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Words & Consequences

ISSUE 273
Front Page
Index
Headlines

Victims of war crimes unearthed by heavy spring rains at Boqol-Jire in Hargeysa

UN Envoy Concerned At Rising Tensions Between Puntland And Somaliland

" Qaran has a legitimate concern and an arguable legal case "

Somaliland Troops Clash With Puntland Forces

Call For Peace And Justice In Somalia

Africa's Success Story

Two Eritrean Journalists Captured In Somalia Held With “Foreign Fighters”

Somali Civilians Murdered, Raped, As Conflict Worsens, UN Says

Mission Report on the Trial Observation of Detained Human Rights Defenders
in Somaliland

Regional Affairs

The Independence Of Somaliland A Reality Not A Hope, UDUB

Somaliland: Africa's Oasis Of Calm

Editorial
Special Report

International News

Peacekeepers With No Peace To Keep

U.S. declines to comment on reported North Korean arms sales to Ethiopia

Kadra Attacked In Public

Doomsday for the Greenback

Worse Than Apartheid?

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

KENYAS MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT FACT FINDING MISSION TO SOMALILAND

Ethiopia Acknowledges Detaining 41 Suspected Terrorists, Denies Wrongdoing

Washington Post Equates Imus's Racist Remarks with When He Called Cheney a "War Criminal"

Somalia's Descent To Hell

North Koreans Arm Ethiopians As U.S. Assents

Somalia : 'The World's Hidden Shame'

The West Now Takes Keen Interest in Peace for Somalia

Food for thought

Opinions

Recognition: Ritual or Requisite?

Bad Days Ahead For Puntlanders

The Twenth first Genocide

The Majeerten Envy Towards Somaliland

Mogadishu Massacre: Ethiopia Serves Vengeance In Cold For The US!

Somaliland's Foreign Policy, Understanding The Process Of Multilateral Diplomacy

Ich Bin Ein Hawiye (I Am A Hawiye Citizen)

Is Somaliland Teetering Towards Failure? - Part II


EDITORIAL

U.S officials have lately been engaged in a vigorous campaign to paint a rosy picture of the situation in Somalia in the aftermath of the Ethiopian invasion. It is difficult to explain what is behind this optimism given the dire conditions in that country. If the reason was the quick and unexpected defeat of the Islamic Courts, one would have expected the U.S administration would have learned by now not to repeat the mistake it made in Iraq of celebrating the outcome of the war too early. What is even more surprising is that US officials continued to make optimistic celebratory statements even as late as this month. For example, in an interview with HornAfrik, the American Ambassador to Kenya, Michael Ranneberger, gave a positive picture of the situation in Mogadishu. Among other things he said, “We do believe that progress is being made and it’s important that people not lose sight of that.” The ambassador added, “this is still the best chance that the Somali have had to have a stable government and peace in almost two decades.”

When U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer came to Baidoa, she pretty much expressed the same upbeat sentiments as the ambassador. Although she admitted that Somalia is still a terrorist haven (despite the Ethiopian invasion and US air-strikes), she characterized the present situation as “a historic opportunity to achieve stability and security.”

Even the military establishment got into this act of self-congratulation and naïve optimism. "I certainly don't think the Ethiopians would allow the Islamic Courts to reconstitute," said Theresa Whelan, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for African affairs. May be the deputy assistant secretary can be excused for misreading the reality in Mogadishu, because as far as we can tell, she is a bureaucrat, not a military person.

Fortunately, it looks like there are still some people left within the US administration who describe things as they are. One such person is U.S. Rear Adm. James Hart, commander of the Horn of Africa task force, who said about what happened in Mogadishu: “When you have two aircraft that get shot down that makes things tenuous".

Initially, some of the international media fell for the patently misleading statements dished out by various US officials. But with the deteriorating situation in Mogadishu where entire neighborhoods were wiped out and thousands of people were displaced, such statements became no longer credible. In other words, the truth of the ugly situation in Mogadishu has caught up with the US administration’s misleading spinning.

In addition to the damage that false and far-fetched statements by US officials have done to US interests, they also may have conveyed to Abdillahi Yusuf and his allies that as far as the US is concerned, they have a blank cheque, and can do whatever they want with impunity. That may explain Abdillahi Yusuf’s open and repeated declarations that his militia have the right to shell civilians with artillery. It may also explain deputy defense minister, Salad Jelle’s statement that they are going to ethnically cleanse a certain clan [the Habargidir] from Mogadishu.

Yes, words have consequences. The sooner US officials know that, the better.

Source: Somaliland Times


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