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Today: 77 articles and 187 comments as of 17:56.
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Area: WoT Operations    WoT Background    Non-WoT        Politix    Posting Order
North Korea 'launches long-range rocket'
Today's Headlines
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 3: Non-WoT
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Page 6: Politix
6 19:43 Charles [6460]
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Africa Horn
Somalia's tentative recovery
[Dawn] FINALLY, some good news from Somalia: according to a new issue of the French weekly Gay Paree Match, the Somali shilling has doubled in value against the dollar over the last two years. The international airport at Mogadishu has been refurbished, and now boasts of a duty-free shop. Turkish Airlines operates three weekly flights to Istanbul as a result of a visit by Recep Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister. Tellingly, the immigration form for arriving passengers no longer contains the old entry for firearms being carried in.

The same issue of the magazine informs us that the price of fish has shot up because of new restaurants opening up to cater for the increasing number of foreigners and returning expatriate Somalis. A new six-story hotel is coming up in the capital. Male and female students are returning to schools and university.

In large measure, this return to normality is due to the defeat of the terrorist group Harkat al-Mujahideen al-Shabaab
... the successor to the Islamic Courts...
by the forces of the African Mission for Somalia established by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). This force, sanctioned by the UN, has been very successful in pushing the forces of Evil out of Mogadishu, and from other towns as well. The effort to eject the hard boy thugs out of the country began last year, and has made steady success.

The other factor underpinning the Somali success story is the return of some 300,000 migrants who had been forced to leave their country due to the complete breakdown of law and order. With their money and their entrepreneurial spirit, the rebuilding of Somalia is under way. Scattered across North America and Europe, this diaspora made its mark by dint of hard work and self-help.

Considering that Somalia was for years synonymous with our notion of a failed state, this recovery is nothing short of miraculous. For decades, the country was caught up in murderous tribal warfare that destroyed much of Mogadishu. A slice of this mayhem was captured by the Nineties film Blackhawk Down that depicted the failed American effort to restore some order and bring in food supplies. In the event, Bill Clinton pulled out US forces after they lost a number of soldiers. The Pak contingent sent as part of a UN peacekeeping force also sustained heavy casualties.

Whatever was left was demolished by the Shebab in their bid to impose a Taliban-like theocracy on Somalia. These holy warriors modelled themselves on the Afghan and Pak Taliban, banning everything from music to sports. Symbolising the return to sanity is the reopening of the National Theatre, a building earlier used by the Shebab as an arms depot and then as a public toilet.

I went to Mogadishu in the mid-Sixties for a vacation from university when my father was sent there by Unesco to establish a university and a public education system for the newly independent state. It was a small, sleepy town then with proud but friendly people. I recall being very struck by the fact that when our driver brought my father home from work, he would come and chat with us in the living room for a little while. His brother, my father told us, was the education minister.

Since that trip, I have followed the travails of the country with growing dismay. Repeated bouts of famine, in part caused by the civil war, only hastened Somalia's descent into chaos. After a provisional government was established with international support, the country was again subjected to yet another round of violence when the Shebab attempted to take control. For years, Mogadishu was a divided city with the young forces of Evil calling the shots.

The country is also plagued by a nest of pirates who prey on ships sailing hundreds of miles from the coast. Their links to the Shebab have been reported, and their depredations have been the subject of widespread international concern and action. The success of these pirates illustrates what happens when a state loses control, and has some parallels with Pakistain's tribal areas.

