The Price of Al-Shabaab: Blood, Sweat and Tears

I have listened to the speeches the Kenyan leaders have delivered thus so far, and it is my well considered opinion that they are not doing enough to psychologically prepare Kenyans for even worse situations to come. As the Deputy President stated at the airport, Kenya will up the game to defend the lives and properties of Kenyans. But the reality of the matter is that in the course of fighting our war in Somalia, those Al Shabaab goons will resort to terrorist acts with the vengeance of the devils and demons.

What we have witnessed is just the begging. We as a country will not withdraw our troops from Somali, but that by itself is what the Al-Shabaab will use shamelessly in justifying all means of inhuman acts to hit the civilian population within our homeland Kenya. More acts of violence may be witnessed. It is time to galvanize the Kenyan spirit into forming a wall of resilience in the common Kenyan’s mind that despite the blood spill that has occurred and may occur in future. In my view, however naïve as it may be, is the failure of the Kenyan leaders awakening a realistic picture in the minds of Wanjiku, Atieno, Nanjala, and Chelegathuko mashinani.

Let the wisdom of Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister during the 2nd World War, be used here. That wisdom in the voice of reality in a testing situation was in his statement that he was assuming office of the premiership on the promise of bloodsweat and tears as the price that the Bristish Empire was to pay to secure freedom. It was not a nice promise, but it was the most practical promise in the sea of turmoil and impending destruction of the British nation at that time. May be with our KDF in anti-countenance of Al-Shabaab in Somali, this is the unpleasant promise Kenyans must be given by the leaders and especially by the C-in-C of our KDF.

This is the galvanization Kenyan leaders have failed to use to motivate Kenyans to continue holding hope in a sea of potential torment arising from our nation’s excursion against the Al-Shabaab in Somalia. I have listened to the words of Raila, President Kenyatta and his DP Ruto, Ole Lenku, Gen Karangi, Kimaiyo, and many other leaders. The declaration that “…Never again shall this happen” is a fanciful fallacy. The Kenyan leaders must prepare the Kenyan psyche for a long and gruesome experience of violence.

There shall be untold violence against children, women and men, our properties and it shall be a test on our resolve to remain a united nation under more threats like the Westgate Siege. It is only through the Kenyan public realizing that we have a long and fierce war of fighting a faceless enemy, in the impending pain our war is bound to generate from the effects of the terrorists on our peaceful tranquility. It is only then that we will say we are ready for blood,sweat and tears in our final assault to defeat Al-Shabaab and see a united Republic of Somalia rise from the ashes and smoke of anarchy and be a source of security to Kenyan and the entire Horn of Africa.

I say so because as country we have been the ill-fated victims of unwarranted terrorist acts in the past. From the Norfork Bombing, to Nairobi Bomblast of 1998, Kikambala, Garrisa attacks and many more that remains unlisted here. Should we fool our collective imagination by saying it will never happen? Or should be prudent and start plans on how to mitigate the effects of such acts of violence when they occur? That choice is within the policy making capacity of our defense forces, ministry of internal security and all other agencies dealing with our security. The truth of the matter is, we cannot foil each and every terrorist act. Not even the USA, Russia, China, Spain or Germany has the ability to foil each and every terrorist acts conceived against them. But what is our response mechanism should this happen again in future? Is the civilian population prepared to endure?

As the local man goes about his business, he must also be aware that Winston Churchill promised the British bloodsweat and tears as the manifesto for winning the 2nd World War. They suffered the German blitzkrieg, the heavy losses of life in Normandy landings, and other untold cruelties of war. I believe, that is the new manifesto we should embrace in our war with Al-Shabaab. To have the KDF or AMISOM retreat from Somali will be a victory for the Al-Shabaab. Deep down even the Somali are looking upon KDF to liberate their country, while we are looking at KDF for the defense of our country from the tyranny of the terrorists. Kenyan leaders, time for flowery speeches is over. We are already united as a nation.

It is time to prepare our collective psyche for a hurricane of terrorist acts as the KDF and AMISON continue to neutralize Al-Shabaab in Somali. The last kicks of the dying donkey are violent at first, and then slowly wither. It is never a single kick, but a plurality of kicks that weaken with time. In Somali, Al-Shabaab is soon to be lifeless on its death bed. Bravo Kenyans! It is time to let the resilience in us be obvious in our approach to suffering in the promise of a future peace for the Horn of Africa and our own country.

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