A trail of dust streamed in through a stuck-open window as my cab driver hurtles through a crowded East African city, trying to keep up with the Matatos – speedy passenger buses that wind their way dangerously through and around the intense Nairobi traffic. The hot sun beat down on the bustling city, sending many into the refuge of the Starbucks Coffee shop where my cab came to a screeching halt. A trail of unusual emails led me to this coffee shop where a man named Kwame Opratawah promised to take me deep into the Kenyan forests to see for myself Barack Obama’s true birthplace. I came packing only my tape recorder, Macbook, and some other bare essentials; as a world-traveled journalist who’s spent my fair share of time in third-world rebel camps I knew I had to pack light for situations of flight.
Kwame Opratawah achieved an imposing presence for a fairly petite warrior, clad in some traditional warrior robes and ceremonial colored beads. Much of Kwame’s authority came in his voice, a scruffy bark that infused a brash urgency into everything he said.
“What is this thing they call Venti?” he complained to no one in particular, “if it is a large, why don’t they just call it a large? And another thing, why do they have milk that comes from no animal? The soybean is a plant it has no milk. The notion is a silly one.”
I managed to get my email pen pal off his anti-Starbucks rant long enough to focus our discussion on the impending journey. In our previous communication Kwame had expressed no real malice toward Barack Obama, but I could sense he felt a deep sense of betrayal. But up until our coffee meeting his motivations were mostly cryptic.
“The world must know who we are and what we have done,” he offered, indignantly. “You will see, and you will tell the whole story as it should be.” Soon he was up and striding out through the coffee shop with intimidating speed as I grabbed my gear and hurriedly followed behind.
Gazing dully into the gentle water lapping against our canoe, I caught our reflection in the sun-lit river and realized Kwame and I were five hours into our journey. With each passing hour Kwame’s expression seemed to grow more fulfilled as he rowed with growing determination, sweat glistening against his darkly bronzed skin.
“All you know of Barack Obama is false,” Kwame cackled ominously after the passing of another hour in the canoe. “The parents you know are not his, the story of his birth you know is not the real one.”
At hour seven Kwame looked to the horizon with a foreshadowing grin. “Your president comes from this land, his bones were made from this earth.” I noted his choice of words: “made,” not “born.” Songs of children flowed to us just then as a small roughly 22-acre village appeared to the right of us displaying a sign proudly: “Welcome to Obama VIllage.” We pulled into the shore and a throng of curious tiny hands soon descended upon me, probing my supple skin.
Kwame parted the crowd, which followed us to a giant hut on top of a hill belonging to local witch doctor and leader of Obama Village, Chief Delongo Opratawah, who eagerly welcomed us in. An elder council of mostly men surrounded the Chief’s chair and I was welcomed to sit with them, on the floor beneath the throne. The conversation in the room soon revealed to me that Chief Opratawah was believed to be the true mastermind behind what was being called the “Obama Plan,” and also he was believed to be Barack Obama’s biological father.
“We do not like America,” Chief Opratawah spoke into the room, like a man accustomed to the attention that followed. “We do not like your capitalism, your whole sale clubs, your extra value meals.” His speech cadence brought to mind an eerie resemblance with a certain other leader known for his oratory prowess, speaking deliberately and buffering to articulate a thought succinctly when needed.
“Look, your colonialist, uh… capitalist society,” Chief Opratawah continued, “has ruined the world. We will destroy that to replace with Islam, Sharia law, and European Socialism.” The elders in the room concurred and soon one of them prodded Chief Opratawah excitedly to tell the “pale-faced man” the plan. Chief Opratawah began to recite the details of his elaborate scheme.
“The plan began over forty years ago. Upon his birth I sent my son Barack to Hawaii with an elaborate lie to make him an American citizen. We paid a young couple the sum of thirty goats and two hundred seashells to corroborate the story and care for the child. We planned for young Barack to attend Harvard Law School, become a community organizer, run for state senate in a few years and then run against Alan Keyes for an easy senate victory. Later we planned for him to become president so that he would weaken the country from within to make the invasion easier.”
I looked around the small, mostly-empty shack, taking in the low-tech security for Chief Opratawah that consisted of two shirtless sweaty warriors with spears flanking his chair. One of them was Kwame, who now grinned, seeming to read my mind. The father’s grin mirrored the son’s as Chief Opratawah then rose dramatically.
“Don’t let our outward appearance fool you. We are ready for the battle.” He shook a beaded gourd loudly and every body inside the hut except my own seemed to brace for impact. The doors and windows to the hut slammed shut into darkness and the entire room began to descend slowly like an elevator. Soon, florescent lights illuminated a changed room, which now looked more like a military command center embedded in a deep dark cave, no longer a witch doctor’s hut.
Each of the elders in the circle rose briskly and began attending to various technical stations, turning knobs and sending signals as Chief Opratawah proudly made his way to look over what seemed the edge of a cliff leading forward into a vast darkness. Just then I noticed, or rather I felt, the hum of what sounded like a thunderous beating drum growing steadily out of the earth underneath us. The sound rocked the floor of the cave and I cautiously inched toward Chief Opratawah to share his view. Light switches flicked and progressively revealed a sea of millions of glistening muscled warriors chanting loudly and aggressively, “Battle Bo Bo,” or, “Ready for Battle!” I gasped in shock.
The legion of troops each in peak physical form appeared to be perfect clones of one another, all with a striking resemblance to President Barack Obama, each holding brilliantly shining tin shields. Amazed, I asked the Chief how he had achieved all of this.
“We call it f***ing,” he replied bluntly, “and we have been quite good at it. We use your food aide to feed them all.” I watched in awe as the warrior clones marched into dark caverns along the vast expanse on either side, only to be replaced by more chanting, sweating, warrior clones marching forward from the distant darkness to repeat the cycle. The sheer number of bodies alone in those caves would overwhelm the US military in days.
Chief Opratawah would welcome me in Obama Village for three more days and in all that time I got to know the people of Obama Village, strong and determined, fueled with a passion to bring down America and in their opinions make better use of America’s resources and power in order to save an ailing world. On my last evening in Obama Village, Chief Opratawah, Kwame, and I took in a local soccer match with young village boys. While I emailed some last notes to my editor using my Macbook, the soccer ball drifted over and a young boy approached to retrieve it.
“One day when our village crushes America,” the boy says to me, with Chief Opratawah’s nodding approval, “I will own an electrical Apple book just like that one. And American slaves will build them for us. I’m going to be a soldier for Obama Village.” He runs back to the game, excited, and as we watched I asked Chief Opratawah why he would reveal all this to me, now.
“At this point you are powerless to stop it,” he replied. “Our army is nearly complete and President Obama is sure to be reelected to finish the final phase. We now just want credit for our masterful plan.”
It was a perfect plan and, unless it’s a very clever hoax, we are all indeed powerless to stop it. I fervently believe that America is an exceptional nation fully capable of rising up against any threat including this one. But the problem with this threat in particular is that, even after experiencing Obama Village firsthand, the only persons who will believe my reporting are those same Americans who have largely been ignored, marginalized as hicks and rednecks.
In the end, the Kenyans will likely win their war against America. But ironically they’ll never get the credit they pine for. Kwame Opratawah’s sense of betrayal might never truly abate. Meanwhile, America will never fully credit the heroes of the Birther movement who warned us of this sinister plan from the very beginning. But as with any war there are no true winners here. We all lose.
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