First and foremost, I must declare and make a disclaimer here that the contents herein are not anything sensitive, tactical, or such that is not meant for public consumption. It is a public invitation and a warning.
I am aware and tracking that this open letter is addressed to our leaders in an open forum, and as such. I am cautious about the contents. As a matter of fact, I was invited and asked by some to table all and any contention I may have, relative to the predicament facing the Gambia. And so, I just want our leaders to know that this is my appeal, and I take full, sole and complete responsibility for the contents herein.
I want to make this appeal to some of our leaders: If some of our leaders believe so strongly in this cause, this cause of not ruling out forceful regime change in the Gambia, which I have no doubt they do, I respectfully submit that they have the expertise, training and knowledge, to go in themselves and get the job done instead of engineering civilians and others in the form of civil disturbance, or engineering people in the Gambia to get the job done on behalf of our leaders. Some of our leaders, themselves, have said and agreed that a forceful regime change is inevitable and possible in the Gambia.
Or do some of our leaders now have a change of strategy from “force” to civil disturbance? Or do they mean “force” by other people on the ground, while our leaders are at safe distances away from the Gambia? Let them lead from the front, not from behind in safe distances.
Or are they trying to build momentum now, only to go in later? Is that not a disservice to them and the people already there if this is the case? Why not they themselves be there at the start and finish of any and all civil or forceful regime change in the Gambia?
How could some of our leaders call for and engineer change through civil disturbance or force when they are overseas, yet they have the know-how and expertise to seamlessly effect a regime change they agreed is needed, and must happen?
Or do they mean “forceful” regime change through civil disturbance that they could be thousands of miles away from?
At this point, I expect probably to be attacked even more by some. But I am appealing for our leaders and others to think, and think and if they subscribe to, agree with and or share my sentiments or concerns herein, then I urge that our leaders debate the pros and cons of my contention herein, so that they can change gear or change strategy and or re-evaluate the strategy, and or the approach, so that we will try again to go in and get the job done by any means.
Our leaders should not be at the convenience of their homes in America, and other foreign lands, engineer and agitate for civil disturbance, when they themselves can go in and sacrifice themselves for the good of the country. Nine or seven of our leaders, or even less, can go in and get the job done. It will give and serve as a tremendous morale boost if some of our leaders go in on the ground.
Why can’t some of our leaders go in on the ground and effect a better command and control of any regime change in the Gambia? I do believe and respectfully submit that some of our leaders here can go on the ground themselves and effect a regime change. Let our leaders sacrifice themselves for a cause they believe in. Unless, of course, they are betting on our other leaders and those on the ground to do it.
With some of our leaders on the ground, whether covertly or overtly, they will be able to effect a better command and control of any and all situations, including but not limited to forceful change or civil disturbance. It doesn’t seem fair nor appear right for our leaders to stay in their homes in America and other foreign land and engineer or agitate for civil disturbance or force. Our leaders themselves are more than qualified in any shape or form to effect any forceful and or civil disturbance change, on the ground. This is a serious business.
Leaders in history who have agitated for civil disturbance or even forceful regime change have, at some point, personally and physical went down on the ground and face the music. Many leaders in history had, at some point, gone on the ground to agitate for change, be it peaceful and or violent. So, I respectfully submit that our leaders try not to be the leaders who call for, engineer or agitate for civil disturbance to a regime change, while they conveniently stay in America and other foreign lands, thousands of miles away from the actual, real situation. Who will be our Che Guevara or Mahatma Gandhi?
Do our leaders want to experiment with such a thing? This is serious business, and it involves changing the barbaric government of a country, not some small task of changing management team of a burger king restaurant. Why chance it to a civil disturbance when our leaders will not even have real, REAL, streaming data and information on events as they unfold, much more able to get proper and effective command and control.
Why some of our leaders themselves can’t go in and get the job done, given their military expertise and public service record, instead of instigating and engineering civilians and law enforcement in the form of a civil disturbance, coup or what not?
Why can’t our leaders eliminate the possibility of a civil disturbance being crushed? Such crushing of a civil disturbance has happened in the past, and resulted in unpleasant consequences. My point here is this: unless and until as a last resort, the only life I wish to get lost in the process of a regime change will have to be the Monster’s life himself. The lives of a million Yaya Jammehs is not worth a single Gambian life. So, we have a duty and responsibility first to try a route that will eliminate and or reduce collateral damage. Until we try first such a route we must not rule it out. As much as we want a regime change, we must exercise restraint, caution, sound judgment, prudence and proper planning to infiltrate to get the job done with little or no collateral damage. And I submit that it can be done, if and when we undertake such an endeavor.
I invite and call upon our leaders, to go in themselves and get the job done, instead of sending civilians, soldiers and others in the form of civil disturbance or forceful means, while they sit comfortably in their homes in Europe, America and other foreign lands.
I volunteer myself to go in with our leaders to effect any and all change, through any and all means, overtly or covertly, at any time. And I volunteer to do so at my own expense.
