Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Remember Somalia?

Somalia was the first Middle East country in which we engaged in "nation building", under the first Bush in 1992.

Almost 18 years later . . .

At least eight people, including a six-year-old, were killed Friday as mortars pounded the Somali capital during an attack on government soldiers by an extremist Islamic group, witnesses said, as hundreds of residents fled Mogadishu.

Hundreds of al-Shabab fighters launched an attack early Friday on newly trained soldiers stationed in the capital's northern Shibis and Abdul-azis neighborhoods.

"They came to the front line in their hundreds, opened fire on our soldiers and then we fought them off," said Col. Aden Ibrahim Kalmoy, the military spokesman.

The government forces also fired mortars into areas controlled by al-Shabab, killing eight civilians.

. . . Somalia has not had an effective government since 1991 when warlords overthrew longtime dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. The warlords then turned on each, plunging the Horn of Africa nation into chaos and anarchy.

Why does Washington expect things to turn out any better in any other country in the region?

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