Njoroge Wachai at PostGlobal

Njoroge Wachai

Kenya

Njoroge is a journalist who formerly worked for the Kenya-based People Daily. He was Africa Correspondent for the Science and Development Network (SciDev.net), a UK-based web site highlighting science and technology issues from developing countries. He also freelanced for the Switzerland-based Bulletin of the World Health Organization (WHO). Njoroge was a press fellow at the Wolfson College, University of Cambridge for four months in 2003, where he researched the role of alternative press in the democratization process in Africa. Njoroge currently lives in the U.S. He has studied Journalism and Technical Communication at the graduate level. Close.

Njoroge Wachai

Kenya

Njoroge is a journalist who formerly worked for the Kenya-based People Daily. more »

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Russia's Dangerous Hypocrisy

Countries such as Zimbabwe, Burma and Sudan will continue riding roughshod on their citizens because they know there's a bird of the same feather at the UN who can protect them.

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All Comments (22)

Oleg:

Another problem with Mr. Wachai's comment appears to be the complete disregard for the Ossetians, populating the Republic of South Ossetia, attacked by Georgia in this incident, including the safety of their families, their rights to self-determination that they so overwhelmingly demonstrated in a popular referendum (more than 98% votes) and Georgia trying to brutally crush them for that. In fact, the article does not mention them at all! The 800-pound gorilla in the room remains unseen. Do the Ossetians matter at all or they have been conveniently forgotten in the Russophobic hysteria that has been unfolding over the last few days?

Oleg:

Unfortunately, as Rwanda demonstrates, there is no time to waste when a genocidal event erupts and innocent civilians start dying by the thousand, as it happened when Georgia attacked South Ossetia on the 8th of August. In one day of the bombing by Georgia, two thousands civilian Ossetians died in South Ossetia's city of Tskhenviali. Running things through the U.N. process can be a useful thing when there is no urgency to stop killings. Sorry to say, but Mr. Wachai can probably have a very hard time finding a single South Ossetian who would agree with his argument. And I think Mr. Wachai would have changed his argument if his daughter were in Tskhinvali in the 8th of August. Please watch this U.S. Fox News (the most pro-Bush) network clip as evidence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9y2OWcLBJE

Mike:

Give me an example that shows that UN's article on sovereignty has ever been honored. Does invading Iraq honor the article? Faking up an excuse, invaking a sovereign and having its president killed set a good example for the new century.

Sicily:

Rugo- are you implying that Russia and China have some heartfelt concern for Africa? China just needs an in to the natural resources, which they want to use before turning to their own.

While I agree with American, that while Russia has a right to protect it's citizens, they have taken it way out of line. Russia's desperate need to have the taste of superpower in their mouths should not justify their bombings, especially using cluster bombs, which were rumored to have been dropped. Not only that, but citizens living and operating outside their country should understand that there is always potential danger. Consider the fact that Georgia had been threatening this invasion for awhile. Russian citizens in South Ossetia should have been aware of the possibility. But, yes, Saakashvili is an idiot for ever thinking that Putin would let that fly.

While I agree with basic analogy in this article, I'm sorry to say that it wouldn't cut it the UN. Georgia's actions were juvenile, and while Russia should know better the rest of the UN would still like to be on good terms with them. The only way that Russia's veto for this or other bills could be "nullified," is if they are convicted of certain atrocities to Georgian civilians. But, seeing as how freezing all of Ukraine hasn't done that, I don't really see this invasion as a likely path to changing anything about Zimbabwe, either.

mugwamp:

And Putinism hyprocrosy is different than Bushism hypocrosy?

John Brian Shannon:

After invading Iraq pre-emptively, resulting in the deaths of one million Iraqi citizens, almost instantly causing two-and-one-half Iraqi refugees to flee Iraq and over four-thousand U.S. military deaths - those in the United States (and those who work for the United States) have lost all authority to lecture any other country about invading sovereign nations - for all eternity.

Iraq was not at war with any other nation. Why then, were they invaded by the U.S. and it's allies?

For WMD's?
Sorry it was a red herring, there were no WMD's.

For Al Qaida?
At the time of the invasion of Iraq there was no Al Qaida in that nation.

Because Iraq participated in 9/11?
No, everyone - including U.S. lawmakers agree that no Iraqi citizen participated in the 9/11 terror attacks.

To overthrow Saddam, his sons and his top cadre of Government Ministers?
Yes.

