Friday, March 30, 2007

Rhymes with Black Hawk Down

As the old saying goes, history doesn't repeat, but it rhymes. If that's true, the situation in Somalia is playing out in iambic pentameter. In a prior post, I took note of Somalis dragging killed Ethiopian soldiers through the streets of Mogadishu. Rueters brings more homophonic news from that war-torn nation:

Rebels shot down a helicopter gunship in Mogadishu on Friday in a second day of battles as Ethiopian and Somali forces sought to crush an insurgency by Islamists and clan militia. [...]

The bloody scenes recalled the shooting down by militiamen of two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters in 1993 during a failed U.S. mission to hunt down Mogadishu warlords.

Echoing Jonathan Edelstein's warning that Somalia may succumb to a level of violence far worse than that seen during the decade and a half of warlord inspired violence (bad enough, that), those on the ground are sounding the alarm:

The International Committee of the Red Cross said the people of Mogadishu are caught up in the worst fighting in more than 15 years.

The dead and wounded are literally piling up in the streets:

Mogadishu resident Abdi Hussein Aboke said he saw 10 bodies in the street Friday, all apparently civilians.

"Some were lying in alleys between houses while others were lying on the streets," he said. [...]

More than 100 people have been wounded since Thursday, and the toll of dead and injured looked sure to rise.

"There are a lot of wounded, but there is no way to take them to the hospitals due to the fighting," Jamah added.

Many, many more are heading for the exits:

Local media said panic-stricken civilians continued to flee the city on Friday, many of them piling their possessions on donkey-carts. The United Nations refugee agency said 12,000 had left Mogadishu in the last week alone. [...]

The U.N.'s refugee agency said 57,000 people have fled violence in the Somali capital since the beginning of February....

Despite these reports, Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi offers a familiar corrective:

"This is what the mass media is spreading, but the reality is different," he told the BBC from Riyadh.

Yeah, sure. All he needs now is a Somali Arthur Chrenkoff to share all the good news about Somalia that the treasonous, terror-coddling MSM is failing to report. For example, how many schools were painted by the invading Ethiopian military? Why don't we ever hear about that?

Speaking of which, let's take a look at how our goodwill ambassadors are aiding the cause of combating terrorism and extremist, anti-American ideology in the region.

While Christian-led Ethiopia clearly hopes this week's offensive will crush the rebels once and for all, it may have the opposite effect of further alienating the city's population or attracting foreign Muslim jihadists, the experts said. [...]

...On Thursday, a White House report said that despite recent setbacks to Islamic radicals in Somalia, foreign terrorists are still able to find a haven there because of the country's lack of governance, which contributes to a growing security threat throughout East Africa. [emph. added throughout]

Well then, at least we cleared that up.

(note: the quotes were taken from two separate articles linked to in this post, but due to the common themes discussed in each, and stylistic reasons, some of the quotes were placed together)

(Photo courtesy of Shabelle Media/Reuters)

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