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Fear, Repression And Mindlessness: Rayale’s New Reptilian Tactics
By Yassin M. Ismail, Kent, UK
The recent unlawful arrests, in Somaliland, of three members of the QARAN political party by Dahir Rayale Kahin’s administration without trial and subsequent ignoring of Human Rights groups’ outcry for the release of the detained simply amounts to an act of ultimate display of ruthlessness and intransigence in its boldest and gallant fashion.
Since taken the office in …..as a result of Somaliland’s first democratic general election, the President Rayale’s actions were increasingly growing harsher, inconsiderate and more erratic by the day.
Prior to the arrest of the three QARAN Party members Rayale’s administration also detained three local journalists who spent more than 100 days in prison earlier this year, again without trial. Another reporter was subsequently arrested in similar circumstance though later released due to international pressure.
The continuous unlawful arrests of journalists and political opponents tainted Somaliland’s reputation as Africa’s best kept secret with doubt and uncertainty.
Earlier this month [August 2007], the president nullified a decision by the House of Parliament in which two of the seven nominees for the Electoral Commission board was disapproved on a majority vote by the House of Representatives.
However the decision was challenged by the President who issued decree in which he announced that all of the seven original nominees for the new Electoral Commission Board will be sprung into service despite the fact that the at least two of them have not been ratified by the Somaliland Parliament and hence lack the necessary legal and Constitutional mandate.
Rayale’s decision to undercut the Constitutional Powers of the House of Representatives and went on his way in influencing the composition of the Electoral Commission means that neither the Constitution or Somaliland National Charter nor Parliament and democracy matter any more as time and time again Rayale proved these irrelevant.
Though one would think the president has already become immune to criticism after surviving many plunders in the past, including accusations of serious corruption scandals, nepotism and misappropriation of public funds involving him and members of his family, it appears that his resolute defiance and ability to withstand shame and disgrace is becoming legendry. His ability to get away with fundamental Constitutional delinquencies time and time again is a failure on the part of opposition parties who seem to be overwhelmed by frustration in their efforts to bin down Rayale’s administration. And now with the General elections looming the two Opposition Parties, UCID and KULMIYE do not seem to have formulated a winning strategy to ensure getting rid of Rayale as a common goal for both parties.
In addition, the apparent inaction of the general public over Rayale’s gross misconduct, particularly in the case of the arrests of the QARAN Party meant that the President has gauged the limits of the Somaliland people.
Using tyranny and repression the current administration in Hargeysa was able to carry out unlawful arrests of journalists, prominent politicians, and traditional elders often without trial and not a thing was happened to force Rayale’s regime to refrain from the use of high-handed methods.
The latest imprisonment of QARAN Party members, namely Dr. Gabose, Eng. Mohamed Hashi and Mr. M. Aideed seems to be the last nail to the coffin of Somaliland’s dream to create a fair and just democratic nation.
Some observers however argue that Rayale has finally shot himself in the foot having to arrest such a high profile and influential people. Whilst others suggest the arrests are indication that president Rayale has at last molded his image as a relentless and indestructible dictator.
But why is Rayale behaving in such an awful way? After all, he is the first democratically elected president of Somaliland.
Well. It appears that ‘fear’ is a factor in understanding Rayale’s erratic behavior as demonstrated over the years gone by. That fear being the fear that his authority challenged by people of higher political caliber: people who previously founded and led a successful political movement to fruition by overthrowing even more rigid dictatorial regimes in the past and have managed rally behind them the unreserved support of an entire nation.
Rayale’s fear is the fear that the inception of a new political party consisting individuals like Mohamed Hashi and Dr. Gabose are capable to bring him to his demise.
However, while this ‘fear’ may, in part explain the haste in jailing critics and political opponents, it also sheds light to president Rayale’s inevitable realization that he is now sitting on a dust and his failures and incompetence are everywhere to be seen.
The fact that he is unable to celebrate any tangible contribution to the state-building of Somaliland during the period of his reign, (other than completing tasks previously inspired by his predecessor the late president of Somaliland, Mr. Mohamed I. Egal) is evidence of his incompetence, which are responsible for the current helter-skelter state of affairs of president Rayale’s leadership.
Accordingly, the inception of QARAN Political Party is the result of a genuine political aspiration of the people of Somaliland and response to their outcry for immediate change in the current bearing and political path of Somaliland.
Hence the unlawful arrests and detention of those on the vanguard of this desire for change is a clear manifestation that Rayale has turned into a cold and calculated carpet snake and willing to use the deadly venom of fear and repression .
I have intentionally used the term ‘snake’ as a simile in the above paragraph to describe Rayale’s reactionary and mindless tactics, because, there seems to be a striking similarity in the way Rayale has been behaving lately and snakes.
Snakes, crocodiles and most reptiles are known and feared for their reputation as animals with killing instinct and having reactionary behavior. Unlike amphibians and mammals, particularly predators, reptiles do not choose their prey and often remain hidden most of the time awaiting for their prey to arrive within striking distance.
