How does anyone reason with the unreasonable? The answer is impossible if it is on the bases of talking, the meeting of minds if you will, but as simple as can be if absolute intransigents are communicated to with the same lethal language they dispense and in return would only appreciate: VIOLENCE.
The Al-Shabab Wahabi terrorists, other extremist verities and their apologists in Somalia and in Mogadishu in particular, display, unashamedly, their vision for Somalia and the Somali people through daily sheer terror; to them, damned who perishes, whether a child, a pregnant woman or an elderly, in their daily rations of aimless violence. They materialize their ideas clearly and thoroughly through bomb blasts, gunfire and assassinations. They excel in the cowardly art of sewing discord, death and destruction by launching attacks in the midst of innocents, who are caught—often killed, maimed or forced to flee from homes and neighborhoods—in the well designed and deliberately setup, by them terrorists, crossfire inferno, as the TFG and their allies must respond!
Yet, the TFG and their Ethiopian ally have not only been tactically responding in kind, and then some, in their on-going daily struggle with the terrorists, but they seem to have finally figured out the larger strategy to eventually dismantle these thugs completely. Never mind the daily reports of violence disseminated by the mouth-piece of all who would keep the Somali flag in the mud: namely the BBC Somali Service.
As far as the interest of Somalia and the Somali people is concerned, the BBC (Somali Service), which should stand for British Broadcasting Service, now stands for (Buunbuuninta Beesha Calandiidka) ee Somaliyeed.
In Mogadishu, the hornet’s nest of those who are dogmatically bent to stand in the way of standing-up the Somali State, the efforts of the TFG are paying off. The Mogadishu business communities, for example, who are mainly represented by the Bakara market, had finally seen the light by taking full responsibility for the security of their own interests: the unfettered daily transactions of business and its bottom-line profit and livelihood making. In doing so, the terrorists are denied any support from those quarters; as a result, no attacks from in and around the Bakara market against the government/ally begets no military response from the government. Obviously, this has been a 360 degrees turn around by the Bakara business establishment from their early days of being duplicitous with bandits or feigning ignorance about their own collusion with the terrorists; what made them change is the damage they had incurred by the crushing firepower of the Somali government.
Other signs of Mogadishu residents turning on the terrorists are also evident. Lately, the Al-shabab fighters had been making some flamboyant moves, in what may seem to some as spreading or expanding the fight from Mogadishu to other parts of Southern Somalia. This, to me, is not a sign of strength; rather, it is a symptom of their loosing ground in Mogadishu, as they are being isolated and the people’s collective noose on their necks is being tightened in Mogadishu neighborhoods. This is the “squeezing a balloon” effect; you squeeze a balloon on one side and it bulges on the opposite. The fact that they are lately been seizing small towns, with only small police stations, for few hours or days is a headline-grapping futile effort with no ability to hold them. It will not be long now before the balloon is pricked and burst asunder!
On another front, the mad mullahs who are situated in Asmara, as guests of their backer, President Afwerki, had completely lost any remote control they have had, if any, on their Al-shabab kindred spirits within Somalia proper. Clearly, there is no united front among Somali extremists, as local Al-shabab commanders publically denounced those whom they defined as “living in luxury in an air-conditioned hotels in Asmara, while they are doing the dying for their cause on the ground in Somalia.”
Also, for the former ICU leadership in Asmara to be willing now to entertain negotiations, a climb-down from their high horse, is indicative of the wide chasm within the extremists’ camp, coupled with international pressures on their Eritrean backers to desert them.
Eritrea has been pressured to dry-up any support for these groups; the latest international effort to have Eritrea wash its hands from its counter-productive involvement in the sorry state of Somalia came from the King of Saudi Arabia in his recent meeting with the president Afwerki of Eritrea, who undertook such visit to Saudi Arabia to seek aid and investment from the kingdom.
