Saturday, January 06, 2007

AQ #2 Calls For Guerrilla War Against Ethiopian Forces In Somalia

From USA Today comes this article:

Al-Qaeda's No. 2 urged Somalia's Islamic militants on Friday to step up their attacks using Iraqi-style guerrilla warfare against government and Ethiopian forces in the first recorded message from the terror group this year.

Experts say the audiotape, posted on an Islamist website Friday, and other recent recordings indicate that al-Qaeda is intensifying its focus on the Horn of Africa where the terror network has a long history of operations.

For those that think this war is still all about capturing bin-Laden, please note that his followers are quite capable of carrying on without his support, moral or otherwise.

What we are seeing here is a force that had the momentum going its way, beginning to retreat after foreign intervention by a neighboring nation. Now that the Islamist forces are being overwhelmed by Ethiopian forces, we can plainly see that their new strategy is the same as the one employed by the Iraqis, immediately after the invasion began. But as we all know this is not a conventional retreat, but a call to blend in with the population and organize guerrilla attacks on an occupying force. However, I do not believe this is altogether something being called for as some great measure of bravery. Kenya had closed its border so militants cannot cross over into its territory and the U.S. has a blockade implemented to prevent the foreign instigators of this mess, from fleeing the country, in order to live and fight another day. Basically, they are trapped and have no other choice.

What will be interesting is, if these thugs begin a guerrilla operation against the Ethiopian forces and if the Ethiopians choose to fight either a politically correct war, or to flush them out and kill them mercilessly.

"I call upon the Muslim nation in Somalia to remain in the new battlefield that is one of the crusader battlefields that are being launched by America and its allies and the United Nations against Islam and Muslims," Osama bin Laden's deputy Ayman al-Zawahri said in the audiotape.

"Launch ambushes, land mines, raids and suicidal combats until you consume them as the lions and eat their prey," the Egyptian-born al-Zawahri said. He also urged Muslims in other Mideast and African countries to support the Islamists battling the troops from Ethiopia, a country with a large Christian population.

For those that believe that religion plays little or no role in this, you might want to think again. Ethiopia is approximately one-third Muslim and almost two thirds Christian. What is amazing to me is the fact that these two groups have lived in the same country for years, without an extremely large amount of strife between them. Christianity has deep roots in Ethiopia and unlike other African countries, pre-dates European colonialism, as well as Islam. What I believe is happening here is the distinct fear that an Islamic republic in Somalia will eventually proliferate into their country. With one-third of a Muslim population, that certainly is a valid concern. Therefore, we are seeing a proactive intervention to minimize that possibility.

Remarkably, there seems to be little overall outrage about this action, certainly a lot less than the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The only ones that are making noise are those that are supporting the Islamists, like AQ. The fear I have is, that radical elements are implementing a policy very similar to that of the old Soviet Union, that is to say, the Domino Theory. If fundamental Islamists were to run candidates and get elected legally through the system that is in place, respect the rights of its citizenry regardless of their faith, and not actively seek to spread their doctrine to neighboring nations through violent means, one could not make the argument against them. But, with what we have been witnessing here and in other places in the world is hard to ignore.

Ethiopia has chosen to not bury its head in the sand, like many others that are faced with this dilemma (as well as those that possibly could be faced with it, in the future).


jph said...

Remember that republic of Djibouti is not far , a common border in the north of ethiopia. There s US and french militaries overthere. Somalia, ethiopia ( and djibouti) are a strategic area on the african corner.

Always On Watch Two said...

Good on Ethiopia for routing the Islamists in Somalia! Temporary victory? Maybe, maybe not.

Greg said...

I want to laugh at those who say Ethiopia's intervention is "dangerous" or "illegal." Where were these chicken-littles when the islamo-nazis were taking power from the UN-recognized government and killing people for watching the World Cup in public?

Al Qaeda is desperately seeking a new safe haven since losing Afghanistan. Can we all agree they need to be stopped at all costs? I guess not!

LASunsett said...


//Can we all agree they need to be stopped at all costs? I guess not!//

I think you know where I stand on this. ;)

Greg said...

Oh, LAS, WE the people of poli-yy can agree. But plenty of those who enjoy the freedoms of western society are apparently not so sure! I guess I disagree with you when you say that those unhappy with the recent developments are supporters of the islamists (like Zawahiri). From the western MSM, you get a lot of quotes like this, from the NYT:

"The Islamists, using Islam as a bridge, did a better job than any recent authority to unite warring clans. But their military was no match for the better-trained, better-equipped Ethiopian-led troops, and now that the Islamists are gone, many fear a return to clan mayhem."

Or this, from the BBC:

"And so far, the Ethiopians are pretty pleased with themselves. The Ethiopians are trying to fill the power vacuum in Mogadishu. As a darling of the West, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has been able to get away with brutally putting down internal dissent in his own country, and now moving thousands of troops into Somalia. A warmonger he may be, but Mr Meles is on the side of President Bush and Tony Blair in the "war on terror", and he is the most important leader in a rough neighbourhood. "

I also have an LA Times article extolling the virtues of the islamic "stability" over the "chaos of warlords" advocated by America. I kid you not.

BTW, when you say If fundamental Islamists were to run candidates and get elected legally through the system that is in place, respect the rights of its citizenry regardless of their faith, and not actively seek to spread their doctrine to neighboring nations through violent means, you should have ended it with "then they wouldn't be fundamental islamists"!

Greg said...

BTW, have you noticed when you're a card-carrying member of the World Left, you always have to put war on terror in quotes, to denote that it doesn't really exist, except in the minds of crazy neo-cons? (There are other requirements of the club, such as worshipping Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and Ahmadinejad; owning & wearing clothes that proclaim Bush "World #1 Terrorist"; and pining for Saddam Hussein. They are always accepting new members).