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This isn't going to be a diary so much as a question.  Why has there been so little discussion here on dkos of the ongoing terrorist attack in Nairobi?  Given the magnitude of the event the almost total lack of commentary is astounding.  Searching on the tag Kenya I have found only two diaries.  One was a brief statement early on which earned a modest number of recs (I was one) and comments.  The other was a transcript of the President's remarks.

I wouldn't normally write a diary about a topic like this and it is way outside of any expertise I might have but I would certainly read it.  When I was growing up in Canada one of the biggest stereotypes about Americans was that they didn't know anything about events outside of their borders and didn't care either.  One of the things I've loved about dkos is the knowledge of and interest in other countries and cultures (and environments).  Which is why this silence seems so odd.

Any thoughts?

Just a short summary of the attacks based on the NY Times.  The attack occurred Saturday in the upscale Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.  The Shabab, a Somalian Islamist group with ties to Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attacks in retaliation for Kenyan incursions into Somalia.  These incursions are apparently part of a larger international push by many African nations to oust the Shabab from Somalia.

So far the attack has resulted in 59 known deaths and several dozen people are still missing and presumed either dead, trapped, or held hostage in the mall.  The attackers are pinned down in the mall by Kenyan security forces.  About 175 people were injured including 4 Americans.  Two Canadians were killed.

Apparently the attackers specifically tried to target non-Muslims.  Among the dead are a popular radio host, an elderly Ghanian poet, and a relative of the Kenyan President.

7:26 AM PT: Several people have asked why I didn't write a diary about it.  This is a valid question.  I have an answer, which is perhaps not the best in the world.  I don't really feel that I have the knowledge of the area or the situation to write anything that simply wouldn't be a rehash of someone else's news release.

However I recognize that most people on this site don't have any more expertise than myself.  So it is a bit hypocritical of me.  I will grant that.


7:41 AM PT: I've added a short summary gleaned from the NYT.  A number of people have said something to the effect of 'It's Africa'.  I think this is a valid point and perhaps I have a skewed perspective.  I've never been to Africa but many people I know have been to Kenya and several have done field work there for many years.  Nairobi is on a very different scale from most other African cities in terms of it international prominence.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's Africa (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    matching mole, zizi, outofthisworld

    People die all the time. It sounds cold, but that's what you come to expect when you imperialistically carve out countries without regard to ethnic and cultural considerations.

  •  live blog on BBC News (16+ / 0-)

    For lack of coverage here, I went there.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/...

    FYI
    There's an auto play video of President Kenyatta's statement. He lost a nephew in the attack.

  •  Most Americans tune out Africa, sad but true (5+ / 0-)

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 06:57:47 AM PDT

  •  I didn't even know about it, so thank you for (6+ / 0-)

    bringing to my attention. (Dkos is the first place I go to check the news every day. The only thing I saw about it this morning so far, is this post. I haven't worked my way down the recent list yet.)

    A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. - Greek proverb

    by marleycat on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 06:59:38 AM PDT

  •  Why not write one? (9+ / 0-)

    I, for one, would read it.

    This looks to be the most brazen Al Qaeda attack in quite some time.

    •  Is it really an Al Qaeda attack? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      matching mole, ladybug53, Garrett

      I've been following it (lived in Nairobi for over 10 years) and I'm not so sure. Al Qaeda may be involved but there apparently were more motives.

      •  That's increasingly difficult, right? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DavidMS, Garrett, Wednesday Bizzare

        My own perspective is that Al Qaeda is pretty much an unregistered trademark that certain groups use for recruitment and publicity. Long before ObL was "eliminated with extreme prejudice" there ceased to be some official clearinghouse where you had to get some "authorization" to label your group "Al Qaeda in (fill in the blank)."

        Al Qaeda inspired or influenced? I'll buy that. More than anything it is short-hand for "we believe in the imposition of the Global Caliphate...so long as we're the ones in charge." Which is why there are rival AQ forces taking shots at each other as well as the FSA, the Kurdish seperatists and Assad Loyalists in Syria.

        Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 08:58:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Al Qaeda? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      matching mole

      The Shabbab from Somalia claimed credit, which seems highly plausible. The Shabbab is not the Qaeda. What makes you think this attack is the Qaeda?

