I hate colonialism, but not for the reasons you might think. I was born in the land of the greatest colonialists, the Brits.
I’ve always been a proud Englishman but since making Kenya my new home my loyalties have been awakened to another angle. It was an anniversary that made me shake my head and damn my plummy mouthed ancestors. It was the first anniversary of the West Gate massacre last week, to be precise, when all of us mourned that atrocious, cowardly attack.
Cruel, misguided killers managed to massacre sixty seven innocent people and wandered, unhindered around the shopping mall for four days before it finally came to an end. The Kenyan security forces could not have fucked it up any more than they did, they are partly culpable and they should take responsibility for their mistakes, seeing as those mistakes resulted in many, many deaths.
However, partly I understand why, they haven’t been trained in the very complicated dark art of counter terrorism and that is not their fault. Many years ago, terrorists attacked the Iranian Embassy in London and a little known, well trained bunch of soldiers at the time called the SAS managed to get in, kill all the bad guys and save everyone. Why were they able to be so successful? Well the British Army had spent the last twenty years prior to that dealing with the mother of all terrorist organizations, the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the template for all successful terrorist organizations, so the skills and more importantly operational experience and subsequent training had been developed and was available.
The thing is it still is available, I’ve done it. My government spent lots of money and time ensuring that when I was finally confronted with insurgent warfare situations that I knew what to do. And this is the crux of why I hate colonialism. When the US and UK issued travel warnings to its citizens that they considered Kenya too dangerous as a tourist destination the Kenyan government accused them of colonialist attitude and publicly distanced themselves from them. Ironically the next day two terrorist grenade attacks happened in our capital.
The US, UK and other countries that don’t start with the letter “U” would have willingly given anything in their power to help Kenya win this appalling battle and ensure that this kind of massacre never again happens on our soil. But the ancestors of those countries beginning with “U” acted in such a poorly manner in the past that Kenya, understandably, wants to stand on its own two feet and fight its own battles.
The powers that be in Kenya are so anti-western and anti-colonialist they will cut their nose off to spite their face. There was no enquiry, no report, not one person in the Kenyan forces lost their job, over WestGate, one can honestly say that the Kenyan Government thinks it was in control and did nothing wrong there.
Take a deep breath Mr. Kenyatta, your pride is less important than peoples life’s, so make the call and get the assistance we need, and ensure that next time terrorists attack in Kenya make sure the dead bodies are the bad guys, not innocent Kenyans, their wives and children.
Now that would be a legacy…