By Mohamed Heebaan
“The Ideas of economists and political philosophers both when they are right, and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else.” John Maynard Keynes, a renowned British economist.
It might have been that way in the days of Keynes, but today the media and those who run it are more powerful than economists and political philosophers combined. The media shapes people’s opinions, emotions and attitudes. In addition, those who run the media are the one group that can force the leaders of the world to spring into action into whatever direction they like. This is so because, whatever cause those who run the media deem important is so. What they say is the truth. Whoever they blame is guilty
The media can also build political careers, and destroy them just as easily. It can turn the most able, intelligent, and patriotic leaders Unelectable, and turn the most mediocre leaders into conquering heroes.
I do not know who was behind Farmaajo’s media campaign, but boy were they effective! Somalis everywhere fell in love with Farmaajo, and entrusted him with the hopes and dreams of the devastated nation. The loyalty and the blind support that the Somali people extended to Farmaajo was so overwhelming that people put aside their critical thinking faculty. Not only they believed Farmaajo would perform miracles, but even raising a mere question about him, or who might be behind his media campaign has become a hazardous affair.
I once asked three different friends about who they think might have been behind Farmaajo’s extraordinary marketing campaign. The reaction of my friends was telling: One of them demurred, and then changed the whole subject. He didn’t like my question. Another one looked me in the eyes and just grinned, with a look that says, “What is wrong with this guy? Does he have to be a doomsayer even when the country is heading to the promised land.” The third friend refused to respond to my question. Perhaps he found it offensive.
Unfortunately, Farmaajo revealed his true nature in just six months, when he willingly, without anybody holding a gun to his head, handed Abdikarim Sheikh Muse Qalbi-dhagax over to Ethiopia. Then the Somali people everywhere simply lost it. People were so shocked and outraged, because they genuinely believed Faramaajo was a true patriot. And they expected so much of him. And when the man they trusted and held with such esteem sunk so low, so quickly, people were simply heart-broken! They could not believe Farmaajo was capable of such a treasonous act. That is why people started spreading conspiracy theories such as “Farmaajo was trapped. Farmaajo was tricked. Khayre and Sanbalooshe conspired against Farmaajo to ruin his name, etc.”
All of those conspiracy theories have one constant theme: People couldn’t wrap their head around that the man they believed in, and admired so much was capable of such a treacherous act. They didn’t want to believe the news. They hoped against hope. Then, on Sept. 6, 2017, everything fell apart!
On that day, Farmaajo’s government led by his Prime Minister Khayre, held a news conference and declared to the Somali people everywhere that “Yes, we handed Qalbi-dhagax to Ethiopia, and it was a correct action!” And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the government’s second declaration was even far more devastating: “The ONLF is a terrorist Organization!”
Handing Qalbi dhagax over to Ethiopia is a crime. However, branding the ONLF as a terrorist organization is a double crime, and an unforgiveable one at that. It is so because when you denounce the ONLF as a terrorist organization, you are delegitimizing the organization’s struggle and goals. You are doing this because you started looking at the ONLF and Somali-galbeed through the lenses of Ethiopia. And by doing that, you are saying fighting for Liberation of Somali-galbeed is a crime! And hence, by your action and declared policy, you are relinquishing Somali-galbeed and openly treating it as a part of Ethiopia.
This is a repudiation of the meaning of Somaliness! It is contrary to everything the Somali people stood for in their entire modern history. No Somali leader in the past, no matter how corrupt or incompetent, ever sunk so low as to willingly relinquish Somali-galbeed to Ethiopia, and smeared those who are fighting for its liberation as terrorists!
Somali-galbeed is part and parcel of Somali territory. And it is a territory that the Somali nation had sacrificed so much, both in blood and treasure. Tens-of-thousands of Somali nation’s best and brightest soldiers perished in the liberation of Somali galbeed. There is no Somali family anywhere in the entire Somali territories be it in NFD, Somali-galbeed, Djibouti, on in the Somali Republic that had not sacrificed either a son, or a brother, or a father, or an uncle, or a close relative to the liberation of Somali galbeed. Somali galbeed was liberated, but, as we all know, we were overpowered by outside powers.
Now the uninformed would think that since the liberation of Somali-galbeed was reversed, and Somalia itself descended into a black hole of civil war and lawlessness, the war to liberate Somaligalbeed, with its monumental sacrifices both in blood and treasure, had been completely pointless. Nothing is farther from the truth. As I noted in a letter that we wrote to the Africa Oil Corp., Every drop of blood shed for the liberation of Somali-galbeed either by the Somali National Army, or by the fighters of Western Somali Liberation Front is an enduring deposit that would forever re-energize the determination of our people. No cause is ever lost, unless its owners give it up.
Before I go any further, I would like to make a quick comment about the Narrow-politicking of some Somalis. And it is that when a high-ranking official, who happens to belong to any particular clan, makes a wrong decision, and, is therefore, justifiably criticized and attacked, some of his clansmen feel the necessity to defend him, because they confuse the attack on the leader as an attack on the clan. So, they end up defending their clansman right or wrong. It is time we Somalis move beyond narrow thinking. Farmaajo and Khayre committed a treason, but their clans have nothing to do with it.
Another point that is a bit digression, but, I would like to make nevertheless, is on the government’s position on the conflict between Arab states in the Gulf. In that conflict, the government’s neutral position is the correct one. Had Somalia been stronger than it is, perhaps the government could have taken a more robust action, and would have fully sided with justice. But as it is, neutrality suits the Somali situation the best.
Now the silver-lining in the government’s open admission of handing Qalbi dhagax to Ethiopia are several, and they are:
1—Farmaajo was trapped…………..No more.
2—Farmaajo was tricked …………..No more.
3—Khayre is undermining Farmaajo ……No more.
4—Qalbi dhagax willingly surrendered to Ethiopia…No more.
The importance of all those points is that they were all excuses, and alibis for Farmaajo. But it is very clear now there are no excuses for Farmaajo or alibis. And the Somali people now know who he is, and what he did. The Sept. 6, news conference put to rest to all the fake alibis and excuses for Farmaajo.
Some people still don’t get it. They insist that Farmaajo should come clean. I don’t really understand what do they want the man to do. I mean, didn’t he come clean already? Who does the Prime Minister represent? Who does the minister of information work for? They both represent and work for the president. And they both made it clear in a news conference that it was the Farmaajo and Khayre’s government that handed over Qalbi dhagax, and the decision was correct. What else could Farmaajo say other than just repeating what his Prime Minster and information minister already said. Well, nothing else. And for those who still prefer to put their heads in the sand, the decision to handover Qalbi dhagax was Farmaajo’s first and foremost. The notion that some obscure or even important intelligence officers made this decision, without Farmaajo’s knowledge is ridiculous. Those intelligence officers and even the Prime Minister would have been fired if this decision was made without the president’s approval. All the indications suggest none will be fired because it is the president himself who made the decision. And the others simply carried out his directives.
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