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 07:57:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They merged with Al Qaeda in 2012 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        matching mole, DocGonzo
        On February 9, 2012, Mukhtar Abu al-Zubair 'Godane' announced in a fifteen-minute video message that Al-Shabaab would be joining the Islamist militant terrorist organization al-Qaeda, under the leadership of Ayman al-Zawahiri. Al-Zubair stated, "On behalf of the soldiers and the commanders in al-Shabaab, we pledge allegiance to you. So lead us to the path of jihad and martyrdom that was drawn by our imam, the martyr Osama."[4] Al-Zawahiri approved and welcomed Al-Shabaab as al-Qaeda's Somalia-based terrorist cell in a 15-minute video response, stating "Today, I have glad tidings for the Muslim Ummah that will please the believers and disturb the disbelievers, which is the joining of the Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement in Somalia to Qaeda al-Jihad, to support the jihadi unity against the Zio-Crusader campaign and their assistants amongst the treacherous agent rulers."[209] The merger follows reports about a rift in the leadership,[210] and it coincides with reports about large factions breaking away from Al Shabaab,[211] and up to 500 Al Shabaab fighters fleeing or leaving southern Somalia for Yemen,[212] where a full Al Qaeda branch AQAP is stepping up operations, under perceived increased military pressure since a new president took office.[213] Somalia's Transitional Federal Government officially recognized the two Islamist outfits as one group
        http://en.wikipedia.org/..._(militant_group)#Merger_with_Al-Qaeda
  •  maybe you could get that discussion going. (9+ / 0-)

    that said, I'm sure another round of meta would be at least as valuable.  clearly, if there's one thing lacking here it's discussion about discussion.

  •  It is an ex-pat area (16+ / 0-)

    I follow the Kenyan Quilt Guild and some members are posting that at least one quilter lost two family members, and there are helicopters flying overhead a lot in an area where many ex-pats live.(Ex-pats are a big part of the quilt guild.)

    My husband was in Tanzania when the twin embassy bombings happened in 98, and we recall how then the coverage was pretty short.

    There are still hostages so this is still unfolding.

    The words of House Republican: We do not care.

    by Chun Yang on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 07:01:59 AM PDT

  •  It's a weekend (10+ / 0-)

    And there are few details or facts while the situation remains unresolved.

    Half of Sunday dKos is kittens and gardening. Even US breaking news is hardly well represented.

    I agree Americans tune out Africa (or our media make that decision for us), which is why my Sunday news comes from BBC and Al Jazeera. But I'm not really surprised no one wanted to diary this attack.

    How about you diary the attack instead of meta-diary why there are so few diaries on the attack?  

  •  We've got plenty of terrible (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    matching mole

    things going on in our own country to talk about, so things that happen far away just don't register that much. If this were a mall in the US, it would indeed be a huge story. For about two days. Then some other event, tragic or otherwise, would replace it.

  •  I noticed that as well (6+ / 0-)

    Choose one or more rationalizations:

    1. It's the weekend, time for soft news on all fronts.

    2. It's Africa, and most people don't are about what happens there.

    3. Most Americans don't know where Nairobi is or anything about it.

    4. The media is a poor shadow of its pre-Communications Act and consolidation self and almost no one has an African bureau any more.

    I think it's probably mostly #4, with a smattering of the other points.

    There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is, how far is it from Midtown and how late is it open? -- Woody Allen

    by Mnemosyne on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 07:11:50 AM PDT

  •  I've been following it on the NYT, I get most of (8+ / 0-)

    my real news elsewhere, DK not so much.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 07:14:44 AM PDT

  •  Nairobi is not about me, so I am bored (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    matching mole, sunbro, Roadbed Guy

    Those people in Nairobi are far away and they do not look like me.  So I don’t care very much.  Whereas if something happens closer to home to people with whom I can identify, it gets my attention:  what happens to them might happen to me.  As a result, I yawn when I hear about another suicide bombing in the Middle East, but am deeply disturbed by the bombing at the Boston Marathon.  Since I am white and middle class, I was very interested in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway; but some poor black girl disappears, and I am unable to do more than say, “That’s too bad.”

