Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Why Kenya Should Become a Vassal of the USA

'Sovereignty' is defined by the Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus (3rd Ed., 2004) as "supreme and unrestricted power, as of a state; an independent state." The Black's Law Dictionary (8th Ed., 2004) defines it as "a person, body, or state vested with independent and supreme authority." The key words in these definitions are "supreme", "independent" and "unrestricted". Can Kenya claim to be a "sovereign state"? The Constitution of Kenya declares in section 1 that "Kenya is a sovereign Republic". Black's Law Dictionary defines this as "a system of government in which the people hold sovereign power and elect representatives who exercise that power".

The Constitution of India, on the other hand, in its preamble declares India to be a "sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic Republic." This matters a lot in how the elected representatives exercise the sovereign power of the people. In India, the elected representatives have resisted strongly the urge to mortgage their country to foreign interests, even when it would have been the easier thing to do to address pressing social and economic problems. Indeed in 1991 when India's foreign exchange reserves were in a precarious state, India did not go to the World Bank or IMF with hat in hand; instead, it took steps to liberalise its economy and thus become competitive in the global market. Today, unsurprisingly, the Tata group of companies is a multi-national conglomerate that owns such prestigious Western brands as Corus Steel, Tetley Tea, Jaguar Motor Co., and Land Rover.

While the People's Republic of China can hardly be described as a democracy, the Communist Party of China has also maintained an iron economic grip on the sovereignty of the Chinese State; indeed, the People's Revolutionary Army, at over 1.5 million strong, is also the largest economic investor in the country, separate from the Communist Party itself. All this is intended to ensure that China remains independent from the strong global politico-economic forces championed by the West. As a result, China has pursued a policy that has seen it rise steadily towards becoming a major global power whose opinion must be considered during periods of global instability, such as the economic recession that began in late 2007.

Which leads me now to conclude that Kenya can hardly claim "sovereignty". When the Minister for Foreign Affairs thumps his chest and dares America to do its worst, threatening similar retaliation, Hon. Wetangula willfully turns a blind eye to the politico-economic realities of the day. The past 18 months have demonstrated that we are "sovereign" only in name; in fact, however, we are beholden to the largesse of foreign powers, some Western, some not. When it was predicted that at least 10 million Kenyans were in danger of starvation, the Government of President Kibaki and later the Coalition Government of President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga went cap-in-hand to the West for food aid. When the 2007 General Elections led to widespread violence, displacement and anarchy, foreign powers intervened and coerced the 'principals' to cohabit unhappily in a coalition. A lot of the 'developmental aid' that Kenya receives goes towards 'budgetary support' and contrary to what our Finance Ministers claim, Kenya has yet to support its development agenda without assistance from foreign powers. So, how can we claim sovereignty as a nation when our elected representatives have mortgaged our country to foreigners?

Samuel Johnson said that 'patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel' and in Kenya this no longer moot. Every time our elected officials wish to distract us from pressing domestic matters of national importance, they use patriotism as a weapon to attack those foreign powers that have an opinion on "our internal affairs", forgetting that, especially, the West has supported this country financially for decades and expect a steady rate of return for their investment. By now we should all have realised that there are no rfree lunches in real life; we all pay a price, one way or the other.

Which leads me to ask, is it of any benefit to anyone that we remain a 'sovereign Republic'? The United Kingdom still retains many "dependent territories". So does the United States of America. Given our anti-pathy to being the Queen's subjects by the fact that her government screwed up so royally when Kenya was under her thumb, the USA seems a better bet as a colonial master. I propose that Kenya votes to become a proper vassal state of the USA. This will eliminate many of the problems we currently face: there would be no necessity for a President or Prime Minister; indeed, there would be no need for a 43-strong cabinet of ministers; the civil service could be refashioned along American lines; we would no longer speak of economic aid as much as transfer of resources. While America may baulk at adopting a wayward country like Kenya, in the long run it is our best interests to be rule by a foreign power; they can't screw up half as bad as our many thousands of politicians have screwed up since 1963. More importantly, we would never be divided again by General Elections and we would all concentrate on getting the much coveted Green Card, the epitome of achievement in Kenyans' eyes.

We need to learn, again, how to think

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