FIRST and FOREMOST, let me make a disclaimer here that this author is aware and tracking that currently emotions and sentiments are high, given recent developments. In this background, it will be extremely difficult to set aside emotions and use professional judgment. As such, this piece is presented in the context of professional viewpoint and you, the readers, are likewise urged to set aside emotions and use professional judgment.
FURTHER, allow this author to add to the disclaimer here, from a professional and personal point of view, given the current high tempo surrounding recent events, of which we all are aware of, this:
I know, from personal and professional experience, the pain and anguish loved ones and friends of people killed in any “armed incident”, “mission”, “uprising” or anything along those lines. I have been there and done that, countless times, though not in the form of coup, but in the context of missions, battles and firefights. I do and I know, and I authoritatively speak from professional experience that has a universal appeal, no matter your race, nationality, color or origin.
The PRICE we must pay, or paid for FREEDOM is high
NOW, having made the above disclaimer, allow me to proceed with the subject of this piece, which is what I will call the “Diaspora Trifecta”. What is this Diaspora Trifecta? Read on:
At the top of the diaspora trifecta is that group of people who are genuinely working hard in this “diaspora” or “struggle” and at home, for and in the name of Gambia, to secure democracy and the rule of law in the Gambia, without promises or gain of any kind, shape, form or design, today, tomorrow and forever, nor are they doing so for “fame”, “attention” and or any other ulterior gains, but for what is Best for country. There is a fine line here, and it becomes the duty of the Gambian people to be able to distinguish the “fakers” from the “genuine, real patriots”. I submit that this is the group of people the Gambian people would want to entrust the state of affairs of running the Gambia post-Jammeh, and they include people at home and in the diaspora, who are equally or more qualified to manage or steer the state of affairs of the next government.
On the other side of this diaspora vortex of trifecta, there are those who are “professing” to be working to restore democracy and rule of law in the Gambia, but are using this “diaspora airwaves” or landscape to gain favors, sympathy and other gains. This group of people are engaged in the diaspora for their own selfish interests, ulterior motives or group’s interest, at the expense of what is or isn’t best for the Gambian people and her future generations. For the ease of convenience, we would call this group of people “enablers”, former, current and future (future in the context that that regime is still in power, and as such, there will be more “enablers” popping up all over this diaspora). I urge and submit to the Gambian people to be wary of these “chameleons” in this diaspora, as well as those at home. Never put faith and trust on someone who you have once been deceived by, and we have plenty of people in this diaspora who have deceived the Gambian people. Don’t we hear enablers barraging online radios, and social media, blaming everybody, particularly Yaya Jammeh and his brutal regime, but fall short of blaming themselves for the part they played in this same regime.
The third vortex of this diaspora trifecta is that group of people who let themselves being used as “puppets”, for whatever reasons. This group of people, due to friendship, family, tribalism, or other affiliations, connections and or other relationships, refuses to seek and or speak the truth; no matter how inconvenient the truth may be to themselves, their loved ones, friends or family or even strangers. This group of people are the puppets, hence the diaspora trifecta comprises the “genuine ones” column, the “enablers” section and the “puppetry” department. Which department are you in?
Every Gambian and non-Gambian now knows that the Jammeh regime is an event receding into the past, into Gambian history. And we all can now begin to see, smell, taste and feel that that regime, headed by Yaya Jammeh, will soon be a thing of the past. NOW, the jockeying for positions, favors, sympathy and other gains, is heating up, and speeding fast, especially in this “diaspora”.
Some quarters of people are now embarking on diversionary, character assassination or distraction strategies that are self-centered, misleading and agenda-driven. They have developed this game through social media, such as Facebook, and online radios, calling Yaya Jammeh “criminal” and other names, which we all know he is, BUT how about they start with themselves FIRST, and examine the part they played in this “criminal enterprise”? If the Gambian people can and will hold Yaya Jammeh accountable, how about his entourage of “enablers”, former, current and future? (Future in the sense that that regime is still in power, so there will be more “enablers” popping up in this diaspora…..more will come).
