Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tears for Change

It seems like every time the international news shows a story on the current conflict in Kenya they show the same thing: police firing on, attacking, and beating their fellow Kenyans. Depending upon whose press release you're reading, this brutality is either unprovoked attacks upon innocent bystanders or the police merely doing their job and trying to keep the peace.

I have attempted not to take sides during the last few weeks when blogging about the current situation, but there is only side to take when videos and photos of police brutality are being shown by every media outlet from Al Jazeera and CNN to the Daily Nation and even YouTube. What sense is there in throwing a canister of tear gas into someone's home? Or shooting unarmed people at point blank range?

Depending upon which political party you align yourself with, the fingers of blame are equally busy: Raila and his ODM are at fault for all the deaths, displacements, and injured since they continue to encourage mass demonstrations and won't accept defeat. On the other hand, Kibaki and his PNU are to blame since they cheated, should step down, are encouraging the police, and won't accept defeat.

Just about everyone on either side of this fence seem to agree that Kofi Annan's newly scheduled arrival this week may bring hope to everyone and common sense to the men in charge. (Hopefully Annan's "flu" doesn't return and once again delay his arrival.) I hate to sound cynical but we may need more than a single man, more than a league of superheroes, and more than tears, screams of terror, and funeral pyres to put an end to images like the one below.

Dear Raila and Kibaki, this is Kenya you have wrought. Congratulations.

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