We've had a wonderful victory in Somalia. Let's analyze what happened from a military and psychological point of view. Let's pick up from the point where the Somali dictatorship was somehow overthrown by clans in 1991. The clans couldn't agree on who should rule. It's not surprising that they didn't trust each other. These people are not humanists. How can one non-humanist put his trust in another non-humanist to look after his human rights? If I were them I would ask for external oversight of some sort, by a trustworthy country (e.g. Japan). But their racism probably wouldn't allow such a step, even though it is in their best interests.

The US came into the middle of this mess, but in a half-hearted manner. The basic problem was that the Somalis are racists/religious bigots and they cheer when they see the movie of the Black Hawk going down, despite the benevolence of the US force trying to help these people. The enemy was basically the people themselves, but there was no plan to effect a cultural change on them. So the US left without actually accomplishing anything.

Then recently the Islamic Courts movement came into existence. This was basically an ideological movement rather than clan-based, and due to their flexible ROE (rules of engagement were basically kill anyone you feel like, there's no accountability), the opposition actually feared them. If the US had flexible ROE, it could do the same thing, but political constraints prevent it from doing so. In a way, the Islamic Courts were a godsend. It allowed the clans/warlords to be defeated. The militias switched sides rather than face "Islamic justice". The Islamic Courts nearly took over the transitional government.

But Islamic goons are no match for a professional army. They of course believed their own propaganda, but the moment professional Ethiopians entered the battle they were swiftly defeated. They had no ability to assert force over others. Any public presence could be defeated. And that's exactly what happened. So the Islamic Courts did the dirty job of disbanding the clans, and the Ethiopians then got to inherit that work.

However, we still have the fundamental problem of the Somalis being religious bigots who don't appreciate the help that Ethiopia has provided, and have made attacks on Ethiopian troops. So the Ethiopians need to leave ASAP. The Somali government needs to create a thuggish interim army to prevent organized warlords from returning. It won't look pretty, but it's the LEAST WORST OPTION. The same thing that could be done in Iraq at any time too, as this article shows, and I quote:

"If all we wanted to do was turn out an army over there, an Iraqi army that wanted to go out and murder everybody over there, we could do that literally in a couple of weeks and go home."

An African Union force would be good to put into the mix. It is more difficult for the Somalis to hate Africa than hate Ethiopia. So I see 3 forces in Somalia.

1. A quick Somali thug army (much like Al Sadr's militia in Iraq) that the Ethiopians hand control over to.

2. Professional African Union forces that provide backup to the Somali government.

3. A professional Somali army to be built up over time.

The idea would be to decrease 1 as quickly as possible, increase 3 as quickly as possible, and get 2 to leave as soon as 3 is ready.

I would expect the thug army to simply shoot protesters on sight and basically have no judicial oversight. The thug "batallions" should have a mixture of clans in them to prevent the army from disintegrating along clan lines, and making it more difficult for the Somalis to fight it. The thug army's task is quite simple - prevent any opposing armed group from raising its ugly head.

The Somalis won't get human rights and rule of law until the professional army moves in. They're no worse off. They haven't had human rights and rule of law ever since "independence" anyway. At this point in history it is more important to maintain central control and allow gradual improvement of the situation than demand professional troops or nothing. At the same time they should ideally be working on cultural changes to introduce the concept of humanism.

If push comes to shove, the same thing needs to happen in Iraq. If the Americans choose to leave or redeploy to Iran, Maliki should relax the ROE of the Iraqi Army and do whatever needs to be done in order to stay in power. It is the LEAST WORST OPTION for getting the BEST LONG-TERM RESULT. No-one seemed to care when it was Saddam's thugs murdering for no long-term benefit, so no-one has a right to complain if Maliki is forced to use similar tactics as a TEMPORARY measure to protect Iraq's DEMOCRACY. Getting Switzerland overnight is unrealistic. And once again, cultural change is needed. But so long as US troops are available, such emergency measures are not required. So the best thing is to keep the US troops there for the moment. Although given the Iraqi people's opposition to foreign troops, again despite their benevolence, it is very tempting to just hand over the keys to Maliki and let the Iraqi people get what they deserve. But again, the most humane thing that can be done is to ignore the non-humanist behaviour of the Iraqi people and hope that one day future generations will find the morality required to give a big thanks to America.

UPDATE: Actually, there were US troops in both the UK and Australia during WWII, and in both places there existed those with anti-American sentiment. That is also to be condemned. And anti-American sentiment in both countries even today should also be condemned. I directly told one of my work colleagues that his anti-American bigotry was unacceptable. This is national bigotry, another thing that needs to be erased. Although in fairness to Australia and the UK, they weren't actually cheering on American deaths!!! Although one of my in-laws from Hong Kong apparently made a comment that America deserved 9/11 for throwing its weight about. Honestly, the failure to be able to distinguish between good and evil is breathtaking. Although even 50% of America is guilty of that - condemning Bush, a wonderful benevolent guy who brought freedom to 52 million people and sacrificed American blood and treasure to help others. What can I say? The world is a complete and utter mess. I hope I'm not too late to sort it out.

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