Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Raila & Obama "radical muslim communists", claims new book

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has been thrust into the thick of the American presidential campaign in a new book being used to attack Democratic candidate Barack Obama.

The book, in which Kenya features prominently, depicts Obama as a covert sympathiser of radical Islam and communism. It has become the number-one best-selling book in the US, although it is typical of many politically biased books published during US elections for propaganda purposes. Similar best selling attacks were published about former presidents Reagan and Clinton during their campaigns to reach the White House.

Perhaps, significantly, both went on to win the presidency.

In May, right-wing activists in the US had attempted to use Senator Obama’s Kenyan links to discredit him. The activists had claimed that Obama is Odinga’s relative, whom they described as a “socialist who planned to introduce Sharia Law in Kenya”. The allegations were motivated by a chain e-mail from Celeste Davis, an American missionary who, together with her husband, Loren Davis, claimed to have worked in Kenya for 12 years. However, their scheme failed and Obama went on to win the Democratic nomination against Senator Hillary Clinton.

This latest book — The Obama Nation, a deliberate play on the word “abomination” – written by Jerome Corsi, contains many inaccuracies and distortions. Corsi, a well-known right-wing author, uses Odinga in particular as a means of attacking Senator Obama on the two fronts of radical Islam and communism.

The Prime Minister, portrayed as a close associate of Senator Obama, is described as “a Muslim sympathiser with well-known communist political roots”. At one point in the book, the author suggests that Odinga might be a Muslim, even though, the book states, he “today professes to be an Anglican”.

Odinga’s spokesman, Salim Lone, last night trashed the allegations, saying: “You would think that the PM’s four months in office, and the role he played in restoring peace to Kenya and reconciling our people would have finally shamed into silence all of Mr Odinga’s demonisers.”

The new book also attacks Barack Obama Snr, the senator’s father, who came from Siaya in Nyanza and who died in 1982.

The elder Obama is referred to as “an alcoholic polygamist” and a Muslim who gravitated to the “more extreme communist position openly advocated by and identified with Oginga Odinga.” Corsi was co-author of a book published during the 2004 US presidential campaign that is thought to have contributed significantly to the defeat of Democratic Party candidate John Kerry.

Like The Obama Nation, Corsi’s earlier work, Unfit for Command, portrays its target as a radical leftist who misrepresented his past to deceive American voters. Unfit for Command took specific aim at Senator Kerry’s decorated service during the Vietnam war on a US Navy “swift boat”.

The Obama Nation shows clearly that Corsi is now seeking to “swift-boat” the African-American senator who is set to be formally nominated later this month as the Democratic Party’s 2008 presidential candidate. The book distorts Senator Obama’s political views and associations – often by means of inaccuracies – in an attempt to destroy his image as a new-style politician able to bridge cultural, racial and ideological divides.

Senator Kerry lashed back at Unfit for Command, but his campaign’s response was considered slow and inadequate. Senator Obama’s camp, by contrast, launched a full-scale counterattack on The Obama Nation within a couple of days of the book’s appearance in shops throughout the US. Detailed refutations of many of the claims in the book are posted on an Internet site sponsored by the senator’s campaign:

Vowing to “respond to these smears forcefully with all the means at our disposal,” Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor declared on Thursday: “Jerome Corsi is a discredited liar who is peddling another piece of garbage to continue the Bush-Cheney politics he helped perpetuate four years ago.” A recipient of a PhD from Harvard University, Corsi works as a staff reporter for, a right-wing website that circulates conspiracy theories and outlandish reports involving monsters and end-of-the-world prophecies. Corsi says early in The Obama Nation that Kenya will play a key part in his account "because Barack Obama himself tells us that Kenya is an important part of who he is, even today.” The book offers a series of “questions” based on the Senator’s alleged links to Odinga. It asks, for example: “If Obama were to be involved in Kenyan politics as US president, would his political goal simply be to stop violence, such as that which erupted after the recent election? Or would Obama seek to advance the same policy goals that his tribesman Odinga has in his co-presidency with Kibaki?” Near the book’s close, Corsi asks Americans to consider: “If Obama continues to support Odinga as Prime Minister, is he therefore accepting or condoning the post-election violence that brought Odinga to power, and a radical agenda from the left that would expand Islam in Kenya?”

