Sunday, July 4, 2010


Most people have never heard of Somaliland.  The northern bit of Somalia has basically declared independence, and, without much help from anybody, managed to create a relatively free and safe democracy.

We could do an amazing amount of good by recognizing Somaliland as an independent country, and giving them a little bit of support.  We would be rewarding good behavior, and helping establish a good democracy in a region that really needs one.  But while we spend vast amounts of money on a failing and corrupt regime in Afghanistan, we are giving nothing to people who really deserve it.  

We won't even acknowledge their existence, even though they have far more right to call themselves a nation than many other places.  Our State Department is incredibly attached to the artificial national boundaries drawn up by the European colonial powers when they carved up the rest of the world.  As a matter of policy, we need to encourage these borders to change.  We need to encourage the formation of new nations, allowing people to break free of the chains of the past.

Well-functioning societies must grow organically.  They cannot be imposed form outside.  The only way to get good nations is to let them grow, by the work and wishes of their own people.  The people of Somaliland have, against all odds, managed to create something resembling a free democracy out of the chaos and lawlessness of one of the worst places in the world.  We should give them the help and support they need to survive and grow.

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