Thanks for the amusing “Obama, Calhoun and the Churchill Bust-Out.” What do you say however about the Daily Telegraph’s speculation that Obama’s rejection of Churchill was based on the British jailing and torture of his grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, between 1949 and 1951, “during the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya”? —R.P.
First, the Daily Telegraph did not connect Obama’s grandfather’s jailing with the Mau Mau rebellion. The Telegraph report is very careful on this point:
It was during Churchill’s second premiership that Britain suppressed Kenya’s Mau Mau rebellion. Among Kenyans allegedly tortured by the colonial regime included one Hussein Onyango Obama, the President’s grandfather.
Presumably it will now get round that the President’s grandfather was a Mau Mau rebel. But Townhall columnist Diana West explodes the whole business. West explains that the torture allegation stems from a blog site, and/or Obama’s “Granny Sarah” (who also claimed that Barack was born in Kenya, which would make him ineligible to be President). West continues:
In his Dreams from My Father, Obama describes his grandfather’s detention as lasting “over six months” before he was found innocent (no mention of torture). Whatever the case, Churchill didn’t become prime minister for the second time until the end of 1951. The Mau Mau Rebellion didn’t begin until the end of 1952, one year after Obama’s grandfather’s release.
Mr. Obama, an intelligent man, probably appreciates that the Parliamentary forms finally emerging in Kenya stem from the colonial British, as they do in much of the old Empire, notably India and what Churchill called the “Great Dominions.” To paraphrase Mark Steyn (whose bust will probably never adorn the President’s office either), imagine how Kenya might have developed if it had been colonized by, say, the Germans, Japanese or Russians.