There is also that dichotomy, on the part of former ICU leadership, of condemning, on one hand, and calling Jihad on Meles Zanawe’s troops in Somalia, while at the same time they would fall over each other in the stampede to kiss the ring of Afwerki of Eritrea at the courtyard of his presidential palace in Asmara.
Meles and Afwerki are kin folks, by blood, and brothers in faith: Christianity. If Afwerki was in a position to send troops into Somalia on behalf of the ICU, would anyone think that the ICU would not be ecstatically welcoming them with loving embrace? I think not. So, the issue is not a matter of religion, is it? It is a matter of politics, and those who conveniently use religion to further their politics. If this was based on the convoluted and irrational Muslim extremist’s version, a despicable one indeed, of Islam, why one infidel’s (to use the extremist’s divisive lexicon) assistance, Ethiopia in this case, is a taboo and forbidden, while another’s, Eritrea, is kosher and permitted? I will tell you why: pure HYPOCRASY!
Meles had come to the aid of a legitimate Somali government, which made the call to Addis Ababa; remember, early on, a well known figure, Hussein Aideed, who was in a high position in the TFG hierarchy, was putting out the ridiculous notion of abolishing the border between Ethiopia and Somalia, proposing a union with one passport between the two countries, until, for whatever reason, he decided to relocate in Asmara with the so-called opposition; now he is singing a different tune.
In addition, if one is to examine the historical enmity between the Ethiopians and the Somalis, Eritrea, when it was part of Ethiopia or Abyssinia before that, was an ardent constituency of that great historical enemy against the Somalis. There are well known Eritrean generals who led Abyssinian and Ethiopian Armies, from the days of Ahmed Gurray to the War of 1977 and in between, against the Somalis.
And, in a new development, Eritrea is now threatening our sister country Djibouti; something the regime in Asmara would not have dared to even entertain back in the day, if it existed as a country, when there was a functioning, strong Somali government.
At the same time, in an attempt to further its sole interest to weaken its enemy, Ethiopia, in a border dispute, Eritrea has succeeded to pin Somalis against each other by employing some Somalis who are all too willing to do its bidding; does this sound like Eritrea has the best interest of Somalis at hear? The answer is absolutely not! They are only after their own interest.
In contrast, the TFG had solidified its standing in international circles as the only legitimate government in the whole of Somalia. In the United Nations, Arab/Islamic countries, Washington and in European capitals, the TFG is being welcomed and afforded the good offices of a legitimate government of Somalia, the only government of Somalia at that.
The Somali government has all along been willing to sit down peacefully and negotiate with the ICU leadership or, for that matter, anyone Somali group in opposition to it who is willing to make peace and be a party to the solution for the long standing disaster, a self-inflicted one, which has befell on the Somali people.
The TFG should never negotiate out of fear, while at the same time it should not fear to sit down and negotiate in order to resolve the unfortunate state of insecurity in the country. This should clearly entail on the part of the Somali Government the unmistakable resolve to continuously decimate, with no hint of any hesitation or mercy, the unreasonable terrorists, while simultaneously extending an olive branch to those who are willing to peacefully see a way out of the destruction of Somalia!
How much longer—after the Somali people had suffered for 17 long years, from the curse and pestilence of clan peddlers, which gave birth to turf warlordism, which then in turn produced crazed mad mullahs, sheikh so-and-so come lately, who crave and clamor for power, cloaking themselves with Osama Bin Laden’s Wahabi and devilish form of Islam, which at last now grown into undiluted, unmasked monster terrorists of Al-Shabab—before all the guns are silenced and our nation, state, flag and dignity of our people fully restored!
Islam has reached Somalia while the Massinger of God (pbuh) still preached it in the streets of Makah and Medina; few years ago, archeologists unearthed a Mosque buried deep in the town of Zayla, Somalia. This mosque has shown its unique two qiblas (directions of prayer), one faced towards Jerusalem and the other to the direction of Makah. You see, while Islam’s complete hold on all Somalis in the horn of Africa took many more centuries, there is no doubt that Islam reached the Somalis even before it reached some Arabs in the Arabian Peninsula.
