Saturday, November 10, 2012

Radio-Trottoir: If Gen. David Petraeus were Kenyan or African...

(Gen. David Petraeus aka King David)

***

The resignation of Gen. David Petraeus (ret.) as Director of the
Central Intelligence Agency over an extramarital affair on Friday,
just one day after the Kenyan government had introduced the so-called
"Marriage Bill 2012"--a law that would downplay extraconjugal
relations and legalize polygamy--is emblematic of the unabridgeable
cultural gap between Africa and the West.

Kinois women and men I spoke to about Gen. Petraeus's resignation went
like, "Here they go again!"--and went on to marvel at the "cultural
stupidity" that nearly destroyed President Bill Clinton's legacy over
the Monica Lewinsky affair.

Kinois were all the more flabbergasted and angry upon learning that
Gen. Petraeus could have run for president in 2016.

They were unmoved when I gave them details of the circumstances that
led to Gen. Petraeus's resignation:

1) conduct "unbecoming" a high-ranking official;

2) lack of judgement on the part of a spymaster;

3) possible security breaches with rumors of third parties without
appropriate security clearances accessing his email account;

4) an FBI investigation on the extramarital affair; and

5) the claim that he was the fall guy for the Benghazi debacle.

To drive the point home, I even read them in French the article by
Jonathan Allen on Politico about the sudden resignation of Gen.
Petraeus--reading them twice the following paragraph:

"But neither his reputation nor his career could survive the shock of the
extramarital affair he revealed in
resigning from his post — a decision that came under the pressure of
an FBI investigation that threatened to make things even uglier,
according to an intelligence community source
who spoke to POLITICO on the
condition of anonymity."

(mobile.politico.com/iphone/story/1112/83661.html)

They pointed to what one of them called the "African cultural
resilience," which has produced Mobutu with his "two wives," who
happened to be twin sisters; to Jacob Zuma's polygamous household; and
to the new Kenyan "Marriage Bill" that got much press on the African
programs of the BBC.

One woman exclaimed, laughing:

"If your General Petrus [sic] were Kenyan or African, he wouldn't need
to resign!"

At one point, I thought I had bested them in what was quickly
escalating into a contentious shouting match when I pointed out the
two following observations:

1) In South Africa, by law, only Zuma and his fellow "black" Africans
have the dubious privilege of engaging in polygamy--not, say, an
Afrikaner or an Anglo South African man in whose cultural traditions
such a practice is alien.

Which strangely turns out to be a form of "cultural apartheid"
sanctioned by law!

2) The so-called "African cultural resilience" is a myth as it is
often a one-way street.

A case in point is the Kenyan "Marriage Bill," which was crafted by
men and will be voted by mostly male MPs.

If the Kenyan "Marriage Bill" has pro-male provisions on Polygamy,
nowhere in that bill is there a mention of lawful Polyandry--that is,
the legal right of a woman to have multiple husbands at one time!

***
PHOTO CREDITS: Via: Politico

4 comments:

IHStewart said...

61 thowedeThis law if passed will change nothing.

Getting rid of the bride price good idea but pointless.

'Come-we-stay' relationships, draconian stupidity.

Polygamy, I think it will die of its own accord

IHStewart said...

Get rid of the prove your not a robot mate. 61 thowede was my 6th attempt to post the comment. It failed but whilst trying to decipher it I hadn't realised I was in the body of the comment.

Anonymous said...

@IHStewart:

I fixed it, mate! No more proving you ain't a robot!!!

Anonymous said...

So...

a) the kenyan law will be struck down per the nation's new constituition precisely because it violates the equality of women by denying them the right to take extra husbands.

b) as you know, Alex, america was founded by religious dissidents- the puritans. in addition to their worldview that working hard and gaining wealth were a sign of god's grace, they put a heavy premium on public (as opposed to private) virtue. it is for this reason that americans engage in "stupidities" and, i will argue, is also the reason that such public virtue has birthed a very powerful nation and some truly remarkable leaders (Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR, Eisenhower, JFK, Obama).

c)congolese society has evolved a kind of puritanism- Kimbanguism-and i'd argue that if the nation's elites came from this uniquely congolese variant of christianity the fortunes of the congo might have been very different than they are today.

just my two cents....

jose