World happenings…

2nd Friday after Christmas

Events in Kenya and Pakistan trouble me.

Sitting back in Malaysia when Benazir Bhutto was murdered/assassinated, I felt a sense of shock and disgust at the sheer lack of humanity in the violence that not only took her life but those who supported her at the political rally that she attended as well. I still am finding the Pakistani government’s explanation of her death to be suspiciously inconsistent with video footage of the incident. And also the eyewitness accounts from within her car and the initial reports from the hospital that were then subsequently retracted upon the government’s statement on her death. My gut feeling is that we could be seeing the formation of a period of increased civil disturbance within the country that may even lead into civil war if democratic elections are not pursued in the near future. The country has been in my prayers since those events in the last week of 2007.

Kenya also adds to my misery in viewing the state of the world we live in. The tribal violence that saw the massacre of women and children seeking refuge in a church made me sick to my stomach (that night’s dinner almost came up). Again, with electoral irregularities present in the vote, the Kenyan opposition has a right to challenge the results of the poll. But as with a lot of governments in Africa, political strongmen continue the trend amongst African states to essentially rig elections to keep them in power (Robert Mugabe being a clear example of this in Zimbabwe).

The images on CNN that I saw this morning over breakfast were horrifying as I could only imagine what happened next to an African man walking in the wrong neighborhood at the wrong time as he was set upon by a pack of what could have been supporters of President Kibaki (or the opposition). According to the CNN reporter who interviewed the cameraman and who saw the remainder of the footage, the poor bugger was hacked to death by machetes while simultaneously being clubbed also.

Where O God is this peace that we often pray for, but yet seems so far away? Where O God is your justice to be found in this world which you have proclaimed in your word?

O God, where are you now… ?


In other news, given that I’ve been on leave for the remainder of this week before heading back to work next Monday, I’ve been relishing the opportunity to catch up on news and especially on the Democratic and Republican caucuses in Iowa (yes I know I’m in Australia and this relates back to the US, I’m a sucker for catching up on US, Malaysian and Aussie politics). This is gonna be an interesting one.

The GOP has essentially fractured itself into too many parts with the evangelical vote this time around being a mere shadow of what it was back in 2004. Huckabee vs Romney has been hilarious to watch given their campaigns attacks on each other. I can imagine Huckabee picking up the “hick” vote in rural Iowa and elsewhere around the country if he picks up the nomination in Iowa (I’m still scratching my head and wondering what to make of his ridiculous tax plan though).

As for Hilary vs Barack vs Johnnie E, I’d have to agree with the pundits in that it’ll essentially come down to the question of “Do we want Hilary as our presidential candidate?” in determining who gets the Democratic ticket. I’m personally an Obama supporter (no guesses for which party I’d be registered for in this election if I were able to vote) though having said that, Hilary, Obama or John Edwards would be a way better candidate than any of the Republican ones (maybe with the exception of Ron Paul … nah, I’m just playin’ wit’ ya on that front!). Seeing the “anti-Hilary” vote will be interesting as well (the poll results I’ve seen so far have indicated that Obama will come out on top over Edwards based on the “anti-Hilary” vote).

Having said all this, the nomination process for presidential candidates is ridiculously complex in the USA when compared to Aussie politics where the leader of each political party is determined within the party caucus instead of having this big run-off amongst candidates where essentially money talks. Makes me glad that I’m “down under” rather than “up over”.

+ Pax,
bf 0956hrs


4 thoughts on “World happenings…”

  1. I was thinking about the Kenyan elections and how colonialism has been grafted on to a tribal culture. Democracy is the orderly placement of one group over all others (apparently the majority at the time). This assumes that the group in power doesn’t have the temptation to abuse those not in power.

    But in the tribal culture of the African nations, it seems that the group in power also receives claim to land, wealth, women–whatever. I heard on the radio that the violence we’re seeing today in on par with the violence that followed the ’92 and ’97 elections.

    What if colonialism didn’t happen and the tribes ruled themselves alongside each other? Is it too late for Africa to reclaim her native structure?

  2. This is one of the poor aspects of colonialism I find. If a place becomes a colony and the colonial master ends up effectively using it as a source of raw materials without providing the necessary infrastructure so that those who are living there and native to the place can govern it in a somewhat effective manner, colonialism does not work.

    Either way, democracy in its purest form enables 50.1% of the people to oppress the other 49.9%. Dare I say that if the traditional tribal structure was maintained in Kenya, we’d probably see a similar breakdown in the country as one tribe seeks to gain power, land, wealth, etc, yadda-yadda-yadda over another. It’s just that it happens outside the confines of what is so called democratic society. And even so, from what I understand of African politics, parties can also be set up along ethnic/tribal lines as well so things can also go awry even in a place like Kenya where democracy did rule for a time… wait, did any of that make sense?

  3. It’s funny to read your blog and read about US politics! Sounds like you have a good handle on things though. I’ll start checking here for any updates I might need to know about!

    Peace my friend.

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