The point to be made here is that the religion of Islam has been deeply rooted in Somalia and Somalis; aside from early Arabian missionary travelers, saintly persons, who parted us with indelible and irreversible impressions of complete and total understanding of Islam, the true Islam, the Somalis had never so lacked ever since their own learned Ulema to demand wave after wave of Arab/other Muslim evangelists.
My own father, for instance, who lived for 90 plus years, before he passed on to the everlasting home 8 years ago, had never ever seen or heard about any Arab or any other Muslim missionary to Somalia. Ironically, he and I both and many other Somalis had seen or heard about White Christian missionaries once in a blue moon who came to the Somalis; of course to no avail in their attempts to turn Somalis, a clear testament to the Somalis’ solid and abiding faith in their religion.
In addition, our traditional Ulema had never mixed what is Ibada (matters of worship) with that of Adat (matters of custom). No Somali Ulema bothered, let alone condemn it, with Somalis performing or listening to music, poetry, Somali traditional dances or wedding ceremonies; no sheikh forbade playing soccer, engaging in wrestling or participating in any sport; no sheikh made his business to look at the Somali men’s ways of grooming their faces, whether shaved or let loose with a mustache or beard. Our Ulema did preach (wacdi), but they never demanded from powers that be to compel people to even pray.
Never had they even closely glanced, a would be unseemly on their part, at Somali women to critique their traditional Somali dresses, forget about our Ulema demanding that women down on a Burka (burqa), which predates Islam; in fact, the burqa is not even an original Arab dress, pre or post Islam.
For Somali women, in compliance with mainstream Islam, Dirrac, Massar, Guntiino and Malkhabad had always been amble enough to keep them look decent and proper.
Then there is the issue of how to administer criminal justice. I ask: had any gown-up Somali person, anywhere, ever even heard any traditional Somali Islamic jurist, a well versed judge in matters of Shari’a, advocating the cutting off hands of a Somali thief, before lately? Surely, there was none, zero, and zilch! On the contrary, our Ulema had even preferred compensation (blood money or mag bixxin) for the loved ones of a victim of a murder; and their judgments in all of these matters were always consistent with Islamic law, Shafi’ school of thought style especially!
Now, these Wahabi new comers want to make a mockery out of our long-standing Islamic traditions and our esteemed custodians of such traditions, our thoughtful and learned Ulema, by imposing on the Somali people their own perversions of Islam. They want to do this to us at gunpoint.
They invoked a holy war, undertaking terrorist operation, as a proxy of Osama, against U.S embassies in neighboring countries. They now use the presence of Ethiopian forces in Somalia as an excuse for Jihad. To the Somali simpletons, and some of their immediate kin or sycophants, this sounds consistent with the religion of Islam; after all, the soldiers of the infidel, great-enemy of the Somalis are now in our midst, conveniently ignoring the fact that it was a Somali Government which requested their help for lack of any alternative aid available from other countries.
For one thing, it behooves me why any Somali whose country and the lives of his countrymen are in pieces would be on the payroll or inspiration of one modern-day devil reincarnate Osama, who greatly damaged our religion and Muslims worldwide. This also clearly flies in the face of a long endured Somali tradition—as nomads who never been beholden to the whims of anyone and who would always be originals in doing their own things no matter what—of a Somali not, never, being a rented mule to carry someone else’s water!
What business of mine, as a Somali, is to combat America, of all countries, which is the greatest power-ever Mankind produced, on behalf of some crazed long-bearded Wahabi hiding under a boulder somewhere in the tribal area of Pakistan. For the love of God, Why would a Somali incur the wrath of a country which would and will follow him around anywhere 24/7, by remote on satellite, and on the right time would easily drop a Daisy-cutter, a 5000 pound bomb, on his head, as Ayrow found out? Madness!!!