Snakes and reptiles in general are physically inferior and intellectually deficient compared to mammals and amphibians. They have neither legs to run with nor wings to help them fly and though some of them live in waters their bodies are not particularly designed for life in waters.
Being such primitive and intellectually under-developed animals, snakes only utilize their lower brain, the medulla oblongata, which is responsible for instinctive life decisions: i.e. defense, eating, reproduction etc. They have a very tiny cerebral cortex, which is entirely useless to them.
Snakes also have other physiological deficiencies. They are visually impaired and heavily rely on their highly sensitive vibration sensors (their excellent ability to detect sound vibrations).
In other words they listen to the ground to find out if any threat is coming to their way and if there is, they robotically engage themselves in defensive mode once they realize the presence of a danger.
Hence whoever crosses their protective lines is potential assailant and snakes would instinctively strike without needing to consider the consequences of their actions. In doing so snakes blow their cover and as a result expose themselves to dangers far exceeding to the one originally imagined. In other words, snakes are paranoid animals.
Scientists believe this reactionary behavior is normal as the reptilian brain is merely capable of making life decisions and not capable of making consciously thought responses to their daily hazards. Instead they tend to make use of their fear and paranoia (brought to them by their inherent vulnerabilities) as a weapon of defense. Often it is this fear that overrides rationality.
Even when asleep snakes are pre-programmed to remain alert.
This is to say snakes are paranoid and fear-craze animals and their erratic mindlessness is caused by their multi-dimensional deficiencies.
We humans are very lucky. We are intellectually much more advanced in comparison with reptiles. Thanks to our larger cerebral cortex, the station of thoughts and wisdom. We are blessed with greater level of intellect and sophistication and we are capable of making decisions based on reasoning and experience through learning.
Unfortunately, however some humans have brains that function from a reptilian level. Their behavior is often similar to that of a snake and their inability to use reasoning in their actions and reactions are equally ruthlessly.
These pseudo-human reptilian characters come under various psychological categories and definitions and they certainly include psychopaths, serial killers, brutal dictators etc.
Imam Hamze Yusuf, an American Muslim scholar, in one of his many lectures discussing ‘the Dangers of Heedlessness’ compared the behavioral characteristics of snakes and that of brutal dictators. Imam Hamze stated that a significant pattern appears in the actions of most of the known brutal dictators the world has seen and suggested that they have one thing in common with reptiles. Their brains function from a reptilian level and their ruthlessness and brutality is driven by fear and insecurity.
Imam Hamze’s argument is particularly true knowing that ‘fear’ and insecurity as well as folly and greed often play crucial roles in motivating brutalities of dictators. The snake strikes when felt threatened and when dictators feel their powers are being challenged they too strike like a snake and tend to resort to the use of violence and repression in order to subdue their opponents. Some go more drastic than others but the principle remains the same.
This analogy sheds light onto why Russia’s Stalin purged his best military generals in 1937; Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds and massacred thousands of elite Shiites in 1980s. It explains why Siyad Barre and Mengistu Haille Marram had to execute dozens of their comrade military generals following their military coups in 1969 and 1974 respectively. It enables us to comprehend the mental state in which Zimbabwe’s lunatic leader, Mughabi is presently in starving his nation and repressing his opposition supporters. It certainly gives us an insight into Rayale’s mindset and motives when ordering the unlawful arrests of journalists and prominent party politicians.
President Dahir Rayale’s rather stubborn behavior in his judgments on number of politically sensitive issues, including the recent controversial arrests of three journalists working for the Haatuf Newspaper earlier this year is typical of his reptilian characteristics. The three journalists spent more than 100 days in jail without prison without trial.
Two weeks ago, three prominent members of the QARAN Political Party were taken to prison without any charge or trial process and still remain incarcerated in Mandhera central prison. The arrests were carried out upon orders of the president and the so-called Security Court endorsed the president’s orders. (Security Courts are themselves illegal and unconstitutional.)
Human Right organization condemned the unlawful imprisonment of Dr Gabose, Eng Mohamed Hashi Mr. M. Aideed.
Surely President Dahir Rayale’s increasing tendency to resorting high handed tactics, including repression and arbitrary arrests of political opponents, without any due respect for the law and humanity is so far the clearest sign of displaying classic reptilian behavioral characteristics.
The pattern of his recent actions also prove that President Rayale wants to reveal his true colors as brutal dictators and eventually come out his shell. His failures during his reign haunts him and we know that fear of losing the election overrode his rationality in his judgment.
The question is with the public not showing significant opposition to protest the unlawful arrests of prominent politicians and previously journalists will Rayale interpret that ‘as a ‘successful outcome’ in gauging public opinion and now continue to grow into a fully fledged monster? Or perhaps he would be apprehended before his ego hatches? Time will tell.