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Obama Slammed for Self-Indulgent Kenya Trip

One of the nation’s leading Africanists is assailing President Obama’s upcoming July trip to Kenya as a “dumb idea” that will confer legitimacy on its corrupt leadership, stoke divisions within the country, and unnecessarily endanger his own life.

Robert I. Rotberg is a fellow at Woodrow Wilson International Center, the founding director of Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Intrastate Conflict, and president emeritus of the World Peace Foundation. He is the author of several books about Africa and creator of the Index of African Governance, which ranks all 48 sub-Saharan African countries according to quality of governance.

According to Rotberg, who wrote in Politico, Obama’s trip to Kenya will bolster the status of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was indicted by the International Criminal Court on five counts of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in 2007-08 post-election violence that killed an estimated 1,200 people.

Charges were dropped in December due to lack of evidence, but only amid allegations of noncooperation by the Kenyan government and the bribing and intimidation of witnesses.

Obama, according to Rotberg, should wait until after he is president if he wants to go on a sentimental journey to his father’s homeland, which will also include attendance at something called the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

Rotbert writes:

Kenya (as well as neighboring Tanzania and Uganda) is wildly corrupt. Accusations of graft and sleaze reach high into the upper echelons of the ruling parties in all three countries. Conferring the honor of President Obama’s office on such thoroughly questionable leaders would do little to strengthen our own role as a promoter of good governance and the rule of law.

Rotberg adds that Obama, whose father was a Luo, will exacerbate tensions between them and the ruling Kikuyu by voyaging to Luo country to walk the ground of his ancestors.

President Obama naturally and appropriately will want to visit his paternal homestead in the Luo heartland. But traveling there will plunge the American president deeply into ethnic politics in Kenya, and do nothing for inter-group harmony in that volatile country.

What’s more, with the Islamist Al-Shabaab group staging successful attacks in the country, Obama is endangering himself and his entourage by going there. And he’ll need a massive and expensive security operation to keep him safe.

But alas, it’s only money. Your money.

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85 Responses to Obama Slammed for Self-Indulgent Kenya Trip

    • ANYone who can organize ANYthing in ANY African country has accomplished SOMEthing. Even if it was only a coup. Obama, not likely!

  1. What does he care about relations? No sort of relations, whether they be building, maintaining, or improving has bothered him.

  2. “…that will confer legitimacy on it’s corrupt leadership, stoke divisions within the country…”
    Obama’s just doing what he does best.
    Now that he’s f****d up this country, he’s going to Kenya to f**k it up more than it already is. Poor Kenya.
    Endanger his own life?
    Not likely.
    Obama’s the native son returning home.

  3. This trip undoubtedly will cost us at least $200-300M from the looks of things.
    This, in addition to the Billions he handed out to fifty dictators/thugs at the so-called African Summit last year at the WH.

    One of the most sickening events ever to occur on our soil – The Monsters Ball, as the Daily Mail so aptly stated it.

    • The last time Kenya had a dictator was in 1992. Whats with america these days? Or Now China is the superpower .we Kenyans can access internet at very high speeds we are reading the comments here the japannes en china doesnt complain when their leaders visit Kenya.

  4. Oh, I think its a perfect idea. Maybe that’s why he is going. I think he should run for president of Kenya, or Uganda, or anywhere in Africa. He would get elected by a super majority, they would love him. He could wear a crown

  5. Keith, as a professional wordsmith I’m sure you realize using “Obama” and “self-indulgent” in the same sentence is redundant!

  6. OT. Of course he is self indulgent but even worse he and his ilk don’t care ….Obama on the links minutes after the notice of the beheading of an American citizen and today Holder II announces her investigation of the BPD as a 25 year old policeman who was for all intents and purposes executed is laid to rest in NY.

    Pathetic and beyond self indulgent. An Administration totally driven by hubris and ideology

    • Your points about his indifference to the tragedies occurring around him and on his watch are well taken. It’s one of the most remarkable and clearest indicators that he just doesn’t react normally on an emotional or intellectual level. That’s not a good sign, but that’s how he’s been programmed since he was a young man. Knowing what we know about him and his development as an child and adult, I suppose we can’t expect much more. There’s no there there.

  7. Am a kenyan and clearly you dont understand my country. Anyway when did america the superpower become too broke to visit Kenya the chinnese president came and went didnt hear the chinnese people complain about the money we got for the new railway. Obama is coming u like or not

    • Victor, the Chinese visits, the Chinese presence , the Chinese business-deals, yes, that may very well be the reasons for the American visit in Kenya.The world can see that the Chinese are everywhere in Africa today, doing business, building infrastructure, houses, buying minerals, various raw materials. As Africa has many corrupt leaders I wonder if all this is seen as a blessing or something else. What about the environment ? What about the protection of the wild animals ? We all know about the Chinese bizarre hunger for rhinos and many other rare animals and that they usually don´t care about pollution and environmental problems..

