Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Dreams of my cousin

The BBC says Kenyan politician Raila Odinga has claimed that he is the cousin of Barack Obama.

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has said he is a cousin of US presidential hopeful Barack Obama. Mr Odinga told the BBC's The World Today that Senator Obama's father was his maternal uncle. Mr Obama's father - a Kenyan also called Barack - met and married his American mother when they were students at the university of Hawaii.

You can't choose your relatives but then your relatives can make things complicated. Raila Odinga is accused of signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Muslim Leader's Front, which allegedly promises among other things to "popularize Islam, the only true relgion", establish madrassas and implement sharia law besides in exchange for political support.

Melanie Phillips has more in the Spectator.

Raila Odinga, it said, who was then the current presidential frontrunner, had promised to implement strict Islamic Sharia law if he received the Muslim vote and was elected president. Odinga had signed a secret memorandum of understanding with Sheikh Abdullahi Abdi, chairman of the National Leaders Forum, in which Odinga had allegedly stated his intention, if elected, to

‘within six months, rewrite the Constitution of Kenya to recognize Sharia as the only true law sanctioned by the Holy Quran for Muslim declared regions’.

None of this is Barack Obama's doing, but as the Carters and the Clintons discovered, relatives can be a joy and a headache.


Blogger buck smith said...

I was just having a conversation about NH primary with my redneck brother who was upset cause he hates Hillary and thinks Barakc is easy to beat. Me I like horse races on both sides, I think it moves both parties to better positions. But this post shows that my bro' may be right about Barry.

1/08/2008 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

It is worth recalling in this context a couple of items.

My worthy brother points out that Gordon Brown, the newly-elevated Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, did not make it clear that as soon as he came to power he would sign the Treaty of Lisbon. That treaty apparently cedes exactly the powers and rights of British citizens that they otherwise had been resisting along with the French and the Dutch in the votes against the EU Constitution.

Second, William Jefferson Clinton never mentioned in his campaign that his first act as President would be to issue an executive order about homosexuals in the military ("Don't Ask Don't Tell") which has the force of law.

When pressure groups like CAIR are seeing that the Mainstream Alleged News Organizations and plenty of government bureacrats are lining up to kiss their butts, it's completely reasonable to question whether Barak Hussein would be willing to stand up to them to protect the larger interests of the U.S.

1/08/2008 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

I'm guessing the Cheney connection is more embarrassing to Obama. But I'm not sure it should be. People who have a bad opinion of Al Gore should reflect on what Odinga is doing to Kenya. Al Gore knew when to quit for the sake of the country. His followers were pretty nasty for a while, but it could have been a lot worse. Odinga took the tack of crying foul even before the election and has made no honest effort to curb the violence. Whether he was right or not, I don't think he's doing his country any favors.

1/08/2008 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger davod said...

"Gore knew when to quit for the sake of the country. His followers were pretty nasty for a while, but it could have been a lot worse"

Al Gore's followers and other Dems have been trying to subvert Bush since the election.

1/09/2008 03:00:00 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

In the most clinical sense of the term I think Americans would be crazy to elect anybody with an Islamic background or Islamic family connections to any high office, let alone the WH.

Islam is poison for free societies, plain and simple. What makes it so? Mohamed was a successful recruiter because he promised domination. Maybe Nietzsche best described it with his "will to power" - that the prime motivator of human nature is to dominate others by will or by force without the restraint of morals or conscience.

Jonah Goldberg's new book, Liberal Fascism, documents how closely modern liberalism is tied to Nietzsche's will-to-power even if he doesn't approach it from that angle.

Islam is even a more powerful motivator than Nietzsche's will-to-power because Islamic domination is a divine right and a divine obligation all rolled into one. Islam does not, and can never, square with the principle of "all men are created equal."

I don't know where Obama's head is on Islam but we do know that he is a man of the Left and that the ideological connection is just too close for comfort.

1/09/2008 03:44:00 AM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

There's actually an entry in Wikipedia for an object called a Balikbayan box. Whenever a Filipino-American visits relatives in the Philippines he is culturally expected to bring back several of these (how many depends on his perceived prosperity) containing items like canned corned beef, junk food, bedsheets, towels and even bottled sauces. These boxes are so obligatory you can probably buy them in hundreds and perhaps thousands of places in America. They are specially sized to conform to airline specs and so common freight forwarders are very familiar with them. If you unpacked every Balikbayan box that arrived in the Philippines you would probably be able to stock a supermarket, principally with corned beef, within a few hours.

If someone of Filipino descent ever became front runner for President of the United States, but was perceived to be completely Americanized, there would be no social expectations of him. He would have left the fold, regarded as an Amerikano and appreciated as such. He can behave like a "foreigner" without giving offense. But if he should convey the impression he is a Pinoy -- and that he has never left the tribe -- it would be the height of rudeness and perceived arrogance to suddenly turn around and put on the American hat. Then the gates of hell open: the visa application window at the US Embassy will immediately be choked with people demanding special preference in admission, a job or even accomodation on the basis of their relation to the candidate. And should candidate, having once proclaimed his affinity to the old culture, inform his relatives that no special treatment can be expected, he will be shunned as an ingrate and a bad family member.

No one expects a "real American" to be bound by Filipino social rules but everyone expects a self-proclaimed Filipino to adhere to them strictly. So if the hypothetical Filipino-American wants to avoid being swamped by petitioning relatives from all parts of the compass, he must convey a "foreign" personality and stay within character as if his life depended on it. If you arrive as a foreigner then its ok to arrive without a Balikbayan box. Arrive as a Filipino without one and ...

This also applies to the acceptability of so-called "foreign" behavior. If you're American then it's ok to clean your room, fix your own car, or wash your own dishes without causing a scandal. The astonishment will be quelled with the whispered explanation that "he grew up in America" and suddenly everyone will understand and forgive inexplicable behavior like walking more than five hundred yards when there is any conceivable possibility of taking a car instead.

I don't know if expectations work that way in Africa but my guess is that they work in a similar fashion in many places of the world.

Would a "world" candidate for President of the USA be more acceptable to foreign publics than one who projects himself as totally American? It's an interesting question.

1/09/2008 05:12:00 AM  
Blogger baldilocks said...

So it if Odinga is Obama's cousin and the former is a major political leader, what's Obama supposed to do when he goes there? *Not* meet with him?

It isn't as if Obama can tell the future.

Obama's presidential candidacy should be opposed for a gazillion other reasons than having Muslims and/or politicians in the family.

1/09/2008 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger AndyE said...

The memorandum of understanding you are quoting was a fake, by the way. See the real story here. And as for Obama and Odinga being cousins, I think the term was being used loosely.

2/28/2008 03:43:00 PM  

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