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Bashir Goth


Bashir Goth is a veteran journalist, freelance writer, the first Somali blogger and editor of a leading news website. He is also a regular contributor to major Middle Eastern and African newspapers and online journals. Close.

Bashir Goth


Bashir Goth is a veteran journalist, freelance writer, the first Somali blogger and editor of a leading news website. more »

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Bush Could Score Points in Africa

The Current Discussion: The G-8 summit is Bush's last hurrah as a world leader. What's one thing he can do to strengthen his legacy?

If there is one thing that President Bush can achieve in the dying days of his presidency, it should involve Africa. Everything else seems to be complex and too messed up to even think of fixing in the time available. Regarding the Arab-Israeli issue, it is obvious that Bush cannot undo in six months a problem that is sixty years old. He must have encountered the insurmountable walls of the Middle East peace during his two-term presidency. His trusted State Secretary’s frequent visits and proverbial skills couldn’t put the Middle East’s Humpty Dumpty together again.

The situation in Afghanistan and Iraq could also be added to the Humpty basket although history may treat the situation of these two countries differently long after the Bush era is gone.
One place however that Bush can score highly and pragmatically is Africa. As food and fuel prices spiral and the worry about impending and continent-wide hunger adds more burden on the already stretched economies of Africa, Bush can initiate an African agricultural revolution by initiating a Marshall Plan to provide necessary equipment and expertise to African farmers to increase both the quality and quantity of their produce and their competitiveness in world markets.

He may not have the time to follow up such an initiative to its successful end but given his more sensible record in Africa compared to other parts of the world, Bush may find both the enthusiasm and energy to launch this vision and lay down its foundations. No doubt that if fulfilled, such work will remain as Bush’s most enduring legacy.

Another easily achievable action that would not only add to Bush’s legacy but would also count as another redeeming act for his image in the Muslim world (besides his courageous push for Kosovo’s independence) will be the recognition of the peaceful and viably democratic Horn of African state of Somaliland. This former British Protectorate which had united with its Italian colonized southern neighbor in 1960, not only save itself from the chaos, extremism and lawless reigning in Southern Somalia and other parts of the burning Horn of Africa, but has built a state based on peaceful co-existence among its clans, vigorous free speech and home grown democracy propped up with customary values. By giving it recognition in the 11th hour of his term, Bush will not only be fulfilling his promises of rewarding countries for adhering to democratic norms but will also ensuing his name a respectable place in the annals of an African-Muslim country in a strategic geo-political location.

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