Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Small War of Peace

It looks like the US backed Somali government and the Ethiopian military are making a final push against the Union of Islamic Courts. I just hope that the US sends in some military advisers, USAID, various aid agencies and some much needed cash to the Somalia government in order to prevent Somalia from falling into chaos or into the hands of Al Qaeda's allies much like it did in from the mid 90's to today. Folks might scoff at us getting mixed up with the "crazies" in Somalia yet again after what happened in 1993 but in the long run some it sure beats having a haven for Al Qaeda terrorists. I you remember Cold War history, then you know that the fight against Islamic terrorism will be mostly fought in Third World countries in the far reaches of the World. Now call me silly but I truly believe the adage of "fighting them there rather than here" is spot on with regards to our fight against Islamic terrorism. See here, here, and here for more on the current fighting in Somalia.

*For more on how the US can fight these small wars on Islamic terrorism, check out Robert Kaplan's book Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground.

I found an interesting post over at the Claremont Institute's blog The Remedy that gives some great praise to the Ethiopian military routing the Union of Islamic Courts out of their strongholds in Somalia. Take a look:

Since about June of this year, the West has been wringing its hands over what to do about the bin Ladenist take-over of Somalia. Ethiopia knew what to do and had its own six-day war. Here's how the Washington Post puts it today:

Islamic fighters who for six months had enforced a rigid moral code in Mogadishu disappeared, some simply shaving their long beards and vanishing into neighborhoods, witnesses said. "We have been defeated. I have removed my uniform. Most of my comrades have also changed into civilian clothes," one former Islamic fighter told the Reuters news agency. "Most of our leaders have fled."

One more 'graph from the Post: It was clear Thursday night that the complex political dynamics in Mogadishu, and Somalia in general, had been completely reordered by the swift, potent military action by Ethiopia. Its tanks, jets and attack helicopters routed loosely organized Islamic militia units that were armed with little more than rifles and pickup trucks with mounted machine guns.

Of those Islamist leaders now fleeing, Ethiopian leaders say, according to the New York Times report: "the government plans to hunt them down."

Michael Ledeen said on Bill Bennett's radio show this a.m. that this proves yet again, when you fight hard against Islamists, they will crumble--you've just got to allow the fight. Our side is often prepared (we know our military is, obviously the Ethiopians were), Ledeen says, they just trust in Allah and don't think they need to prepare. A version of Semper Fi versus Semper Allah.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned here. But in the meantime, bring in the Prime Minister of Ethiopia (Meles Zenawi), give him a medal of freedom. Then send the Ethiopians to Iraq and Afghanistan. Send 'em to Thailand and Iran. And then anywhere else Osama bin Laden calls his fighters to take over.

Now while the Ethiopian army and the Somali government are a long way in completely wiping the Islamists in Somalia but it looks a heck of all lot better than what the UN or other nations in the region have offered up in dealing with Somalia. So I applaud the Ethiopians for a good weeks work and hope Somalia's government does something positive with this helping hand. Expect some movement on behalf of the US.

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