Posts Tagged With: politics

The Danger of Single Story: Chimamanda Adichie

Categories: Media | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Observing People

I recently started playing futbol again with my fellow nomads after taking a long break from them since they tend to take the game too serious. The last time I played with them I had my finger broken when a middle aged nomad jammed my hand with the ball so he could score a lousy goal; so it wasn’t exactly a reunion I was looking forward to this time around.

Maybe it’s my introspect personality that I notice these things or maybe I was just too damn frustrated with their constant argument on every play. Nonetheless, I’ve come to the conclusion that Somalis have an inherent personality defect that will not allow them to agree on anything because everyone – from the youngest to the oldest, men and women – seem to have an infallible opinion. For example, yesterday we spent at least 10 minutes arguing about the size of the pitch – some claimed that the field was too small therefore it needed to be expanded, while others argued it was just the right size. This back and forth arguments are unfortunately the norm every time we play futbol. So I wondered: what are the politicians like, who after all are deciding about the fate of an entire country, its people, and resources? Do my soccer observations apply to the political debate in Somalia? Maybe not completely, but it does give us a little explanation of the state we have been in for the past two decades.

Facts have become hostage to our opinions on every issue and I think that is a big factor why we will continue to be in a state of civil war for many years to come. In one sense, this strong opinion inherent in us is good – in the sense that we put a lot of value on our independent thinking, albeit destructive often. But at what cost? Are all of us have to be right?

Let me make a suggestion (I know I’m going to catch a lot of flak for this): how about we just find a “benevolent” dictator like  Félix Houphouët-Boigny to rule Somalia? It would at least be peaceful. And a lot less argumentative, I’m sure.

Categories: Africa Related, East Africa, Somalia | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Biggest Joke on the Planet

 

The plight of Somalia is a joke. No, I have not lost my mind or abandoned my idealism. The fact is, it bothers me to see few people cause so much suffering and deaths. I still don’t understand why there is a civil war in Somalia. In every other civil war there is now, we can point to a cause – say, Darfur=oil, Iraq=oil, Congo=natural resources like diamonds and other gems, and so on. However, I really don’t understand what Somalis are fighting over. Did I miss some oil or diamond discovery in Somalia? Or is it that Somali politicians are the worst kind of human beings? Why can’t these tribes, clans, subsclans…get along just for the sake of their self-preservation? Or is it more lucrative to keep fighting over nothing, hate over over nothing, destroy each other over nothing? What is going on here?

I don’t want to go extreme right-wing nutcase here, but I’m inclined to agree with the argument of not sending any help to Somalis rotting in and around Mogadishu because we are our own very worst enemy, and as such, sending millions of dollars into Somalia as an Aid so the monstrous warlords, including Bush and Zenawi’s handpicked octogenarian head of warlords, can continue to savagely destroy what is left of Somalia. Nor do I want to see the destructive clannish bullshit politics weather away whatever solidarity that was left, if there were any to begin with.

A report released by the U.N. earlier this week described Somalia as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, even worst than the guilty-filled Westerner’s favorite, Sudan. It turns out that sending Somalia’s worst outside enemy to Somalia was just what the doctor ordered – how genius! Funny though, this is the same organization that blessed Ethiopia and Bush to go ahead and invade Somalia but when they realized that they made a poo-poo, they write a damn report. But my favorite bit about this report is the awesome admission of the U.N. itself that, yes, the Union of Islamic Courts were guys that were useful. In an interview with the New York Times earlier this week, U.N. Somali Director Erich Laroche, “now concede that the country was in better shape during the brief reign of Somalia’s Islamist movement last year”. Mr. Laroche admits, “It was more peaceful, and much easier for us to work,” Mr. Laroche said. “The Islamists didn’t cause us any problems.” It is funny that these over-paid knuckle heads can’t figure out the simplest problem. Somalia never needed a damn peace-keeping nor did Somalia ever needed damn warlords as leaders. Yet, the West continues to believe in warlords as the future of Somalia. Although it doesn’t help to have continues infighting for position of leadership.

I mean, what is so attractive about a leadership post in Somalia? There is no resources to leech or live in luxurious lifestyle from public funds. Perhaps I’m missing something here. There must be something that these clans value soooo much more than their own people’s welfare. As the ‘new’ Prime Minister was announced today, who is apparently from the Abgal clan to replace the recently fired Mohamed Ali Gedi, the Habergedir clan -an important clan in Mogadishu, automatically announced that they will not be supporting this new PM, even though he hasn’t been to Somalia since 1991 and have no blood on his hands…just because he is from Abgal. I mean, I would understand if they just said; “We won’t support this PM because this so-called government is illegitimate to begin with.” But no, their explanation was that this post should have been theirs. What? Why does it have to be clan thing when the government is just plain illegitimate? Man, I don’t understand Somali politics or Somali clan affiliation. However, I do understand that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how terribly stupid it is to put clan affiliation above everything else in life. It just seems mind-blowingly primitive. More importantly, it is the ultimate self-destructive tool that the rest of the world long ago abandoned. Maybe Somali will get to that in, say, 2057? I can’t wait!!

 

PS: This isn’t a thesis or some important manifesto. It is just my 2 cent on what is going on in Somalia so please don’t write me ‘I hate you’ or ‘you are traitor.’ I already feel that so I don’t need someone else telling me such a thing.

 

Categories: Africa Related, Somalia | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

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