Making the world worse for everyone to live in seems to be a hobby for the Bush administration. Reports from Somalia just keep getting worse. Famine, fighting, and fear are the new rulers of Somalia. The CIA-created puppet government (the Provisional Government in mainstream media speak) controls a few key assets, mainly because of the presence of thugs known as the Ethiopian Army.
Not that solutions in Somalia have ever been easy. The ancient Egyptians traded with whoever the natives of the Horn of Africa were as early as 2800 B.C. It may never have been much of a country, but in the middle ages the cities carried on a healthy trade. Then the Portuguese Navy came a plundering, murdering those who resisted and cutting off trade. When Somalia finally won independence after World War II it consisted of rival clans and its economy was in tatters. A dictatorship held it together for a while, but then warlords, one or more per clan, came to dominate. Even then trade and a sort of an economy were carried on.
Finally, some time after the year 2000, some people set up something called the Islamic Justice Courts. The idea was to follow the Koran (which has a code of law borrowed from the Jews and Christians), put clan rivalries aside, and prosper in peace and justice together. It probably surprised George W. Bush and the CIA, but Somalis actually liked that. Every few months the people wanting to take their troubles to the Islamic Justice Courts grew; the people who supported the war lords or the "Provisional Government" dwindled.
The Islamic Justice Courts were not set up by Al-Qaeda. They were not particularly radical as Islamic things go. True, once they got going some radicals tried to influence them, but no one was much interested in the radicals. People wanted peace, justice, and a bit of prosperity, which in Somalia had come to mean going to bed alive and not hungry.
That really pissed off the Bush/UN/CIA drunken sailors. How dare someone set up a government without their permission? They appealed to the most Christian dictator of Ethiopia, who had a modern army and used it to invade Somalia. The U.S. supplied some covert operations types and air cover and even a little naval bombardment as well.
So now a few Ethiopians sit in Mogadishu protected by Ethiopians and, of course, some thugs now well-armed by the CIA. Forget peace; they only thing they know how to do with an opposition is shoot at it. Forget prosperity, except for those who can divert U.S. taxpayer dollars into their own pockets. As to justice, I believe they eventually hope to implement the American Plan, in which the law says that them that Have, have the Law to serve them as well.
I don't know that the Somali people can defeat the U.S. and its puppets. Reports of suffering are a terrible thing. As if Allah is commenting on the situation, a drought has reduced food production.
And lest you join the "anybody but Bush crowd," please note that there was not a word of objection raised by the leadership of the Democratic Party to the U.S. interference. They were too busy arranging to further fund the war against Iraq to be bothered with Somalia.
But suppose you really think Al-Qaeda should be stopped? Isn't what Bush did great? Actually, having seen that Christian Ethiopians and Americans have united to destroy their country, now radical Islam, related to Al-Qaeda or not, is finding it quite easy to recruit in Somalia.
I hope when these bullies fall they fall really, really hard.
For more info on Somalia see my Somalia page.