The return of a tenuous stability augurs well for this east African state. If it can build democratic institutions, it might well emerge from decades of violence and abject poverty. Luckily, it has many well-wishers: the West as well as its neighbours realise that a collapsed Somali state means trouble for the entire region.
Posted by: Fred || 12/11/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under: al-Shabaab

Africa North
Islamic Fascism: the Nazi Connection
Posted by: tipper || 12/11/2012 03:28 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  You don't have to scratch too deep.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 12/11/2012 7:53 Comments || Top||

#2  Mo supposedly descends from Ishmael (son of Hagar the handmaiden) and recognized by some as the patriarch of Islam. Muslims have been PO'd for a long time. Reminds one of a modern day leader of a powerful country.
Posted by: JohnQC || 12/11/2012 9:47 Comments || Top||

Update On The Deepening Egyptian Financial Crisis
Spengler, writing at PJ Media, gives the latest details translated from Egypt's Arab language press as the country careens toward its most likely status as North Korea on the Nile.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/11/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  FTA: The difference between Egypt and a banana republic is — the bananas.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 12/11/2012 0:04 Comments || Top||

#2  #1....no bananas but 20 top of the line F-16s on the way.
Posted by: borgboy || 12/11/2012 0:29 Comments || Top||

#3  If he was a muslim would he act/behave/do anything differently?
Posted by: mossomo || 12/11/2012 16:48 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
California: A new 'Mad Max' sequel?
"Let's be honest, we don't have enough police officers. We have too many criminals living in this city. We have had 45 murders this year ... that's far too high for a city of this size," Penman said.

Talking to a local group, Mr. Penman also said, "Go home, lock your doors and load your gun."

"Penman was stating the obvious in what is happening throughout the state," Sam Paredes told us; he's the executive director of Gun Owners of California, a gun rights group. "Law-abiding citizens are buying more guns than ever." He estimated that 1 million guns will be sold in the state this year. "With all the stories and articles about prison realignment," in which state prisoners have been released, or sent to local jails, "people are realizing that their primary means of defense is themselves."

Unfortunately, the Democrats' new two-thirds-plus supermajority in the Legislature may embolden them to go to extremes. Mr. Paredes warned that Democrats will try to pass more gun-control legislation, in particular requiring the registration of ammunition and defining "assault weapons" so narrowly as to include hunting rifles.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 12/11/2012 12:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Seems like California is getting to a Mad Max scenario for real.
Posted by: JohnQC || 12/11/2012 16:41 Comments || Top||

#2  They keep electing Pols whom don't close the loopholes + keep diverting $$$ from where it was intended, etc.

Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/11/2012 19:00 Comments || Top||

Who's in the News
6Govt of Pakistan
5Arab Spring
4Govt of Iran
2al-Qaeda in North Africa
2al-Qaeda in Arabia
2Govt of Syria
1al-Qaeda in Pakistan
1al-Qaeda in Iraq
1Global Jihad

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Two weeks of WOT
Tue 2012-12-11
  North Korea 'launches long-range rocket'
Mon 2012-12-10
  Rebels Seize Chunk of Aleppo Base as Fighting Rages across Syria
Sun 2012-12-09
  Mohammad Ahmed Almansoor Drone-zapped in North Wazoo
Sat 2012-12-08
  Abu-Zaid al Kuwaiti Drone-zapped During Breakfast
Fri 2012-12-07
  6 dead, 450 injured in clashes at Egypt's presidential palace
Thu 2012-12-06
  Two Dead as Egypt Islamists Overrun Opposition Tents
Wed 2012-12-05
  Hundreds of thousands besiege Egypt's presidential palace to protest draft constitution
Tue 2012-12-04
  Syria FM Spokesman 'Defects' from Regime, Leaves Syria
Mon 2012-12-03
  Car bomb in Syria's Homs kills 15: State media
Sun 2012-12-02
  Mullah Nazir orders out Mehsud Taliban fighters
Sat 2012-12-01
  Egypt assembly approves new draft constitution
Fri 2012-11-30
  Damascus fighting cuts off airport, Emirates suspends flights
Thu 2012-11-29
  Bomb injures top Talibunny Mullah Nazir
Wed 2012-11-28
  Packed Tahrir Square defiant as deadlock prevails
Tue 2012-11-27
  30 Inmates Escape as Gunmen Attack Nigerian Police Unit

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