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On Christmas Eve, Ethiopia bombed airports in Somalia and invaded. The reason Ethiopia gave for this aggression is because it was a "threat to their interests".

PM Meles Zenawi said Ethiopia was forced to defend its sovereignty against "terrorists" and anti-Ethiopians.
  "We are not trying to set up a government for Somalia, nor do we have an intention to meddle in Somalia internal affairs. We have only been forced by the circumstances," Mr Meles said.

 Those "circumstances" have nothing to do with what is happening inside of Ethiopia. This seems rather transparent to me, but the reaction to these developments on DKos is surprisingly pro-Ethiopia and mostly misinformation.
  For instance, this diary claimed there was genocide going on in Somalia. [note: there is no genocide going on in Somalia]

 This diary claims that this largely the product of a foreign jihad. [note: this is an internal movement based on domestic issues, not an international jihad]
  This diary asks if we should militarily intervene. [note: The reason for this conflict is because the Bush Administration wouldn't keep their noses out of Somalia]

 Let's take a step back. I did a diary here more than a month ago that detailed how this whole situation came about. My diary got very little attention at the time (as proven by all these misconceptions about the situation in Somalia).
   First of all, you should start by reading my diary linked above. It details how the situation in Somalia today is the direct result of the Bush Administrations policies there.
 Yes, I know. It sounds like BS to blame this situation on Bush...and yet, it is still true. The Somalia Transitional Government, that Ethiopia is defending, is a western puppet.

 But don't believe me. Look at what other experts in the region are saying.

 But neither Zenawi’s Tigrai People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) nor the government of his Somali colleague’s Transitional Somali Federal Government (TSFG) has a public support to sustain a long and drawn out conflict between them and the UIC. The UIC has continued to attract young Somali fighters and foreign fighters to defend their causes from what they considered to a puppet TSFG and Zenawi’s adventure there. But since the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations (UN) created the TSFG in 2004 to restore security to Somalia, three years later it has remains an elitist organization. It only has maintained high profile meetings with foreign diplomats from UN, European Union (EU), African Union, IGAD, Arab League, Zenawi’s group and other international bodies. As a result, a majority of Somali people have saw TSFG as essentially a foreign-created entity embraces to impose foreign interests on them. Both President Abdullahi Yusuf of TSFG and his Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Ghedi have been seen as allies of Zenawi who intended to maintain his hands in Somali affairs.
   TSFG lack of public support has not been without a precedent in Zenawi’s Ethiopia. Zenawi own organization, TPLF lacks a public backing. While the public support for the UIC is growing, the public support for TPLF it gained when it grew out of the Derg tyrannical rule in the last half of the last century is plummeting.[...]
  But by 1996, each of these political parties have left the coalition and returned to armed struggle because of Zenawi authoritarian rule. Support for the TPLF regime began to deflate as a result of these developments. The May 15, 2005 parliamentary elections confirmed this when his regime lost even in Addis Ababa, the site of his government. Meanwhile, political ambitions among various individuals, infightings and reliance on foreign supports have reduced TSFG support among Somali people dramatically. Having lost public support, Yusuf and Zenawi have turned to the army and the international community to prolog their regimes. In particular, Zenawi have used those who have joined army forces to defend the country from external threats in executing his ethnic cleansing policies in Gambella, Oromyia, Sidama, Ogaden, Amhara region and other corners of the country.

 Of course there are more reasons than just internal politics as to why Ethiopia has invaded Somalia. There is also money.

In December 2002, Meles Zenawi visited the White House, and one of the dicussions that Mr. Zenawi had with Bush was related to "the global war on terrorism." Obviously, the frame time of this meeting between Bush and Zenawi came at the early stage of the "war on terror." For instance, this meeting came after the terrorist attacks of the hotel in Mombasa. In the meantime, there was and still are finger points at some individuals from Somalia, who have been alleged to be the "masterminds" of the Mombasa attack in 2002. Therefore, the whole reason of Zenawi’s visit in Washington, in my opinion, was to sell his idea that he can be a partner to defeat " the terrorist cells" that may be found in the Horn of Africa. Nevertheless, according to an article that is written by Yohannes Woldemariam in Sudan Tribune, Zenawi receives now $800 million yearly from the US for just his support and being an ally on the "war on terror."

