Barack Obama’s Kenyan Connections

![Obama and Odinga in Kisumu, Kenya in 2006. (Sayyid Azim/The Associated Press)](/content/uploads/ObamaKenya.jpg)
Obama and Odinga in Kisumu, Kenya in 2006. (Sayyid Azim/The Associated Press)
Over the course of the 2008 presidential election, the public has become acquainted with several of Barack Obama’s family members and past associates. But not all of his associations, however, have been given such publicity. The Democratic candidate’s family, by his father’s lineage, originates from Kenya’s Luo tribe. Yet, there are elements of his Kenyan relationship that have not been explained or outlined in detail by the media.

“Abide by that basic precept in Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do unto me,” Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama stated at a theological forum several months ago in Saddleback Church in Orange County, California. The sincerity of the senator’s words has come under scrutiny with the discovery of the senator’s youngest half-brother in Kenya. The Italian edition of Vanity Fair reported in August that, George Obama, 26, lives on less than a dollar a month, in stark contrast to the senator’s income of $4.2 million in 2007 as reported by the New York Times.

Described in passing in Sen. Obama’s autobiography as a “beautiful boy with a rounded head”, George Obama lives in a 6 foot by 10 foot aluminum-sided shack on the outskirts of Nairobi. The presidential candidate has met his half-brother by his father on two occasions: once when George was five and again on a tour of East Africa in 2006. George Obama says of the 2006 meeting, “It was very brief, we spoke for a few minutes. It was like meeting a complete stranger.”

Mr. Obama plans to attend a technical college soon but expounds on the large disparity between him and his older half-brother. “If anyone says something about my surname, I say we are not related. I am ashamed.”

His financial plight, however, is not his only concern. Huruma, George’s home on the outskirts of Nairobi, has been an all-too common site of violence and strife.

“Huruma is a tough place, last January during the elections there was rioting and six people were hacked to death. The police don’t even arrest you they just shoot you. I have seen two of my friends killed. I have scars from defending myself with my fists. I am good with my fists.”

Mr. Obama is not without assistance, though. Dinesh D’Souza, author of “What’s So Great about Christianity?”, and, Jerome Corsi, author of “The Obama Nation”, have both created funds for George Obama. D’Souza himself pledged $1000 while Dr. Corsi recently traveled to Kenya to personally deliver a check of $1000 to George Obama.

The exchange between Barack Obama and the now infamous “Joe the Plumber,” coupled with the senator’s apparent lack of the charity for even his own brother, raises serious questions about his belief in “sharing the wealth”. While the senator has neglected his relationship with his own brother, Sen. Obama has cultivated his associations with another Kenyan citizen, Raila Odinga. Mr. Odinga was a presidential candidate in the 2007 Kenyan election.

Odinga, a self-professed Marxist educated at East Germany’s Magdeburg University, met with Senator Obama in the U.S. in 2004, ’05, and ’06. Senator Obama also spent six days in Kenya with Mr. Odinga in August 2006.

While the trip was billed as a foreign relations excursion, Mr. Odinga and the senator were nearly inseparable. Obama’s presence with the Kenyan presidential candidate provided a major boost to Odinga’s campaign. Speaking at several Odinga rallies, Obama declared, “Kenyans are now yearning for change.”

“The [Kenyan] people have to suffer over corruption perpetrated by government officials,” Obama stated after a meeting with incumbent president Mwai Kibaki on August 25, 2006.

President Kibaki responded in a Newsweek article stating, “It is very clear that the senator [Obama] has been used as a puppet to perpetuate opposition politics.”

Oddly enough, the campaign slogan for Mr. Odinga was “Kenya’s agent for change”, a disturbing similarity to Obama’s campaign slogan of, “Change we can believe in”.

Shortly after the senator’s trip to Kenya, a Memorandum of Understanding dated August 29, 2008 was released between Raila Odinga and the National Muslim Leaders Forum. The blog that broke the story, AtlasShrugs, reports that the memorandum stated, in return for complete Muslim support and votes, Mr. Odinga would institute Shariah courts in all districts of Kenya, “impose a total ban on open-air gospel crusades by worshippers of the cross”, “outlaw gospel programs”, and close meat-packing plants associated with swine amongst several other requests. Following the discovery of this memorandum, a “clean” second version was released pledging the support of the National Muslim Leaders Forum in return for infrastructure and civil service assistance on behalf of the Kenyan government should Mr. Odinga be elected.

The election did not see things turn in complete favor of Raila Odinga. He lost the election on December 30th by 200,000 votes. Within hours, violence targeting Christians and members of the incumbent president’s tribe began. Numerous churches were burned to the ground, one with over 50 men, women, and children inside. Over 600 more were hacked to death outside during rioting and violence over a period of several days. Time Magazine reports Senator Obama was in phone contact during the New Hampshire primaries with Mr. Odinga, attempting to alleviate the violence. However, the senator was unable to contact the Kenyan president during the election strife. With over 500,000 displaced and 1,500 left dead, the Kenyan government created a new position within their government- “Prime Minister”. Mr. Odinga was sworn in as the first Kenyan Prime Minister on April 17, 2008.

While Mr. Odinga denies inciting or associating himself with the political strife, there is no record of any attempts made by him to quell the violence. There are, however, well-documented records alleging him of election rigging. Furthermore, a recent report documenting the election violence, released by the Kenyan government, charged Mr. Odinga’s campaign, including senior advisors, as the responsible party for the election violence.

There is little known about the origin of this relationship. However, in a BBC interview with Mr. Odinga in January of 2008, he stated, “Barack Obama’s father is my maternal uncle.” While the senator’s “Fight the Smears” website denies this claim, it should be noted that both Senator Obama’s father and Mr. Odinga are from the same tribe in Kenya. Jerome Corsi, while in Kenya, obtained disputed e-mails where Senator Obama refers to Odinga as “Brother”. The veracity of such documents is under challenge by the Obama campaign. In a response, Obama’s “Fight the Smears” website states, “The email is so obviously made up, it’s been openly mocked.” Earlier this month while attempting to stage a press conference in Kenya to release the contents of the documents and e-mails, Dr. Corsi was detained without explanation by Kenyan government authorities for six hours until he was deported to the United States.

The essence of Senator Obama’s relationship with Raila Odinga shows either poor judgment or complete ignorance. Nevertheless, the senator’s association and campaigning with a known Marxist is troublesome enough in itself. As the U.S. presidential election nears, Raila Odinga could join the ranks of Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, and ACORN on a mounting list of discarded relationships left in the wake of Barack Obama’s politically expedient decisions.

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