      • The last time we had a railway was 1904 during the collonial era. The chines have give us funds to build a better one. They are building other megaprojects in my country. Now when Obama decides to visit us Americans complain about transport costs . Our people were killed by terrorists because we stood with america. . My two cents

    • Victor, if the Chinese people had complained they would have been imprisoned or shot. See the difference? It’s likely they didn’t know about it in the first place.

      • The kind of projects i see in my country Kenya megaprojects. Human rights! China has done alot . Its citizens are training us on various industrial skills . The dont care if our president was in ICC two years ago. We as Kenyans have moved on. The only enemy we have is terrorism.

    • We love that Obama is going to Kenya to see you.



      Americans are not Communists!

  8. Only last week former president Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State John Kerry visited Kenya on different occasions and reasons without any incident. They must laid the groundwork for Mr Obamas violent visit.

  9. Alas, you are right. Wait and see how Kenyatta will use this visit to show the gullible how the USA thinks so highly of him! Of course all the while Obama will branded as a dirty Luo by the same people.
    The visit seems so misconceived that some of us have had to devise an incredible theory for the reason: Obama will claim his Kenyas passport and run for president of Kenya himself.

    • In the world-view of the Tea Party, Kenya is a euphemism that is used metaphorically to stand in for Obama’s blackness. Thus Obama’s ancestral connection to Kenya is utilized as a round-about way of calling him out on the basis of his racial background rather than his ideas. The reason is because the United States no longer tolerates overt racism in public discourse.

  10. I think it right and proper that he takes along his USA auntie and uncle. After all they are family. They need to see their family and tell them how well they are doing in the USA.

    Also, Obama ought to take a delegation of poor blacks from Baltimore so they can compare the difference of living in the US vs. living there.

    • Rudy G. made the point on Fox this morning, that thye were the people who have run that city for 40 years. They should have seen what could have been down. To clean up the city as I did.

    • Like your suggestion about taking some of Obama’s Baltimore relations. He should leave them there since this country as treated them so unfairly. Let them see how Kenya treats them.

  11. Kenyatta , Mugabe , Idi’ VD ‘Amin and Obama : Birds of a Feather . Actually the Negro version of government > Steal with both hands as fast as possible , as much as possible .

  12. The corrupt Obama regime visiting the corrupt Kenyan regime. Obama wages destruction on everything he touches (Libya, Egypt and Tunisia come to mind). Why should Kenya be any different?

  13. Hi you there, Obama is not coming to see Our Uhuru, he is coming for a conference. If that conference was in Cairo, Pretoria, Addis Ababa, he would have still gone there. So stop putting Obama and Uhuru in the same subject. Again Kenya may have all those ‘evils’ as you may call them (and neither are you innocent Afghanistan, Iraq… you know what I mean) but Kenyans are good people committed to build their country, I see that everyday when I wake up to go to work by 8:00 am every morning. Btwn… you can keep your Obama if you like; he is not Kenyan.#FORTHELOVEOFAFRICA

      • Hehehe, who cares, we did not ask for your greens. Just because you are rich does not give you eternity in this world, you will be extinct just like us. By the way we live a more relax life , don’t have to do 10 jobs and run after trains. HAKUNA MATATA……OOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOO WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

  14. America should pause and ask itself why China is on the verge of overtaking it economically and becoming the next super power. They will discover that an important reason behind China’s growth is its now well-established business relationship with Africa. This should lead to the following question: Why has Africa turned to China so overwhelmingly. The answer is that Americans tend to bring too much baggage to their relationship with Africa–as is exemplified by the rhetoric being churned out by people like Robert I. Rotberg and ordinary Americans such as those who are talking down on Africa on forums such as this one. Americans should avoid the temptation of foregrounding their prejudices against Africans in their relationships with Africans. These prejudices are letting them down badly.

  15. I am a proud Kenyan. I pity the black people in your country that are killed in your country week in week out. We are safe in our country but we are paying the price of being friends with america being butchered by terroristr

  16. I am a proud Kenyan. I pity the black people in your country that are killed in your country by police week in week out. We are safe in our country but we are paying the price of being friends with america being butchered by terroristr

    • That’s hypocrite, Kenyans didn’t elect Obama but americans did. If u are tired with him he’s at home here,we love him very much he can even run and win for president. We only hate him when he talks about gays and lesbians

    • Even if he was born in kenya we have no problem with that. We are proud he’s leading a great country like america,though they don’t like us. We have real friends like china if u don’t like us

  17. […] Obama slammed for self-indulgent Kenya trip . . . One of the nation’s leading Africanists is assailing President Obama’s upcoming July trip to Kenya as a “dumb idea” that will confer legitimacy on its corrupt leadership, stoke divisions within the country, and unnecessarily endanger his own life. White House Dossier […]