 Notice how Ethiopia became concerned about "terrorism" in Somalia shortly after they got in the Bush Administration payroll. Now compare that to my diary above that details how four Somalia warlords, who were also part of the Somalia Transitional Government, got on the Bush Administration payroll to "fight terrorism" right before things went to Hell in Somalia. These events are not coincidences. This is blowback, simple as that.
  The Bush Administration backed the warlords and in direct response to this the Somalia people pushed the warlords out of Mogadishu. The area around Baidoa is the last refuge (outside of Puntland) of the Somalia warlords, Some of those warlords were on the CIA payroll and telling them that the ICU was full of al-Qaeda. These same warlords were participated in killing American soldiers in "Blackhawk Down". Now they are our main sources for information on terrorists. Why? Because they are telling the Bush Administration what they want to hear.
  Ethiopia, Somalia's ethnic rival, suddenly cares about Somalia after more than a decade of not giving a damn. Why? Because they will no longer be puppets, like the current Somalia "government" is. Plus, the Bush Administration is funding their efforts. That's a two for one.

 Basically it comes down to this:

  1. Ethiopia is not acting in the interests of the Somalian people.
  1. Ethiopia is bombing civilian area of Somalia and invading a country that had not attacked them.
  1. The Somalia Transitional Government is a joke to the average Somalian citizen. So why should we back them?
  1. The al-Qaeda claims against the ICU in Somalia comes from dubious sources.

 We need to leave Somalia alone and let them work out their own problems. If it wasn't for us this war may not have taken place.
Most likely, if it was for our backing of Ethiopia (and hence, Ethiopia's backing of the Somalian Transitional Government) then the Transitional Government would have already collapsed and there would no longer be a war in Somalia.
The last thing we need to do is to send in foreign troops. The war itself is the single, biggest potential cause of famine in Somalia, and the war is because of us. Like Iraq, do you really think that adding troops to this sh*t-storm will bring about a happy ending?

[Update: I just spotted this article on the Washington Post. It makes Ethiopia's invasion sound like self-defense. It even brings up the name "Hitler" as reasons to fear the islamists in Somalia.
  It's cr*p that people should see through in the same way they should have seen through the lead-up to Iraq.]

Originally posted to gjohnsit on Mon Dec 25, 2006 at 06:20 PM PST.


What should we do abotu Somalia

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| 88 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    Judging from the other diaries, this needs more attention.

    "A man who won't die for something isn't fit to live." -MLK

    by gjohnsit on Mon Dec 25, 2006 at 06:22:24 PM PST

  •  Things Haven't Just "Gone to Hell in Somalia" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hilltopper, wgard, willb48

    Somalia has been hellish for a couple of decades, and for lots of reasons, not just things that relate back to the US.  And the current leadership in the region including Mogadishu isn't much better than the Taliban, complete with putting children in to combat and imposing horrible repression against women.  That doesn't make the Ethopians or the US angels in this conflict, but it's not like the Islamist leadership in Somalia are any force for good or blameless victims in geopolitical intrigue.  

    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

    by Dana Houle on Mon Dec 25, 2006 at 06:27:30 PM PST

    •  They went "to Hell" for the Bush Administration (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler, willb48

      Sure the ICU is pressing women and putting children into combat, but then the conditions before the ICU were far worse. Women, instead of being repressed, were raped. People were shot without facing justice. Children were being used in combat before the ICU, and are being used by the opposition now.
         If you want a measuring stick, look at what the people of Somalia want. They are overwhelmingly behind the ICU. If that doesn't count for much, then you are probably also puzzled by the conflict in Iraq where the people are fighting an occupier and puppet government.