A worthy goal. But, look at the cost! It took all that (re-read my first paragraph) to accomplish so little. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.


May God's light illuminate your path.

John Brian Shannon
White Rock, British Columbia, Canada

joeskeys2thegame:

Clever case, but wrong. Russia goaded Georgia into attacking autonomous zones where Russia has granted many of the people Russian citizenship. The Russians can make a legitimate argument that Georgia was actually the aggressor here. This is a battle between sovereign states over territory whose status is in dispute, and so it's a completely different issue than Zimbabwe, which was and remains an entirely internal issue being ironed out through (admittedly not-too-effective) international mediation. Zimbabwe's case more closely mirrors that of Kenya, where the author is writing from. The Council didn't sanction Kenya earlier this year, nor should it have.

Now if Russia overthrows the government in Tbilisi, THEN we can talk about challenging their "sovereignty" stance. Not before.

Dan:

The US media and its campaign of lies and distortion is yet another stain on the Bush administration. The media's actions are the moral equivalent of yelling fire in a burning room. The facts on the ground have not changed. Hours after Saakashvili appeared on TV announcing a cease fire he unleashed hell on the city of Tskhinvali - leveling the city, killing 2000 people and creating 30000 refugees. He then says live on CNN "All the decision makers are away-great moment attack small country". Apparently a deliberately planned murderous attack. Russia (after the UK&USA blocked a resolution to stop the violence) launches a counter-attack and proceeds into Georgia proper to neutralize all offensive capabilities of this rogue state. Russia bombs Gori, the staging place of the Georgian attack. What has Russia done wrong besides humiliate the USA, who armed and train Georgians(apparently to run away).
Dan

Tom Miller1:

This is a well-reasoned thoughtful post. There is another great similarity between the Georgian and Zimbabwe situations. Both involve control of natural resources and geo-political control for the benefit of "big" country nationalistic aims. Russia is continuing its centuries old colonialism of the Caucasus and China is the new colonialist in Africa. This should be clear to all in my opinion.

Mr. Wachai is right on target. Hypocracy indeed!


Garcia:

But wasn't Iraq a sovereign nation when the US invaded, What are you talking about?

RUGO RUPETE:

I think Russia and China deserve an applaud for their position on Zimbabwe otherwise the Westrn Powers such as USA, UK, and other misguided and mentally-colonised africans can reserve the gains of independence achieved in Zimbabwe and support the imposition of a puppet to pursue the Western Interests of continuing to plander the wealth of Zimbabwe. In the first place these Westeners never supported the liberation of Zimbabwe but the same friendly countries Russia and China gave weapons and military support for the liberation of Zimbabwe. Wake up you Africans who still think the Westeners have a genuine interest for our welfare.

Anon:

I don't approve of either side's conduct in the South Ossetian conflict, but when you say about Russia's policy "They support sovereignty only when it serves their selfish interests" I don't see what is so shocking. Examples of such self-serving, national interest uber alles position is best exemplified by Afghanistan all the way to the aforementioned Zimbabwe. As long as leaders, with the support of their own chauvinistic people put country before world, crap like this will be a regularity.

David Doborjginidze:

Please distribute as widely as possible! The most important article so far showing that Russian claims of Georgian forces hitting civilian targets in Tskhinvali and killing thousand of them being refuted by international correspondent!

Heavy damage in Tskhinvali, mostly at gov't center - By DOUGLAS BIRCH
The Associated Press, Tuesday, August 12, 2008; 6:12 PM http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/12/AR2008081202480.html

Jørgen:

Sure there’s a difference between the 2003 Invasion of Iraq and the Conflict in S.Osetia. Sure the WH corrupted flaws of the Resolution 1441. And it set a precedent of the Russo-Georgian conflict a lot.

AMERICAN:

Georgia has decided to involve itself in the ethnic cleansing of citizens in those "contested areas" most of them posess (posessed) russian passports. Last time I check when a nation's citizens are in danger- it is up to that nation to take the appropriate actions to prevent further danger to its citizens. This pretext for war is far better than the USA's "WMDs" with Iraq.. What Mugabe is doing in Zimbabwe is genocide. It has nothing to do with a nation protecting it's citizens but with a nation oppressing it's citizens through brute force, misappropriation of aide and funds both internal and external. Comparing Zimbabwe with current Russian policy is like comparing Israel's oppression of Palestinians with the United States' invasion of Cuba with the "Bay of Pigs" saying that they are the same event just a different geographical location.

