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From: Berhan Sium (
Date: Thu Jun 04 2009 - 02:13:41 EDT

Good to hear from you too, Sam:-)

<<Bro! I also what to add that you ought to do the same more often, as well.>>

I admit to my low-level of participation of late here on Dehai, but would have fervently agreed with you if you had said WE instead of YOU :-) Our enemies are busy spewing out and endless array of lies and smear campaign against our beloved country, and WE all need to re-engage and even take some proactive measures to counter the relentless psych war. Thanks for reminding me, bro.



--- On Wed, 6/3/09, Sam B <> wrote:

> From: Sam B <>
> To: "dehai" <>
> Cc: "Berhan Sium" <>
> Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 11:46 PM
> Berhan
> I have nothing of substance to add to what you have just
> enumerated in regards to Afrah Negash's comment. I just did
> not want to pass up this opportunity to say that I was
> impressed by the fluidity of the writing and the diplomatic
> nature of the tone and approach. AND to implore on Afrah to
> write a little more often.
> Bro! I also what to add that you ought to do the same more
> often, as well. cheers
> Blog Page
> None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely
> believe they are free.
>            ~Johann
> Wolfgang von Goethe
> On Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 10:34 PM, Berhan Sium  wrote:
> >
> > Selam Dehai,
> >
> > I commend the writer of this commentary, Afrah Negash,
> for such a well thought-out, concise and sharp analysis of
> the situation in Somalia. I would recommend her to submit it
> as an op-ed piece to the mainstream US newspapers (such as
> Washington Post) as well as online publications such as
> and
> >
> > Moreover, this piece provides excellent talking points
> for Eritrean activists and advocacy/lobby groups such as the
> Organization of Eritrean Americans (OEA) as they work
> tirelessly to advocate for change in US policy towards the
> Horn of Africa.
> >
> > If US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa,
> Ambassador Johnnie Carson, is to be persuader to change
> course to a more positive and constructively engaging US
> foreign policy towards Africa in general, and the Horn and
> Eritrea in particular, then we Eritreans in America need to
> sing from the same chorus book as this one by Afrah Negash,
> abd constantly repeat the refrain that the Obama
> administration must engage us in "Change we can believe in"
> as we had given it our wholehearted endorsement during the
> election campaign.
> >
> > We must be realistic, however. If we look at
> Afghanistan/Pakistan, for example, Obama is acting more
> imperialistic than the Bush neocon regime and is taking a
> more belligerent and warmongering stance -- which, IMO, will
> spell more disaster to US interests than the Iraq debacle,
> and may even lead to total state collapse in Pakistan, and
> finally the dreaded falling of WMD into the wrong hands.
> >
> > All peace-loving activists from the Horn of Africa
> (Eritreans, Somalis, Ethiopians and Sudanese) need to form
> an active alliance to lobby the Obama administration that it
> doesn't follow along similar course in Somalia too. Of
> course, the most decisive factor in this regard is events on
> the ground in Somalia by Somali actors, which may change the
> dynamics drastically and force policy options for the US
> towards a positive direction.
> >
> > Berhan Sium
> >
> >
> > ===========================================
> >
> > From: Afrah Negash (
> > Date: Wed Jun 03 2009 - 21:17:33 EDT
> >
> >
> > Afrah Negash
> >
> > President Barack Obama has certainly inherited a
> dangerously fast-developing crisis in Somalia that can have
> far-reaching implications for regional and global security.
> Unlocking this intractable crisis demands a careful
> long-term strategy that detaches the new Administration from
> earlier Bush policies and its disastrous consequences.
> Unfortunately, the hope for a shift in policy that many had
> expected, is fast evaporating as Ambassador Johnnie Carson,
> President Obamas new Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of
> African Affairs seems determined to reproduce the old policy
> but in new bottles.
> >
> > Speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations
> Committee, Sub-Committee on Africa, Ambassador Carson,
> called for developing a coordinated strategy regarding
> Somalia; which in itself is an important proposition but
> meaningless if it is not accompanied with broadening of
> views and vision of the crisis and political actors
> involved. Ambassador Carson seems unable to abandon the old
> and narrow confines of counterterrorism and humanitarian
> assistance. This approach ignores the abundant evidence
> found in the increased levels of violence, extremism and
> anti-Americanism in Somalia.
> >
> > It is imperative, therefore, for the new
> Administration to make a clean break with the past through
> redefining and implementing a long-term strategy endeavoring
> support to the re-formation of a stable Somali polity and an
> inclusive government. Such strategy shall, in the long term,
> better serve U.S. interests by promoting a more secure and
> peaceful region.
> >
> > To begin with, there is a need to lend more weight to
> order over anarchy and dialogue over ideological absolutism.
> Over the past eight years, the Bush Administration committed
> one political blunder after another by labeling those
> holding opposing views as terrorists, and by its unrelenting
> crusade to impose its worldview by force. Hence, in Somalia,
> in total disregard to the fact that the Union of Islamic
> Courts (UIC) proved to have been the only party capable of
> establishing law and order, stability and effective control
> since state-collapse, the U.S. administration labeled them
> as terrorists. Accordingly, Washington endorsed and
> supported the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia. This
> U.S.-backed military intervention had the opposite effect to
> what Washington intended. It isolated the people that the
> U.S. gambled on and strengthened the credibility and
> popularity of those who resisted the occupation. For all of
> the above reasons, Washingtons new national
> >  security team must recognize terrorism and
> piracy as a dir
> > ect manifestation of statelessness and not the vice
> versa.
> >
> > Secondly, Washington needs to focus on supporting
> Somalis to form their own government. Political institutions
> arise from mediation processes of conflict and cooperation
> between different social forces and their efforts to resolve
> their differences and enhance their cooperation. External
> intervention on such dynamic procedures and processes has
> proved to be unworkable, if not even disastrous. Over the
> past decade, the international community has attempted to
> impose governments in Somalia. Such efforts proved to be
> largely ineffective as it failed to incorporate critical
> stakeholders because of the fear of spoilers or because the
> international community could not stomach them.
> >
> > Invariably, such imposed regimes, whatsoever
> international legitimacy may be bestowed upon them, are seen
> by large segments of the population as an imposition,
> lacking the basic social contract between government and the
> governed. Without effective control over territory and/or
> public support, these governments, remained confined to a
> particular locality. A case in point is the inability of the
> Abdullahi Yusuf government to get out of Baidoa until the
> Ethiopia invasion. Similarly, the present TFG controls small
> portions of Mogadishu, while other forces occupying larger
> parts of the country, as the Ambassador Carson has
> admitted.
> >
> > Thirdly, the U.S. must seek to improve its image among
> the Somali people that has been seriously damaged by its
> support for the Ethiopian invasion which resulted in the
> death of tens of thousands and the displacement of several
> millions Somalis; not to mention statements by some senior
> officials of the Bush Administration, notably Assistant
> Secretary Jendayi Frazer, regarding the status of
> Somaliland. In order to restore its credibility as an
> important stakeholder in the stability of Somalia, the new
> administration needs to publicly disassociate itself from
> the divisive policies of the past and adopt a more coherent,
> conciliatory and inclusive strategy for dealing with
> Somalia.
> >
> > In conclusion, to bring about stability and a
> functioning state to Somalia, which in turn will end piracy
> and enmity to the U.S., the Obama administration must adopt
> a comprehensive approach based on a better understanding of
> regional and local political dynamics coupled with a clearer
> and more pragmatic approach towards the various Somali
> stakeholders.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> _________________________________________________________________
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