One difference between the Ethiopians in Somalia and the Americans in Iraq is that the former aren’t fighting with one hand behind their back just in case some EU ally or humanitarian lobby group or fictitious Associated Press source leaks some “war crime” or other to the media. In fact, the Ethiopians have the advantage of more or less total lack of interest from the Western media. So they’re just getting on with it.
In this he spoke, as Eric documents, for a broad swathe of the American right which uniformly praised the invasion and suggested that its success showed that the US military ought to behave more brutally. Of course, the invasion almost immediately got bogged down in an insurgency battle at which point conservative stopped talking about. The ensuing humanitarian crisis became, of course, much worse for the Somali people than was life under the Islamic Courts Movement. And piracy began to flourish off the Somali coast. Somali Islamists have begun to contemplate an alliance with al-Qaeda. And now the Ethiopians are getting ready to pack up and go home leaving Somalia more radicalized and also more unstable than it was before. This is more or less exactly what skeptics like Eric, Spencer Ackerman, John Judis, etc. predicted at the time when we were greeted with widespread conservative derision by people who decided to stop following the story as soon as the facts became inconvenient.