Saturday, March 27, 2010

Kill the Messenger: Mohamed Ahmed’s hypocritical response to Bashir Goth

Kill the Messenger: Mohamed Ahmed's hypocritical response to Bashir Goth

In his recent article "Somaliland: America's underestimated friend [1]" Bashir Goth has eloquently compared Somalia with Somaliland with respect to peace building and democratic governance. Instead of critiquing the merits of Mr. Goth's article, Mohamed Ahmed responded with an article [2] full of personal attacks. This is exactly the way medieval kings used to response when they receive unfavorable news: kill the messenger! Mr. Ahmed has every right to criticize and attack Mr. Goth's ideas and opinions. However, when some people cannot face the facts they simply resort to personal attacks. Hence, Mr. Ahmed entire article focuses not on the subject matter—Somalia vs. Somaliland — but on Mr. Goth's history.

The change of heart on the part of Mr. Goth truly reflects the genuine reconciliation and peace-full co-existence of yesterday's foes in Somaliland. In other words, this change shows how far Somalilanders have gone to heal their wounds and seek common future. Take the example of, for instance, the incumbent Somaliland President Dahir R. Kahin and his loyal Foreign Minister Abdullahi M. Duale. These two men were at the opposed ends of political spectrum during the Somaliland's civil war in the 1980s. Yesterday, Mr. Kahim and Mr. Duale were members of the National Security Service (NSS) and the Somali Nation Movement (SNM), respectively. Today both are members of the Somaliland's ruling party UDUB. This shows that people of Somaliland have refused to be hostage to their gloomy past. The people of Somaliland have wisely decided to let bygones be bygones in order to have a better future for their children. In the process, even those who had blood on their hands, on both sides of the conflict, were forgiven and forgotten.

Mr. Goth's previous writings including those in Awdal Phenomenon represent Somaliland's painful past history. His previous writings on Somaliland, however pathetic they may look now, were merely a reflection of prevailing political upheaval at that time in Somaliland. And to set the record straight, Mr. Goth's support of Somaliland is not conditional on President Dahir R. Kahin. In fact, as an editor of Awdal News, Mr. Goth has repeatedly criticized Mr. Kahin's regime.

Having explained the circumstances surrounding Mr. Goth's past and present writings, let us now look at the issue at hand: differences between Somalia and Somaliland—-the theme of Mr. Goth's article. In Somaliland, there is a government that has a monopoly over the 'use of force' in the territory it claims to control. In Somalia, the Sharif government is protected by African Union forces. In Somaliland, there are political parties who are readying themselves to take part the upcoming presidential election. In Somalia, there are Al-Shabab and Hisbul-Islam who want to violently overthrow the government of President Sharif. In Somaliland, we have uninterrupted peace for over a decade now. In Somalia, we have a government whose forces routinely shell the biggest market of Mogadishu — the Bakara Market.

These are just a few glimpses of the realities prevailing in Somalia and Somaliland. Mr. Ahmed does not want hear or see the reality. For him attacking the messenger is easier for him since some facts are hard to deny. Therefore, Mr. Ahmed tries to kill the messenger– Mr. Goth– instead of critiquing his theme: differences between Somalia and Somaliland.

By Hassan Farah 

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