      "A man who won't die for something isn't fit to live." -MLK

      by gjohnsit on Mon Dec 25, 2006 at 06:42:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, And the Taliban Were Initially Popular (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        evilrick, hilltopper, willb48

        That wore off pretty quickly.

        People generally prefer order to chaos, but excessive and repressive order wears thin very quickly.

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Mon Dec 25, 2006 at 06:54:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Projection (0+ / 0-)

          "excessive and repressive order wears thin very quickly"

          With Americans used to freedom coupled with security.
          For people accustomed to years of corruption, armed conflict and anarchy, repressive order is a tonic.

          The Afghanis did not overthrow the Taliban because of popular resistance to their repression and retrogressive world view.  Does anyone think that if the US/UN were to leave Afghanistan, the Afghanis would stand up against the Taliban?

          Although we should be idealistically be committed to Western principles of freedom, imposing freedom on foreign states militarily (proxy support of Ethiopian aggression) is not a good idea.  Did we not learn anything from Iraq?

      •  Real easy choice to be behind the group (0+ / 0-)

        pointing the guns at you.

        How do you know Women are not being raped by the ICU?

        Overwhelmingly behind the ICU?

        •  Who's pointing the guns? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          truong son traveler

          Somalia isn't pointing guns at Ethiopia. At least they weren't until Ethiopia actually invaded.
            And as for the raping of women, I leave that to be answered by the complete lack of those claims being made by the ICU's rivals, and by the fact that these guys really are religious.

           So the question is: why are you creating strawmen?

          "A man who won't die for something isn't fit to live." -MLK

          by gjohnsit on Mon Dec 25, 2006 at 10:07:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Somalia (8+ / 0-)

    The situation in the Ethiopia/Somalia crisis/war is very complex.  I have spent a lot of time researching this situation through blogs and the MSM lately.  My conclusions:

    The invasion of Somalia is highly unpopular with many Ethiopians - they suspect that their repressive government is using the crisis to distract from local dissent.

    The defense of the Baidoan "government" in Somalia is praised by many Ethiopians, because the declaration of jihad against Ethiopia by the UIC terrifies those who hope to keep Ethiopia a tolerant, multi-ethnic society.

    The Baidoan "government" is a corrupt, impotent fiction, barely controlling the land beyond the city limits of Baidoa.

    The UIC has, indeed, brought "peace" to Mogadishu - at the price of great tyranny.  

    Eritrea and Sudan are making mischief in Somalia.

    Tens of thousands of Somali refugees have fled to Kenya and Ethiopia - they deserve humanitarian assistance.

    General Abizaid recently flew to Addis Ababa.  He did not agree to support the Ethiopians openly, and he did not discourage them from invading Somalia.

    Southern Somalia is a bleak place.  Recent catastophic flooding threatens to unloose disease and starvation.  

    Northern Somalia is already independent of both Baidoa and Mogadishu.  Somaliland deserves our help in defending its "borders."

    Anyone saying that there are two "sides" to this issue has probably not examined the other, multiple, sides.  Thank goodness - Condi Rice will help us deciderate what to do!

    "Let one hundred blossoms flower; let one hundred schools of thought contend." - Mao Tse-Tung

    by willb48 on Mon Dec 25, 2006 at 07:02:30 PM PST

  •  "Somali's are crazy"--ask any Kenyan or Ethiopian (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hilltopper, myrealname, scoff0165

    I spent 11 lovely months there in 93-94, and have followed it since.  I know/knew some of the major players then and a few are still involved.  It will never get better.  Let me repeat.  It will never get better.  They're crazy enough that Hunter Thompson wrote the best ever article on Somalia for Rolling Stone back then and someone smarter than me should link it.  I'll add a Somali sayings to the discussion.  "God was bored and decided to create the earth.  After a few days he was again bored and created animals.  A few days later he was bored again and created man.  A few weeks later he was bored once more and created Somalis.  God was never bored again".

