Tuesday, December 09, 2008

NYT: Situation in Somalia Seems About to Get Worse

December 7, 2008, By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

Ronald Bleier writes:

You won't have to read too deeply between the lines to see Cheney's hand in the current and future chaos that is the fate of the suffering 9 million people of Somalia. Here's a quote which bespeaks the success of the Cheney agenda:

“Somalia has now reached a very dangerous phase,” [Rasid Ali, a Somalia analyst the International Crisis Group] said. “The whole region is in for more chaos, I’m afraid.”

When the Islamists ruled Somalia for about 6 months in 2006 there was relative peace.

But today’s Islamists are a harder, more brutal group than the ones who were ousted by an Ethiopian invasion, backed by the United States, in late 2006. The old guard included many moderates, but those who tried to work with the transitional government mostly failed, leaving them weak and marginalized, and removing a mitigating influence on the die-hard insurgents.

Gettleman emphasizes that the current situation is the responsibility of the U.S.

A collapse of the government and the human disaster that would almost surely follow would be strike three for American efforts in Somalia.... In 2005 and 2006, the C.I.A. paid some of Somalia’s most reviled warlords to fight the Islamists. That backfired. In the winter of 2006, the United States took a third approach, encouraging Ethiopia to invade and backing them with American airstrikes and intelligence. “The Bush administration made a major miscalculation,” said Dan Connell, who teaches African politics at Simmons College in Boston.

Yes, miscalculation is the word that is allowed. As the article details, the current situation is leading to rise of the most vicious and fundamentalist forces in the country. Earlier in the article Gettlemen mentions a 13 year girl who was stoned to death by these characters. Does the rise of such ruthless fundamentalism remind us of Afghanistan? Where else? The US in the last 8 years? Is it miscalculation or calculation?


Read more: NYT, December 7, 2008

Situation in Somalia Seems About to Get Worse



No comments: