Jama M. Ghalib
Some time in 1991, the then U.S. Secretary of Defence, Dick Cheney, was asked (sic), while he was visiting the Polish capital, Warsaw in a BBC interview something to the effect as to whether continued existence of NATO was still necessary since Communism was no longer a threat, and especially the Warsaw Pact military alliance had been dissolved? His reply according to BBC Arabic News was also something to the effect that there was an even greater threat from Islam that necessitated strengthening NATO further than to allow it to weaken, much less to dissolve it. That Dick Cheney’s thinking a decade and a half ago still features in today’s policy of the Bush neoconservative administration.
Since the withdrawal of the international intervention forces (UNOSOM) from Somalia in the beginning of March 1995, the United States had demonstrated a low keyed interest towards Somalia. For a decade there was neither US interest nor presence in the subsequent over a dozen Somali reconciliation conferences. The US did not even attach much importance to the outcome of the last of such conferences sponsored in the name of IGAD that was held in Kenya during 2000-2004. From this emerged an Ethiopian maneuvered Somali Transitional structures, the so-called TFG, but cobbled together by western donors and endorsed by the United Nations. According to the Brussels based International Crisis Group (ICG)’s African Report No. 95 of July 11,2005, p.2, Washington harboured deep reservations about Abdillahi Yusuf’s ability to build consensus among the Somali actors and lead a continued reconciliation process. This is very true even today, but the US never commented on that Report until now that Jendayi Frazer preaches her optimism of Abdillahi Yusuf.
In the meantime, the US CIA contracted a number of warlords and others in Mogadishu as watchdogs of suspected terrorists. Evidently, the US opposed the lifting of the arms embargo on Somalia that was repeatedly appealed for by the TFG, lest the US contracted warlords might be disarmed. When its client warlords were later defeated by the Islamic Courts, the US, motivated by its anti Islam policy, not only embraced the TFG whose appeals it had opposed for more than two years, but also conspired with Ethiopia to invade Somalia in order to abort the rule and justice by the Sharia.
Jendayi Frazer made a number of incorrect remarks in her address on Somalia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, on January 17, 2007. She blamed the Islamic Courts for, among other things, of repeated attempts to provoke Ethiopia into border conflicts. On the contrary, it was Ethiopia that had denounced and provoked the Islamic Courts as early as June 2006 and declared to the whole world that it would never accept Islamic rule in Somalia before the Islamic Courts ever uttered a word about Ethiopia, good or bad. She further accused the Islamic Courts of aborting the dialogue between them and the TFG while the opposite is true. The TFG never showed up for the second scheduled round of Khartoum talks. Jendayi’s remarks were euphemism for concocted Ethio-United States conspiracy theory that created conditions for the US commissioned Ethiopian invasion of Somalia.
Jendayi Frazer also blamed the Speaker of the Somali parliament for making what she called unhelpful statement (s). What the Speaker had said that might have irked her was that Somalia was under foreign occupation and its institutions were incapable of any independent decision making. But that is the truth and the whole truth to the best knowledge of both Somalis and non-Somalis alike. The Ethiopian occupation forces take no orders from Somali authorities. They conduct daily operations according to their whims. They kidnap people from their homes, and loot whatever moveable properties they lay their hands on and especially look for cash and Mobile phones. These Ethiopian plunders provoke violent reactions and confrontations leading to lose of many human lives. Among such last operations was that occurred at 8.a.m. East African time on January 21, 2007 in the extreme north end of Mogadishu when an Ethiopian squad removed a businessman whose first name was given as Mahad from his house and another housemate. A group of Somali armed youths fired on the kidnappers to rescue the captives. Exchange of fire ensued in a crowded scene and at least four non-combatant persons were killed and ten others wounded in the cross-fire. One of the wounded is reported to have since died in hospital. That is the situation that Jendayi Frazer optimistically describes as positive development. In fact the most truthful statement in this scenario was made by Mr. Richard Dowden in his article which appeared in THE INDEPENDENT of 25 January 2007 entitled: ‘Somalia will not forget this latest catastrophe’ from which the following passage is extracted:
“The Ethiopians are now trying to install the internationally accepted government. But anyone who has watched Somalia over the years will
see how Ethiopia has undermined or destroyed every other attempt to
establish a national government. A weak divided Somalia suits the
Ethiopians if they cannot have a strong but Ethiopian controlled
government. That is exactly what President Abdillahi Yussuf, an old
ally of Ethiopia, represents. One of Somalia’s nastiest warlords, he has
made a pact with the country’s age-old enemy. ….Ali Mohamed Gedi …
with strong Ethiopian links but with no credibility in Somalia…Think
Oswald Moseley being installed by the Germans as president of Britain in
1940 and you get close to the feeling Yussuf’s government inspires in Somalia today.”
