A new book has been published, entitled "Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya" , by Caroline Elkins of Harvard University, published in 2005 by Henry Holt and Company. This book reports the previously untold story of the last days of British colonialism in Kenya, Africa.
The Kikuyu people of Kenya did not enjoy the "freedom and democracy" brought them by the British Empire, any more than Iraqis enjoy American occupation and control of their elections and governance. The Kenyans formed an insurgency, known as the Mau Mau movement, which became an armed movement of liberation.
The British reacted to the Mau Mau insurgency very much the same way as the Americans have reacted to the Iraqi insurgency. Detainment, beatings, torture, murder were commonplace by British troops and their subordinate forces against Kikuyus. Victims amongst the Kikuyu were not limited to militants, but included old men, women and children. Women saw their children slaughtered in front of their eyes. Men were tortured with electrocution, electric shock, dismemberment and other treatments that were appalling, brutal and sickening to read about.
The British attempted and largely succeeded for some time in covering up many of the details of their atrocities, much as the American forces are attempting to do now. But ultimately British rule in Kenya was ended, Kenya became independent of British rule, and survivors were able to tell their stories.
The tides of history are against imperialism and brutal occupations by military powers. The day will come when Iraq will become free of American occupation and interference. The stories of Fallujah and Samara and Karbala will one day be recorded for the world to read. Those stories will be no less severe or atrocious as the stories of British cruelty to the Mau Mau movement and the Kikuyu people.
How tragically true it is that history continues to repeat itself. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Men continue to dominate other men to their injury and the cycles of history turn and turn.