(Waridaad) - At any given time, people take sides on the vital political or social issues that affect their lives. The differences in our opinions and the diversity of the views exchanged is the essence of the political discourse. If and when the dialogue turns into name calling, those who rake the muck will sure get a shovel full of the sod on their faces and this is where this Greek professor has taken the issue of Somaliland's legitimate claim to sovereignty. He opined in his first article that Somaliland's claim is unsubstantiated. In his second article he states that, " "There is no legitimate right of the Somaliland gang to reclaim sovereignty; there is no nation called Somaliland; the breakaway state controls part of the national Somali territory without any particular reason other than the preservation of peace at a moment of strife in the Somali South. This does not consist in any right to sovereignty." Only an expert on international law can make such an unequivocal statement on the subject. The issue is beyond the qualification and the competence of this professor.
On March 25, 2008, the administration of www.Somalilandpatriots.com posted a news item from Gabiley along with the picture below. It was a festive occasion and the people were celebrating following announcement of the elevation of the district of Gabiley to a region. What is troubling about this story is that a Greek professor, named Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis, has grabbed the picture, and pasted it at the top of anti-Somaliland article in a completely distorted context. Professor Megalommatis wants the world community to believe that the people of Somaliland are demanding unity with southern Somalia. He is trying to portray the government of Somaliland as the demon that is stifling public dissent. The fiend here is the hired man plying altered information throughout the internet.
Please click this link: http://somalilandpatriots.com/news-5227.html to see for yourself and compare it with the picture in this link http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/57815. The two pictures are exactly identical! Is it coincidence? Professor Megalommatis just borrowed picture and pasted it at the top of one of his articles titled "The Nile, Egypt, Abyssinia, Somalia, and Somaliland." published on the American Chronicle on April 7, 2008.
The caption under the picture reads: " Picture: the Somalis of Somaliland want unity with Somalia, as they know very well that the traditional enemies of Somalia, the Abyssinians, plan to destroy Somalia, and there are no traitors among the Somali people."
This is a disgraceful and an unprofessional act on the part of the professor to go to that low level in composing his response. The picture is taken in Gabiley and the people are celebrating; they are demonstrating for or aginst Somali unity period. What is so deviant and didturbing about the professor's intention is the gross misrepresentation of the symbolic meaning of the picture. Mr. Professor, this is not a credible way to persuade public opinion on the issue of Somaliland recognition. Let me ask the professor a few questions. Who provided you the picture in the first place? Is it the vanguards of the government of Embagathi Swine Stock Exchange fame? How much did you pay for it? This sure has the smell of a mercenary inclination and/or a hired lobbyist all over it!
The great champion of the down trodden masses of planet earth is resorting to diabolical tactics to mislead the readership of the American Chronicle. I hope the editorial board of the American Chronicle should take note of this. May I draw to the attention of the professor that neither the people in the picture nor any other individual in Somaliland will ever demand unity with Somalia- not now, not in a zillion years to come.
It is very unethical and morally reprehensible to misrepresent pictorial information in such a bold faced manner. Without the prior written approval of the owner or duly acknowledging the source, you can not reproduce any material. As long as the words “All Rights Reserved" appears anywhere in the domain of www.somalilandpatriots.com, the information contained in that portal is proprietary or copy right material. Retrieval, reproduction, and transmission of that stored information is prohibited without the consent of the portal owners. Of course a picture is worth a thousand words, but this one has one and only one connotation: Celebration on the conferring of a region to the inhabitants of Gabiley- it is not a demonstration against any perceived traditional or real enemies of the Somali people.
The professor went to that extreme to respond to two articles I wrote under the title: " Kosovo and Somaliland: The Impossible Equation."
1. The professor's response begins with: "What went wrong in Somalia was not the subject of my article." Certainly, the subject of discussion here is Somalia, and for some reason or the other, that nation ceased to exist as of January 29, 1991. We are dealing with a completely disintegrated society. Therefore, it is natural to ask the cause of this fragmentation: What went wrong? It is that simple. The Republic of Somaliland came out of the ashes of the turmoil associated with the inevitable collapse of Somalia. If the distinguished professor is not aware of what went wrong, then he should not be so passionate in defending the non-existent state of Somalia.
2. The professor's second point of defense states the subject merits the writing of a book. However, he “personally believes that the current division and strife in Somalia is preponderantly an external affair, a matter of multi-faceted foreign involvement, mainly American, Abyssinian, British and Chinese.” The weakness of the professor's argument is self-evident- he deliberately left out the internal players that really exacerbated the misery and the agony inflicted on the people of southern Somalia. The governments of the regional organisation, IGAD, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development are the number one spoilers. I do not understand how Mr. Megalommatis also left out the governments of Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Italy.
The dichotomy between the two preceding segments is obvious; the stark contradiction is: what went wrong in Somalia was not the subject of his article while at the same time the professor is stating the external factors that contributed to the problem.
3. Yes indeed, 'a nation that does not meet its full potential is an evolutionary failure'. A nation that can not maintain the cohesiveness of the fabric of its people is an evolutionary; a nation that can not provide the minimum necessities of modern life to its citizens is an evolutionary failure; and so is any nation that goes to war of annihilation against its citizens.
4. The evaluation of Somalia's failure or otherwise on a time scale is truly immaterial and irrelevant at this time. Whether professor. Megalommatis likes it or not, Somalia has failed and history will record it as such. The fabric of the Somali nation has flaked beyond recognition. For the past seventeen years, the warlords of Southern Somalia held that society hostage and put through it a perpetual state of war, anarchy, chaos, and desperation. These are the true perverts, traitors, and human savages that should be brought to the International War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague.
5. Between 1988 and 1991 the Somali Air force with the help of former Rhodesian mercenary pilots, pulverised the Somaliland cities of Hargeisa, Burao, and Berbera. The coordinated aerial bombardment and the indiscriminate artillery shelling of these cities terrorised the non-combatants civil population. The death toll among the civilian population was estimated at one hundred thousand; material destruction inflicted on the major cities stood at tens of billions of dollars. Who is liable to pay for all this? These are the memories of the survivors of the scorched earth policies of the Nazi-government of Siyad Barre. For the benefit of the professor, 99.999% of Ethiopia's export/import trade goes through the port of Djibouti and by the way, who are you, to dictate Somaliland what goes through its ports and how to handle its borders?
6. The professor's disdain for the African Union is unmistakable "Quite unfortunately, the African Union is not a respectable authority and an international body able to inspire high esteem; it´s the realm of tyrants, postcolonial gangsters kept at the helm through Anglo-French interference and preserved in their unelected positions in order to perpetuate Africa’s underdevelopment. This is not a credible source therefore, to say the least." How does the Arab League fair in the scheme of the professor Megalommatis' judgmental evaluation of international organisations? I hope he has a better score card for the nations of the Arab League.
7. "Irrelevant; so he was told to say, and so he said. His Master’s Voice – nothing more." I am the master of my own voice and my personal response to you is: And so you are hired hand and a paid lobbyist. The government of Embagathi Swine Stock Exchange bankrolls you to spew vitriolic politics of the spleen in cyberspace. Keep up the good work Mr. Professor. For your information, I am not a hired mercenary; I am defending the existence of my beloved country of Somaliland and if need be, Somali Landers will sacrifice their blood for it.
To be continued..
Ahmed Ali Ibrahim Sabeyse