    So, I am self-centered and uncaring.  I won’t speak for others, however, since their lack of interest in the Nairobi incident may well be for more reasons more understandable and justifiable than my own.

    In any event, I am glad to hear that such an attitude as mine is limited to America.  I would hate to think that the rest of mankind was just like me in this regard.

  •  Two things: (9+ / 0-)

    1) I,found it very interesting that its being called the Westgate Mall attack.  Apparently they have Westgate malls everywhere.

    2) I hope that you will evolve this diary into one that discusses the attack.  There's a lot of. News still breaking and the site could use a Rec list diary that keeps up.  It seems like no one is claiming expertise on DKos so why not keep the convo going in this diary?

    Nothing is as evilly imaginative as the mind of a teenage gamer. -- Sychotic1

    by Sarea on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 07:25:26 AM PDT

    •  Westgate (10+ / 0-)

      Westgate malls are owned by an Israeli company which is partly what put this particular unit on the high risk list for attacks by Muslim militants. It is very much an up-market shopping place and is popular with ex-pats and tourists (i.e. whites) as well as the more wealthy Kenyans.

      At least three British have been killed and the Prime Minister has warned there may well be more bad news. A "rapid response" team has been sent out to the High Commission in Nairobi (Commonwealth members exchange High Commissioners, not Embassadors) to help British nationals who may have been caught up in the attack and their families. There is an emergency number for those concerned about relatives. This is a London number, the international code is (+44)20 7008 0000

      We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 07:34:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Also quite interesting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    matching mole, Timaeus

    It took time to hit the US media and really only after the first Al Shabab tweet which raised the question of if it was a terrorist attack was anything posted here.

    Very early on, there was speculation that it was an organised robbing that went wrong and it was over three hours into the British coverage that a full claim of responsibility by Al Shabab was reported by the agencies. (I posted that here at 7.20 pm BST wheras the coverage had been ongoing since early afternoon)

    We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 07:25:42 AM PDT

    •  Reaction Time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      matching mole

      The Kenyan police reportedly didn't even respond for a half hour, and then just with a helicopter blasting "Get out! Get out!"

      Events around the world where the broadcast media aren't already camped out sometimes take more than a few minutes to balloon to full cable news hysteria.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 08:02:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not camped out (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco, enhydra lutris

        A decent news service should have at least a bureau in the four compass points in Africa. These would be Cairo for North Africa, Lagos, Nigeria for West Africa and the southern Sahel, Johannesbury for Southern Africa and Nairobi for East Africa. Kenya is a relatively safe place in which to base for ad hoc coverage of Somalia and other parts of the Horn of Africa.

        In fact the BBC has production centres in Lagos, for the BBC Africa service and Johannesbury for its Africa business news bureau (with correspondents in Lagos and Nairobi)

        So serious news organizations already have people on the ground.

        We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 08:23:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Serious News Organizations (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          matching mole

          I agree with you, but that's my point.

          For example, the Washington Post closed its foreign affairs bureau, while I think the Chicago Tribune has closed its photo desk. Most "serious news services" portray themselves as serious ("CNN: the most trusted name in news"), but are deeply unserious - and daily more deeply. The BBC is a government agency, fitting a very different model of British culture than the American model.

          I'm not surprised American news didn't have reporters in place in a Nairobi suburb.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 01:51:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I posted my diary about the attack (0+ / 0-)

      as soon as I learned about it and realized there was nothing here. I knew nothing about any tweet.

  •  Most people on this site are uncomfortable with... (12+ / 0-)

    discussing the subject of terrorism, because they see it only as a an argument for a set of policies they oppose.

    It's sort of like why you don't see stories on Red State about climate-related stories.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 07:28:24 AM PDT

    •  I am not so sure (4+ / 0-)

      I think the lack of coverage of this here is more likely due to a lack of knowledge of the area and the fact no one is there who posts here.

      The discussion of terrorism and how to react to it is discussed here all the time.

      Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

      by kimoconnor on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 07:42:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Counterpoint: diaries about drone strikes. (5+ / 0-)

        How many people know anything about Somalia?

