U.S. Partisan Crossfire in Kenyan Politics Ratchets Up a Notch

Please read this lead story from the Standard: “US legislator claims Obama funding “Yes” campaigns”.

Kenyans deserve much better from their “friends” in the U.S. The least they deserve is to be left alone if we as Americans can’t behave in a more responsible manner.

Obama deserves criticism here for twice now extending the term of an Ambassador who has demonstrated that he is “constitutionally” incapable of neutrality and transparency on any issue of importance. The sad fact is that both the Democrats and the Republicans seem to be at least in part factually correct in their criticisms regarding funding going into both the “No” and “Yes” campaigns.

As I have written before, I think the criticisms from the U.S. Right of the draft constitution on the Khadi’s courts and abortion issue are grossly overblown and misleading and reflect a lack of understanding of the unique and specific situation in Kenya. Nonetheless, these are real issues that Kenyans need to weigh and balance and decide on for themselves. And it also should be recognized that there are two (and really more) sides playing “global culture war”–there are in fact a variety of groups from outside Kenya that conduct seminars and other programs that do seem to promote various cultural agendas involving issues that are well outside the mainstream of existing social norms in the United States and in some cases even in Europe, much less Kenya–so when Kenyan clergy hook up with rightwing activists in the U.S. there can be some grain of truth to the notion that they are playing on the same terms.

From my perspective, having recently lived in Kenya for a year and worked directly with a whole range of Kenyan politicians as well as Ranneberger, I do not believe that the controversial social or religious issues are at all the primary drivers for the “yes” versus “no” campaigns.

What do you think?

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