This “struggle” is not owned by Peter, Paul or Jane, and it is about and for The Gambia, not for personal or group popularity, agendas, or designs, and certainly NOT for forming “little groups” here and there, based on who you know, or don’t know, who your friends are, or whose haircut or hairdo you like or don’t like, or who has nice pictures, or looks on social media, or Facebook. We must be brutally honest with each other, and stop all this hypocrisy, and other crowded or shady manifestations.
The future of The Gambia is at stake here, and we want to build a National Foundation based on Honesty, Truth, Service and Patriotism to the Gambian people and her future generations. Not based on cabal, groups, favoritism or any other denominational feature or grouping.
FINALLY, I will close this piece with my usual and consistent appeal or call for us in this diaspora to come together under Unity of Action, under one body of leadership, link up with the Opposition back home, to confront and deal with the shared and common predicament we face back home, rather than these infrequent, isolated (and sometimes uncoordinated) sporadic events or phenomenon that have been going on for close to 21 years now. Unity of Action is effective and eloquent.
By Abdul Savage
Retired, US Army
Member, Military Order of the Purple Heart
Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars
Not sure about this. Last piece from Savage was brave and brilliant and needed to be said. But this one … Not sure at all … It seems to have been inspired by negative criticism and reeks of some of that negativity.
I AM APPEALING TO MR SAIDYKHAN NOT TO GIVE A PLATFORM TO THIS JOKER AND BETRAYER. THATS ALL.
Babs, please lets us stay away from attempting to sensor people. Mr Savage is entitle to his opinion. The United States, Great Britain all succeed due to allowing others to express their opinion, and no time is better than when people are going through tough times. Mr Savage has every right to speak his time. I will say, kairo news is doing good by allowing all sides to table their opinion. be thick skin son.
@Babs: Mr. Saidykhan was censured, tortured and exiled for fighting for freedom of speech. I think you are in the wrong forum if you think Mr. Saidykhan will practice the same himself.
Mr savage , in your mind you believe that your professional judgement is the only right one that is why you keep on emphasing your professional experience but what you failed to acknowledge is that in every mission there is risk of failure. You are entitled to your opinion but you have no business or control how readers analyse your article and make informed decision or judgement . This is why it is important to be articulate and concise in your writing . Mr savage , try to understand that not all reactions were based on emotion as you pointed out but some reacted based on critical analysis of your article using professional judgement . Being in military does not mean you have the best judgement in the military operation . Example you stated that the attackers did not have the best interest of the country , I reminded you that you are simply prejudging their motives just like how Jammeh judged or characterized their actions . How can you made that judgement when they did not succeed ?
I agreed that there are those who are in this struggle for their selfish interest and want to make name for themselves , or even get rich . I think you are right to call those people out who are puppets and that was good observation .
However , not everyone who worked for the government are enablers because some are genuine Gambians who want to serve their country. There is difference between those who enabled Jammeh and entrenched him power by commiting crimes against their fellow citizens and those who genuinely served the country and fell out with him . I believe anyone who helped Jammeh in his oppression and crimes should be held accountable and not trusted by Gambians . Therefore your categorization of all those who are in the struggle and once worked in jammeh’s government as enablers is misleading and inaccurate . In fact some are genuine who are assets to gambian struggle and their contributions is very significant in exposing lies and crimes committed by Jammeh . As a military man I thought you are aware of the fact that sometimes you need to have geniune insider with valuable information who was once in the government and used the individual to get to know your enemy . How can we have that valuable information if everyone is treated as enabler? Yes we should be vigilant and try to study them first before we give them full trust and confidence .
Finally , I agreed with you , the need to have United front to tackle Jammeh head on .
Mr savage has every rights to express his opinion however ignorance he maybe. Democracy we are advocating is all about free speech and individual rights. But if we start to condemn others simply because we disagree with them, then we are encouraging dictatorship. Let’s us be Tolerance and listen to each other’s opinion so that we can get some education to move our country forward .
Mr. savage we have survived many gunfights and battles,thank God because some comrades might fall or get wounded in our place.You are terribly wrong when you say most contributors here were parts of the very system in the Gambia that they try to topple in the diaspora.You might not believe it but,there is a lot of Gambians in the diaspora who never hard a heck of a connection with political affairs in the Gambia but, are ready to be sacrificed to defend their stance as far as Cassamance and beyond.When it comes to Gambians,I understand you Mr. Savage;must Gambians don’t care how they make Gambia look a better Gambia,but instead,how much Gambia can make them look better.