Likewise, the United States neoconservative administration prefers the status quo of insecurity and anarchy to stability and secure environment under Sharia rule in Somalia. The United States sponsored UN Security council resolution 1725 that was rubber stamped by other Council members was intended to end the Sharia justice and the secure environment in Somalia. Nonetheless, that resolution prohibited deployment of forces from countries bordering Somalia. However, the United States neoconservative administration breached its own sponsored resolution even before the ink was dry by commissioning Ethiopian invasion of Somalia.
The above scenario is only a part of the well known consistent pattern of anti Islam policy of the United States neoconservative led administration, but developed by Zionism, which is part of American life. That policy targets in order of priority, Islamic leaders in particular who refuse to turn the other cheek and Islamic countries and entities in general who also defy US diktat. The targets varied, be it the sanctioning, if not the instigation, of the execution of the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Zulfkhar Ali Bhutto, for initiating Pakistan’s nuclear development, the first Islamic leader ever to do so. He died just for that, whatever cover or pretext was proffered by Pakistani generals of American agents.
The next target was Saddam Hussein whom Zionists feared had the determination to destroy Israel. This was confirmed by the assassinated former Israeli Prime Minister Rabin who admitted it to former US President Clinton (Clinton’s book – My Life, p. 545). The American public were fooled and frightened with bags of lies of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, which never was. Saddam Hussein’s death was a Zionist victory-justice by proxy, despite the Americans passing the buck to Iraqi puppets. Saddam Hussein was always held in American custody up to the last moment he was taken to the gallows. The Americans, therefore, at best oversaw his murder or at worst they practically killed him. Bush had already called for his death on the very day Saddam Hussein was captured and his death was the implementation of that call.
The United States had pressured the Palestinian Authority to hold what they called ‘democratic elections’ with the intention of eroding the authority of the former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. When elections were ultimately held, the United States opposed the outcome victory won by the Hamaz Organization. The latter has since been embargoed by the US and other western governments and is being pressured to unilaterally recognize Israel, which itself does not recognize Hamaz, but also continuously assassinates its leaders and other activists of Hamaz. The only way forward in fairness and justice, is for the two sides to negotiate terms of settlement of their myriad problems that may include reciprocal recognitions. But bullying the victim to unilaterally recognize the victimizer without any reciprocity is another American justice.
The Bush administration continues using Syria as its scapegoat for its failures in Iraq even well after Iraq and Syria re-established their diplomatic relations and exchanged high level visits.
For the present time United States aggression, in collusion with Israel, is focused on the Islamic Republic of Iran. The US insists opposing Iran’s nuclear development programme even for peaceful purposes. By contrast, the US has no qualms about Israel’s possession of the nuclear bomb. This is another American justice. Ask any US official a question on this and he/she looks other side, but gives no answer!
