the dawn of history moguls, kings, emperors, rajahs, pashas,
military dictators, warlords and present day political bigwigs
have been pointing their fingers at what they considered as
the enemies of the state, i.e. those who threatened their
the draconian consternation dates back in the middle ages,
when those in power declared an all out war against their
enemies, hallucinatory or real, using all the means at their
Zulu of South Africa relentlessly fought massive British invaders
with spears and arrows facing Maxim machineguns, howitzers
and cannons. Somalia's Sayid Mohamed Abdulle Hassan put the
British in an awkward corner until they decided to use airplanes
of the Royal Air Force, the first to be used in Africa. In
a long article a distinguished British writer described the
Sayid as the "Mad Mullah who shamed us." Then the Sayid dropped
out of sight and later died peacefully in Imey, a small nomadic
encampment in Western Somalia.
of fear and condemnation continued against Adolf Hitler, Benito
Mussolini and Tojo of Japan in the 1930s/40s when the axis
tried to put the whole world under their jackboots. They mercilessly
destroyed cities and massacred civilians in the name of leben's
raum (nazi Germany) Asian Co-prosperity (Japanese imperialism)
100 anni di pecora meglio un giorno di leone (Mussolini's
fascism). Europe and Asia lay under the rubble of heavily
bombarded cities until the American military under General
Dwight Eisenhower and General Douglas McArthur came to their
rescue with Uncle Sam's superior firepower and tenacity. The
Soviet Red Army routed the German army in the eastern front
with the help of the "Old General Winter" and the Japanese
received their first taste of atomic bomb that decimated the
twin cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
thunder of fear and condemnation continued unabated. Communism
at the behest of the then Soviet Union became the Enemy Number
One in capitalist West, and according to Winston Churchill
in his Iron Curtain speech described Joe Stalin and the Soviet
Red Army "as menace to Western civilization." The Americans
dubbed the Soviet Union as "The evil Empire."
WAR ENEMIES OF STATE
the Cold War several "enemies of the state" made their debut
with flying colours. These included Fidel Castro, Che, Carlos
the Jackal, Abu Nidal, General Noriega, Idi Amin, Colonel
Muammar Qadafi, Kim Il Sung (late father of the present Kim
Jong Il), Saddam Hussein, Yassir Arafat, and a host of third
world leaders, including Nobel Peace Prize Winner and father
of his nation, Nelson Mandela. (He was described as Africa's
Number One Terrorist by the white apartheid regime in the
1960s) and Patrice Lumumba, the first Prime Minister of Congo.
Last week Belgium apologized for the role it played in his
assassination after just four months in office. And to a lesser
degree General Mohamed Farah Aideed, the late South Mogadishu
faction leader, who died in a gun battle during an offensive
and until very recently Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe who put
the white farmers and the opposition leaders in a corner.
And of course Slovodan Milosevic, "The Butcher of the Balkans"
and the first Head of State currently facing a war crimes
tribunal in The Hague.
AMERICAN TALIBAN FIGHTER
the thunder of fear and condemnation still continues. The
war against terror can go on indefinitely, whether in Afghanistan,
Yemen, Somalia, Malaysia, the Sudan or the Philippines. The
terrorists, we are told, are everywhere, including the United
States and Canada. There's even an American Taliban fighter
by the name of John Walker Lindh, a 20-year old Californian,
who according to top US Administration officials, choose to
kill his own countrymen. I am wondering if there is a Somali
Taliban or a member of the Al-Qaeda network out to kill Americans?
It was not Somalis who attacked September 11, but Arabs from
affluent families in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Every single
person identified as a plane hijacker in the September 11
attacks in New York and Washington DC entered the United States
legally with visas issued by the Government of the United
States. "They were not people claiming to be refugees, and
it is absolutely unfair and silly to suggest otherwise," Ruud
Lubber, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said during
the weekend in Ottawa.
continues to insist that Somalia is a safe haven for Al-Qaeda
terrorists, "because it is a failed state." American journalists
who visited the country said that no foreign terrorist worth
his salt would show his face in Somalia, where every body
knows everybody and where secrets are in the public domain.
As I wrote before on this website a foreign terrorist will
stand out like Count Dracula on a chicken farm.
there's one exception. Somalia gave shelter, money, weapons
and diplomatic passport to Meles Zenawi, the current Ethiopian
Prime Minister, who was then considered as a terrorist and
enemy of the state by the late Emperor Haile Selassie and
later by the Dergue strongman Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam
who is himself in a safe shelter in Zimbabwe. Ironically,
Meles Zenawi is now out to bite the hand that fed him when
he was on the run. He now emphasizes that Somalia is a safe
haven for international terrorism, a futile exercise to win
the old "Good Guy" label from the Americans with financial
assistance to boot.
ORWELL'S GENIUS EVIL
in the Globe and Mail newspaper Canadian columnist Thomas
Walkom said "in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four,
the enemy of the state is personified in Emanuel Goldstein.
Goldstein is the Osama bin Ladin figure of the novel, an elusive
figure who is never seen, never captured but believed by all
patriotic citizens of Oceania (Orwell's fictitious state,
an amalgamation of North America and Europe) to be an evil
genius bent on their destruction.
Goldstein is never captured, Oceania's battle against him
must never cease. Sometimes it wages war on one country said
to be aiding the nefarious Goldstein, sometimes on another.
The battleground may change but the war never ends."
response to these knotty problems is to make unfairness fair
and focus our attention on the "evil genius" instead of beating
about the bush and convicting innocent people.
long time correspondent, M.M. Afrah was there when military
dictator, Major Mohamed Siyad Barre came to power in a military
and police coup in October 1969. He was there when General
Barre was ousted from power by poorly trained, poorly equipped
youths in beach sandals, after more than two decades in power.
He was there when the militia youths turned their guns on
each other for the control of Mogadishu, the Somali capital.
He was there the US Marines, Army Rangers and the Delta Forces
stormed the beaches of Mogadishu to spearhead an international
task force under the code name of Operation Restore Hope.
And he was there to see them leave. He watched as their initial
goodwill turn into an impotent rage, and saw their efforts
to impose Western-style democracy end up in fiasco. It cost
the UN and US billions of dollars and the lives of several
UN and US soldiers end up in body bags. The cost to Mr. Afrah
was one of his sons and the destruction of his house after
it received a direct hit from a tank shell. He buried his
son at the steps of his demolished house. In an article in
the British edition of ESQUIRE magazine, Aiden Hartley, who
worked with Afrah in Somalia, described his frontline reporting
as "A Bravery under Fire."