And one question i would like to ask you,something i know you don’t really like,Why were you involved in a lot of firefights under the flag of the United States of America?
To be clear to you,i don’t know the political mathematics but I understand when state, government,etc.. is doing the wrong things to its people like the one in my country and yours.The most good men have died young for their cause.
Mr Savage, you have a problem mainly with one person. Therefore spare us with your so called analysis.
You may claim not to be an intellectual Bro, but you have just asked Savage the Million Dollar Question:
“Why were you involved in a lot of firefights under the flag of the United States of America?”
To many of us the United States wars have been unlawful, wars of aggression and, terroristic (ask MIT’s own Professor Chomsky).
First of all I am not very sure if Mr savage’s caption even agrees with what he wrote. This is not a race to see who gets to the finish line first. In fact we all looking forward to the finish line together SAVE Yaya Jammeh.My first question is which group are you in? I must be honest here, because various attempts have been made by various writers to measure and define who is real and who is not. I always think you are never real in the first place after analyzing some of your posts on the online papers.You could be honestly the biggest Jammeh enabler yet hiding behind the veteran US uniform. You seems to be pushing for more information in a Con way.Another question is with all your military experience, what are bringing to the table.Clearly this is not what we expect from a soldier with your experience. I mean you swerves from one side of the camp to another in plain site.STOP FLIP-FLOPPING.Please revisit all your articles and start writing rejoinders otherwise we will do it for you.
I think Mr Savage was bit bored in his apartment. So he thought the keyboard can give him company.
@lutango Suu Ghi, thanks for liking my question to Mr. Savage but,Suu Ghi you annoy me by still insisting on that sound you make of my name;PAGAM PAGAM, what do you really mean by that? don’t you know this is the sound of a deploying r..?
Sorry Bro, just teasing!
Didn’t know it is your real name – I mean it does not have the ring of “Luntango Suun Gann Gi”, does it now?
However, it is your name and therefore I salute “Ggapm Agapm”!
Mr Savage is a very passionate and resilient guy..I noticed that any time he publishes his opinion on the struggle, he gets stick from all quarters and corners…Yet he persists…That’s passion and resilience…And I salute that…
His views on many issues are a matter of personal opinion and people must respect his rights to exercise his fundamental rights to FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION…Whether we agree with him or not is our choice and there is no harm in stating so…
What is not proper is the attempts, by some, to silence/ridicule him , without addressing/challenging his concerns/views…We must rise above such unhealthy attitudes if we are truly sincere in our calls for a Democratic and Free Gambia, where ideas criss – cross and flourish..
Mr Savage’s advice on military related issues, on the other hand, are not a matter of personal opinion that anyone can agree with or not. . These are professional advice (given his line of work, experience & achievements) which are better left to professionals with a similar background to him, to agree or disagree on, and I don’t even think public media is the right forum for that…
But what ever our attitude is towards Mr Savage, one thing though is certain : repeated failed attempts to remove Jammeh from power by force, does suggest that the advice of people like him, need to be headed if more lives are not to be lost in futile and costly exercises..
And whether we know it or not, every failed military attempt is an added feather in Jammeh’s “mystification cap” and already, reports suggest that the latest has earned him yet another foolish title : “Lion of Juda”..
Kairo should be.praised for allowing and encouraging a healthy debate on various issues and let’s reciprocate by acknowledging the divergence of views and maintaining the spirit of tolerance and respect for each other’s rights to their views…We all share a common goal despite our differences, and so, the achievement of that goal should be our focus..
Baxs, I respectfully disagreed with your statement that “every failed military attempt is an added feather in jammeh’s mystification cap”. You went further to mention the latest foolish title conferred on him by his sycophants. Jammeh has been adding and removing his foolish titles prior to this attack. Just weeks before the attack, state house has released an official press release to diplomatic missions to inform them that the title of Babili Mansa has been dropped. Prior to that release, nasirudeen title was discarded. Over the years, Jammeh has added more foolish and undeserved titles than one can imagine. Jammeh will continue to do that because as dictator, his self-personification and mystification is hallmark of his character. This is how dictatorship works. This is why Jammeh went further to claimed that he can cure all incurable diseases including hiv/aids and Ebola. So failed military attempt didn’t add any mystification in Jammeh, it rather expose how weak and vulnerable his security details is. Jammeh is now more paranoid than before. If you are Following the secret court marshal, two of the accused are in fact in Jammeh security details. Jammeh’s self mystification has to do with superstition nature of majority Gambians who always believe in hear say without any tangible evidence . It also has to do with propaganda generated by Jammeh himself so that he will be feared .