During the last Israeli invasion of Lebanon (July-August 2006) the United States and Britain opposed and frustrated international efforts for a cease-fire in order to give the Israeli offensive more time to achieve its objectives of the invasion, the elimination of Hisbullah, the Lebanese Islamic Organization, and the rescue of captured Israeli soldiers. Israel’s war was thus inhumanely allowed to continue for more than a month, but ended with the latter achieving neither of the two objectives for its invasion. That war only served the purpose of destroying a great deal of Lebanon and killing thousands of innocent people as well as eroding the credibility of the Lebanese government, which the US government claims to be supporting. The former lost ground to the Hisbullah as the only defender of Lebanese sovereignty and territorial integrity and thus strengthened its fortunes in the Lebanese political spectrum. The outcome of that war also deeply destabilized the Israeli political institutions and the social fabric.
And lastly Somalia again, the United States neoconservative administration could not be contented with its commissioned Ethiopian invasion of Somali, joined the fray. They carried out indiscriminate aerial bombardments, killing hundreds of innocent people, majority of them nomads of livestock herders. Independent sources including the Oxfarm have confirmed seventy such deaths in one scene alone. US statements of only targeting Al-Qa’eda hide outs in their air strikes in south Somalia is another absurdity of US fairy tales reminiscent of Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction. Hunting down such individual Al-Qa’eda suspects from the air in a vast rural landscape was just like searching for a needle in a hay stake. However, the episode conforms well to the crude American way of conducting such operations. They may target the life of a single human being, legally or illegally, but pay little or no regard for the possibility of causing deaths of hundreds of innocent people in the same spot of their targeted operation. In Somalia’s history, during the international (UNOSOM) intervention on a faithful day in July 1993, a general meeting of elders and others of the Haber Gidir sub-clan (General Aideed’s constituency) was taking place in Mogadishu. The meeting was organized behind Aideed’s back by some of his detractors within the Haber Gidir who would have liked him removed from the clan leadership, because of his confrontation with the international community. US war planes only targeting Aideed’s life bombarded the meeting place, with the fore knowledge that so many other people would also be killed. Aideed was not there, but ninety-four men perished under the rubble and many others were wounded. The pattern of such indiscriminate American operations is always the same, be it in Afghanistan, Iraq or Somalia.
Mr. Samuel P. Huntington commented in his book, THE CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS AND THE REMAKING OF WORLD ORDER that in the 15 years of 1980-95 the United States engaged against Muslims in 17 military operations and no such similar U.S. military operations were conducted against peoples of other civilizations.
Since Islam spread among the Somalis religious leaders have always been preaching rule of law by the Sharia. Traditionally, however, only some core social issues such as marriages, divorces, care and custody of children in case of divorce, inheritance, etc., was the Sharia invoked.
When colonial administrations later introduced secularity, people tolerated so long the above-mentioned core social issues were not interfered with. Upon independence, succeeding Somali administrations emulated the status quo, despite continuous call for the Sharia by Islamic scholars.
Only during the absence of governmental authority since early 1990s people of necessity have to have recourse to the Sharia for their own security, even if not wholly for their religious duty. But only since the rise of Islamic Courts’ authority did the Somali people actually came to grips with the real benefits of rule by the Sharia as the right diagnosis for their perennial ills of clanism (or tribalism). Rule by the Sharia thus represented the first ‘Somali Phoenix.’
Not unlike Somalia and the Somali people, scores of other countries and peoples of the world have been afflicted with civil wars. With the exception of the Somalis, all those other peoples did not share all same values of either language, religion, ethnicity or other civilizations. Yet all those others have reconciled. The only three spots in the world of civil wars where parties have not reconciled so far other than in Somalia are: (1) Northern Ireland, (2) Sri Lanka, and (3) the Ivory Coast. All three have better chances of reconciliation than the Somalis expect since rule by the Sharia has been ended by United States led foreign aggression.
The Somalis are homogeneous society who shares all the above-mentioned values. However, their Achilles’ heel, which may not be shared by most of those other afflicted peoples by the civil wars, is clanism (or tribalism). There is no other antidote to this poison except the Sharia and the Somali people have no other choice, but to strive for the rise of the second ‘Somali Phoenix.’
Jama M. Ghalib
E-mail: [email protected]