I would like wish all of you a very happy, healthy, joyful, prosperous, successful new year.
As far as our global involvements are concerned, may we get stronger and wiser, and may our opponents get weaker and more confused. May the lives of our people, and of all people, be safeguarded and secure. And, especially, may our men and women in uniform at home and abroad be safe and abundantly blessed; may God grant unto them His especial care, concern, and blessings. And may we open our hands and hearts to show our gratitude to them and, for those in need, provide what they need materially and emotionally. Let us recognize how great they are.
May God and may we safeguard, provide for, bless, support, speak up for, and otherwise recognize the worth and our need for those who are sacrificing their lives and safety to speak out on issues that need our attention. In particular, I have in mind Isaac Schrodinger, others like him, and bloggers in non-Western states.
May bloggers freely express themselves; may commenters likewise enlighten us; may readers be edified and find comfort, and may they feel fee to share their opinions and wisdom by commenting, emailing, or blogging.
May 2007 be better, safer, and brighter year.
geoff, this is for you.
“Why Ethiopia Is Winning in Somalia” by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross of Pajamas Media is an excellent article on Ethiopia’s armed campaign against the Islamist forces of Somalia, why and how Ethiopia is winning, and how and why it looks like Ethiopia will, in the end, prevail against Somalia’s Islamists.
Of course, Gartenstein-Ross says that there are lessons and examples here for The United States to learn, but I doubt it. There are quite different constraints on The United States than on Ethiopia. What works for Ethiopia, then, may not (and, in fact, will not) work for The United States. But it is wise and prudent and quite pertinent to be aware of these differences. (For one thing, this awareness may prepare us to lean more on warfare by proxy as opposed to direct involvement. Although I should mention that, unfortunately, Iraq and Afghanistan were different cases wherein The United States had to get directly involved.)
It is amusing and distressing–as predictable as it is–that Europe is quite displeased by Ethiopia’s campaign, and is pressuring Ethiopia to desist. Count on the Europeans to try and frustrate efforts to wipe out militant Islamism.
I want to point out that the article mentions what will ultimately cause the Islamist threat to disappear: exterminating it all together. As unpleasant as it may sound (and we Westerners are particularly loathe to consider such things), the fact remains that if the Islamists are pushed out without being eliminated, they will try to come back. Fleeing to safer areas, which they will find, they will rearm and replenish their resources (including finances), which they will be able to easily do, and then resume their jihad to regain Somalia. And then the whole thing will repeat itself. Additionally, there is a fear that Somalia’s Islamists inside and outside Somalia, and the Islamists’ international partners, will attempt to establish guerilla (sp?) warfare and/or suicide terrorism in Somalia. So, for many reasons, eliminating this network of militant Islamists is vital to securing the Horn of Africa.
The article also raises interesting points on what challenges lie ahead for Ethiopia. But it is nice to see them make progress. This sort of policy, which we held on to during Cold War I, will serve is very well in World War III (sometimes called the “War on Terror(ism)”) and Cold War II. And I hope this will open the door to the amelioration of conditions in that part of the world.
I wish to hear what you, my honorable readers, think about this.
It is almost amusing that for many decades Russia and the United Kingdom lorded over Persia/Iran while enjoying good relations with Israel and only towards the end The United States became involved in Iran and yet since the so-called Islamic Revolution, Iran’s vitriol has been spewed against The United States and Israel with hardly any regard given to The United Kingdom (rather than assigning the title of “the Little Satan” to The United Kingdom, it is used for Israel) as Iran moves more and more into Russia’s grasp.
And of the four entities (The United States, The United Kingdom, Israe, and Russia), the two to not have engaged in imperialism or colonialism are The United States and Israel. And unlike The United Kingdom, which gave up imperialism and colonialism, Russia never gave up on its imperial and imperialist desires, continuing its imperialist policies even while ruling the Soviet Union (indeed, the guise of anti-imperialist communism allowed it to quite effectively expand its empire). So much for Iran’s anti-imperialism!
And, of course, it bothers me that Russia is getting away with it.
Ah well. I hope some day Iran will realize how it is being used by the Russia-China Axis and thereupon attempt to gain true sovereignty by ending within itself all foreign and alien forces such as Russia, China, and Islamism. Considering that the so-called Islamic Revolution could not even deliver on its claim/promise of Irani sovereignty within Iran–and how can Iran be sovereign when it depends on the Russia-China Axis and while the Axis calls the shots–the utter failure of the Revolution becomes apparent.
Which may explain why Iran’s demagogues have always tried to distract their people with fabricated conspiracies and enemies.