@luntango,thanks,I really thought of it;that you are a great peace worker.
@ Bax ..I am not sure if you have been reading Mr Savage’s piece, it looks like you missing the point here.My first question is how many times have we tried to unseat jammeh through free and fair elections and how many time did we attempt to force him out by force compare to other countries? I agree with you that every failed attempt helps him get more grip onto the power because as madam Siray wrote they kept massaging his ego.I also must tell you that Mr Savage’s expert opinion is of less importance to the Gambian peoples in this struggle because in one of his articles, he categorically stated that The Gambia is an ungrateful nation not worthy of liberation, therefore he will not put his life in danger for hose ungrateful people , he said.America is a grateful nation he continued.Which other country is ungrateful to Mr Savage if not the Gambia? On his expert opinon, I asked this question and I must ask again and maybe Bax will have the answer for us.What is Mr savage bringing to the table apart from writing about his medals. We all agree that it is always an honor to serve in the military anywhere in the world, and we will always commend him for that, but when you look at all his articles, one can conclude that Mr Savage is egocentric. For his information there are far more qualified Gambian Americans as well as Gambian Britons than him but they are not coming out.These well qualified, well trained Gambians are laying low doing everything they can FOR THE GAMBIA OUR HOMELAND.The information will not be forthhcoming.I said earlier that Mr Savage kept flip-flopping there his sincerity is questionable by many. He proved it to us when he called the Gambia an ungrateful nation. Please revisit his article on”Was it a compromise”?. We will take him to task, we will be critical of him but that doesnot mean that we don’t like what he has been writing. We want clarity Bax, no confusion..
Kemo, don’t waste your time on bax the confused. You know where he is best suited; “Pointless” on BBC1
Ah, that is it Lafia. Finally I know how you lost your Mandinka wise grandfathers/ancestors wisdom! You watch too much “pointless” on BBC! Gotcha! Leave my in-law Bax alone – we are not just wise Fulas but also fierce warriors!
Did i say,’PEACE WORKER’ oops,sorry i got the run thought.It is FIERCE WARRIOR.Good,very good,that is it.YES,YES,YES;Gambia needs them!
@ Maxs…”Jammeh will continue to do that because as dictator, his self-personification and mystification is hallmark of his character. ”
I could not have put it any better…because this is exactly what I meant…
You very well know that one of his many claims is that, “No coup (military action) will remove him from power”…What better way of adding to that weightless feather in his mystification cap, than yet another failed military attempt…So I sense “agreement” with my point, rather than “disagreement”…I have no issue with all.that you stated…I think we are in the same boat..
Baxs, i cannot see any agreement we have here . You stated that every failed military attempt added feather to Jammeh’s mystification cap resulting to his supporters given him another title . I said Jammeh has been adding and removing titles prior to this attack . I went further to give example of two titles such as Babili Mansa and nasirudeen which has been discarded prior to this attack . I continued to explained that over the years Jammeh has added more foolish titles than one can imagine and he will continue to do that because as a dictator , his self personification and mystification is hallmark of his character . The above explanation is different from your assumption that only repeated failed military attempt added feather to Jammeh’s mystification cap. I am simply saying that with/ without failed military attempt Jammeh will continue to add foolish titles . You need to clarify your statement. I am simply describing characteristics of a dictator which Jammeh is . Characteristics of a dictator includes , self mystification , personality cult , oppression and suppression of opponents , absolute authoritarian power , disregard for constitution and human rights abuses.
Let me point out that I am not saying that I agree with everything that Mr Savage stated/states…And I certainly don’t share his view that The Gambian People are ungrateful because my life experiences don’t support that view..I don’t know what his life experiences are in The Gambia, nor do I know the context in which he may have developed those views…However, I don’t think anyone can accuse him of lacking interest in finding a solution to Gambia’s present situation.
