"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
Monday, May 23, 2011
Zanzibar Chest Chronicles continue
My complete notes are here.
Hartley mentions the divide in Somalia between the farmers and the nomads (who kept camels)…during the drought years the farmers would live off their stores…this would make their farmlands battlegrounds between the different militias
p.237 After 1984 famine Europe and US have come down with “donor fatigue”
p.238 1992 famine nicknamed (by Somalis) the Time of Swollen Feet because the peasants had to trek so far to get to the feeding centers.
The nurses in the feeding camps coined a term for many of the peasants—DBT: dead by tomorrow
p.239 Vitamin A deficiency in children brought on night blindness. Then their eyeballs would turn red and rough…then melting and wasting set in, the eyes foamed with mucus, then sagged and formed ulcers that burst into welters of pus…if they survived, their sight was scarred with blemishes like opals or moonstones on the pupils.
marasmus gave starving children the martian-headed skeletal look
protein-deficiency produced swollen belly effect know as kwashiorkor
The only way to successfully convey the tragedy of famine was to depict the death of an individual
What aiden respected about the workers in Baidoa was that they treated every famine victim as an individual…never toss them into mass graves.
The summer of 1992, Boutros-Ghali UN SEC GEN complains that the west doesn’t care about blacks in Africa …this brings dozens of charities to Baidoa overnight…”The militias could not believe their good fortune.”
These charities were too late…most of the children under the age of 5 had already died.
p.245 UN Envoy Salhoun wrote “because of the delay, we now pay the price.” The UN sacked him for this comment.
p. 247 Somali joke: What is the part of a camel that looks like a man?
The bit that pisses backwards!
This is derived from a Somali joke that the camel was the last animal created by allah. He was so tired that he stuck the animal with the head of a giraffe and skin of a lion. As it walked away God realized he’d forgotten a penis, so he took the man’s penis and stuck it on the groin pointing the wrong way.
In his travel, these Somalis welcome him because of the age-old rules of providing hospitality to strangers…something westerners have all but lost.
July 1992 Gen Imtiaz Shaheen arrived to monitor Mogadishu cease-fire. Aydiid was pissed because this undermined his ability to plunder the humanitarian aid. So the Pakistanis couldn’t carry out t heir mission. So instead they just played cricket on their end of the airfield with the brits, and other westerners.