Somalia - Possible next Iraq?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by dong20, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. dong20

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    The growing tensions in the Horn of Africa over the last couple of years can’t have escaped the attention of anyone with even a passing interest in foreign affairs. I have my own thoughts and the history and underlying issues are complex so I’ve not gone into depth at this point.

    However, the situation in Somalia took a potentially worrying turn over the summer with the capital being seized by an Islamic militia (the UIC) who evicted the US backed coalition of warlords that held it. There are mixed signals coming from this controlling militia; reports of veiled threats about the consequences of further US intervention. Coupled with the historical animosity and growing tensions between Ethiopia and Eritrea as well as Somalia the potential for a regional conflict is serious.

    There are reports of terrorist training camps, and of Somalis lending support to and recieve training from Hezbollah. UIC leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys denies these reports and that the the UIC intend to form an Islamic state. However, the former al-Itihaad al-Islamiya leader (which had Al-Qaeda links)is on the US Terror suspect list and has been accused of ‘calling’ for terror attacks in the region, especially Kenya. He is quoted as saying "If US forces intervene directly against us in Mogadishu, then we are ready to teach them a lesson they will never forget and repeat their defeat in 1993."

    Bush, reportedly 'concered' about this is quoted as saying: "The first concern, of course, is to make sure that Somalia does not become an al-Qaeda safe haven - it doesn't become a place from which terrorists can plot and plan."

    I’m sure memories of the beating it received at the hands of the late General Aidid and his cronies must still sting but I’m curious - How would US citizens may feel should Bush attempt action in the region once again?
     
  2. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    Just out of interest and for extra information Dong here is what the UK government has to say about Somalia .

    Here also is the Country profile from the same site.
     
  3. dong20

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    Thanks. I know, the place is bonkers. These may be of interest:

    Horn of Africa Task Force (Nice and fluffy)

    Somali Militia ready to talk (AP)

    Profile of Islamic Militia leader (BBC)

    I especially like his quote:

    "I am not a terrorist. But if strictly following my religion and love for Islam makes me a terrorist, then I will accept the designation."
     
  4. Gisella

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    Well, bare with me bcause I dont know much but I care a lot for the people...but it does not work to give money to corrupt leaders in power because it will not benefit the people or improve much.

    Many nations helped Somalia and the famines...Italia for 10 years spent 1 billion and came up with 114 projects and only the vaccination was good and last because even a very expensive hospital because of lack o administration it was let to com to pieces...but it seems those projects were not realistic because did not get to where it was most needed.

    Well, what we have to observe is Africa traditions and the majority of the People voice. The majority as in many 3rd world nations are the poor and as always in corrupt inverionments the elites get the power and want to keep between themselves. They really do not want to invest where its matter and really going to change: the people! Than they will oppress, disregard and ignore.

    African is Indigenous they have traditions, they are tribal and before all the crap they coul rule and take care of themselves..but now there ar not only those elites in power but extreme religious groups too..in the end all of them want to keep robbing the majority the People. None of is into place or wanting power will not benefit the people..and the US must not give $ to dictatorship or elite in power, because the people are being oppresed by them plus the religious factions can influence and put more gas in the crises, and things will not change in never ending war between them. In the end the ones who are being mobed will be always the Indigenous poor majority.

    I wish Africans, Somalians would find their own unique lidership ways that always worked in the past and that all those with their own particular agendas and interests step down, be silent and really listen to their majority choosen elders. But how To bring the majority into power again I don't know.

    Well, it seems the Bostawa is an exemple of a sucess story in Africa...

    BBC NEWS | Africa | Botswana: Africa's success story?
     
  5. dong20

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    The Italian colonisation was rather unusual and short lived as you say. The 1950s were considered by many as something of 'golden age' for Somalia despite some opposition to Italian occupation. The transfer of power after independence in 1959 was pretty smooth and the Somali political infrastructure was such that it had great potential and the people were interested in politics. It started to fall apart pretty soon though and ultimately this led to a Coup in 1969 when it was (note to Rawbone8) remaned the 'Somali Democratic Republic' when of course it was less a democracy than a Siad Barre fiefdom.

