19 May 2007 04:19


  • Title: [SW Country](SHASNA) Democracy, the West, UN, Djibouti and Somalia
  • Posted by/on:[AMJ][Sunday, February 19, 2001]

w w w . s o m a l i t a l k . c o m
Friday Column!


[July 14, 2000]

Democracy, the West, UN, Djibouti and Somalia

Democracy: Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address simply and directly expresses how the leader of nation torn apart with civil war must proceed. Abhorring war, Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, nonetheless accepted war as the only means to save the Union. It might be of special interest to all those who have shown a concern for Somalia to consider how the United States, or the free world for that matter, would have been different if Lincoln had not taken his stance.

Think for a moment how different the US would have been if Lincoln had not issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863? Or ponder how history would have struggled to analyze, contextualize and understand Lincoln's leadership without his two-minute speech delivered on November 19, 1863 at a ceremony dedicating the battlefield at Gettysburg as a National Cemetery.

The Gettysburg Address places in context the matters of state that still define the US and democracy. It also provides an honorable and well understood backdrop for us to begin thinking about Somalia and its civil war. Once we reflect on the Address, we can consider Somalia in a new light.

The Gettysburg Address: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this."

"But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate -- we cannot consecrate -- we cannot hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

United Nations and Djibouti: Now roll the time back, and imagine, if you will, what the UN and world reactions to the American civil war would be like. Would Kofi Annan appoint a UN Special Representative to mediate between Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis? Would the Special Representative call the Union or the Confederate States Clan Foxholes populated by Anglo-Saxons and Negroes? Would the UN Special Representative ask Gen. Ulysses "Unconditional Surrender" S. Grant to stop hostilities and vacate Fort Henry and Fort Donelson? Would the UN Special Representative invite Jefferson Davis, his Generals and Racist Mobs to bring along members of their "Civil Society" and form a government in Mexico? Would the UN Special Representative designate as safe heaven, Lawrence, Kansas, where pro-Confederate William C. Quantrill and his followers butchered 182 boys and men? Would the UN invite those butchers to Mexico? Would the UN and Mexico claim that if they don't form a government in Mexico City, it could be the end of the United States of America, as we know it? Would they?

What is taking place with the Exiles in Djibouti is not far different from what you have just imagined. As a matter of fact, on a scale of 1 to 10, ten being the disaster zone, the Djibouti and UN Peace Initiative for Somalia is about 8. The United States Citizens should be very thankful that in 1861, there was no UNITED NATIONS.

The West, UN, Djibouti and Somalia: For 21 long years, we Somalis fought against the repressive socialist dictatorship regime of Siyad Barre. We won. For ten more years, we fought against the evils of Mogadishu warlords; and we are about to win. We have lost almost all material possessions a man can obtain; a substantial number of our countrymen have perished; but we have never surrendered; and we will win. How you say?

The victims of the Siyad Barre regime and of the civil war are leading a peace process of their own. A peace process that neither the UN nor Djibouti have contributed. A peace process that is facing significant political attacks from the UN and Djibouti. A peace process that the UN and Djibouti can't buy with all the money and "Khat" in East Africa. A peace process the west has ignored. A peace process that runs through the veins of every peace loving Somali. A peace process that will incrementally go from the "Recovery Zones" to the "Transitional Zones" and that will finally rest and find home in the "Crisis Zones." A peace process not led by war criminals and warlords. A peace process not led by looters of all existing Somali Historical Treasures. A peace process not led by looters of Somali properties and embassies aboard. A peace process not led and financed by commercial interests of certain Djibouti high rollers and their collaborators. A peace process not led by a "bought-and-paid for" so called civil society. A peace process not led by Siyad Barre nominated Tribal Chiefs and Elders. A peace process not from the hallucinations of chewing illegal substances (Khat).

A peace process that comes with homemade democratic institutions. A peace process that is not a foreign object. A peace process led by the Northern Regional Administrations (Somaliland and Puntland) and supported by the newly established Hiiraan and Bay-and-Bakool Administrations. A peace process that will be homemade and as Somali as the Camel's Milk. A peace process that will bring a lasting peace and prosperity in the Horn of Africa. A lasting peace that will forever get rid of the ghosts and burdens of Siyad Barre Generals and Mogadishu warlords. A lasting peace from the ALMIGHTY, THE BENIFICIENT, THE MERCIFUL.

As Flag Officer David Farragut's move up the Mississippi River to take New Orleans, we encourage the Regional Administrations to "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" and form a union.

And fittingly, we conclude with Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address: " With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."


* SHASNA is an advocacy group based in Boston, Massachusetts. It stands for the unity and peaceful coexistence of the Somali people. It supports the creation of a Federal system of governance to safeguard the emerging free markets of the Recovery Zones. SHASNA encourages corporate and individual investments in the Recovery Zones. It has presence in both Puntland (Boosaaso, Garoowe, Buurtinle, Bacaadweyn and Gaalkacyo) and Somaliland (Hergeysa, Berbera and Burco).

Sources: The collected works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. VII, edited by Roy P. Basler.
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