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Lets's talk about democracy
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Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Now Playing: Another fine mess.

Who the hell knows what's going on in southern Somalia? I've heard reports the the U.S. attacked two towns on the tip of the country on Sunday and Monday and the BBC reported they had attacked another area today:

"An elder in Banka-Jiira, a grazing area about 40km east of Doble town, who wished to remain anonymous citing security reasons, gave an account of the raids and their aftermath to the BBC's Somali Service. 'There have been air strikes carried out by American planes in these areas since Sunday. Here in the Banka-Jiira area, which is the largest grazing area in the Juba Valley region, we have been hard hit. There have been several air strikes over nearby Booji grazing area too."

Another BBC account says that U.S. officials have denied there have been any new attacks since Monday. But. . .

"The BBC's Bashkas Jugsodaay who is between the Kenyan border and Doble town says dozens of people, mainly pastoralists, and their cattle were killed in air strikes on Tuesday evening near watering holes. Eyewitnesses in two settlements between Doble and Afmadow say the attacks lasted for between 30 to 45 minutes.

The WaPo reports today that U.S. officials aren't saying anything about anything (Not a good sign):

"In Mogadishu, the Somali capital, reports circulated that as many as 50 people, many of them civilians, were killed in the attack by a U.S. Air Force AC-130 gunship. U.S. officials said they are fairly certain that at least one targeted individual was hit; they said they had no information about civilian deaths in the strike along the Kenyan border."

Naturally, they know nothing about civilan casualties, but oddly they know about the possible death of the person they were going after. Hitting 50 civilans for 1 al-Qaeda suspect is a pretty good ratio, I guess. (Israel's record is usually about 10 Palestinians for 1 Israeli.)

The NYT reports that: 

"Today, Abdirizak Hassan, the Somali president’s chief of staff, told The Associated Press: 'I have received a report from the American side chronicling the targets and list of damage.' 'One of the items they were claiming was that Fazul Abdullah Mohammed is dead,' he was quoted as saying."

The WaPo article reports also that "Word of the U.S. attack provoked rage and anti-Americanism." Imagine that! We pumped hundreds of thousdands of dollars to prop up the hated warlords, who are responsible for the past 15 years of choas, and who still couldn't manage to resisit a bunch of bearded weirdos bend on installing Sharia law on a reluctant population.

For an encore, we encouraged the hated Ethiopians to invade the country and install into power a weak alliance of former warlords and tribal scheisters who very few Somalis support.

Now all that stands in the way of more chaos and anarchy is the Ethiopian army who are suddenly taking a bloody nose, after a apparently successful blitz krieg attack on the "Islamists." (I say "Islamists" because most Somalis are Muslim. I'm not sure "Islamists" is an accurate description of who we're fighting against or whether its another one of those PR buzz words the administration likes so much.)

There has specualtion that the Ethiopians would like to get the hell out of Dodge (Mogadishu) as quickly as possible, before they get could in an Iraqi style quagmire. The NYT reports:

"There [are] reports that Ethiopian troops, who are in Somalia supporting the transitional government, were taking heavy casualties in fighting against insurgents, including an incident in central Mogadishu where an army truck was blown up by a bazooka."

Shabelle Media Network reported that Somali troops supporting the TFG were also attacked last night:

 "At least one government soldier was killed and six were wounded after gunmen ambushed government military posts at KM4 Street in the center of the Somali capital Mogadishu last night. Heavily-armed militias riding in two cars known as MarkII have thrown propelled grenades at the Somali government and Ethiopian military posts at Kilometer 4 Street. The gunmen also opened automatic gunfire that lasted at least an hour.

Government and Ethiopian military barracks in the area were attacked on the second consecutive night. The government has not commented on the attacks yet. The attacks and explosions against government and Ethiopian troops in the capital have escalated as president Abdulahi Yusuf Ahmed has spent for the second night in the capital Mogadishu for the first time since taking office in 2004."

I'm not saying we shouldn't be goign after people who were repsonsible for the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, but all I see coming down the pike is a bigger US role in Somalia. Escalation is inevitable if we keep building up forces in on the coast in the Indian Ocean.  If the Ethiopians can't hack it and the TFG forces fall apart there's only one force there able to do something. Guess which one.


Posted by bushmeister0 at 1:19 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007 3:08 PM EST
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