Missionary Sam Sarr Burning Bridges Again!

sam-sarr-smallThe recently appointed Head of Mission, Permanent Representative of the Republic of The Gambia to the United Nations Organizations in New York, wrote an article in The Daily Observer. To find this article please look for the section of that newspaper “Voice of the Diaspora.” Here is some of what the despot’s Missionary wrote in the first and second paragraph of his article respectively:

“Anyway, I read a statement the other day in one of the online tabloids written by someone who was blaming the close associates of the president in The Gambia for not being adequately forthcoming to explain and justify his virtuousness necessary to debunk the pervasive Anti-APRC rhetoric mushrooming among dissidents abroad.”

“The writer thought that there was not much done or said at home for the event to receive the accolade it had really deserved.”

“It will however be fair to let that author know that his concerns were baseless, because from what I witnessed in The Gambia, everybody from the V.P to the staunchest anti-APRC activist in the country all share and acknowledged the president’s ground breaking and well appreciated proclamation never experienced in recent human history.”

“So what I think should have been a more germane contention from that critic was to ask world leaders, critics and activists as well, why they have been deafening mute over such a wonderful humanitarian event by a very familiar president often their quick target of condemnation when his actions or statements are judged with prejudice.”

Anyone interested can read the other parts of the article that I have not quoted. The reason why I quoted the first few paragraphs is because in them one finds the premises upon which the author’s arguments rely. Some parsing is called for to the above quoted statements.

First, the author needs no introduction to Gambian society. I sincerely congratulate the author on his recent appointment. I am not interested in the person of the author, but what he wrote in the aforementioned article and what he has written in the past. It is fair game to challenge a person’s words or position when he interjects himself in public discuss.

The very mediums that the author used in the past to write against the despot now he calls tabloids. The critic, Mr. Missionary attacked in his article can certainly speak his or her mind. If Mr. Missionary can write and express his opinion, the critic also can write and express his or her opinion. Mr. Missionary, the critic does not have to write what pleases the despot or you. There is a term used in constitutional law called “marketplace of ideas.” Because of this concept, Mr. Missionary, you can say many things in the United States without being arrested. Whether the critic’s opinion is true or not, it is hard to say. From what you said about the critic, he or she appeared to have raised some questions about the despot’s close associates. What is wrong with that? Oh! I forgot, Gambia is governed by a despot! Why not let the despot’s close associates who are the targets of the critic to respond if they believe the critic is wrong?

Mr. Missionary went on to say that the critic’s concerns were baseless, but he never explained how or why.

What does it mean to say another person’s statements are baseless? I understand it to mean the writer’s concerns were without foundation in reason. Is that really so Mr. Missionary? In the last two decades, Gambians have not known the despot to pardon prisoners as he did a few weeks ago. In the last two decades, the despot has denied Gambians their fundamental rights and liberties. You yourself wrote about this in the past. So, with this history in mind, it is certainly not “baseless” if a person, like the critic, takes the position that there is something fishy going on in The Gambia. If a person has been known to do and act in a certain way for over two decades and all of a sudden that person acts in a manner contrary to how he has been known to act, it is plausible to be skeptical. It would be absurd not to. Some things or rather most things do not just come out of thin air. And knowing how self-interested human beings are, come on Mr. Missionary.

Had the despot been known to pardon prisoners as he did a few weeks ago, then the critic’s skepticism would have been suspicious. It does not follow that because the critic has been skeptical of the despot “benevolence” his or her position is baseless. Of course, you can explain to the readers the ground(s) for the baselessness of the critic’s position if you so desire. Unless you do so, your argument is without merits.

Another weakness in your argument against the critic is where you made reference to what you witnessed. Whatever inferences you drew from what you said you witnessed is subjective. I ask you, is it impossible for another person who was at the despot’s July 22nd celebration to have reached conclusions different from yours? If it is possible that one person could reach a conclusion different from yours, then using yourself as a reference point is a sloppy argument. The mention of the V.P’s presence would meet the same standard as I just pointed above. The fact that you and the vice president work for the despot suggests that both you and her would not be objective. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that both you and her are bias. Who in his or her right mind would say that even though you and the vice president were present, you both or individually reached conclusions contrary to the “president’s ground breaking and well appreciated proclamation never experienced in recent human history.” [Emphasis Mine]. … never experienced in recent human history.” Are you really serious about this phrase Mr. Missionary? Have you done any research whatsoever Mr. Missionary before making such a grand statement? You know that to defeat this statement all that is needed is to find one incident in the whole world and in the not so distance past and your position would fall on your face.

You said that the despot’s staunchest anti-APRC acknowledged the despot’s gesture. Who are these “staunchest anti-APRC people”? Do they have names? If they acknowledged the despot’s gesture, do you know their reasons for doing so? Did you talk to each one of them individually to make sure? Some of them may have acknowledged the despot’s gesture for reason totally different from yours and others. There is some sloppiness in the inferences that you have drawn. You seem to be speaking for everyone. People can speak for themselves you know. Are you speaking for everyone in order to please his Majesty the Builder of Bridges?

“So what I think should have been a more germane contention from that critic was to ask world leaders, critics and activists as well, why they have been deafening mute over such a wonderful humanitarian event by a very familiar president often their quick target of condemnation when his actions or statements are judged with prejudice.”

So the critic should asked world leaders! Are you assuming that the critic has available the phone numbers of the world leaders you suggested to him to call, or is it the case that the phone numbers of the world leaders can be found in the yellow pages. At least if you are suggesting that the critic do something, be genuine about it. You should not give suggestion to someone that you know the person may not be able to do. It makes you look disingenuous.

The critic did not do anything that you have not done in the past. You wrote a book that has a more lasting impression than the critic’s article. If you are sincere, ready and willing to defend the despot, I suggest you post your writing in the “tabloids” online instead of using the Daily Observer. I am sure the Gambian newspapers online will not deny you space to make your arguments. It would be good to have healthy debates about the Gambia. I hope you take my suggestion for the good of The Gambia. You are a great writer! Take the critics head on and show them how it is done and what you got!

Here is the big one “I stand to challenge everyone to come up with any such incident ever happening in the history of any government in the world.” Wow! “Everyone,” including me and every other person in the world. “… ever happening in the history of any government in the world.”[Emphasis Mine]. Are you serious?

Again, all that is needed is for one incident in any part of the world to make you eat your words unwillingly. Your arguments leave much to be desired. Your challenge is pompous and ridiculous. It is pompous because a single incident contrary to your position can defeat it. It is as ridiculous as a person who goes to the river with a basket to get water.

It is perfectly ok if you choose to support the despot. Each one of us must live by the decisions we make. My argument with you is that, your arguments do not add up. They do not adhere to logical rules, and they are carelessly structured.

While you are at it Mr. Missionary, because you never denied it when the despot told you that you lied about him in your book and in your other writings, it would be honorable to return all the proceeds you received from the book. Because you never denied that you lied about the despot in your book; that translates to an admission that you indeed did lie about him. It therefore would be consistent for you to return all the royalties you received from the book. You would not want to profit from a lie, would you? You can disregard my suggestion if you never sold a single copy of your book!

One last thing, Mr. Missionary: There is an article on Freedom newspaper, your former home. The article is titled “Dispelling Lies Of The Propagandists That Jammeh Is The First President To Grant Amnesty To More Than 200 Prisoners.” The author of that article cited sources. If any of the sources the author of that article cited is true, then the premises in your arguments fail and hence the inferences you draw from them. And of course, you never cited any source to back up claims. How interesting!

By Gambian Outsider!

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