  •  Thanks for your diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler, scoff0165

    Jim Henley asked a lot of good questions about this development and I think you have suggested plausible answers to some of them.

    Can anyone tell me what the aim of Ethiopia’s new war in Somalia is? That is, on what party does the government of Ethiopia hope to impose its will on what matter using military force? I’m leaving aside for the moment the quaint question of legality - an attack on the territory of another nation is prima facie aggressive war, absent a clear defensive rationale. But I realize that’s a quaint, mid-twentieth century concern, so let’s stick with the brute questions for now. What does Ethiopia think it’s doing, apparently with American encouragement and support? How will anybody know when Ethiopia won? And where did all the money come from? Ethiopia is poor and offensive warfare, expensive.
    Don’t give me vague crap about "Ethiopia is concerned about the power of the Islamist Courts Movement. People and countries are "concerned" about all kinds of things. Tell me why Ethiopia thinks bombing and invading Somalia will alleviate those concerns

    I would rather vote for what I want and lose, than vote for what I don't want and win. Eugene Debs

    by tgs1952 on Mon Dec 25, 2006 at 07:38:22 PM PST

    •  Ethiopia hopes the war is short (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler

      They hope the UIC is easy to topple. They are obviously wrong. Even members of the Transitional Government don't approve of Ethiopia invading because it is so unpopular with the Somalian people. And because it makes the Transitional Government look like what it is - a puppet of regional powers.

      "A man who won't die for something isn't fit to live." -MLK

      by gjohnsit on Mon Dec 25, 2006 at 10:04:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nobody wants to think about Somalia (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the diary, and for the others recently, but Somalia is the black hole of commentary can escape its atmosphere.  According to Dave Barry, even nematodes have their own comic book.  Americans will never again be interested in Somalia.  There are no good answers, our history there is still embarassing, and the disasters just keep on coming.  Even the US military refused to consider the 93-94 misadventure as a real combat tour.  I have an old school 360 degree photo-panoramic of Mog airpart from the berm separating it from Green Beach hanging in my house.  Interesting that it's getting bombed again.    

  •  In the past, Somalia invaded Ethiopia (0+ / 0-)

    A jihadist government in Somalia is not purely fanciful danger for Ethiopia.

    Also, the provisional government attacked by the islamists is not exactly a puppet, and it had some recognition, so it has the right to ask for foreign aid.

    Ethiopia did worse things in the past, including relatively recent war with Eritrea.  It would not be such a bad idea to encourage Ethiopia to abandon the low-value disputed territory and get a stable peace with Eritrea (another authoritarian country with totalitarian tendencies).

    The figure of 800 M of yearly American aid to Ethiopia sounds too high to be true.

    •  Traditional rivals (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      When Somalia got independence in 1960, the Ogaden region was given to Ethiopia and ethnic Somalians were ethnically cleansed from the region by Ethiopia. This led to Somalia invading Ethiopia in the 1970's in order to try and get the region back.
       Ethiopia won and the dispute was never really settled.
         However, the ICU is in no way capable of invading Ethiopia today. Hell, they would be hard-pressed to reign in Puntland, much less Somalialand.

       And yes, the Transitional Government is a puppet. Figure that for the first year of its existence, it never even came into Somalia. It was set up by foreign governments for rich exiles. Nothing more.

      "A man who won't die for something isn't fit to live." -MLK

      by gjohnsit on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 10:09:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you are wrong (0+ / 0-)

        In particular, Ogaden was under Ethiopian control since the reign of the father of Haile Seilasie, and there was no ethnic cleansing.

        What lead to the invasion by Somalia is the fact that Somalis were present in Ogaden, and it was rather natural for Somalian government to wish to include Ogaden in Somalia.  After the
        revolution in Ethiopia the government looked unstable and Somalian strongman had seen a chance, and indeed, the war started from Somalian successes.

        Another thing is that Ethiopia may be indeed vulnerable to a jihad, given a large number of Muslim minorities.

        The whole business is murky, but Ethiopians have some legal and some legitimate points (two different things) on their side.