The point I was making was that Mr Savage has a right to he heard, whether we agree with him or not, and I think you share the same view…
You asked me what Mr Savage has brought to the table except his medals…I think you are being unfair to Mr Savage…The very article you referred me to, from him, carried a suggestion for the creation of a united diaspora group that would work with the opposition to achieve democratic change…Mr Savage is also on record for offering to personally fund, anywhere in the US, a meeting of heads of different diaspora groups with a view to forming a single, unified group with a single leader…This offer, unfortunately, was not taken up by anyone..I think the man should be given credit for his efforts, whatever we may think of him..
Regardless of what Mr Savage’s views are about The Gambia, they do not take away the fact that he is qualified to give advice on military matters…And such advice would be very important and relevant when the military option is being considered, because he has the expertise and the experience to bring to the table…
Mr Savage also has his views on the December 30th incident, which did not go down well with many people, and this is understandable due to the painful ending of that incident…However, it will be unwise to castigate him for what he said about the sponsors of that failed attempt, unless we are privy to his information/sources…Moreover, I have heard from people who claimed to be in possession of evidence, which will proof that December 30th was much more than a “Liberation” attempt…
In any case, the fact that an entire government was formed and in waiting, even before any consultations with various stake holders were conducted, does seem to suggest that the aftermath could.have been problematic had they succeeded in removing Jammeh…
In my view, any process of change, post Jammeh, that seeks to sideline the legitimate opposition and civil society/professional groups, is asking for trouble…Very serious trouble and we need to be humble enough to recognise this obvious fact…
Indeed Maxs, I.need to clarify my statement because you have misunderstood me…Allow.me to produce my original statement alongside yours to show how you misunderstood me…
@Bax…”And whether we know it or not, every failed military attempt is an added feather in Jammeh’s “mystification cap” and already, reports suggest that the latest has earned him yet another foolish title : “Lion of Juda”..
@Maxs…”The above explanation is different from your assumption that only repeated failed military attempt added feather to Jammeh’s mystification cap.”
Observation: When we scrutinise our two statements, it becomes obvious that the addition of the word “ONLY” in yours, which is not in mine, changes the whole meaning of my statement…
While you seem.to suggest that my assumption is.that “ONLY” failed military attempts add feathers to Jammeh’s mystification cap, my statement made no such claim…
What my statement implies is that failed military attempts are an addition to the already existing (array of) feathers in his “mystification cap”…”feathers” here meaning his outlandish claims…ie…He can cure AIDS; He can mediate between Jinns; No election will remove him; No coup (military action ) will remove him; etc…I hope that clears any misunderstanding…
Dida, the Mandingo wisdom is still in me and will forever remain in me. Nothing on this planet can take that away from me. Don’t you forget I am a proud mandinka. Got it from the ancestors lol!
And by the way, I am not a warrior. War is not civilise or cool. It is abhorrent. So don’t call me a Mandingo warrior.
Baxs , I used the words “ONLY repeated ” in my statement below to emphasize the words ” every failed” military attempts in your statement.
Max : ” the above explanation is different from your assumption that only repeated failed military attempts added feather to Jammeh’s mystification cap”.
The words “only repeated ” I think simply mean specific reoccurring event which I think is the same as every failed military attempts you implied in this context .
Anyway thank you for your clarification . Point taken .
Baxs, I think you are just making a pure speculation here about this statement below:
Bax: ” in any case , the fact that an entire government was formed and in waiting , even before any consultation with various stake holders were conducted , does seem to suggest that the aftermath could have been problematic had they succeeded in removing Jammeh “. What evidence do you have that seem to suggest that aftermath would be problematic if they succeed? Did jammeh make any consultation with so called stake holders prior to his coup ?
Military coup any where when not successful , people tends to disassociate themselves from the coup and make speculate about the intention of coup makers . Example ,here is what mr savage speculated , According to Mr savage “recently attempted was certainly not in the best interest of country , but in the interest of a select , selfish , twisted-,agenda -driven few” in his article titled “was it a compromised mission ?”.this was why there was an outrage about his article to my understanding . I would like to see your evidence to support your speculation if there is any .