    The 1977 Ogaden war with Ethiopia followed by years of ongoing hostilities was disastrous and combined with over a decade of increasingly harsh internal repression effectively destroyed the county. This repression effectively led to civil war from about 1988, with the secession of Somaliland coming in 1991. By then Barre was doomed. It should be noted that it still took those years of countless political killings, repression and several massacres, culminating in the July 14th 1989 killing of over 400 before the US finally began to 'pull' its support.

    The US was in this up to it's neck as a strong supporter of Barre until at least 1989 but effectively until 1991 when Barre (who was one of Africa's most brutal dictators of his day) was deposed. This was of course to keep the Soviets out after they were ejected by Barre after the Ogaden war.

    There have been further seccesions since then and the country is fractured. It has had no effective Government since 1991. The US must take a huge share of the responsibility for the carnage that has been Somalia since the mid 80s. Of course the MO was their standard one, screw the country over by supporting a brutal dictator (because he lets you use bases etc) then make a half hearted attempt to put it right after the damage was done.

    So do I but until Western nations stop using them as playthings it seems unlikely.

    It is indeed. It's a great country. Though hardly brimming over with excitement everyhing works and you know the cops won't rob you!

    It was Bush's comments about Somalia becoming a potential terrorism base combined with his family history of ill conceived interventions for primarily political reasons that prompted my question about how Americans may feel about further military adventures in Somalia. I assume from the dearth of comments they don't care.:rolleyes:
     
  6. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    While we have in the past and may again in the future perform military operations within Somalia to further our own interests as well as provide huminatarian aid... that part of Africa does not have the natural resources nor the strategic importance that might convince us to set up a permanent and costly military occupation. I don't see this turning into another Iraq.
     
  7. dong20

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    I suspect you're right, and it was from the terrorism angle that my question was asked; Is the moral and political imperative for tackling terrorism (real or perceived) there more important to the US than doing so in the context a narrow, selfish evaluation of the strategic value of the country? I think I know the answer but was curious for another opinion, thanks.

    But all's not lost, look to the west, Chad has lots of oil, has a corrupt and probably illegitimate Government...and is getting beat up by Sudan.:smile:
     
  8. Gisella

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    It seems the most corrupt country in Africa is Chad...Transparency Inter. rated. The oil money again benefic the elites not the people.

    And its complicated everywhere you look because it seems that Chad has only 2 attack helicopters and 1 is not working to defend themselves they do not have many weapons to fight no one.

    But am I mistaken or most of African oil countries is getting an Islamic growing opposition? Is because they know the west (mostly US) need it and they want to control of most of the oil to play cards and have it kind in their hands???

    But we already see that what have been done until now does ot work because west is empowering the wrong leadership...than again must empower the people.

    Ps: were the Islamic people always there or they convert 'recently' or they were imported??? And between the Islamic faccoes they fight with one another too?
     
  9. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    If we actually believed that, then we would have invaded Iran and Syria a long time ago and definitely before we invaded Iraq.
     
  10. SpeedoGuy

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    The mediocrity inhabiting the White House has not demonstrated a solid record of interpreting or acting correctly upon intelligence gathered from distant lands.
     
  11. dong20

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    The mediocrity on this side of the pond haven't fared much better. Though how much of the information coming out of Somalia is credible is probably hard to ascertain.
     
  12. Rikter8

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    I think Shrub and Co better clean up their own back yard before venturing into someone elses.
     
  13. dong20

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    I agree, I think it's unlikely that there will be further military intervention anywhere by the US in the near future, if at all. Somalia was just an exampe, my question was whether there would be any domestic support for such interventions in the following contexts:
    1. Have the lessons learned first time and in Iraq been learned (in terms of meddling where it's unjustified)
    2. The danger of mis-interperetation of intelligence has been taken to heart.
    3. Or have US citizens simply have had enough of overseas adventures justified or not.
     
  14. SpeedoGuy

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    That's what I'm worried about. Given that GWB either lied or cherry picked only the intel that supported his case against Saddam, I don't see why we should trust his word or his judgement on foreign policy intentions elsewhere. He might just want to apply the same "Ready, Fire, Aim" methodology that worked so well in Iraq.
     
  15. D_Humper E Bogart

    D_Humper E Bogart New Member

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    Al-Q don't have Somalia already? I mean it's perfect for them! Good trade links, good weaponry, Muslim population and more importantly:

    The west couldn't give a SHIT!

    Ever get that feeling it's like trying to kill Cockroaches with nuclear bombs?
     
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