w w w . S o m a l i T a l k . c o m

To examine the root cause of recent escalations in Hiiraan, one needs to look at the big picture. 

      As a Hiiraanian myself, I am deeply worried about the recurring violence that our beloved region and our country in general have been experiencing lately. It is important to recognize that the recent incidents that claimed Mr. Daud Hassan and the other foreign teachers are only the symptoms of the greater effect of disrupting the livelihood of millions of Somalis by foreign powers including but not limited to Ethiopia and the United States. Just few days ago, BBC reported by that American fighter jets were landing On Berbera. French Commandos arrested the alleged Somali pirates. The important question is not whether or not these pirates need to face some justice; but rather it is a sovereignty issue. If there is a functioning Somali government as the Ethiopian puppets would like us to believe, then how come foreigners feel free to cross our sea, land and air borders without any permission? Nuclear waste and all kinds of radioactive materials get dumped in our shores frequently. False money is being poured into our already fragile and stateless economy all the time, driving the aggregate price levels to unbearable heights. For every foreigner who is killed, thousands of innocent Somalis die. And for every western journalist or aid worker assassinated, hundred folds of Somali journalists or religious leaders are killed or forced out of the country. The western media selectively covers these tragedies. Sacred Muslim lives are dismissed as collateral damage, while non-Muslims enjoy all the media coverage. 

      One would wonder who is to blame for all these problems looming from every angle.

People like Aden Tani, who has written an article by the title of “Is Beled-Weyne the coming new nightmare for traumatised Nation? Have just woken up and realized the trauma. In fact, Hiiraanians have been traumatized by foreign propped up thugs during and before the full blown Ethiopian invasion. Incompetent unelected leaders such Daba Geed have been terrorizing Beledweyne for the better part of the last three years. The United States funded and indirectly hired many warlords including Yusuf Daba to crack down what was called "foreign terrorist groups" These mercenary warlords then proceeded to randomly detain and torture regular civilians and innocent Somalis for the sole reason of being devout Muslims.  

      The growing number of illegal arrests sparked nationwide revolution to oust the warlords. And that was perhaps the biggest political and social change that happened in the past seventeen years. US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer stated that she did not know if the Anti Terrorism coalition, which was mainly composed of the warlords were receiving U.S. assistance, but made it clear that "We will work with those elements that will help us to root out al-Qaeda and to prevent Somalia becoming a safe haven for terrorists, and we are doing it in the interests of protecting America" (Reuters, May 13, 2007).

      The reality contradicts with rhetoric of Jendayi Frazer; The United States supported the very war lords that toppled the United Nation’s “Operation restore hope” led by the US in early 1990s in Somalia.  Some of them directly responsible for the episodes we have seen in Black Hawk Down movie. Col Abdi Qeybdiid, deputy of Gen Aidid publicly and proudly acknowledges his role in shooting down US helicopters and dragging the bodies of US servicemen in the streets of Mogadishu. Soon after TFG installation in Mogadishu he was appointed as the police chief of the capital. If the TFG was fighting terrorists as it claims then why doesn’t it turn in Col Qeybdiid to US custody? The reason is that the US already knew about him, in fact he was a member of the underground Coalition against terrorism financed by the US prior to UIC emergence.  

      This was due to the Washington’s madness about anything to do with Islam. That madness led the US to severe misunderstanding of the real issues. And that is why they have teamed up with the same terrorists that blocked the UN humanitarian and peacekeeping mission in early 90s , killed so many civilians and UN troops including Americans and have been terrorizing innocent Somalis for almost two decades. In Somali, they are known as (Qabqablayaasha dagaalka/warlords) Not Al-Shabab.      

      The UIC was not an al-Qaeda like terrorist organization. But by using well planned grassroots campaign to reform the political status quo and identifying a way of unifying all Somalis under one banner "Islam" they have earned the trust of their fragmented and severely divided citizens. As far as the majority of the Somali people are concerned, the UIC was the only legitimate political order during the civil war.  

      The US government was not all that interested in helping the defunct and hibernating TFG in exile even though the so called President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad and then Prime Minister Ali Muhammad Gedi insisted that the United States deal solely with the TFG rather than cut deals with the warlords. But after the warlords were defeated in mid 2006, the same warlords were forced to go back to the TFG, which they were part of in the beginning and abandoned it for a more lucrative mission (i.e. Counter terrorism operations for the US). More importantly the US support came along with them and jumped on the bandwagon with the warlord/TFG administration. Since then, the TFG remained a US client in the war on terror, welcomed back the warlords, adopted a more hostile rhetoric against the Islamic Courts and received a lot of international attention. 

ِ in light of the rise of the Union of Islamic Courts movement, one could see that its very existence was only one example out of several trends of social adaptations to respond to the human security predicaments faced by the Somalis for over dozen years. Somalis have endured a stateless environment and initiated a range of creative institutional behavioural responses to adjust to the lawlessness, in other words, the UIC were created by the Somali society. The resistance army (Muqawama) is deeply rooted in the Somali social fabric. The TFG was created by foreigners and warlords.

      What we are seeing now in Somalia is not a new nightmare; it’s the tip of the iceberg and simply a blowback of derailed US foreign policy in that region. Former presidential candidate Ron Paul got it right when he described in a recent interview in Bill Maher’s show “ I think its been known for quite few decades that our foreign policy has what the CIA calls  blowback, it has unintended consequences, you can go back in the 1953 when we put the Shah of Iran in power, us supporting Osama Bin laden in radicalizing Islamist to go after the soviets, and that comes back as a blowback,  to haunt us, our support for Saddam Hussein in the 1980s and this comes back to haunt us that’s why I have been very attractive and very supportive of what I call a non- interventionist policy, mind their own business and stay out of the internal affairs of other nations” (US Rep Ron Paul ( R) Texas.). In Hiiraan we have Ugaases, religious leaders and abundance of intellectuals who would keep things in order only if the Ethiopians and their clients were kept at bay.

Ismail Warsame, BA, 2008
International Affairs/Political Science
University of Maine

Faafin: | April 18, 2008

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