World View: Ethnic Massacre in Kenya Kills 41

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Ethnic revenge massacre in Kenya kills 41
  • Syria’s civil war versus Kenya’s civil war
  • President Obama nominates John Kerry as Secretary of State

Ethnic revenge massacre in Kenya kills 41

At least 41 people, including many women and children, from the

Christian Pokomo tribe in southwest Kenya were massacred while they

slept in a 3am by the Muslim Orma tribe. The attack was in revenge

for a attack by the Pokomo against the Orma in August, where 52 people

were hacked to death with some being burnt alive, and hundreds of

cattle were mutilated. 

Although the two tribes have adopted different religious faiths, this

is actually the same issue that began the Darfur conflict. (See “13-Dec-12 World View — Darfur war may explode again soon into full-scale genocide”

The Darfur war began with violence between two ethnic groups, one of

farmers and the other of herders. There were similar conflicts in the

United States in the 1800s, although those conflicts didn’t lead to

war. What happens is that the farmers are infuriated when herds of

animals trample their crops. They respond by building fences, and

that infuriates the herders.

Exactly the same dynamic is occurring between the nomadic Orma

herders, who have frequently had violent conflicts with the Pokomo

farmers. However, Friday’s violence is the worst incident in a while,

and it raises fears of a repeat of the massive ethnic violence that

followed the 2007 presidential, in which more than 1,200 people were

killed, and many thousands were driven from their homes. I wrote about

this in January, 2008, in “Post-election massacre in Kenya raises concerns of tribal war”

In that article, I described the recent generational history

of Kenya. The country’s last crisis war was the Mau-Mau Rebellion,

which climaxed in 1956. In my 2008 article, I pointed out that it

was just 51 years since the climax of the Mau-Mau rebellion, making

it unlikely that a new crisis war would begin at that time. So I

indicated that the violence at that time was likely to fizzle (which

it did), but that violence would return, and the probability of new

violence triggering a major crisis war increases with each year.

Today, another five years have passed, and it’s now 56 years past the

end of Kenya’s last crisis war, so the probability of triggering

a major new genocidal crisis war is much higher. In examining hundreds

of wars throughout history, it has turned out that the peak year

for a new generational crisis war is 58 years past the climax of

the previous crisis war. Apparently, this is exactly the point where

the generation of survivors of the previous war, who have devoted

their lives to making sure it doesn’t happen again, become too old

to be effective in preventing a new crisis war.

The conflict between the Pokomo and the Orma seems to be highly

localized, so the current skirmish seems likely to fizzle. But Kenya

is headed for a major new genocidal ethnic war, almost certainly

within the next five years. Standard Media (Kenya) and The Nation (Kenya)

Syria’s civil war versus Kenya’s civil war

This is a good opportunity to contrast the civil wars in

Syria and Kenya. People constantly ask me whether the war

in Syria is a generational crisis war, and I’ve written dozens

of times in the last two years that it is not — it’s

a civil war in a generational Awakening era, and it’s going to


A crisis war comes from the people, while a non-crisis war comes from

the politicians, and nothing illustrates this better than the contrast

between Kenya and Syria. The war in Syria is driven entirely by

president Bashar al-Assad, and it would fizzle quickly if al-Assad

stepped down. Syria is still several decades away from a full-scale

generational crisis war. But in Kenya, there are no politicians

driving the war. It’s a war between two ethnic groups, farmers and

herders, and it could spread and envelope the entire country at any


President Obama nominates John Kerry as Secretary of State

When Massachusetts Senator John Kerry was running for president in 2004,

I was wondering how it would be possible for someone who thought

that the U.S. Army was worse than the Nazis could be president

and lead the country in the war against terror. 

In 1971, Kerry said that American soldiers were committing war crimes

“on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all

levels of command.” These atrocities included rape, torture, and

cutting off ears, heads and limbs. He compared the actions of our

armed forces to those of Genghis Khan. I wondered if Kerry still

believed this in 2004. I didn’t get answer then, but I did get an

answer in 2006, when Kerry appeared on Imus and reaffirmed that he had

“told the truth” in 1971. ( “John Kerry and Seymour Hersh trash the armed forces.”

In 2006, Kerry also made his famous statement indicating that he

thought that people in the American armed forces were stupid: “You know, education — if you make the most of it,

you study hard and you do your homework and you make an effort to

be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in


With his contemptuous view of America’s armed forces, by nominating

Kerry to be Secretary of State, President Obama has insulted every

American soldier and, indeed, every American.

And I honestly have no idea how this guy is going to represent

the United States. If he condemns a terrorist act in some other

country, how will he answer the question: “But according to what

you said in 1971, American soldiers are worse rapists, torturers

and terrorists than al-Qaeda. Why does America have the right

to criticize anyone else?” Washington Post

Permanent web link to this article

Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
World View: Ethnic Massacre in Kenya Kills 41

Leave a Reply