INVADING SOMALIA TO SAVE IT


HAMA TUMA 

Those who have failed to understand the real reasons that prompted Meles Zenawi to send troops to invade Somalia are not few in number. As usual, self declared experts wax lyrical trying to explain to us on why and how Meles had to obey the American diktat, how he is scared of a few thousand hard core Salafist fanatics who may invade and wrest off the Ogaden that a full sized Siad Barre army could not, or how Meles, who is said to graze or chew Khat every afternoon, saw during one of his highs that taking over Mogadishu is the way to a cleaner skin and Nirvana. 

Obviously, none of the above reasons hold any water. To put it frankly, none of the so called experts like David Shinn and John Prendergast, former eulogizers of Meles and the TPLF, have the morale high ground to preach now on the realities of the Horn.  Yet, they and all the others have failed to understand why Meles sent troops to invade Somalia especially since he was attacking the former dictator Mengistu of wreaking havoc in Somalia. Meles was backed by Siyad Barre in the past and feels indebted towards Somalia. This is the basis of his undying concern for that Stateless country and its battling clans. Meles may not have a fondness for Mogadishu that rivals the one he had for Asmara but here again the Somali capital was said to be brimming with the Eritreans he sincerely loves to frequent with no matter the circumstances. Those who say Meles sent non- Tigrean soldiers to the invasion with the hope that the Somalis may finish them off are also off mark as Meles is jealous of guarding his victims all to himself. Yes, the little fellow is insatiable. Moreover, the invasion cannot be explained away by the allegation that Meles was told that a plant cure for his newly developed skin problem (his face and hands just to talk of the visible parts) is to be found in the gardens of the Somali presidential palace taken over by Sheikhs Ahmed and Aweys. The invasion had in fact deeper and profound motives that I will attempt to reveal here below. 

The invasion of Somalia was prompted by the deep love Meles Zenawi has for that country. There they were the Somalis enjoying clan warfare, flooding, all the miseries of the world without even a decent State and Meles could not just sit back and deprive them of an invasion. He had to do his share to make their life as Horn citizens worthy of the region. Somali had invaded Ethiopia when the latter was deep in the grip of a political crisis and Meles had to reciprocate. The Somalis needed an invasion to complete their pain and needed an invasion to seek some unity against a foreign enemy. Meles has obliged and given them the opportunity. Will they take it or waste it? You can lead the horse to the water but you cannot make it drink–and thus no one can blame Meles if the Somalis failed to unite. Another reason is the search for physical contact with Eritreans. With the northern front patrolled by UN soldiers, direct contact had not been easy and Meles, who used to spend his vacations in Asmara and likes nothing more than physical contact with his cousins, had been suffering from what his Chinese doctors have diagnosed as Lack of Contact with Eritreans Anxiety (LACEA). This could only be cured by going to Mogadishu and by making physical contact, even by proxy, with the Eritreans rumored to have been there en masse. Maybe he found none there and this could explain his sadly chauvinistic assertion that the Eritreans were hiding in the skirts of Somali women. As a confirmed coward, Meles knows of course where the best hiding place could be though he could have said Kismayo instead. 

Some would surely ask what Ethiopia has got to export to Somalia by the invasion. Not bananas for sure. Of misery and bloodshed
Somalia had plenty too. What then? The Bible? Meles is a closet Albanian Stalinist and he has rejected his only God, the son of Afewerki. AIDS through General Bacha Dabale? The Somalis have their own sick fellows with warlords and Islamic court Sheikhs on the verge of insanity from the blood they have spilled. Some lesson on unity? The man is the epitome of division but the clanish Somalis can learn little from him. Delusion of grandeur? But what do you gain showing off with aged Russian jet fighters and tanks against a small force that had none of both? Meles has in fact appeared as a bully, hiding behind a bigger bully, using a battering ram against a fly, burning the gojjo/tukul to get rid of the tuhan/bed bug. Bad bully. And that, alas, is what has also prompted him to invade knowing full well that, at least in the first round, he will roll over the relatively poorly armed and outnumbered Islamic court fighters while getting the chance to strut and parade like a peacock, a victor– I warned them, they did not listen, I came, I saw, I conquered. A pathetic Caesar on the Horn, a tin pot dictator, a remote control commander, a coward playing at warrior, a fool rushing into the marsh. Meles loves disasters so long as the misery of peoples is assured. And he expects a thank you from the world at large.
 

The invasion of Somalia is also provoked by the Ethiopian opposition. Those in Kaliti and elsewhere are all to blame. They isolated and hounded Meles so much that even former friend are shunning him and beginning to call him authoritarian. And the opportunist Americans could dump him like they dumped the Shah, Mobutu and even Sadam. Which meant he had to bend backwards to oblige these powerful fellows. A camp in Hurso? Take it please! Action in Somalia? Whatever you say! Washington is looking for three “terrorists” hiding in Mogadishu—no problem, I will invade the whole country and try to find them. Meles was forced to obey the Americans because the opposition, disloyal elements to their core, isolated and exposed him as a dictator. The Oppositon could have been charged for this crime too. But, given the situation, what else could he do but bootlick! Let the Americans back the opposition and cause his demise? Over your dead body is the Meles response. A few thousand dead in
Somalia is hardly a sacrifice worth talking about. Didn’t a hundred thousand perish in the Badme front only to lose Badme and other areas in a
World Court ruling later on? Moreover, the Islamic Court was threatening to end the anarchy of Somalia in its own way and no one can expect Meles who relishes division and anarchy to fold his arms and watch as Somalia overcomes clan divisions and casts a bad light on his own ethnic policy that, let us admit it, has failed to fragment and destroy Ethiopia. 

Somalia had to be invaded to be saved from its own newly developed delusions. Thanks to Meles, it has now been given the chance of anarchy and more warfare, perhaps the chance to unite against a foreign enemy and wage more war, a chance to avoid an Iraq type massive American invasion by being victim of a poor man’s invasion by Meles instead, an opportunity to invite Eritreans and others for the free for all like in Eastern Congo, and the golden occasion to be the victim in the eyes of the world. Why blame Meles when all he wanted to have was physical contact with his Eritrean cousins and to extend a helping hand to the fraternal people of Somalia? The Islamic Court desired to kill as many Ethiopian infidels as possible and Meles has paid the transportation cost to bring the potential victims to Mogadishu–he should be thanked. A house delivery for a Jihad, if you want. Meles had also to test the American trained counter terrorist soldiers in Blattein. If not in Somalia, where? Moreover, after feeding America all the intelligence about the vile terrorists lurking in Somalia, Meles could not shy away from the invasion called for by the situation. Be fair and be in his shoes all of you critics, though he may be as nasty as the bearded Sheikhs or even worse. You can destroy a country to save it– that is one American concept that Meles has understood ever since Dedebit. That is why Meles is sabotaging the interest of Ethiopia in order to safeguard it. 

So in the end, why did Meles send troops to invade Somalia? The desire for mayhem and anarchy? for murder and bloodshed? Out of love for the Somalis in need of a foreign invader? To prove that he is his own man and can invade any country? To use his rusty jets and tanks and get rid of some of his troops? To throw Ethiopia into a mess? All and anything– except to please Bush.  Mogadishu is taken, Kismayo will fall. It is “mission accomplished” Meles style. What next? We have to await the coming Meles session with khat and the revelations he may have on the way out of the mess.  

Published in: on January 1, 2007 at 1:25 am  Comments (1)