May response, “Tigrean In Sheep’s Clothes”, to Abdul Ahmed’s article must have hit a nerve, because something strange has happened: Abdul Ahmed went into hiding! The researcher and policy analyst, who was making some bold proposals about Somalia’s present and how its future should be, suddenly vanished and is nowhere to be seen!
Instead of him, a woman named Janet Britt, either by Abdul’s urging or by her own initiative, came forward to lend a hand to a friend clearly in need. Even though helping a friend is a noble gesture, and a laudable act, in debates in public forums, one is supposed to stand up for himself or herself. Besides, charity begins at home. In order to give a hand, one has to have what it takes to deliver. Someone like Ms. Britt who is intellectually challenged, as I am going to show shortly, is clearly more of a liability than help.
Ms. Britt’s interference in the debate, on Abdul’s behalf, left the worst reflection on Mr. Ahmed, because it made him appear not only as a dim witted incapable of defending himself, but also as a someone intellectually vulnerable, emotionally timid, and who is hiding behind a woman’s skirt!
This is not exactly what Ms. Janet Britt intended. However her gate crashing and lack of common sense placed her friend in that awful predicament! Abdul Ahmed can hardly show his face in public anymore! Thanks to Ms. Britt. With her best effort, Janet Britt managed to inflict on Abdul Ahmed more damage than I or anyone else could have ever mustered!
In her response, Ms. Britt characterized my article as misleading, flawed, sophomoric, defective, parochial, uninformed and presumptuous. Unfortunately for her, throwing little adjectives around is apparently all that she is capable of, because right after that the lady ran out of gas.
Ms. Britt claims to be a researcher and an analyst, who writes about Horn of Africa. However her ignorance about the Horn of Africa, and her tendency to trip in her own contradictions tell a different story.
On paragraph #3 of her response she wrote, “Mr. Heebaan is impulsively fervent and unstoppable in portraying the original article as an Ethiopian agenda without any proof or any sound intellectual reasoning.”
Proof of the article advancing an Ethiopian agenda? Well, the proof is right there under her nose, but because of her ignorance about Horn of Africa, she doesn’t see it or comprehend it. In any case, for Ms. Britt’s benefit, let me put the proof in block letters.
---First, the article was written by an Ethiopian. This is a fact.
---Second, the Ethiopian writer called for the dismemberment and the partitioning of Somalia. This is also a fact.
---Third, there exists between Somalia and Ethiopian what is called in international politics as Zero-sum situation, or Zero-Sum game: That is, what damages one side (either Ethiopia or Somalia) benefits the other!).
Now if Ms. Britt doesn’t know or is incapable of understanding the dismemberment and the partitioning of Somalia will destroy Somalia, and at the same time hugely benefit Ethiopia, why on earth is she wasting her time claiming to be doing a research about the Horn of Africa that she hardly understands?
Ms. Britt also has the habit of tripping in her own contradictions. For instance, on paragraph #4 of her response, she wrote, “The article (i.e.Abdul Ahmed’s article) is one of many pieces published as an excerpt form a collaborative research work…”
However, on paragraph #7 of her response, she wrote, “Contrary to the assertion of Mr. M. Heebaan, Ahmed’s article is an original independent intellectual contribution…”
She was just saying the article is an excerpt of a collaborative work. But now she is saying the article is an original independent contribution! Which version is the truth?
I don’t know. But what is clear is that she is tripping in her own contradictions.
As I mentioned earlier, Janet Britt characterized my article as flawed and defective. Now if you are researcher, writer, or self-respecting analyst, and you make an assertion in a public forum and characterize someone’s work as defective and flawed, you are obliged to substantiate your allegation by quoting from the work, and pinpointing where the flaw and deficiency lie. For instance, when I made the assertion that Abdul Ahmed harbours deep antagonism against Somalia and its people, I furnished the proof by extensively quoting from Mr. Ahmed’s work, and essentially let the Abdul Ahmed’s work do the indictment against him.
For example he wrote, “The de facto partitioning of Somalia is a real outcome that may be just irreversible.” One cannot get more antagonistic against Somalia than that. Even Males Zenawi could not have made more antagonistic statement against Somalia than Abdul Ahmed’s.
Now, Ms. Britt asserted in public that my article was flawed and defective, but she failed to substantiate her allegation, in any way, shape or form. She never quoted from my article, even once, let alone provide any inconsistency in the article. Undermined perhaps by her lack of confidence in her intellect, Ms. Britt didn’t even attempt to analyse, critique, quote, read between the lines, let alone disprove any of my assertions.
Hence, by making an assertion in a public forum and failing to substantiate it, Ms. Britt damaged her credibility and, frankly, made fool of herself!
Lastly, Ms. Britt can hardly conceal her dubious connection to the Tigrean Regime, because the fact that I mentioned that regime in a negative connotation caused her to go berserk! But whether the Tigrean Regime will be put off by her awful shortcomings, or whether the regime is so desperate for cheap propaganda that it will continue receiving the services of hapless surrogates, such as Ms. Britt and Co., that choke in mid-sentence, and drown in their own contradictions is anybody’s guess.
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