There is another way to look at the presence of Ethiopian soldiers in Somalia; that this is the will of God, as nothing moves or moved without His Qadha and Qadar; that He the almighty sent them to punish true believers who strayed from His way. God is angry with us, but His anger is especially reserved to those who have held, time and time again, in the gutter the nation among nations of true believers of the Lord. Why do I say this? Well, because this is not without precedent, as the Lord had done it before!
Our Holy Qur’an, the last testament from God, and scriptures that proceeded it, such as the Torah, Zabur, and the Injiil, all tell on how, on numerous times, when the children of Israel (Banee Israela) strayed, the lord inflicted on them great enemies, such as the Egyptians (Pharaohs), the Syrians and the Babylonians; it was God’s way, as I believe it is now, to teach a lesson the faithful and, in particular, to punish and cleanse the aggressors ( fitna makers) out of his flock! Even then, as now, innocents were caught in combat, many of them bearing the brunt of fires sparked by the hypocrites.
Scientists tell us the following principle: “for every action, there is an opposite reaction.” If the trouble makers in Somalia do cease their daily taunts, by attacking the Somali government, there will be no violent response from the government! Why is it that the rest of Somalia, where the TFG and its ally are, except in Mogadishu, the government is not wily nelly bombarding the innocents there? Yet, in Mogadishu, the government must forcefully respond to the attackers; what else does one expect from a government to do, but overwhelmingly respond, when it is attacked? Unfortunately, in the heat of combat, many of our civilians pay for it with their lives. This I especially blame on the bandit terrorists for continually baiting the government, which has no choice but to answer and defend itself! What else, I ask again, should it do? Just absorb blow after blow, day after day. Ridiculous!!
I am always amazed how some Somalis in the Diaspora, some of them who live in multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-religious democratic countries in North America and Europe, would be oblivious to the stark lessons these places they live in teach them by being so blindly supportive of the state-killers, the Somali unity and dignity destroyers and the religious fanatics back home in Somalia; it is even worse when some of these have attained the highest degrees in education, PhDs, in these countries, who would be a party, by at least giving a moral support, if nothing else, to the garbage groups which sunk Somalia, its nationhood and the sacredness of each Somali life! I guess “you can take a person from the gutter, but you CAN NOT take the gutter out in someone.”
One of such so-called learned men, whose name I do not care to mention here, recently insisted on public TV in the US that what is going on in Somalia, in terms of the violent struggle between the TFG/ally and other armed groups, is a strife for “LIBERATION,” reducing all Somalia’s problems to the Ethiopian presence in Somalia. This was an incredible thing for me to hear for two reasons:
For a decade and half, with no one Ethiopian soldier in Somalia, we the Somalis had destroyed our country. Moreover, before Ethiopia showed up at our door steps, by invitation from a Somali government, there were others who came to help us, like the Americans and the UN Pakistani soldiers; we all know how Somali thugs and gangs spoiled that effort for the whole nation.
If Ethiopian forces were to leave Somalia tomorrow, does anyone believe the hooligans will lay down their weapons and suddenly become peace-makers? Absolutely not!
The underlining problem in Somalia, I would argue, is NOT the Ethiopian presence there, though the Somali-nationhood murderers will use it as an excuse; rather, it is what has become a habit and a culture on the part of some of us Somalis to gain or loose by the gun; simply, it is violence, and the only way to remedy it is to overcome it with unyielding superior and deadly firepower.
The only mandate the TFG has in my opinion, as it is a transitional authority, is to defeat the gangs by any means necessary short of deliberately targeting the innocents. Security is and should be its main priority, because everything else hinges on security. This requires the TFG to be clever and to think out of the proverbial “box,” like creating and fully supporting neighborhood watches in the peaceful areas of Mogadishu; it should also invest heavily in human intelligence to keep tabs on the terrorists.
Why the TFG, after collaborating with the British Government on the apprehension of a Somali murderer of a British police officer in the UK, who then fled to Somalia and was caught by the TFG and then handed over to London to face justice, has not called in on its chips for a more balanced news and analysis contents on Somalia by the BBC Somali Service! The BBC Somali Service has become, for unknown reason to me, the propaganda medium—and a dowser of flammable fuel into the Somali fire—of people who have a vested interest to keep Somalia in taters.