  •  my diary which you reference. (0+ / 0-)

    You write:

    "The Bush Administration backed the warlords and in direct response to this the Somalia people pushed the warlords out of Mogadishu."

    I said pretty much exactly that in my diary.

    "Ethiopia, Somalia's ethnic rival, suddenly cares about Somalia after more than a decade of not giving a damn. Why? Because they will no longer be puppets, like the current Somalia "government" is. Plus, the Bush Administration is funding their efforts. That's a two for one."

    I mentioned the funding, and that this is a proxy war.

    The only place we differ is how you sweep the policies of the ICU under the rug, while I believe it's serious enough to warrant scrutiny and concern.  They are putting children on the front lines of battle, killing people who aren't sufficiently prayerful.  Leaving Somalia be, and letting the transitional government collapse (which it pretty much already had prior to this week), would only continue this 15 year-long process of a failed state, and failed states present an incredible danger in this day and age.

    D-Day, the newest blog on the internet (at the moment of its launch)

    by dday on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 10:23:25 PM PST

    •  Self-determination (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Somalia is chaos.
      Islam is the only thing shared by Somalis.
      ICU ascendancy is a natural evolution in their state building.  
      With respect to diplomacy, we failed to anticipate this solution to their 15 years of clan/warlord corruption and violence.  Instead, we aligned ourselves with warlords, and contributed to the chaos.  Because we failed to support a moderate Islamist solution, extremist elements gained traction.  

      Americans rightly cringe at the thought of children soldiers (previously employed by warlords with CIA dollars), repression of women (Were women safe under warlord chaos?  Rape is a capital crime under Sharia), and compulsory prayer.  We are lucky enough to have been born with freedom AND security.

      Somalis support the ICU.  They may be choosing security over freedom, but shouldn't this be their choice?

      (American-backed) Ethiopian aggression or occupation will further polarize Muslims against the West and add a new front in the current Islam/West conflict.  Like our involvement in Iraq, we will contribute to generation of new terrorists.

      I don't know whether "moderate Islamists" exist within the political landscape of Somalia, but it seems to me that dialogue with and financial support of these elements would benefit the West better in the long run.  I would rather not have another Iraq to think about....

      •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

        Somalis support the ICU.  They may be choosing security over freedom, but shouldn't this be their choice?

         I can understand why neocons don't think this, but is it that so many on DKos don't think this?

        "A man who won't die for something isn't fit to live." -MLK

        by gjohnsit on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 07:53:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hell no -- Tyranny of the Majority. (0+ / 0-)

          Somalis support the ICU.  They may be choosing security over freedom, but shouldn't this be their choice?

          I can understand why neocons don't think this, but is it that so many on DKos don't think this?

          Then why does anyone here protest at all about the Patriot Act, the NSA wiretapping fiasco, the TSA no-fly list or any of the other problems we have at home where a plurality of the people have chosen to sacrifice all of our freedoms for their security?

          Maybe some of us do believe in "liberty for for all," and that does not mean accepting the tyranny of the majority to decide to trade away freedoms of others for security for themselves.

          "They make tallow out of cattle and money out of men." --Ferdinand Kürnberger (1821-1879) on Guilded Age America

          by Pundimatic on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:35:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Consider the level of "freedom" (0+ / 0-)

            Since the alternative to the ICU is rule by warlord, just what kinds of "freedoms" are Somalians going to exercise? Freedom to be robbed? Freedom to be raped? Freedom to be extorted? Freedom to be killed?
             The warlords were kicked out by the people of Somalia for a very good reason, and it wasn't because there was too much freedom.

             Now Ethiopia is bringing those warlords back.

            "A man who won't die for something isn't fit to live." -MLK

            by gjohnsit on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 12:31:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  We aren't that far apart (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not a supporter of the ICU either, but you have to put your concerns in context.
       For instance, they put children on the front lines. Well, so do their opposition. So if you can't support the opposition for the same reason.
      They oppress women. Their warlord opposition rapes women.
      They kill people who aren't sufficiently pious. Their opposition warlords kill people for no reason.

