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The American Elephant Gored by the Horn of Africa - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The American elephant, symbol of the Republican Party, received a painful stab in its side from the sharp Horn of Africa. The piracy acts off the Somali coasts are the natural outcome of the reckless and ill-planned American intervention in Somalia on the pretext of fighting terror (and making the world safer). And here are now the countries of the world whose ships used to sail through the Horn of Africa fearing no one but God and the sharks are now the target of the biggest piracy in history.

Though the benefiting countries knew that piracy was taking place off the troubled Somali coasts, yet they did not care much, first, because they considered them some kind of hooliganism by the gangs of a hungry people where there is no state and no order and, secondly, because they paid sums of money which were not large compared to insuring commercial ships carrying goods worth hundreds of millions of dollars until statistics showed that the monies paid to the Somali pirates during one year reached $30 million. But the Ukrainian ship carrying tanks and heavy weapons inflamed the issue of piracy in the Horn of Africa because the prey this time is valuable and fat and therefore the ransom for this ship alone equals the pirates’ income in a whole year. The American elephant is being gored these days by the Horn of Africa, suffocated by the Taliban’s Afghan turban, restrained by the Iraqi headdress, muzzled by the Iranian carpet, and provoked by the recovering Russian bear and is almost being swept up by the American financial crisis.

The United States is now begging Taliban, which the world expected it to be crushed forever, to sit at the negotiations table with the collapsing Karzai Government. Taliban is rejecting the negotiations offer except under its conditions and agendas. Somalia, where the Islamic Courts imposed control after 20 years of anarchy, the United States intervened to crush it as it crushed its sister Taliban only to return as a major player on the Somali stage and with a more dangerous role. We do not rule out the likelihood of the Ukrainian ship and its ransom ending up as a cool booty in the “terrorists'” hands. Had the United States tried to coexist with the moderate voices in the Somali factions and in the Taliban movement, it would have spared itself and the world this chaos in which these two countries are living. As for Iraq, though the United States did deliver strong blows to Al-Qaeda organization and those moving in its orbit, yet they do not seem to be fatal blows and we do not know if this organization is bending its head these days before the American storm only to raise it again as the “Islamic Courts” had done in Somalia and Taliban in Afghanistan? These dangerous crises which the Republican elephant has failed to tackle do not make us feel optimistic that the coming Democratic donkey can solve them no matter how much is said about its patience and perseverance.

Is this American failure to deal with the chronic crises an early sign of the start of the countdown for loosening the grip around the world and the beginning of the end of America’s global hegemony? It appears to be so.

Here is North Korea, which bent before the American storm and threats and announced it was abandoning and dismantling its nuclear program, announcing these days it is backing down on this announcement. Russia exploited America’s quandaries in the international crises to announce its arrival in strength through the Georgian door. Iran is meanwhile continuing to implement cleverly its nuclear program knowing it is safe from the wounded American giant. The world’s move from unipolar hegemony to competition from other powers is in the interest of world peace because the world was safer during the Cold War between the West and east than it is now in the age of unipolar dominance. Ask the official spokesman of the Somali pirates who is speaking from aboard the hijacked Ukrainian ship, sitting with one leg over the other and blowing smoke from his cigarette as he waits for the $30 million ransom and mocking America and the world that has become safer!

Dr. Hamad Al-Majid

Dr. Hamad Al-Majid

Dr. Hamad Al-Majid is a journalist and former member of the official Saudi National Organization for Human Rights. Dr. Al-Majid is a graduate of Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh and holds an MA from the University of California and a doctorate from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom.

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