Kenya is an unlikely place to suspect an American hand but the signs have been there for quite some time now. Mwai Kibaki, the previous president, is a typical example of one who seems well intentioned, urbane, well educated, soft spoken, and yet is firmly in the U.S.'s back pocket. The secret is money, though that's hardly a great secret, is it?
Unfortunately for the U.S., even the Kenyan government's official map that purports to explain the strange result of Kibaki's 'win' shows, to anyone who knows how tribes and populations are actually distributed in Kenya that the 'official result' is a farce.
Bush, in the face of an obviously rigged election, wants power to be shared in Kenya. Shared? Did he offer to share his presidency when John Kerry won the popular vote in his own questionable 'win' in his own 'democratic' country? In other words, by whatever means, Mwai should retain the semblance of power, for Raila Odinga is an unknown quantity and looks (from what we can tell of his public persona) to be much less likely to slip quietly into the CIA's silky hands.
Kofi Annan's attempts to help sort things out in Kenya must have really alarmed the Bush administration. Kofi has been a quiet but powerful force in opposition to the American attempts at hegemony. That fight almost destroyed the U.N. itself as the U.S. used its money power to choke the U.N. into submission. Rice is now sent to butt herself in to the delicate situation in Kenya to see to it that Mwai doesn't cave in. The fact that then thousands more may die in the face of a ham-handed attempt to subvert real live democracy, is immaterial.
Also immaterial, it seems, is the fact that perhaps for the very first time in Africa, a country has voted without regards to tribal allegiance. That is the only way for Odinga, a non-Kikuyu to have popularly and decisively ousted Mwai who is a Kikuyu. Kikuyus themselves, and a lot of them too, voted for someone from another tribe - unheard of in Africa, till a couple months ago!
Kenya is a land of vast potential. It has excellent agricultural prospects, good water, regular rains and has a wide range of habitats. The people are intelligent, relatively well educated, hard working, honest, sincere, friendly and very politically active.
Let's not do things the Cheney-me-to-a-Rice Bush way just this once. Enough of this meddling and muddling! Let's give Kenya a chance.
In the meantime, as Kenyans struggle for their independence and their right to decide their own future, let them know that there are many around the world praying for their success and peace and progress.
For the land of my birth, right now though, I am much reminded of the title of a book by a South African writer, Alan Paton:
CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY