Wednesday, January 10, 2007

From the Dept. of "Geez I Didn't See This One Coming"

From the Int'l Herald Tribune:

Violence erupts in Mogadishu. Story here.

Heard this story before?:

Mogadishu exploded in violence Wednesday morning after insurgents attacked a government barracks during the night and soldiers responded by sealing off large swaths of the city and searching house to house for weapons.

Brief commentary:

The transitional government comes in from Ethiopia, the Islamists "flee" in a quick withdrawal, and many (on both right and left) take this as a sign of real victory (remember Iraq anyone?). The Islamists of course are only playing the game that everyone has figured out by now.

Give up centralized power, flee the Americans--or American proxies in this case--and wait for the post-war conflict and then spread guerilla warfare. Keep the central government from gaining legitimacy by attacking public systems, military bases (psych ops), and random violence in neighborhoods. Sustain the group through black market sales (guns, drugs, whatever).

There was a moment for perhaps a different outcome: a key vote within the Islamist movement between its more moderate and radical elements--those terms relative, moderate not by Western standards I mean. The Americans/West denounced the entire movement en toto and surprise the radicals won the vote which led to this inevitable conclusion.

The country will return to militia/warlord control, the so-called transitional government being just another militia, which likely won't fall but won't gain control, and the Islamists becoming probably the most brutal of the militias.

Someone get me a Dept. of Reconstruction/Failed States stat.

As Barnett and Friedman have pointed out, if you ask people in the electricity business when there is a major outage (think New Orleans), the first three days are calm and quiet but by day 4, the mood changes to violence and rioting/violence ensues.

This three days was about 5 months or so in Iraq and in Somalia apparently really more like 2 weeks. After that 5 months, once power was not restored to pre-Saddam levels (which it still hasn't been to this f--ing day!!), the "war" as people call it (the post-war conflict more accurately) was already lost. Troop surge or no.


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