Uh-Oh

Posted on

"Uh-Oh"

I’m now wishing I’d paid more attention to that whole “Islamists take control in Somalia” story back from a few months ago. Apparently, we’re looking at war: “The inevitability of war hangs over Mogadishu, Somalia’s bullet-pocked seaside capital. But unlike the internal anarchy that has consumed the country for 15 years, the looming battle is now with Ethiopia, threatening to further destabilize the troubled Horn of Africa.”

I have, obviously, a very weak grasp of the specifics here. In a broad sense, though, giving Ethiopia “tacit approval” to begin “slipping soldiers across the border” seems like a mistake unless the idea was to deliberately try and start a Christians versus Muslims war in East Africa. Our track record of intervening in the region is not so hot:

Memories are still fresh of the botched American-led relief operation in the early 1990s, and more recently of the covert American effort to bolster Mogadishu’s warlords in an 11th-hour bid to prevent an Islamist takeover. That strategy backfired, driving more people into the arms of the Islamists.

“I’ll be honest,” said Sheik Muktar Robow Abu Monsur, the deputy security chief for the Islamists. “America is the best friend of Islam. It wakes up the sleeping Muslim.”

The concern in this case is that the Somali Islamists are too pro-terrorist, so we should help the Ethiopians intervene on behalf of Somalia’s powerless de jure government but the potential for backfire seems obvious. Anyone know of any good East Africa websites to read?

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