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18 January 2007 @ 09:52 am
Somalia  
I've never met a Somali I didn't like here in Seattle. I've met about 5 now and they have all had a great deal of wisdom and perspective to share. Given my experience to date, I want to have Somali friends.

Here is some commentary from Somali people about the current situation in Somalia:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/6268335.stm

I love it when BBC takes the time to let everyday people react to a situation - I found these reports to be more real, human and relevant.
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Lawstlawst on January 18th, 2007 07:22 pm (UTC)
Ok, Somalia.

Let's go there.

This place has been screwed up since the first day a white person stepped in and attempted to change their barbarian ways. I believe the French were the first. Since then it's also been occupied by the Soviet Union, the Americans, the French again, and then, not the U.S., but the United Nations. So they've had no less than 5 attempts to change them from what they had been, which wsa a tribal society that was doing pretty well before they learned they were so UN-civilised.

People forget that it was not the U.S. who pushed for us to go there but the U.N. who was asking for our involvement before a force was put in place. People also forget that it wsa the UN in charge of the operations, not the U.S. (I refused to wear any U.N. insignia. I was a U.S. soldier, not a mercenary). Yes, the initial task was to go in and provide support for humanitarain missions. Once forces were on the ground it was a different story. The U.N. had upped the anti which was something the Islamists had not expected. AT THAT TIME there were already several radical Islamic groups working to destabilise the country. In most cases it was 1 or 2 groups providing weapons to several different warlords and their factions to make sure they had the firepower to duke it out amongst themselves. They got what they wanted...in spades.

Somalia's issues with Ethiopia are actually Northern Islamic Somalia's issues with Southern Christian Somalia and predominanty Christian Ethiopia. For many years the 2 factions have been fighting it out for control of the country. There has even been talk at times of literally turning it into 2 different countries to keep everyone happy. Not gonna happen, not any time soon, especially if the Islamic factions have their way. Again, it's this same Islamic group(s) who brought "peace" to the country that helped mess it up (worse) in the first place. Peace is a realtive term. Sure, if you act like a good Muslim, even if you're not, there will be peace. If you mess up, you're in trouble. It's a good start. How long do you suppose it will be before Muslim law becomes more confining to those who are not Muslim? I can guarantee it wouldn't be long. When I was there in 1993-94 the Islamic factions were condoning public execution and punishment for anyone who broke Muslim law. It. Was. Brutal. I saw first hand what it meant for someone to be "punished" and not killed outright. It was a slow death for most of them because of the lack of clean water and proper medical care. The hospitals were full of the punished. Fear of that punishment is what brought the so-called peace. It's those images that still provide fuel for my nightmares.

I too have never met a Somalian, here in the US, that I didn't like. When they find out I was a US soldier they usually thank me for having tried to bring some good to their country. For me, it's a massive embarassment and I'm apologetic for what my country and others involved DIDN'T accomplish.
Kinks: Bob the Knobthugg1ns on January 18th, 2007 07:41 pm (UTC)
Friday before last I ended up shooting pool with a Somali kid at Belltown Billiards. He shared some interesting stories and perspectives while buying me lots of Courvoisier for giving him "Billiards lessons".
Varnvarn_ix on January 18th, 2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
That's just wrong
Accepting booze, expensive, in a bar, from a Somali.

This reminds me! How do you tell a rich Ethiopian? He wears a Rolex about his waist.