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Response To A Flawed Standard Newspaper Article Comparing The Titanic Sinking To ODM

23 Nov

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and having just returned from an overseas trip in time for this treasured family holiday, one would think rest and more rest and enjoying time with family should and must be the order of the day but there are so many flaws both in logic and facts in Peter Nguli’s article ODM Titanic: The Ship Sinks As The Captain Watches appearing in the Standard I have decided to take time and highlight several of them for the sake of at least keeping the record straight and also to help the unwary or passive followers of politics who may read this article and be confused to believe it’s on to something when that’s obviously not the case.

This Nguli says, “Just as one of the world’s biggest and mightiest ships, The Titanic sunk 100 years ago in 1912 after hitting an iceberg, one of the most popular and mightiest political parties in Kenya, ODM seems to be sinking in 2012.”

This very assertion is an admission this is a misplaced metaphor: the metaphor would be appropriate only if examining ODM as a dead political party, not one thriving and by latest polls one that is still the party to beat and its leader the man to beat for the presidency.

To his credit, though mistaken that its potency is over, Nguli at least recognizes the mightiness of ODM and in this limited sense, his analogy to the Titanic may be apt, namely, a mighty and magnificent ship except this one is sailing straight and shall dock at State House from upon which Raila will disembark to be sworn as our next president and everyone else in it (read all Kenyans) will be merry.

All other analogizing of ODM to the Titanic is misplaced and, on this count alone, Nguli’s entire piece can be dismissed as fantasy writing wholly without any anchor in fact or sound analysis but not to outdo himself, Nguli has provided sufficient flawed logic and reasoning in the rest of his article to make that point, namely, that his is nothing based on fact or analysis but misplaced notions about sinking ships and parties that have nothing to do with each other.

He, for example, says, “Unlike the Titanic which hit just one iceberg, the ODM ship has hit many icebergs. And just as the captain of Titanic, Edward John Smith watched his ship sink and ultimately himself too, the ODM captain Prime Minister Raila Odinga is watching his ODM Titanic sinking fast. Will he also sink with his ship?”

This is a mouthful but let’s break it down into smaller parts to expose the flawed logic and reasoning in just this one paragraph:

The Titanic needed only but one iceberg to sink it; were that not the case, we shall not here be talking about the sinking of the ship.

Yet, in his flawed logic, Ngilu seems to think it would or could have taken several icebergs to sink the Titanic and from that flawed logic, he seems to suggest that somehow the ODM Titanic will sink because it has hit many icebergs.

This is obviously flawed logic for it doesn’t matter how many or what size of debris, boulders or lesser obstacles in its path, a ship the size of the Titanic will plough right through them without even a single passenger feeling the impact and will dock safely at the end of the voyage.

Ngilu’s metaphor on this also fails in another respect which is more fundamental and actually straightforward even for a lay observer and that is, he commits the classic fallacy many a person commits and that is saying something is so in the hopes some gullible or unwary reader or listener would believe it’s so.

As is often said, saying something is so doesn’t make it so.

It is one thing to posit the illogical proposition that ODM is sinking because it has “it has hit many icebergs” but it’s also quote another leap to expect people to buy the other side of the flawed proposition that ODM has “hit many icebergs” without telling the reader what these are and why they are fatalistic.

The fact is, ODM, like any giant party in an evolving young democracy, has had to face and deal with all manner of challenges but the test of a party’s strength or weakness is not how many or few of these challenges it faces but how the party deals with them with the ultimate measure of success or failure being performance at the polls.

Judging from ODM’s very strong and impressive performance in all by-elections held since the last general elections, and more importantly given the party’s ability to have thus far stood strong in remaining the force it is despite unprecedented efforts to bury it by a combined force of virtually all political parties in the country, the betting type will put their money on ODM once again sweeping the country in victories come 2013 and see its flag bearer Raila Odinga reelected but this time sworn our country’s next president.

Unlike the Captain of the Titanic who was basically helpless once the Titanic hit the iceberg, the Captain of ODM has been fully in control of the mighty and magnificent ship ODM contrary to what this Nguli says and in due time shall guide the ship to dock as he triumphantly disembarks to be rewarded the presidency for his good job not just in piloting the ship but much more he has done for our beloved country.

In other words, contrary to Nguli’s bold lie, Captain Raila is not watching helplessly as the ODM ship sinks; no, not at all.

He is, in fact, doing exactly what the Captain of such a mighty and magnificent ship ought to do and that is, to ensure save and steady sails of the ship along with its precious cargo and invaluable lives to her destination and for that, he shall be forever indebted by all those sailing along and more.

He says, “The RMS Titanic liner had travelled almost three quarters of her doomed maiden voyage from Southampton, UK and was very close to her destination, New York, USA when it hit an iceberg at Newfoundland in North Atlantic Ocean. Similarly, The ODM Titanic liner has sailed for three quarters of its political journey and now has started hitting political icebergs in 2012, sinking together with its captain.”