The book’s first chapter focuses on Obama Snr because, Corsi explains, “Barack Obama introduced himself to the American public with a book about his father.” That 1995 autobiography was entitled Dreams from My Father, (Buy it here) so Corsi entitles this chapter “Myths from His Father.” Corsi argues in The Obama Nation that the senator downplayed or tried to hide his father’s alcoholism and polygamy in the 1995 book.

In response, the website cites page numbers in Dreams from My Father in which those issues are discussed. The elder Obama’s death in a Nairobi car accident was caused by his drunkenness, Corsi writes.

Much is made of the Muslim heritage of the senator’s father. Corsi writes that “the Obama family in Africa is a Muslim family of the predominantly Christian Luo tribe in the predominantly Christian country of Kenya.” By repeatedly drawing connections between Senator Obama and Islam, Corsi is playing upon anti-Muslim sentiments in the US that remain widespread and acute in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks on New York and Washington. Senator Obama is in fact a practising Christian, but Corsi implies that this religious affiliation may be a façade.

The Obama Nation delves into Kenya’s history, mainly through an account of the tribal and political roles played by Jomo Kenyatta, Tom Mboya and Oginga Odinga. Despite the publisher’s claim that Corsi carried out “meticulous research,” he gets some facts wrong in his analysis of Kenyan politics. He says, for example, that the Orange Democratic Movement took its name from the “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine rather than from the fruit used as the ballot symbol for opposition to the constitutional proposals rejected in a 2005 referendum.


Anonymous said...

As I sit here in Boston, Ma. I am sorry to read some of the errors in this article. 1. The book is no where near the best selling book in the U.S. We recognize it for the propaganda it is. 2. Senator Obama went to Harvard Law School and got an Law degree not a Ph.D. It is my hope that we will have a Luo President soon!

Anonymous said...

This book is mere hypocrazy and shows how the right wing KKK supremacist are trembling at the Obama victory.Obama's charisma is a classroom text in all leading universities and research.His victory is unstoppable and Let Corsi leave our PM out of the American paranoia. Mind your own business and stop distorting history.America is on the precipice of change and nobody will stop that.

Anonymous said...

This book is mere hypocrazy and shows how the right wing KKK supremacist are trembling at the Obama victory.Obama's charisma is a classroom text in all leading universities and research.His victory is unstoppable and Let Corsi leave our PM out of the American paranoia. Mind your own business and stop distorting history.America is on the precipice of change and nobody will stop that.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

We are witnessing the last kicks of a dying horse. What Corsi is trying to do is to release remnant few ideas indicative of frustrations of a failed regime that has caused unsurmountable sufferings of all people around the GLOBE. Cosi's false and theoretical asertions represent ideas from a person who has sensed defeat of a regime he helped bild and perpetuate. He must understand that America and its people have made up their minds to vote for change-YES, CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN. Senator Obama for President.

Anonymous said...

Anybody knows the root of this Corsi guy?, I am sure he is of a KKK family root and one for sure is that he is from a slave owner family,so can we associate him to a racism because his parents or grandparents were slave owners? We cannot judge a person by his family heritage, well even if Obama was a Muslim,what is wrong with that, USA has a right to choose and practice any religion..FREEDOM OF RELIGION. Sorry Corsi,you are practising Prejudism. Ali Yonis USA

Anonymous said...

We cannot be swayed by the miasma of propagandists who insist that Barrack Obama snr, jnr and Mr. Odinga have Islamic roots, and therefore the rise of Mr Obama to the echeleons of power in the US politics is a dangerous affair that will usher in Islamic Extremists. Why hatredness? The Myths perpetuated by Mr Corsi in his book "The Obama Nation" are wholly unfounded. They are tainting and belittling a course and an idea whose time has come: Change and YES WE CAN.Obama for President.

Anonymous said...

Smart people know that desperate writers look for 'on sale' topics to make any sales, which is what we have here - A frustrated fellow looking for 'Best Selling' attention.Squeeze the word 'Muslim'and ALAS!Attention achieved!You'll be surprised the not-so-cosy with-his-writing Corsi has NEVER stepped Kenya,never interviewed anyone he marvels about.The result? Baseless pieces with quotes fished from space.I'm not surpised.Just another of those sad political writers!!NEXT PLEASE!