Attack Somalia At Your Own Peril

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[Black Star News Editorial]

An article "U.S. Weighs Changes in Strategy to Fight Pirates," in the weekend edition April 18-19 of The Wall Street Journal quotes military "experts" who want the United States to start pre-emptive strikes against suspected pirates off Somalia.

"What ever happened to punitive expeditions?" an unnamed "senior military official" is quoted saying; "That used to be part of what we did?"

Obviously he is not a very bright guy; George W. Bush's instinctive punitive expedition is how we ended up in Iraq.

Somalis are not yet fully radicalized against the United States, even after the killing of the three captors of Captain Richard Phillips last week; any U.S. policy of pre-emptive military strikes will definitely radicalize Somalis--that's precisely what al-Qaeda is also praying for.

What better way to create fresh recruitment area for radical Islamist than a Somalia where pirates --and who would be able to distinguish bandits from Somalians going out to fish since all many Somalians are armed due to the anarchy in that country? How would the U.S. engage in confrontation with a stateless state? Who would be responsible if U.S. aerial attacks or bombardments led to the loss of life of innocent Somali civilians?

These are all the kind of things that al-Qaeda prays for everyday.

Also, would there be any rules of engagement? Might any U.S. captives not face the same fate of some crew of the Black Haw helicopters of 1993 when Somalis dragged dead servicemen in the streets and mutilated them? What would happen to the other neutral countries in terms of their ability to continue using the Sea lanes off Somalia?

These are the kind of questions that blood thirsty militarists never ask. Many also have clouded judgment due to their racist disposition; always quick to want to pull the trigger when the lives of Black people are involved. Some also dismiss Somalis who appear physically lean and un-tough in general; this comes from the Rambo image of what toughness should look like.

Ethiopia found out how tough the Somalis are when they sent 50,000 troops to occupy the country on behalf of the U.S.
That well-equipped army was routed and expelled after two years.

Somalia is a destroyed and anarchic country. The international community helped the former Balkan countries and the former Yugoslavia recover and rebuild from their own disastrous, destructive and bloody wars.

Somalia's fledgling government needs engagement and support from the outside world so that it can police the country and its waters from all pirates--the bandits who rob ships and the bandits from Europe and Asia who dump toxic and nuclear waste off Somalia's shores and also steal millions of dollars through illegal fishing every year.

The last thing Somalia and the United States needs is Bush era pre-emptive strikes, which only plays into al-Qaeda's hands.

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