      Given all this, can you not see why the average person in Somalia supports the ICU?
        And that is important. Because if the people support the ICU then Somalia won't be a failed state anymore.

      "A man who won't die for something isn't fit to live." -MLK

      by gjohnsit on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:53:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was in Somalia in 92-93, with CRS then MSF, and (0+ / 0-)

    back then the "Islamist" groups were definitely the good guys, because they were above the sort of clan rivalries that were tearing the country apart at the time.  I don't know if ICU is at all like those groups that I saw back then, but if they are they just might be a better choice for Somalia than the warlords that have been in power since Siad Barre fell in 1991 (I think that was the year).  Also, any country that bombs another country without being attacked is suspect in the eyes of international law.  Finally, any bombing backed by the Bush Administration is suspect in the eyes of ethics.

    As an Iraqi-American academic born and raised in New Orleans, this voter is not pleased.

    by naltikriti on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 11:48:43 PM PST

  •  latest on somalia (0+ / 0-)

    MOGADISHU, Somalia - Attacking at dawn, Ethiopian and Somali government troops on Wednesday drove Islamic fighters out of the last major town on the road to the Islamist-held capital.

    Former warlord Mohammed Dheere, who ruled Jowhar before it was captured by the Council of Islamic Courts in June, led the Somali government troops as they drove into the city, said resident Abshir Ali Gabre.

    "We will attack Mogadishu tomorrow, from two directions," Dheere told the crowd, although his statement appeared to overstep his authority. Dheere does not speak for the government or the Ethiopians.

    Government spokesman Abdirahman Dinari confirmed the capture of Jowhar and said his troops were heading toward Balad, an agricultural village about 18 miles from Mogadishu. Smaller than Jowhar, it is the last town before the capital.

    A resident there, Mohammed Abdi Hassan, told The Associated Press by telephone that the Islamists have left the city and that no one was in control.

    Fighting could still be heard at a military camp south of Jowhar, and an Islamic official said his troops were simply entering a new phase in their battle.

    "Our snakes of defense were let loose, now they are ready to bite the enemy everywhere in Somalia," said Sheik Mohamoud Ibrahim Suley. He did not elaborate, but some Islamic leaders have threatened a guerrilla war including suicide bombings in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital.

    Hundreds of people had fled Jowhar, anticipating major fighting, but others seemed resigned to it after suffering from drought and flooding over the last two years.

    "We do not know where to escape, we are already suffering from floods, hunger and disease," Abdale Haji Ali said from Jowhar. "We are awaiting death."

    Ethiopia sent fighter jets streaking deep into militia-held areas Sunday to help Somalia's U.N.-recognized government push back the Islamic militias. Ethiopia bombed the country's two main airports and helped government forces capture several villages.

    A State Department spokesman in Washington signaled support Tuesday for Ethiopian military operations against Somalia, noting that Ethiopia has had "genuine security concerns" stemming from the rise of Islamist forces in its eastern neighbor.

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said Tuesday that Ethiopian forces may soon wrap up their offensive against the Islamic militias that until recent days controlled most of southern part of the country.


    Somalia has not had an effective government since warlords overthrew longtime dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, pushing the country into anarchy.

    Two years ago, the
    United Nations helped set up a central government for the arid, impoverished Horn of Africa nation. But until the past week, it had little influence outside of its seat in the city of Baidoa, about 140 northwest of Mogadishu.

    The country was largely under the control of warlords until this past summer, when the Islamic militia movement pushed them aside.

    One critical issue is whether the central government can win the support of Somalis. Many resent Ethiopia's intervention because the countries have fought two wars over their disputed border in the past 45 years.

    Experts fear the conflict in Somalia could engulf the region. Islamic courts leaders have repeatedly said they want to incorporate ethnic Somalis living in eastern Ethiopia, northeastern Kenya and Djibouti into a Greater Somalia.

