Thursday, July 22, 2010

Most dangerous place on Earth? Somalia's Al Shabab

Somalia may very well be where the cockroaches that are the Taliban (and Al Qaeda?) will scamper to. What happens when you move something and the cockroaches are exposed? They scurry under something else, temporarily safer. Afghanistan and Iraq and hot spots, so is Somalia the next safe place for them? Remember Somalia? Somalia Pirates? Remember, "Blackhawk Down"?

The popular film, Blackhawk Down, was about Somalia. The film ends with text informing the viewer that: "1000 Somalis died and 19 Americans lost their lives in the conflict (the 19 soldiers and officers who died are then listed by name and rank). Mike Durant was released after 11 days of captivity. On August 2, 1996, warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid was killed in Mogadishu. General Garrison retired the following day."

Is Somalia's Al Shabab, an Al Qaeda spinoff, to be our next threat and target? Here is a country having so many problems, where these terrorist entities move in to try to take over another State. In a country of more gentle Islamic rule, they now have roving groups of these disaffected individuals and bands, traveling around the flat desert lands of Somalia, cutting of hands of suspected thieves, banning bras (really, banning bras?), banning music, stoning people, killing people for watching soccer games (sounds a little insane doesn't it?). All this in a country that hasn't had this form of harsh Islamic rule before. Why would they embrace this now?

This is not a popular movement. They are widely unpopular, trying to force a harsh form of Islam. What is it about groups like this who want to go around imposing harsher lives than already exist? It says something for the religions that have evolved out of environments such as this.

Some say we should prop up the current government in Somalia. Some say we should find pockets of stability and support them with money and resources. I would agree with that latter form of support. A little can go a long way. Some say as this is a flat desert nation, where the borders with other countries are in dispute, with Ethiopia to the West, with Djibouti to the North, Kenya to the Southwest. So that these Al Shabab's are looking not at a nationalistic effort, but a regional one. And with the outside influences from larger terrorists factions, its a global springboard, which the are always looking at.

What to do about this right now, as far as you are concerned, is not so much about doing, as it is, in being aware, paying attention, and then speaking up at the right time.

No comments:

Post a Comment