        How many people who post here are from the tribal areas of Pakistan?

        And yet there is no shortage of diaries about those attacks, which are typically smaller by an order of magnitude.

        I have to disagree that the issue is terrorism per se is discussed her all the time. The issue of American counter-terror actions is discussed here all the time, but not terrorism itself. Those two are as different as the issue of pollution is different from the issue of alleged over-regulation.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 07:47:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I won't argue that discussions about (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          matching mole, susans

          terrorism are not discussed in detail here. But I do disagree that the reason this may be the case is due to posters here not wanting to talk about policies they oppose, and the notion that some of these policies are inevitable.

          Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

          by kimoconnor on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 07:51:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I know for a fact that I sometimes don't post (0+ / 0-)

            anything about a terrorist attack, or about terrorism, not because I'm not interested or because I don't know anything, but because I think my post will easily be misinterpreted as support for a particular set of policies. I'm only one data point, but I exist, and the fact that I have refrained from posting on the topic for that specific reason supports Joe from Lowell's point.

    •  Most People (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enhydra lutris, susans

      That's an obnoxious assertion. Back it up with some cited facts.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 08:03:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How about no diaries about the Kenya attack? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical, Noisy Democrat, Red Sox

        How about the complete absence of any rec-listed diaries specifically about terrorism for years?

        How about the constant refrain of "What about car accidents?" in response to discussions of terrorism?

        While it may make your tummy hurt, the observation that most people here don't want to talk about terrorism is not a particularly debatable claim.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 08:22:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Circular Logic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          enhydra lutris

          Your argument is betrayed first by the circular logic of citing "no diaries about the Kenya attack" as the reason that there's no diaries about terrorism, which was the assertion "explaining" why there's "no diaries about the Kenya attack". All in a diary about the Kenya attack.

          Then consider that there haven't been many terrorist attacks lately. Not enough to make the news in the previous few months, for example. There is far more hype in America around terrorism than there is actual terrorism to discuss. Hype which excludes nearly all domestic terrorism, terrorism by the US military, the terrorism by bigoted violence and institutions.

          An "opposition" community like "progressive Democrats" is of course going to use its own public media to discuss the exaggerations of mass media terror reporting, and its negligence of terrorism defined out of the spotlight, countering the exaggerations and negligence.

          "Most DKos people not wanting to talk about terrorism" is more debatable than you say. But what is not at all like what you say is the implication that DKos people don't talk about terrorism enough, appropriate to the amount and kinds of terrorism to talk about.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 09:44:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ...which is why I included other examples. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Noisy Democrat

            It's a good idea to read through a comment before answering it, you know. Now I'm going to write a comment replying to your thoughts, hoping that you actually read it this time.

            You mention that there have been few terrorist attacks lately, for example, but I mention in my comment that years-long lack of diaries about terrorism. I also mention, in the first comment you replied to, the frequent presence of diaries about counter-terrorism policy. If the cause was what you assert, terrorism-specific and counter-terrorism-specific diaries would appear in roughly the same numbers at roughly the same time. They don't.

            At the end of your comment, you basically acknowledge that I'm write - that "opposition communities" write in opposition to American counter-terrorism policies, and that is the majority of discussion of anything related to the topic. You agree with this viewpoint, and think it's just fine that the underlying issue of terrorism is ignored - which is fine, but knock of the pretense that it's not happening.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 09:50:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wrong. There have been plenty of diaries about (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DocGonzo, matching mole, susans

              terrorism historically, even about foreign acts, though not every such act has been diaried.

              There is also some fallacious reasoning here. Diaries about US drone wars and such do outnumber diaries about terrorist attacks, as they should, because every drone strike is a drone strike, and almost zero are in response to a terrorist attack.  Hence diaries about such acts greatly outnumber diaries about the non-existent events they are not in response to.

              Dismissive responses to the constant focus on 911 and Fort Hood the very few acts of terrorism is only logical when you consider our huge military & spy budget, and our negligible effor to combat far deadlier and more constant threats like food borne illness.