    Ethiopia's Meles said his goal is not to defeat the militias but severely damage their military power — and allow both sides to return to peace talks on an even footing.

    "The rank and file of the Islamic Courts militia is not a threat to Ethiopia," he said Tuesday. "Once they return to their bases, we will leave them alone."

    Ethiopian troops will not enter Mogadishu, he said. Instead, he said, Somali forces would encircle the city to contain the militias that control it.

    Any effort by the Somali government or Ethiopia to take the capital risks a disaster similar to the U.S. intervention in Somalia in 1992.

    I agree with Bush. Mccain is too angry to be President.(why wont D's recycle R attack ads? They work)

    by PoliMorf on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 04:27:10 AM PST

  •  I don't necessarily agree with this post's quick (0+ / 0-)

    dismissal of Ethiopia's claim that it is acting in it's own self defense.

    The fact of the matter is that this is a cyclical issue, one that was last "addressed" in the 1970s during another war between the two nations. The Islamists have made it their goal to break apart Ethiopia and Kenya to create a "Greater Somalia," and have also discussed fomenting strife between the the Christians and Muslims in Ethiopia that have lived relatively peaceful for hundreds of years. You can't look at this issue without keeping in mind the history of the region. This is not something that came out of the blue. Today, we're seeing old issues resurfacing.

    I also disagree with your assessment that Ethiopia suddenly cares about Somalia again after ignoring it for 10 years. Ethiopia has always cared about Somalia. You don't ever ignore your "ethnic rival." This situation has escalated because the Islamists (who really came to power this year) are threatening the transitional government Ethiopia supports. Why no action in the previous ten years? Probably because there wasn't a consolidated enemy as there is now.

    And dismissing the worries regarding terrorism is also a dubious argument. For many, it's not that the Islamists are already working with al Qaeda, it's the threat of what's to come.

    The claims of genocide are bogus, and the idea of sending in foreign troops (esp. U.S. troops) is certainly misguided.

    ...Ethiopia has certainly done it's fair share to exacerbate the problem and seemingly justify the wave of foreign fighters into the region. And I think Ethiopia is jumping the gun here in response to the situation in Somalia.

    As of now, we should hope that Ethiopia heeds the call for a cease fire, and both sides come to an agreement regarding power-sharing in the country.

    by politico1985 on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 12:19:08 PM PST

    •  With friends like that... (0+ / 0-)

      Why no action in the previous ten years? Probably because there wasn't a consolidated enemy as there is now.

       Given that level of "caring", do you really think that Ethiopia should be determining who runs Somalia?

      "A man who won't die for something isn't fit to live." -MLK

      by gjohnsit on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 12:27:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Another Iraq (0+ / 0-)

      "It's the threat of what's to come"

      a) Somalia continues the same path outside the sphere of US interest and becomes Islamist, harbors terrorists.  (Fox news already calls ICU the "Al Queda-sponsored ICU", so you know where our policy is headed).

      b) Somalia is occupied by Ethiopia, grows its own terorrists and harbors resentment toward Ethiopia's Western sponsors for years (eternity?).  Add another "frontier of Western aggression" to the Bin Laden's what I want for Christmas list.....

      c) US works with "moderate" Somalis of the Islamist persuasion to foster a more friendly developing state.  If we can have a relationship with Muammar Qaddafi, it seems we could find someone in Somalia's ascendant Islamic political sphere to bribe.

      Ethiopia is acting now beacuse US policy is to consider ICU in Somalia part of "Islamofascism", and we want ICU destroyed.  Look for more stories about Burkas, killing gays, forced prayer and links to Al Queda.  No question these things are bad and will happen as extremists fill the political vacuum of Somalia.  But remember that this chaos was created in part by our failed warlord welfare system of the last 15 years.  I think gjohnsit's point is that we are creating another mess with our support of a military solution (Ethiopian invasion) to another crisis in which intelligent diplomacy may be better for us in the long term.

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