Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Somalia: the forgotten front of the War on Terror

I've written an original article for antiwar.com about the situation in Somali, reflecting on the history of American intervention in Somali and its utter failure. In it, I argue that the only way to bring about peace and stability to Somalia is for the international community to stop trying to impose a state on a people who are not accustomed to involuntary government. You can help publicize it by voting it up on either Digg or Reddit.


Allen said...

Seems like a great way of establishing stable government in Somalia would be allow it to break up into the "natural" countries that it could be. That is, from what little I know about Somalia it doesn't seem that it would naturally all be one country. What is holding back the international community from recognizing the government in the north?

muleboy303 said...

good writing, good points, though i wish an additional sentence would have noted the proximity of US forces in Djibouti.

i suspect that the makers of US' foreign policy view any Islamist leadership the same way as South American socialists have been for six decades (whether they came to power via election or revolution) as a "virus" that must be subverted, no matter the cost, lest it succeed and inspire emulation by others.

p.s. for many years now (far too many in one sense) i have longed to see "my" byline on AntiWar.Com

yesterday morning i was so very glad to see my name there, as it was followed by good writing. (and 'tis even spelled properly :)

keep up the good work, and best of luck to you in 2009

stephenhsmith ft worth tx

Raționalitate said...

@Allen: The problem is that once you start down that path with Somalia, there's really no end. Sure, you could divide it among the biggest clans, but then you still have the sub-clan divisions, which increase as you go down, until finally all you have are families. (As an example, Said Barre favored the Darod clan, but when he came down to it, he favored his own subdivision – the Marehan – over other members of the Darod clan. And as his rule grew more and more tenuous, he started favoring ever-smaller divisions within these clans, until finally all he had left was his immediate family.)

Somaliland is an example of a division based on the highest level of hierarchy (the clan), and yet the government still has a very loose grip on the area, and the xeer is still more relevant than the Somaliland government.