If the British government is not willing to stop the BBC Somali Service’s incitement of violence in Somalia, then there is another way to deal with this problem. The TFG should acquire, this is not that hard to do, a jamming equipment to render the transmission of the BBC Somali service into Mogadishu and its surroundings mute.
On the other hand, the Somali government must also take to the airways in Mogadishu, or transmit from other locations in the south, and have the Somali traditional Ulema on the air daily to also defeat by argument, based on the correct interpretations of our faith as we Somalis have accustomed to, the false claims and teachings of Wahabi Islam, which found its way to Somalia!
In conclusion, the only thing that can restore our dignity, our nation among nations, our flag and total sovereignty, is a functioning Somali government; without that, everyman, any group or clan/sub-clan becomes, as already happened, the law unto him/themselves; we are all too familiar how under such circumstances our nation has self-pulverized in every imaginable way!
We cannot simply continue travelling on the same road; we cannot and must not go on and on this way, not for what we had done to our selves in the past, though that should serve a lesson, but for what we can no longer afford: the same old mischief-making of one group after another satisfying their devilish will and wants, at the expense of country, honor, duty and more importantly Somali lives, by the gun; to them, the hell with the pride that a unified country provides to all: of the blue-flag with the white star dancing against the wind; of men and women going about raising their families in peace, seeing them off to school in the morning and waiting in anticipation for their safe return back home, quizzing them on what they had learned; of a national army in which young men would proudly be sentinels at her borders in the dead hours of night, sending the forbidding message to her enemies to dare encroach on her sovereignty; of businesses flourishing in the commotion of demand and supply, and of the faithful responding to the 5 calls of prayer from the top of mosque minarets, kneeling down and prostrating before their creator!
We the Somali people, all of us in the Horn of Africa, a no more than 20 million maximum, are also sitting on yet untold riches which are deeply held in the silent bowels of our soil: tremendous deposits of oil, gas and other minerals! In a world where these resources are becoming scarce and are sought after with almost name “YOUR PRCE” for them, from the developed and developing world, it is inexcusable that few human pest-thugs of our own will insist and insist to be in the way of exploiting them for the welfare of all Somalis, from Somalia, Djibouti, the Somali region in Ethiopia and NFD.
Let us remember that once upon a time not too long ago we were dissatisfied with the only government Somalia had at the time, the Mohammed Siad Barre’s regime, and we had brought it down, not to replace it with a better government, but with no government at all—which produced a far worse prospect for us, of anarchy and a civil war, than that regime, however brutal some might have deemed it to be at the time.
Today, we have a government, again, however imperfect it might be! We should build on it peacefully; in due time, it too has to go, but the question a true, reasonable and a patriot Somali should ask him/herself is: how?
If the TFG is brought down violently, Somalia will enter into an even darker period of violence in which clans and religious fanatics will be armed afresh to the teeth by Ethiopia, Eritrea and others. Without a doubt, the country of Somalia will break-up into two; the so-called Somaliland will, with all certainty, gain international recognition, a situation which will invoke a violent struggle between Puntland and Somaliland.
No place in Somalia will not be touched with raging violence, and a wide-reaching violence/droughts, droughts are part of our regional climate system, will have its own devastating by-product of mass starvations; as it is now, there are global food shortages—even when people are capable of growing food or importing it, as many countries with stable governments are to deal now with riots over food prices skyrocketing; for God sakes, let us count our blessings with this government we have and stress the urgency of peaceful means to resolve our problems, including the eventual changing of the TFG with a better government; hopefully, by the ballot and not by violence!
Let us all pray for the success of this meeting underway, in Djibouti, between the Somali parties concerned to be a new beginning for peace in our land; my the Lord make it so, aamin!
by Abdulaziz Mohammed