What is doing the right thing in Somalia?
Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 7, 2009
I’m still trying to avoid saying much about the situation in Somalia itself (it is beyond my pay grade), except as it relates to refugees who have either come to the US, or have recently returned to Africa, leaving their good life in the US behind to attend terrorist training in Somalia. But, just now this article by some supposed expert on Islam, Frankie Martin, appeared in my alerts and I couldn’t resist responding. Writing at the Huffington Post, his opinion piece (Doing the right thing in Somalia) is basically one more instruction for Obama and gang from those who elected him.
So, given the dire situation, what is to be done? Despite its mistakes in the region, the United States is best suited to bring Somalia’s factions together in a lasting peace.
So, Martin says the US is to blame for the Somali mess. But, I can think of a half dozen other countries that have some responsibility and are more suited to step between the warring Islamic factions.
This time the US should go in not with drones but diplomacy. President-elect Barack Obama will face a dizzying array of challenges when he takes office, but he must not let Somalia once again be neglected.
Personally I’m opting for continued neglect!
Obama — who is very popular among Somalis — or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should go to Somalia immediately after the inauguration to give muscle and credibility to the peace process. This would open a new chapter in US/Somali relations and signal that the US was serious about engaging with Somalia in a sustained and intelligent way.
What the h… is a sustained and intelligent way? I bet Martin doesn’t know either! And, don’t you just love it, the same liberals who said it was wrong for Bush to butt in in Iraq, now want us to butt in in Africa.
The US and its Western allies should work with moderate Muslims and extend dialogue invitations to those who disagree with its policy in the region. It should fund health and education programs [yes, of course, add Somalia to the list of taxpayer bailouts] and make it clear to the Somali people that the US is not at war with them or their Islamic faith. This would both attack piracy at its root by restoring stability and help to swing the pendulum away from radicals toward the tolerant Sufi Islam native to Somalia.
Does Martin think there isn’t the remotest possibility that the Islamic faith might be in a war with the US?
Here is where I agree with Martin. As a mother of an American soldier, I think we should send Obama or Hillary (or both!) to Somalia and keep our soldiers at home.
I’ll have more to say on Frankie later because I just learned he got involved in the Grand Island Swift Somali firing, but right now I have some other things to do. Come back later tomorrow! Update: Here it is.
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