Besides misstating and misusing a metaphor as above, this assertion is particularly flawed in that it’s neither supported by any facts nor any logical reasoning.

Again, to be plausible, Nguli would have had to tell us here what “political icebergs” has ODM hit and show by even bare reasoning how that can conceivably be deemed to be fatalistic as to the fate of the ODM ship otherwise sailing quite predictably along to victory come March 4, 2013.

Because he has failed to show either, namely, he has failed to show by fact or logic this impending sinking of ODM that must exist in his and like-minded imagination and nowhere else, his claim must be readily dismissed as just that, namely, an assertion based not on fact or reason but shear imagination.

Nguli says, “The captain of ODM Titanic, also known as Kenya’s enigma of politics is watching as the ship sinks together with his political career.”

Again, this is simply a false assertion because the ODM Captain is not only in full control of the party and guiding it along to victory come 2013, he is doing so in what is characteristically the enigma he is.

This Nguli appears to acknowledge Raila’s prowess in this regard, yet quickly forgets or feigns ignorance to accuse him of doing nothing to save this imagined sinking ship.

He says, “Renowned West African novelist Chinua Achebe, would undoubtedly decscribe Raila Amollo Odinga, the captain of ODM Titanic, as Amalize the cat with nine lives and whose political back never touches the ground.

Nothing wrong with that.

He says, Achebe, in his Things Fall Apart, would probably describe Raila as Okonkwo who was known throughout the nine villages of Umuofia but ruled his household with an iron fist.

No he will not.

It’s readily obvious this is Nguli’s attempt to use Achebe—or more accurately, to misuse Achebe and his classic novel to lay the foundation for the attack that follows but only the most gullible and least informed can buy such nonsense which has been peddled before by the likes of Mudavadi, Ruto and others but all have all failed to impact Raila for one reason: some lies are just not that easy to peddle especially when they fly in the fact of glaring facts.

He says “Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the captain of ODM Titanic, who is set to re-launch his campaign strategy, is said to have slowed down on seeking alliances with other presidential candidates sailing in other ships nearby after some key leaders in the G7 Alliance declined his SOS offers.”

This is mere confirmation this Ngilu is simply imagining things and making some as he plows down this illogical path.

Raila is nowhere “re-launching his campaign strategy” and if this Nguli knows something even Raila himself doesn’t know about his campaign strategy, then he should tell us so and see if that reduces the speed with which we dismiss him as one engaged in fantasy writing.

Officially launching one’s presidential campaign, which is what this Nguli must be referring to is not “re-launching” one’s campaign strategy.

It’s not only false that Raila has made “SOS offers” that has been “declined” by the so-called G7 alliance, to so characterize Raila’s outreach to other political parties which is no different from that being made by those parties to him and others betrays this Nguli’s true motivation in penning this peace and that is to paint a picture he sees or wishes to be but one not supported by neither fact nor logic all likely because he as many others simply doesn’t like Awambo and where his ship is headed: State House.

Nguli says “After realizing that his ODM Titanic is sinking, the premier sent an SOS signal to other ships but none is willing to come to his rescue.”

This is needless to say a repeat of the same false assertion made above and must be dismissed for the same reasons stated above, namely, Raila has not made any “SOS” appeal to any of the other leading politicians any different than they have made and continue to make to him.

It’s called politics and one has to be extremely naïve not to know all of these politicians will and are actively making offers and counter-offers to one another to advance their political interests—be it publicly or privately and to somehow try to make it appear as if it’s Raila only engaging in this normal political activity is the height of that naiveteb or willful ignorance as clearly can be deduced from this assertion by Nguli.

He says, “Apart from icebergs, there is a northerly political turbulence and a tornado from the south. Just as 1912 Titanic captain sent SOS signals in vain, the captain of 2012 ODM Titanic has sent SOS signals of apologies.”

This is another mouthful one can dissect and show its total lack of factual basis or logic but let’s just leave it coming from someone who is obviously clueless as to what type of communication is taking place between Raila and folks in RV or what response he is enjoying beyond what is publicly observable, the proof shall be in the pudding what these naysayers say notwithstanding as it’s totally irrelevant and not even part of the equation as there is classic wishful thinking.

He says, At a time when the political climate is awash with political deals and alliances ahead of the December 4th deadline, it appears no one is willing to form alliances with the ‘reformer’ captain even after sending his historical SOS apology to the Rift Valley citizenry.”

Again, an assertion coming from someone like this who is obviously clueless as to what talks are going on between who and who, where and when other than what they probably read in the media if not being ill-informed by bar-gossipers, it would be prudent to let those play out and when it’s all said and done, it shall come to pass as to who is aligned to who, keeping in mind titans like Raila really need not anyone other than their strong coalition remaining strong to march to State House.

H says, Just like some passengers of Titanic started to play piano and Saxophone tunes as the ship sunk, the former passengers of ODM Titanic have started playing songs of consolation from political arena advising the PM that he should consider retirement, leave the ship sink gracefully and go and try fish farming at Bondo.