              That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

              by enhydra lutris on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 01:00:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Facts, Please (0+ / 0-)

              Look, you're being obnoxious. I obviously read your entire comment, since I replied to everything in it. And you kicked this off with an obnoxious assertion - you're still being obnoxious.

              Just because I debunked your first example as circular logic doesn't mean I didn't address your other examples. I did. Perhaps you are the one not reading my comments.

              Your assertion that terrorism and counter-terrorism diaries would be about as frequent has no logical basis. That's a lot like the circular logic I already pointed out in your earlier comment.

              Where you say I acknowledge that you're right is not quite what you say. I'm pointing out that your complaints about lack of terrorism terrorism diaries are specious, because DKos is naturally more interested in counter-terrorism than terrorism; even as I pointed out that your complaints are an exaggeration, since the lack of interest comes from the lack of terrorism while the counter-terrorism and its hype are constant.

              Look, I'm not interested in a discussion with someone obnoxious who posts unbased assertions, logical fallacies, psychological projections and misrepresentations of what I say to them. If you want to introduce some actual facts to back up your assertions, like some cited data about the frequency of terrorist attacks (not) correlated with the frequency of diaries about them on DKos, then please continue. Otherwise, I'm done here.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 02:00:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What lack of terrorism? (0+ / 0-)

                Seriously. Terrorist attacks are occurring all over the world on a daily basis. Some of us are very concerned about them. But DailyKos is not a community that focuses on them much. That doesn't mean the attacks aren't happening.

                Unless you mean that there haven't been very many terror attacks inside the United States, which is a different matter.

                •  The United States (0+ / 0-)

                  There haven't been many terror attacks inside the United States. That is indeed a different mater.  The ones against our military around the world is an argument here for decamping from those places, and that is what is discussed here.

                  Why should terror attacks outside the United States be a priority for Daily Kos? Except when they represent an actual threat to the US, it is not our business. The way that the US government has reacted to them has been the primary threat to our way of life, including perpetuating more of the reasons for the terrorism. The nature of these discussions here are along the lines of reducing the threat to us by stopping our military kicking of the hornet's nest, which is what we discuss.

                  I am not interested in the US stopping terrorism in the world except that which clearly does stop threats to the US, especially terrorism carried out by the US and other US actions that cause terrorism. I am interested in other people ending their own terrorism, and helping if and only if all foreign parties invite us to as happened in Ireland in the 1990s. For that matter, I am interested in stopping bank fraud, for example, in the US, and in foreign bank fraud seeing foreigners solve their own problems.

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 09:05:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  We often try to understand foreign events (0+ / 0-)

                    And understanding why terror attacks are going on in different places is part of it. It isn't just a matter of deciding whether the US should intervene. It's about understanding the geopolitical issues, knowing where our sympathies lie, etc. We talk about all kinds of events that go on in the world. I don't see why terrorist attacks should be in a different category, but they often are.

  •  Someone to follow on Twitter (7+ / 0-)

    that seems to be the best I have found to keep up (other than the BBC and UK Guardian live updates)

    Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

    by kimoconnor on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 07:40:55 AM PDT

  •  I dont have to be a rocket scientist (7+ / 0-)

    to observe several things about this attack:

    Muslim fanatics , like other types of fanatics, are primarily reacting to and rejecting modernism and the modern world, driven by religious cant but really manifesting something deeper than that.

    Nairobi is a visible symbol of modernism in Africa,  and an upscale shopping mall, one that could be anywhere in the modern world, is certainly a highly visible symbol in that context, filled with prosperous middle-class shoppers.

    Expect more of this symbolism.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 07:55:26 AM PDT

    •  i think you oversimplify (0+ / 0-)

      islamic extremists.

    •  Jihad vs McWorld (0+ / 0-)

      The jihadists are reacting to the threats to the old local order that gives those who join jihad their established privileges in the old order. Not just overall modernism, but globalism that brings outsiders into power over them. TV brings images of women bosses; fast food chains bring work that cannot easily be described as "glorifying god".

      If a 21st Century ad agency arrived in any medieval county with TVs, they'd be attacked the same way.

      The jihadists are no different from any Conservative incumbent anywhere, in any era. All that differs is the lengths to which they must go to protect or regain their power and privileges.

