I’m just a simple unfrozen cave-man blogger. Your modern “diplomacy” and “negotiation” confuse and frighten me. So maybe someone can clarify this:
Somalia is largely run by an Al-Qaeda-linked Taliban-style Islamist theocracy that has declared war on Ethiopia. Today, Ethiopia strikes down upon them with great vengeance and furious anger. And our leading lights react by immediately trying to find a diplomatic way to stop them. Here’s Alejandro Wolff, John Bolton’s acting replacement–who does first make the case about the threat against Ethiopia being real, but then concludes:
The Security Council “shares the view that this is a situation that has to resolve itself through dialogue by the parties inside Somalia, calling on all sides to refrain from further violence, and particularly to respect humanitarian rights and law,” he said.
Now we all know when you’re a diplomat, you have to say some of this horsehockey, and say it with a straight face. But does anyone really believe it? Wouldn’t a terse statement reiterating the Bush doctrine about terror-linked states send the message we want to send?
That guy is a diplomat, so I’ll let him off easy. But this well-informed fellow at the Naval War College, writing in the WSJ: what’s his excuse?
Thus far, the major powers have tacitly allowed Ethiopia and Eritrea to keep assets deployed in Somalia while pressuring both to refrain from escalating to all-out war. But these weak constraints cannot produce operational equilibrium between the TFG and the Islamic Courts Union for long enough to allow effective major-power attention to gravitate to Somalia before war arises.
Absent an unattainably strong peace-enforcement contingent, the only solution would appear to be robust diplomacy aimed at stabilizing the Somali situation by a power-sharing arrangement between the TFG and the Islamic Courts.
What the hell? A power-sharing arrangement with a barbaric Islamist enemy? Get out of the city!
Ethiopia is far from perfect and their human rights record is…well, not that bad for Africa, actually. But you’re going to have to work pretty hard to convince me and the two million Americans who care about what happens here that this is anything but “We Are The World” versus “Black Hawk Down”. One of them soaked up our charity in the eighties and was grateful and began making some progress. The other soaked up our charity, then turned on us, declared war, and dragged our servicemen’s bodies through their streets.
Me, I’m popping popcorn. Ethiopia wants to win. I say let ’em.