This is now too bad a misuse of a metaphor that now borders on the criminal.

If this Nguli wanted to say people like the politically dead Mudavadi have asked Raila to retire to Bondo he can say so without trying to drag the Titanic and its tragic history to make this non-point

A metaphor can be tortured to death for no good reason and it’s obvious this is where we are headed with this.

Nguli says, “While this political cat captain with nine lives has learnt the art of political survival under harsh harmattan political climate, the sun seems to be setting for the liberator and ‘reformer’ of the common man as the ship sinks. Unfortunately, there is no time left and the waters are ice cold as political passengers start falling one by one into cold the waters and swimming on their own looking for life-saving boats when the ship is half way sunk.

An assertion like this could easily win hands down as imaginary prose far removed from facts and reality and totally devoid of any logic but it’s not clear whether this is what this Nguli intended for this assertion to be so we shall let it crash under its own weight of total irrelevance and uselessness as a political assertion.

Suddenly, just as Titanic captain Smith started shooting his annoying passengers with a pistol instead of listening to them, the Captain of ODM Titanic stops listening to his political passengers’ grievances and starts shooting them with his dictatorial tendencies.

As noted above, others have tried but failed this line of attack on Raila that he is dictatorial so too will this Nguli and whoever else naively believes merely saying things makes them so and more so those who are so naïve as to believe they can repeat a lie often enough to be believed but some lies as just too obvious as not to be believed, merely repeating them is laughable as in this case.

While he has fought strongly for democratic freedoms and liberty for all Kenyans, the ODM Titanic captain seems to have played the political chessboard wrongly this time round and at times placing the cart before the horse long before his doomed political voyage in his luxurious Hummer ship model liner.

There is no better political survivor, strategist and leader in Kenya than one Raila Amolo Odinga.

All of his opponents spend sleepless nights trying to figure ways to beat him politically but for decades he has proven to each and every one of them he is unbeatable and so shall be the case in 2013 despite such blather as this Nguli spews here about his “doomed political voyage.”

Ever since he became Kenya’s second premier since independence, Raila has made more political foes than friends in his ODM Titanic.

False.

This is another lie we have seen being propagated by those who desperately wish people to believe their imagined tales but the reality is it’s simply not true that Raila has “made more political foes than friends in his ODM” it’s a shame someone would actually state such a falsehood with such finality and almost as a matter of fact.

Now that the famous ship is sinking, it’s everyone for himself and God for us all.

The “famous ship” is sinking only in the minds of those who think it is.

The ship has now sunk three quarters but there are no enough life boats. It’s time to lower the few life boats onboard. The first boat to be lowered is to be rowed by a new captain, the Rift Valley King-maker, William Ruto who escapes into the sea with a considerable number of voters from the rich-vote Rift Valley Ocean.

Soon, other boats are lowered and their captains include Musalia Mudavadi and Najib Balala who both escape with voters in different boats into the deep seas. Suddenly, ODM Titanic captain’s SOS signals are heard by one good Samaritan sailor in a boat nearby and as recent media reports indicate, the captain of the boat, VP Kalonzo Musyoka is almost about to rescue ODM Titanic captain but the VP suddenly changes his mind and instead of rescuing the ODM Titanic captain, he rows his boat to catch that of his speeding neighbour Musalia Mudavadi. Kalonzo abandons his own boat and jumps in Musalia’s boat and leaves the ODM Titanic to sink on its own.

As this happens, the political life boats then return to rescue more political passengers swimming in cold waters of the North Atlantic. More MP passengers are rescued from the sinking ODM Titanic. As the ship sinks deeper and deeper, it hits more political icebergs.

Rescued passengers include Charity Ngilu, a political Ukambani Ocean captain, Rachel Shebesh and Bomet Ocean captain, Beatrice Kones. Other passengers continue to jump from ODM Titanic in order to safe their political life, predominantly those from Rift Valley Ocean as the ODM Titanic ship sinks together with its captain.

In 2013, mourners in a replica Titanic II visit the scene in remembrance to commemorate the sinking of ODM Titanic with flowers and placards reading ‘ R.I.P., ODM Titanic’!

Never interrupt someone in the middle of a dream—good or bad, self-serving or utilitarian—just let them dream on as we must with this now turned dreamer Nguli from merely badly misusing metaphors, to abusing and assaulting them to now having bad dreams about Raila and ODM.

Pole ndugu.

The truth shall come to pass and it won’t be anything as close to what your dream is but I suppose you’re not alone in this dreaming.

Going by known facts, history and the resilience of our Kenyan people, they shall one more time say one man tosha and that’s unfortunately for you and other naysayers none other than Raila Odinga.

I suggest you start practicing or get ready to hearing quit a bit of those majestic words I have been urging others to and these are simply, His Excellency President Raila Amolo Odinga.

Peace, Unity and Truth.

[Unedited]

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Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Politics

 

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