      I don't think the McWorld they fight is a whole lot better, except crucially in persuasion (however dishonest) vs coercion. It's why I find America's Taliban, who fight to spread McWorld, the worst, because they rely on coercion to culturally cleanse the world in favor of dreck.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 08:10:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not thrilled about McWorld, but I dearly (0+ / 0-)

        love Western Civilization. Things like individual freedom, rights for women, respect for individual conscience, freedom of speech and religion. We may not always fully implement those ideals, but we do a damn sight better job of it than most other civilizations in the history of the world. The jihadists believe that these rights that we cherish are actually symptoms of the decadence of the West that needs to be destroyed. I know which side I'm backing.

        •  The Jihadists Believe (0+ / 0-)

          What the jihadists undeniably believe is that foreign cultures like the US/UK/EU etc in their country threaten their power, and some of them will die protecting it. What else they believe about "the rights  we cherish" or anything else is impossible to distinguish from their propaganda, especially what they tell themselves to be willing to die fighting it.

          I'm certainly not backing the jihadists - I'm perfectly willing to pay people willing to fight and die to protect me and my country from those who actually threaten us. But I'm also not backing McWorld, and refuse as much as I can to pay people willing to fight and die to protect it. I'm not backing either side, because the entire death spiral threatens the rights I cherish.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 09:10:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You keep focusing on US military intervention (0+ / 0-)

            I don't think that is the only option. We can defend the ideals of Western Civilization through writing and speaking out, for example. Simply knowing what is at issue is better than not knowing.

            I do think that the jihadists are very serious in the belief that democracy is a form of idolatry ("worshipping" man-made laws, ignoring the command "Legislation is for God alone"), that we are stubbornly refusing the truth of their version of Islam, and that our freedoms are actually a form of ignorance and decadence and that it is their divine mission to liberate us from all of it. I think they really mean it. Knowing that makes it easier to understand their agenda.  

            •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

              Well, the military intervention is the most obvious instance to deal with. Of course I believe in writing and speaking out, and even more actively organizing people to exercise our rights, including our democracy and evolving our republic to better protect them.

              What people actually believe is a matter of metaphysics. It's unproveable, and so largely of lesser importance than what people do. Jihadists are clearly committed to protecting their own power, and will kill (outsiders and their own people) and die to protect it. Also clearly their power conflicts with my power over my own life and success, and that of others I care about. Whether that's out of "genuine faith" or a cynical exploitation of their religion to get and keep power is largely immaterial to me. Their religion is relevant in understanding their techniques, and in finding weaknesses to exploit to defeat them.

              Their agenda is power. It's easy to understand. What is harder to understand, or even to recognize, is the people just like them who might not be literal "jihadists", Islamic theocratic warriors, but who are as much of a threat to my own life and success and that of others I care about. Theocratic Christainists, fundamentalist Jews, and any religious warriors of any religion inside America. That includes corporate anarchists of the free market fundamentalist religion, and plenty of other Capitalists besides: McWorlders. As well as plenty of Communists, etc. They each have their propaganda, their unprovable (or disproven but insistently believed anyway) assertions about values and enforcable behavior. So their different flavors matter in how I oppose them. But not in whether I must or do.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 10:12:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wednesday Bizzare, Tommye

      The notion that it's about "the modern world" has serious problems. First, it reifies the notion of "the modern world," as if there were one, unified, cultural thing, "modernity." That's a notion that's both shallow and problematic.

      These are Somalis attacking Kenyans. Kenya has for two years had troops in areas where there formerly was the nation of Somalia, trying to bring back order, after the Somali Islamist thugs' years of anarchy. The Somali thugs have business models based on brigandage and piracy. Order threatens their business interests. They are defending those interests with the same passion that the Koch brothers defend theirs. Neither wants any sort of government regulation in the way of their profits.

      This is not about traditional conservatives defending themselves against "modernity" in either case, although in both it poses as that. Don't buy the hype. It's about those with an economic interest in thuggery and anarchy promoting that economic interest with all means available, and no trace of human or ethical comprehension or compassion. Because that's what raw economic interests can do to you.

