A Dying Dream by Joshua Holmes

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Zonkers : One Thread

A Dying Dream

by Joshua Holmes

In 1990, one of the most extraordinary happenings of the decade passed with almost no record at all in the mass media. While the world was preoccupied with the Iraq-Kuwait situation, a bunch of desperately poor people living in a virtually unknown country named Somalia overthrew their government. What is not remarkable is that this happened. What is remarkable is that the people forbade anyone from setting up a new one. In effect, they abolished their government.

Not surprisingly, there was a period of unrest, some of which continues to this day in the wasteland outside the cities. Warlords fought to grab whatever power they could. Unwittingly, the UN exacerbated this situation with humanitarian aid. In effect, the UN sent the thing which was most valuable to the warlords: food.

To aid in their humanitarian efforts, the US sent the Marines to Somalia to clean up the warlords and allow the food to be distributed. The Somalis, however, were not as welcoming as the UN expected. The warlords and people quickly repelled the US invading forces and drove both them and the UN’s food efforts out of the country. In the course of repelling the invaders, Americans were treated to images of Somalis dragging the dead bodies of US Marines through the streets in celebration. From their perspective, it was a terrific victory to kill and repel the invading American Marines. After this, the US quickly pulled its troops out, and the UN did the same with their aid.

So, no aid, no government, warlords roaming the countryside...everyone starves to death, right? Not exactly.

In the 8 years since the US and UN left Somalia alone, Somalia has made remarkable improvement. Crime is way down. The warlords are mostly gone from the cities (and in a hilarious turn of events, nascent businesses in Somalia have hired most of the warlords’ thugs to be security officers with excellent results). Landlines for telephone service have been laid by competing telephone companies (which tanks natural monopoly theory), and cell phones have become common among the new Somali capitalists. Until last week, several phone companies had collaborated to open the first Somali ISP. Somalia was certainly no paradise on earth – Mogadishu is still a third world city – but what matters is improvement, and Somalia was improving rapidly.

All of that is coming to an end, though. The US has launched its War on Terrorism, and this means attacking pretty much everything in sight. Big government conservatives are thrilled with this new development, as this gives them a chance to drop a lot of money on defense and lets them entertain their notions of holding an American Empire, as neoconservatives like Francis Fukuyama and William Kristol push for. With Afghanistan re-conquered by the Northern “Alliance”, talk turns to other countries where terrorists may be.

The British newspaper The Telegraph is reporting that the United Kingdom has been asked by the United States to help prepare attacks on other sites, including Somalia. However, the people of Somalia are reporting that the terrorists quickly left the training camps they held along the Somalia-Kenya border after the September 11 attacks. So what is the US planning on doing there?

No doubt the governing class has been watching Somalia with extreme trepidation since the failure of the US invasion. If Somalia grows and prospers without the existence of a government, people are going to wonder why exactly they pay so much in taxes to receive the things they could just as easily and more cheaply purchase for themselves from private companies. Somalia’s growth and eventual prosperity would have been a model for libertarians and anarcho-capitalists alike worldwide, living, breathing proof that a state is unnecessary for security and prosperity. This is a direct threat to the governing class and the aura of legitimacy which surrounds government.

So Somalia is about to be plowed under and sowed with salt, more than likely. I feared this was likely to happen if Somalia proved itself to be stable without a government. Sadly, my fears and the fears of others like me are proving to be too true. My prayers are with the people of Somalia, that they will find a way to be safe under threat from the US military monster and that they will find a way to resist the new government the US is sure to try to set up.

Ayn Rand Comes To Somalia

Awdal Roads Company

December 3, 2001

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