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Government Must Deny USA Bases to Attack Somalia


by Maximillia Muninzwa

East African Standard, 19 December 2001

Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG),  globalresearch.ca,  13 December 2001

Seen by the world as a notable negotiator for peaceful solutions in this region, the decision that the Kenyan government makes in the USA- Somalia war will determine its credibility and relations with other African nations.

The region's political stability is at stake.

Not only that. The lives and peace of some twenty-something million ordinary Kenyans loosely hang on this decision.

Whereas for Kenya and other sympathetic nations, support for the USA attacks against Somalia may be a sign of solidarity in smoking out terrorists, I doubt if the same can be said of the US government. I have reasons for thinking so.

For many, many years, the United States seems to have been committed to acts of violence as a way of addressing international conflicts, just as they have been a leading exporter of tools of death and destruction.

Do you recall Korea? Millions were killed, just as was the case in Vietnam, and Cambodia. The sequence may appear muddled, but the estimated number of casualties are correct, and they are all the results of America's commitment to violence. Read on.

In Guatemala, Laos and Iraq, hundreds of thousands of lives were lost. And there is Hiroshima and Nagasaki where hundreds of thousands were killed and where the consequences of the nuclear war still linger to this day.

And as you know, this will not be the first time that America has attacked Somalia. They did fight before and thousands were killed in this war torn country that has experienced more war than it has ever enjoyed peace.

More lives were also lost in Haiti, Panama, Yugoslavia and lately in Afghanistan.

In all these wars, there were fall guys, blamed and even punished for the sins of America. And now that the next attack is on Somalia is Kenya going to accept to be the scapegoat?

Well, perhaps yes, in exchange for some easing in funding conditions.

But what is a handout compared to the lives of neighbours, people who are our brothers and sisters? Besides increasing the number of displaced persons, Kenya's involvement in this war will create more terror and cause uncalled for suffering to innocent people.

I trust that those who represent and serve power in this country are keenly listening to the concerned whispers of our people.

While no loving and decent person will tolerate any acts of terrorism, we must also understand that as a counter-attack, chauvinism, arrogance or more violence do not rid this world of terrorists.

A little folly, like they say, does make a real big mess in the same way that dead flies give perfume a bad smell. There are abundant cases from which we can pick this lesson; where respected persons lost glory for lack of a little wisdom.

Richard Nixon, the former president of the United States of America, learnt this lesson the tough way. Here is a man who had won the biggest landslide election in American history. (There was no rigging.) A man who was a brilliant foreign policy strategist. But today when people hear his name they often link it with the Watergate scandal.

This great American leader will be remembered more by what took a short while to destroy his reputation than by his great deeds and dignity. Yes, a little mistake outweighed Richard Nixon's honour.

With this to ponder, are Kenyan authorities going to act "the Judas" or will they be more discerning in the decisions that they are going to make?

Although there are many things that may be beyond their control, choosing whether or not to support the USA in fighting Somalia is not one of them.

The suggestion may have been floated to Kenya as to a few other countries, but the Government has the power to refuse to be an accomplice in destroying a sister country.

The unwillingness to co-operate in the evil may be an effective tool in challenging the American government to understand, change and raise America's national consciousness.

If America wants to win the war against terrorism, it must first discard all its violent means. This the America authorities have heard before from a cross section of Americans themselves.

Soon after the New York bombings on September 11, A. J. Muste, himself a committed pacifist advised America to counter a violent world by abolishing the institutions of violence non-violently.

Essentially, Muste was asking Americans to be revolutionaries before trying to be pacifists. He must, like many other Americans of similar thought, have realised that the US had separated from the world, seeing itself as being above the international law and the United Nations charter.

It is time that the United States of America stopped oppressing or unleashing violence on whatever nation that differs with its policies or one that it sees as an enemy.

What may be driving this great nation to destroying smaller, poor and more vulnerable countries is greed. Greed for wealth. Greed for power. Greed for recognition. In their violence against violence, the US has used helicopter gunships, chemical and biological agents, nuclear bombs, cruise missiles, fumigation campaigns, the IMF and World Bank, embargoes, sanctions, etc.

Nobody knows what warfare they are likely to use on neighbouring Somalia, nor its effect on human life, it would be such a shameful thing for an African country to be the major purveyor of violence and destruction against a sister state.

Kenya can afford to pause for only a very short time because if the recent riots in Mandera are to be taken seriously, then the government already has such a tough task in curbing violence from our aggrieved Muslim brothers and sisters.

And as this state suffers the consequences of supporting America's war, Big Brother may long have left us on our own.

Copyright  The East African Standard 2001.  Reprinted for fair use only.

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