Image Source: Dag Blog.
Ana the Imp has a penetrating comment on the current famine ravaging Somalia, the worst in 60 years:
I take her point. But I can just see the assessment of what is happening in Somalia furnishing much material for political talking heads. Radical Islam versus Global Warming. A disaster is a disaster is a disaster. How do we see beyond interpretations on which contending bloated political establishments have grown fat; and beyond the cloud of meta-information encouraged by television and the Internet?Commenting in the Times on the present famine in Somalia, Tristan McConnell said that that the situation is set to get worse – “There are no rains expected for months and there will be no harvests until the end of the year at the earliest.”
Wherever the rain falls it does not fall on Somalia. It’s a disaster, an act of God, a theme taken up by the various aid agencies last month, who were blaming it on the “worst drought in sixty years.” Yes, it’s the worst drought in sixty years apart, that is, from the heavy downpours that have been flooding refugee camps in Mogadishu, the capital of this state that is not a state, over the last few days.
The simple fact is that the whole thing is a lie: God is not responsible for the starvation, people are, and the people I have in mind are the Islamists of al-Shabaab, who, as Aidan Hartley reports in the Spectator, control large parts of the south, ruling “over the population in a style reminiscent of Pol Pot’s Cambodia crossed with the Taleban.” Somalia is suffering from a famine alright, but it has political rather than natural causes.
Politics should be sidelined in the name of tackling reality. In this case, the bottom line is that "more than 29,000 children under the age of five have died in just the last 90 days in the southern part of the country." Yet how to aid Somalia's starving people gets lost behind the arcane process by which that reality is labeled. Time - the long view (60 years) and the short view (90 days) becomes just another rhetorical tool. The interpretations of why the event is happening become more important than the fact that it's actually happening. And meanwhile, reality worsens, percolating beneath the hype.
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