The American-created "government of Somalia," today announced that it is shrinking the cabinet from 39 to just 18 ministers. That is about right, because this group headed by Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has has very few Somali supporters. It takes money from the United States and uses it to pay soldiers, at least in theory. In reality reports are that the money is ripped off by the upper ranks, so the soldiers, many of whom are children, desert at the first opportunity.
This government is sanctioned by the United Nations and African Union as well. It controls, in the vast territory of Somalia, a few square blocks of the city of Mogadishu, in concert with Ugandan troops. By some standards, it is not a bad lot of people. But almost no one in Somalia wants to support a puppet government set up by the United States and other foreigners. Most of the nation's territory is now controlled by fundamentalist militant Islamic groups, notably Al-Shabaab.
There is no better example on earth on why the United States, or any other nation for that matter, should not try to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations. Both under President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, American interference has consistently made the situation in Somalia worse (if by worse you mean more radically Islamic. If you like fundamentalist Islam, I guess you could say the U.S. has really helped the people of Somalia).
The United States has assassinated politicians, dropped in bundles of money for bribes, and paid Ethiopia and Uganda to invade Somalia. U.S. policy has only served to discredit moderates, like the old Islamic Courts Union that restored some semblance of order to Somalia in 2006. The U.S. has made Somalia an Al Qaeda poster child. The U.S. comes off as brutal and stupid ideological thugs. Which is about right, if you look at our history.
I have to wonder if this is really just an extremely stupid CIA and "Defense" cadre, or if it was done on purpose. By destabilizing Somalia the CIA has created a permanent threat to the U.S. that did not exist in 2006. That guarantees nice fat budgets for the CIA, Pentagon, and Homeland Security apparatcniks.
One could argue, I guess I am starting to argue, that Somalia is a textbook case of creating an enemy where none previously existed. A reasonable conclusion is that someone was following a textbook in this operation. So it was done on purpose. I can't prove it, but I sure would like to get my hands on the archives.
Here's a sound policy: seal the borders of Somalia, withdraw all foreign troops and operatives including aid groups, and let the Somalis work things out among themselves. Recognize any government that seems to have the support or control over, say 50% of the population. Then restore normal trade and diplomatic ties. My guess is that culturally Somalis are moderate people and won't support puritan versions of Islam for long.
Meanwhile, hold tribunals to try George W. Bush and Barack Obama for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Somalia. With those two guys in jail, the rest of the people of the world might feel safer and act friendlier towards Americans.
More Somalia articles by William P. Meyers