Me against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda: A Journalist Reports from the Battlefields of Africa

By Scott Peterson | Go to book overview

NINE

BACK TO ZERO

[O]nly vengeance fully satisfies honour.

-Ioan Lewis, A Pastoral Democracy

Somalis knew well that they were being left behind. Author Mariam Arif Gassem pointed an accusing finger at her own nation: “While the world as a whole, without distinction of race, creed or religion was sympathetic with our agony and willing to reach across vast distances to assist us, we the Somali people were not ready to help ourselves, ” she wrote in her book Hostages. “The world has with pain learned that Somalia is indeed a difficult patient who refuses to be tested, fed and cured.” 1

The result was “self-inflicted social suicide, ” as Gassem called it. And after the Americans left, it was this “cultural propensity” that led to an initial instinct among Somalis for revenge.

They say they will never forget the carnage inflicted by US-led UN forces, and looked toward time-honored methods for revenge. “Debts in blood lying between groups may sometimes be allowed to remain outstanding without any immediate reprisal being made, and they may even seem to an observer to have been forgotten, ” explains historian Lewis. Time is no guarantee of safety, and could create “prolonged and bitter hostilities when an incident occurs months, and sometimes even years, later.” 2

UN envoy Howe was top of the hit list, though the larger American clan may be marked, particularly by Aidid's Habr Gedir. But for those who doubt the depth and scale of such possible revenge, there is the chilling tale of Somali Smith. It was

-157-

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Me against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda: A Journalist Reports from the Battlefields of Africa
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Somalia 1a
  • Sudan 1g
  • Rwanda 1k
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Maps xxiii
  • Part I - Somalia 1
  • One - Laws of War 3
  • Two - "City of the Insane" 19
  • Three - A Land Forgotten by God 37
  • Four - “club Skinny-Dancers Wanted” 51
  • Five - “camp of the Murderers” 71
  • Six - The Fugitive 93
  • Seven - Bloody Monday 117
  • Eight - Mission Impossible 137
  • Nine - Back to Zero 157
  • Part II - Sudan 171
  • Ten - Divided by God 173
  • Eleven - War of the Cross 197
  • Twelve - The False Messiah 217
  • Thirteen - Darwin Deceived 229
  • Part III - Rwanda 245
  • Fourteen - A Holocaust 247
  • Fifteen - “dreadful Note of Preparation” 267
  • Sixteen - Genocide Denied 289
  • Seventeen - In Perpetuum 303
  • Epilogue 323
  • Notes 329
  • Index 351
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