  •  That Kenya is being malled, instead of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    matching mole

    incautious lion hunters just being mawled, comes as a shock. As if the malling of North America wasn't bad enough.

  •  I had the same thought and almost wrote the (8+ / 0-)

    same diary.  Good job.

    I think people at DKos are generally uncomfortable with the thought of Muslim extremists singling out non-Muslims.

    But there is a lot of that in many places in the world.  I just saw a headline that suicide bomber blew up in a church in Pakistan, killing 77 people.  http://www.cnn.com/...

    It's very dangerous to be Christian in many countries, such as Egypt or Pakistan--or Kenya.

  •  Same Reason (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    matching mole, Naniboujou

    A provocative photo taken of a French diplomat on the West Bank gets a lot of attention here, whereas a bombing in Iraq that killed 53 people in the horror we left of their country gets complete silence.

    People write diaries about people and places that they know, in the context of impact on their lives or lives of people around them, with consideration about what kind of attention the story will get from readers.

    Probably few diarists have been to Kenya and I'm guessing that almost no one here has an understanding of Islamic fundamentalism or guerrilla groups in that region. Further, few of us might feel that we have a lot at stake personally with what goes on in that country, though our President was of course born there.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 08:09:39 AM PDT

  •  Final push to remove them started? (5+ / 0-)

    http://mobile.nation.co.ke/...

    6.00pm Our reporter Zadock Angira says security officers are on their final assault advancing towards the attackers.

    5.58pm Final assault commenced, attackers hiding in a room with bullet proof window

    Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

    by kimoconnor on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 08:19:46 AM PDT

  •  The world must unite against Al-Shabaab, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kimoconnor

    and we must make alliances with those in Islam who are opposed to violence, to send a strong message to the people in the region that this is not a religious war.

    The world must neutralize the terrorists by giving humanitarian aid to those individuals opposed to the terrorists. Given life-giving help, the moderates in Kenya and Somalia will push Al Qaeda out themselves.

    Islam is a peace-loving religion. Al Qaeda is the antithesis of Islam. Al Qaeda are imposters.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 08:20:04 AM PDT

  •  Cynical response (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buddabelly

    I'm feeling cynical about my nation and species in general this morning, so take it as you will:

    1) It's not Americans, who cares? It's mean to say it that bluntly, but that's how a lot of Americans view things. We have no problem with people being killed, as long as it is people who are not us and a long way away. It's why we're more focused on the several thousand servicemen dying in Iraq and Afghanistan and you hardly ever hear of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis.

    2) Kenya has strict gun control laws and the weapons used in the attack would have been completely illegal for civilians under any circumstances. Hateful people illegally acquiring weapons and engaging in mass violence is not supposed to happen in areas with strict gun control. Giving publicity to events like this points out that it is a social problem, not a scary object problem, hence nothing but the sound of crickets from those who would normally be flooding the Kos diaries if people who mattered had died from the same cause.

    3) "They're different and we're special, so the normal comparisons do not apply!" Refer back to items 1) and 2).

  •  I have been to Kenya & Nairobi, but, in spite (3+ / 0-)

    of that am far too ignorant overall to consider a diary on their internal affairs. I know more about the Mau Mau uprising and Jomo Kenyatta than today's affairs. I would not be at all surprised to find this to be a common attitude.

    Kenya is resource poor and hence not a target for the global corporate pirates, so everything simmering there sits below the surface of western concern and reporting, leading to massive ignorance of all but the broadest and shallowest kind.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 08:34:24 AM PDT

  •  Sadly, we're accustomed to massacres, no matter (0+ / 0-)

    where they occur. A mass shooting in the American Midwest would garner about as much coverage.

  •  People here don't believe in terrorists (3+ / 0-)

    They are manufactured by the military industrial complex to get us into wars.  Islamic terror is a myth, etc.

  •  Just watched MTP and part of the Stephanopolous (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    Show and didn't see any mention of this attack.  They were all about Obamacare, debt ceilings, and an impending US government shutdown since all that really matters in the world happens within the confines of Washington DC, don't you know.

