It simply doesn’t exist,but because it stirs up images of a recent past, the US conflict in Somali in the ’90s and an even more distant past America is bound to get involved in east Africa again. It doesn’t matter that only one percent of shipping through the Gulf of Aden is affected, and I’d venture to say with a few well armed and trained Blackwater mercs on board the numbers would be even fewer, or that despite the media characterization these “pirates” are manning wooden motorboats and carrying small arms, the US and some within government are determined to re-invade Somalia because the problem of pirates must be addressed on shore….there is a “shore dimension” a nicely worded way of saying American forces must be on the ground in Somalia. I don’t understand this fascination America has with Somalia. We encouraged Ethiopia to go to war and invade Somalia and are threatening to do the same ourselves because of motorboats and two to three dozen hard core jihadists who have arrived in Somalia from the mountains of Pakistan/Afghanistan. (have they really?) Add to that the Hezbollah forces Israel “says” are in east Africa and you have the potential for east Africa becoming the most dangerous region in the world, certainly worthy of more American blood and largesse, a la Iraq, and the mother of all misdirection plays. Remember how we were fighting them there in Iraq so we wouldn’t have to fight them here in America? That same kind of simplistic language was used to fuel anti-communist hysteria in the ’50s and ’60s. Some of the greatest fraud known to man was taking place from the coffers of the once rich and powerful America, during the Iraq debacle, reducing the US to a debtor country teetering on the brink of financial ruin. This kind of rhetoric of Somali pirates who need to be dealt with by American forces, should no longer find an audience in America but it still does and we are the worse for it. It’s somewhat ironic the same images are plaguing a Democratic president, Obama, who has been compared to another Democratic president, Kenneday, who gave in to the impulses for war in a foreign land, Vietnam, that was no threat to American intersts where a large number of Americans died. My solution to Somali pirates is the same as it would be for any thug on the street. Let those who ply their trade on the water arm themselves and be prepared to defend their cargo. If its worth profitting from its worth defending, absent the US Navy. Blackwater could use a contract or two.
Yes, I know they have their own problems, the Egyptians do, with their special brand of democracy and their nose planted firmly in the behind of an American foreign policy which allows for renditions of Muslims from all over the world to their bases to be tortured or disappeared, but it was all in the interest of American interests, right? But now, they have taken a somewhat independent track by their pronouncement that Israeli nukes are a greater threat to security in the region than Iranian ones. In my mind that’s not really saying much since at the moment Iran doesn’t have any nuclear weapons whereas Israel does, but it’s the symbolism that counts, and it’s significant for obvious reasons. A state has taken a critical position against Israel at a time when the Jewish state refuses to accept, acknowledge or even entertain criticism of its actions. There’s no indication the Egyptian statement will be met with anything other than typical Israeli obfuscation and bluster.Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmo’s flippant ‘unless he produces evidence to support his claims’ statement is an indication of that. Would that someone said to Palmo the same when he asserts so vividly that Iran has nuclear weapons it has threatened its neighbors with. (Let’s not forget, Iran has inspectors monitoring its nuclear program, Israel doesn’t. Fancy that.) And all this comes on the news that Israel had a practice run from its border to Gilbraltar in preparation for a strike against Europe…..err make that Iran. Coming so soon after warning the European Union that it would not tolerate criticism of the new government, the flight path of Israeli warplanes practicing for a strike against a country 180 degrees in the other direction clearly is meant to send more than a few signs. In light of that, Egypt was right to say what it said. The “evidence” is rather overwhelming; what’s unfortunate is Egypt lacks the moral authority to make that call; it surrendered it as did the US when it gave in to the dark side of US foreign policy and embraced torture as its rule of law. Unencumbered by such moral indignation, Israel feels free to do whatever it pleases and is taking the world perilously close to another war of death and destruction. Why we continue to embrace an ally who takes us down that path is anyone’s guess.