there are billionaires in the making in government? We demand an end to this charade of one set of profiteering rober-barons telling us who's to blame for the dismal state of public finances. As far as i am concerned, all these politicians are crooks in Hugo Boss suits. The only difference between them and the highway robbers along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway, is that they have official, government-santioned gun-totting GSU bodyguards. And that shit ain't right!

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Regular readers will no doubt wonder whether I am off my rocking chair. The fact of the matter is, I have no love lost for Kibaki and his gang of modern-day robber-barons. But I deeply love my country and I take great exception at people putting its security at grave risk. The Kamanis and Somaiyas will eventually get what is coming to them, no matter how long it takes. However, they were merely playing true to their type. They are a greedy and money-hungry bunch that I wouldn't lose sleep over if they got ran over by the proverbial bus.
However, when it comes to Mr. Githongo, there is some part of me that wishes I could forgive him his sins. But the larger part of me simply wants to take him out back and kick the ever-living shit out of him. What he did deserves the full might of governmental retribution this side of armageddon.
Had he simply pointed out the thugs that were making money illegally, that would have been fine by me. But to point out to all our enemies that our nation is ill-defended, ill-equipped and unprepared to wage a successful military campaign, that I cannot, will not forgive. So, if Kibaki and co. go after his ass, I will cheer them on willingly and enthusiastically.
Can you imagine what would happen if the trigger-happy Sudanese were to simply march across our common border now that it emerges that the security services have been ill-equipped for decades? They may be well-trained and disciplined, but our secueirty services' calculations take into account the fact that when it comes to equipment, we are streets ahead of the neighbourhood's unstable nations. Now it emerges-all because Githongo felt cheated by the politicians whom he had volunteered to work for-that they can't call each other securely because a few Kikuyus and Indians wanted to make more money than God's accountant.
Taking Githongo to court and arraigning him on treason charges is the least we can do for this fledgling nation of ours. We can't have government servants privy to all security-related and top-secret information blabbing to the media whenever things don't go their way. Githongo must pay and if this regime doesn't make him do it, the next one must. After all, treason has no statute of limitations, does it?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Who's your daddy now?

The end is nigh. Kneel down, Mr. Politician, and kiss my ass. If there is one thing we no longer need it is that animal called the politician. Imagine if we were to cut them out completely from the decision-making process, if we were to decide for ourselves that food security was a priority, that we no longer wanted to get mugged on the streets, that our children should be fed and clothed, that we should spend our national energies in eradicating ignorance, hunger and poverty, imagine what a wonderful world that would be.
Kibaki and his cronies and Raila and his bandwagon have lied and cheated us out of a prosperous nation. Blaming Moi will only account for some of our problems. The remaining problem in Kenya is the so-called Narc wave. the promises they made and broke are significantly more painful because we were supposed to be going to the New Jerusalem in this land of ours. Instead, what Moi had perfected in over 24 years of politicking, Kibaki and co. managed to adapt in 3 years. I liked Moi's style. It was laid back, but efficient. He was rutheless muthafucka who wouldn't let anybody fuck around in his business. With Kibaki, he's like a bitch getting screwed over by his friends and enemies alike. I mean, how many Goldenberg guys have been convicted? Even before that case gets underway, Kibaki's boys have Anglo-Leasing, Navy ships that never get delivered, famine, sickness and poverty.
To survive, we need to stop believing in politics. We must stop voting. Let them spend their billions campaigning. That's waht they like. Lets us elect no one ever again. Let us decide as families and communities to help oursleves, cos the fucking politicians have sold their souls to the devil.

Some bosses lead, some bosses blame

Bosses make great CX a central part of strategy and mission. Bosses set standards at the top of organizations. Bosses recruit, train, and de...