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TALKING POINT : EVEN ORPHANAGES ARE NOT IN SAFE HANDS

TALKING POINT BY
M.M. AFRAH
Toronto (Canada)

5, March. 2004


EVEN ORPHANAGES ARE NOT IN SAFE HANDS

Email: afrah95@hotmail.com
M. M. Afrah

Several years ago no one in Somalia knew who was Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda (The Base) network and what he stood for until the Americans, who ironically supported and nurtured him during the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan, gave him unprecedented media blitz, as the master-minder of the 911 tragedy, and who in a secret hideout high in the Afghan mountain ranges, is "plotting to take over the world"-a typical James Bond fiend and plot.

Not a single tired cliché was overlooked.

By the same token all Muslims or people with Muslim sounding names "are either terrorists, fellow travelers or what the intelligence people prefer to call deep sleepers, waiting orders to strike." Not even orphanages in war-torn Somalia are not spared in the Global War on international terrorism.

Asked to picture an American, many people outside the United States, often have to stop themselves from conjuring a gun-toting, Bible-thumping redneck waving nuclear missiles in the name of the 10 Commandments, lower taxes and cigar-chewing rubber-baron capitalist.

In stark contrast, ordinary Somalis who encountered the U.S. Marines and Army Rangers during the aborted Operation Restore Hope, say they (the Americans) were open, generous and unlike the French, Belgian and other European contingents, were easy to cultivate friendship with them and are very proud of their "can do" mind-set. Also many of the American soldiers were anxious to learn the Somali language and culture, despite orders from the top brass in the Pentagon not to fraternize or hobnob with the local people.

The French whose country was liberated from Hitler's Nazi regime by the allies spearheaded by thousands of American servicemen and women who lost their precious lives in the process, are today "infuriating" the United States because of its war in Iraq and its Global War on terrorism. As the American troops fought the massive Nazi war machines, General de Gaulle was staying in a 5-Star hotel in London drinking champagne, shouting "Vive le France" while some of the current French politicians were hiding in closets, only to come out as soon as the Yankees had liberated their country from the Nazis, waving French and American flags, while French women threw roses at the feet of the Yankee liberators.

Now, many Frenchmen have even boycotted watching Hollywood movies altogether, "fighting American cultural imperialism," they shout at the top of their lungs.

Enter little Somalia in the 21st Century, a country which has been at war with itself since the collapse of the military regime in 1991.A bunch of brutal warlords and their cahoots denuded the country and massacred thousands of innocent civilians, who left behind thousands of orphans in the streets of the ruined capital. A Good Samaritan comes to rescue these kids from the jaws of starvation, disease and death.

But this Good Samaritan happened to be an Arab charity organization based in Saudi Arabia, (home of the infamous 911 perpetrators) and the President of the United States of America, the country that helped reconstruct post Germany, and to some extend Italy and France, with the grand Marshal Plan, now decided to close Al-Harameyn Orphanage in Mogadishu, where more than 3000 civil war orphans receive food, shelter, education and health care, on the excuse that Al-Marameyn is the breeding ground for international terrorism (read: Osama's Al-Qaeda network).

Yes, the history of Somalia is replete with incidents of injustice, torture, abuse of power by colonial administrators, successive corrupt civilian regimes, more than twenty-years of military dictatorship and now warlords who denied the people the rule of law for almost 14 years, but closing an orphanage by the world's only superpower defies human imagination.

Now the lingering question is: "Is it true that Al-Harameyn is the quartermaster of Al-Qaeda as alleged by President George W. Bush?"

Fighting Global terrorism is like trying to box a cloud. Which is why I was taken aback at the closure of Al-Harameyn's Mogadishu Orphanage without a clear prove that the place is the breeding ground for future international terrorists. We are of course aware there are Al-Qaeda operatives/cells in London, New York or Paris and it would take a heck of time to smoke them out, because they never leave behind their business cards announcing their next target.

Years ago when I wrote about terrorism and the Xawaala money remittance system, I was pretty sure I'd get emails from furious Americans. Maybe even a telephone call or two. I was looking forward to articulations of counter-argument, either pointing out flaws in my argument, or make me happier by comparison.

I did not get much of that.

However, someone in Columbus, Ohio (USA) wrote, "Yes, we all know that most of the money transfer companies are providing laundered money to Al-Qaeda, and yes, the Government was right to close down these front organizations."

Liz Brown of N.Y. agrees, writing: "It's no secret that Somalis in the United States send money thru' the mushrooming illegal money remittances companies in the US, not to their hungry relatives in Somalia, but to Al-Qaeda terrorists network. Good riddance!"

In comparison I received hundreds of emails from Somalis across the five continents supporting my arguments about the Xawaala system. Even from a young Somali in Alaska, of all places! He could become the first Somali who lived with Eskimos in an igloo.

John Snow, the U.S. Treasury Secretary condemned Al-Harameyn for "cloaking itself in the name of charity, only to fund and support terrorist organizations around the world."

Washington also says that the orphanage employs "radical Islamic terrorist organizations connecting to Al-Qaeda". But Ali Haji, a senior teacher at the orphanage strongly rejected the allegations, saying: "All we were doing was feeding and looking after these children. We taught them nothing against America and we did nothing against America."

Now the door of the orphanage is closed and the 3060 orphans will join the thousands of the psychopathic sadists, the lowest dregs of human society, popularly known as Mooryans (Predators). These children saw their parents killed; too many maimed for life, too many whose minds were shell-shocked beyond recall. On the streets in the middle of the horrors of war, boys became men in a second and took up arms to shoot anything that moved. Then they became drug addicts with no future in life.

Children cannot reason or dwell on why they suffer and hurt, but that doesn't negate that they do feel pain. Now, what kind of person looks into innocent, trusting eyes and suddenly cuts off their lifeline without substituting it with an alternative charity organization acceptable to Washington? Perhaps we could try to lure Malaysia, a sincere friend of the Somali people, to fill the vacuum left behind by Al-Harameyn.

Certainly, those kids desperately need a Guardian Angel to get them out of their predicaments.

Meanwhile, the long suffering inhabitants of Mogadishu are in for a big shock because they must cope with hordes of the latest starving orphans that need their attention more than anything else on Earth.


By M. M. Afrah©2003,
Email: afrah95@hotmail.com

 


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