Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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Saturday, November 11, 2006
 
If you kill, tell me. Casting around on Google News I have just doubled what I know about the Gambia. It seems the country's president, Yahya Jammeh, was recently reelected.

And this was a speech he made to his assembled ministers, chiefs of the civil service and members of the press:

This one thing that I cannot forgive is hypocrisy and pretending. If you are sincere and honest I will be a friend to you. Even if you kill a person, tell me that you have killed a person, I will understand. I am a human being.
An editorial in The Gambia Echo says,
In sum, sitting Cabinet Ministers and their hirelings are at liberty to kill innocent citizens as long as they inform President Jammeh later.
It could be that Yahya Jammeh's enemies are worse than he is. The sort of points that one could make in his favour are that the Gambian press seems uncowed enough to dare call him a murderer, and journalists are killed in mysterious circumstances so rarely that the casual Googler soon learns one name, Deyda Hydara. It could be that his "kill but tell me" is a metaphor (for the President, as for the leader-writer of the Gambia Echo, English is obviously not a first language) or a rhetorical exaggeration, and that his political enemies are affecting to take it literally in order to slander him. Or it could be that he is as flagrantly ruthless as his words suggest.

I was struck by how small is the fraction of the events in the world that any one person can ever understand.