    And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

    by MrJersey on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 08:48:02 AM PDT

  •  Some were too busy blaming Israel... (0+ / 0-)

    and disseminating disinformation, like Pavlov's Dogs, while this was going on.

    It evidences that you will not be informed here, but indoctrinated.

    Good diary!

  •  Excellent question, matching mole (3+ / 0-)

    I've significantly reduced my reliance on DailyKos as a news source for events outside the US. I can obtain timely insights from international news outlets and individuals around the world on Twitter.  The diversity of viewpoints expands my understanding of complex issues and reveals the human side of war, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and the day-to-day struggles of everyday people.

  •  1) Its the weekend 2) Yesterday's Media made it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    seem like it was over.  There was a statement from the President acknowledging suggesting he had lost family members in the attack.   3) I was astounded to see the death toll rise to 59 this morning and that it was still ongoing.  Went to Twitter and then DKos.

    Republicans: They hate us for our Freedom.

    by mikeconwell on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 09:31:29 AM PDT

  •  Glad you posted this, Matching Mole (6+ / 0-)

    I hadn't thought about it but, yeah:  I didn't get any information about this event from DKos.  Even though you don't have a lot of knowledge of the area, you know more than most of us - you could have mos def diaried this (although you kind of have).  :-)

    The first I heard of this was over at Little Green Footballs.  Whatever one might think of that site, they had a posting and updates about this yesterday.  Even about Al Shabaab bragging about their atrocities on Twitter.  Gah.

    The NY Times, as you mention, has really good coverage.  Tyler Hicks' account of being next door to the mall, picking up a framed picture from his wedding, then

    I ran over to the mall and I was able to photograph until my wife [Nichole Sobecki], who is also a photojournalist and was at our house, was able to collect my Kevlar helmet and professional cameras before she came to cover the news herself.
    He spent 2 hours in the mall with a security force, and described/photographed what he saw within.  Not for the faint of heart.  Absolutely horrifying.

    I believe it's still ongoing, isn't it?  Anyway, glad to see that this is being discussed.  Even if we don't know much about Nairobi, this is one way to learn, if just a little.

    "We must understand that fossil-fuel energy must be replaced not just by clean energy but also by less energy." --Wendell Berry

    by Knockbally on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 09:34:18 AM PDT

  •  When the terrorists let Muslims escape (4+ / 0-)

    from the onslaught I think it made a lot of DK participants avert their eyes.  As I noted before, it makes for too much cognitive dissonance.

    Even in this diary and comments there is barely mention of this horrific dimension to the attacks.

    It is only almost too trite to ask what the reaction here would have been if another religious group had been spared instead.  What if hundreds of Muslims had been hand chosen for slaughter, say by a neo-Nazi group in Austria or by a cell of Christian Identity terrorists in Cairo?

    In that alternative universe I'd expect a dozen diaries with thousands of comments.

  •  Because AQ is on the run (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    matching mole

    Dont ya' know? Move along.

  •  Breaking on twitter: CNN say three terrorists (3+ / 0-)

    Are American. This will bring more attention, if true, and will have domestic consequences. If true.

    “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

    by jeff in nyc on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 01:26:30 PM PDT

  •  Al Shabaab back on twitter? (0+ / 0-)

    Have to look further into that.  That's just nuts.  Looks like a full-on assault is happening, or has been happening:

    "The criminals are now all located in one place within the building... We have as good a chance to successfully neutralise the terrorists as we can hope for," Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a speech to the nation.
    (from Agence France-Presse, I believe:  http://www.google.com/...

    Looks like 68 dead now, more wounded - but that number could be higher, as there are still people trapped in the mall.

    "We must understand that fossil-fuel energy must be replaced not just by clean energy but also by less energy." --Wendell Berry

    by Knockbally on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 01:39:39 PM PDT

  •  I've been watching it closely (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    matching mole

    I just don't know what I would write in a diary. According to reports, the killers include 3 Americans and at least one Brit. So radical jihadis are succeeding in recruiting in our countries. There's also a report that Muslims had to prove they were Muslim by reciting a prayer before they were allowed to leave. Then the killing of the non-Muslims started.

    I've actually had a hard time finding remarks by President Obama. I'll search again.

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