Btw, you want to talk about overthrowing democratically elected governments? the USA has been involved in over 55 government coups worldwide either by cia ops, military force, or sanctions. Bolivia, Argentina, Cuba, Guatamala, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Iran, Iraq, Korea, the list goes on. if you do some research you will find i am right.

I would think that you as a journalist would of done more research before publishing such a one-sided article. But that is like saying I hope this Big Mac has less fat in it because McDonald's cares about my health. That says a lot of the integrity of your establishment for allowing you to publish "news articles" such as this one. The news has become an outlet for goverment and corporate propaganda which, by the way are more interwined than ever. "Campaign Contributions for Deregulation of Media" is what the news really stands for. Open your eyes people. journalists like this are controlling the way the masses think, act, and react to world events. Don't be another number.... Think for yourself.

Kevin:

George Manuelian, there are many people in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) that are more capable of running the country than the current Mugabe regime - but not all of them are white, and I doubt that a white regime is a necessity for (comparatively) good governance, as other African countries like South Africa and Botswana show.

I agree, however, that the UN is ineffectual in such situations.

Perspective, Russia invaded a sovereign country. Unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, Georgia was neither a threat to other nations nor abusing the rights of its citizens. Russia has no legitimate interest in Georgian affairs, and the presence of its troops, which shielded insurrectionists in northern and northeastern Georgia was and is an affront to Georgian sovereignty.

Although the situation in Georgia is not analogous to the situation in Israel, an limited analogy might be suffice: like antisemites across the western world who believe they have the right to dictate how the Israelis (a democratic nation) treat their own residents on their own territory, the Russians seems to believe they have the right to intervene in Georgian internal affairs whenever they feel it is appropriate.

Despite an unwarranted attack by Russian forces on their country, the Georgians have never crossed the Russian border nor in any way threatened to do so. The Russian actions can in no sense be interpreted as protecting their borders through a preemptive strike.

Agsoba, what is it that you think that the Georgians "tried to do?"

Agsoba:

Mr. Wachai, you must be very ignorant, because your analogy is totally incorrect. Russian's stance on Zimbabwe has no relationship with the reckless provocation by the reckless georgian leadership. I'm a Nigerian, and if Kenya (even we dont share borders) were to try what the Georgians did, we (Nigeria), will turn Nairobi into a flat lands. Violence do not solve any problem, especially when you are a small country like georgia is; and provoking a big country like Russia.
The Zimbabwe issue you're alluding is much different, and shame to all african countries for not finding a way to get rid of Mugabe, but on the other hand, what do you expect from countries run by people like Kibaki and co.

Joe:

To Perspective:

Are you joking? This may come as a shock to you, but not everything is a conspiracy concocted by Bush and Cheney. Sometimes conflicts occur between countries. That is the nature of the world.

Either provide facts, (not simply circumstantial) or get out of the house.

Abhakazia:

Look Pushkin, russians do not need africans to teach them civility.

And it' not Abhakazia but Abhazia. You most definitely never heard of the province before two days ago. Just report on your country and stay way from what you have no idea of.

Jack Roberts:

It was Georgia that invaded South Ossetia.

Perspective :

This Georgia conflict was staged with the backing of Bush and Cheney to try and get McCain elected by using fear and to further Georgia's aims of occupying South Ossetia. Does the US really want to follow the Republican Party into a conflict with Russia? McCain wants Russia to move out of Georgia. Why not the same analysis for Iraq? One of McCain's chief strategists is a lobbyist for Georgia. Why did Georgia move on South Ossetia now at the very opening of the Olympics? Is it to get republican fear votes and to rally the cold war relics in the US? It is American imperialism that we need to fear, not Russia. Russia now taking Georgia on is the same logic the US extends to Israeli forces, to employ against their enemies. The US has no creditability on the matter and Russia has a right to protect its borders just the like the US. Cheney and Bush are just stirring the pot and nothing has changed. Looks like an election year stunt to me. It is the same old politics of fear.

George Manuelian:

Go ahead and reintroduce a UN resolution, but it will do no good. Nothing can be done about Mugabe. They were all fools to support him in the first place, and even bigger fools to stop following the whites who built their country from nothing. Now that the colonists are gone, Rhodesia has regressed to its primitive, barbaric state. The only hope the country has is to bring the whites back to lead them and rebuild. Rhodesia was once a prosperous nation but it's now gone the way of S. Africa and become a hellhole once again.

George Manuelian
Atherton, CA

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