We have seen in the past that civil disturbance was crushed. With only eight or less of our leaders, with the military and public service experience and training they got, they could do the job. Let our leaders go in themselves and do the job. Let us sacrifice ourselves. Don’t we believe in the cause that much?
Or is it going to be a situation where the civil disturbance has built up so much steam only for our leaders to go in and claim credit for its success, and or failure? Why can’t our leaders go in at the onset of such civil disturbance or force and be at the forefront of it?
If some of our leaders said, and agreed that only force will take that man out, why then they turn around and call for civil disturbance to remove that man from power? Why did they change their strategy from “force” to civil disturbance, or incorporate both force and civil? Civil, force or both? Or whichever comes first? Or simultaneously? Sounds confusing? No, it is not. The confusion is your fault.
And when you look at it, or look into it, people in and outside the Gambia are saying our leaders are not even on the ground in the Gambia to effect proper command and control, but instead they are in their homes in America, Europe and some other foreign lands. I have talked to and with few people in the Gambia, and they expressed sentiments that it is all good and dandy what our leaders in the diaspora are doing, but that at some point, they need to get “their boots on the ground”. And when is that going to happen? Next month? Next year? Or another twenty years?
And some of our people are saying that our leaders are seeking financial support from local people, local people who are even less fortunate than our leaders. Yes, true, one can argue that our leaders needed the money to coordinate and engineer such civil disturbance or forceful regime change in the Gambia, but shouldn’t even half, or quarter of that money be used to buy their air tickets, and or maybe even some weapons, and they themselves go on the ground in the Gambia, covertly, or overtly, and execute the forceful regime change they had eloquently talked about and agreed upon for several months now?
I do believe our leaders sincerely and truly believe in the cause and as such, I urge that some of them go in themselves and sacrifice themselves, instead of taking a chance on civil disturbance or other means that could be crushed.
If and when some of our leaders are on the ground that would give more credence, weight and consolidated force to this cause. It would be a great morale booster. And time is of the essence here. We don’t want to be here another month, two, three, four or more, beating this dead horse.
Our leaders can decide whether or not the decision for their presence on the ground could be covert or overt, publicly known or secret, and such decision would depend on them, or dictated by circumstances on the ground. I know some of their presence on the ground would be extremely difficult, if not, impossible, to conceal for any period of time. So, planning here is crucial.
How could our leaders have proper, effective and up to the minute command and control of situation, be it force or peaceful, on the ground when they themselves are thousands of miles away in America, and other foreign lands?
I would respectfully submit that that was little bit disingenuous and a disservice to not only the cause, but to the people of the Gambia, people who, though many welcome the movement, are nonetheless saying that our leaders are trying to engineer a regime change through civil disturbance or force when they, themselves, are in America and foreign lands.
I invite our leaders to plan to go in and effect regime change themselves, be it by force like they agreed, or by civil disturbance, or both.
They can use all this talk about civil disturbance or forceful change as a distraction, while they covertly or overtly plan a forceful regime change.
Yes, true, if any civil disturbance is crushed by Yaya Jammeh, it would bring more attention to the plight of the Gambia internationally, and increase the popularity of the diaspora movement, hence its fund raising capability, but is that a route we want to take when just few of leaders could covertly go down on the ground in the Gambia, and execute a forceful regime change?
I respectfully submit and do believe that our leaders here can successfully execute a forceful regime change at the earliest, instead of engineering and agitating for a civil disturbance or forceful change from overseas. Let’s go in ourselves and get the job done. In a few months, this ordeal of the Gambian people in the form of the current regime would be over the moment our leaders here go in themselves and get the job done.
I strongly do believe that we do have the expertise, training and experience from this leadership here to plan and execute a forceful regime change in the Gambia in the shortest possible time. I do believe that. It all depends on our will, drive and determination to get the job done.
How would the people in The Gambia see our leaders here, and know that our leaders here engineer or agitate civil disturbance when they are thousands of miles away? These sentiments were expressed to me from some who are in the Gambia right now, and I do believe there is some validity into this contention.
Why not our leaders take such a chance on their characters, reputation and integrity if they can covertly (or overtly) go in themselves, plan it, and execute any form of regime change in the Gambia, be it by force or peaceful?
If our leaders here see the need to entertain this contention I have put on the table, then so be it. I will make myself available to discuss further my appeal here, should our leaders here see the need. However, if our leaders do not see the need to even entertain my appeal herein, then I understand.
Or at this point, I might even be accused by some of working for Jammeh, as I have already being accused by some. My only defense to that is that history is the best judge of any character, and history or time will judge me, and us. In the meantime, I ask and challenge our leaders to test my character, to see what I am made of or not made of, before history judges me. But then again, do I have to convince our leaders, or anyone for that matter, at all of whose side I am, given my record and my own personal encounter with the current regime, and my love and affinity to the Gambia? I respectfully submit that I do not need to convince anyone of my desire of a regime change in the Gambia, by any means.
By Abdul Savage.
MR ABDUL SAVAGE IS A RETIRED UNITED STATES ARMY. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE HIS OWN AND MAY NOT REFLECT THOSE OF NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS AND ITS PARENT COMPANY THE GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL AND ITS AFFLIATES.