Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Violence Spreading to Ethiopia

Story here from Wapo.

Gunmen attack a Chinese run oil facility in Ethiopia--near the Somali border. Open-source 4th GW at its best/worst. Target civilian critical infrastructure institutions, kill foreign and domestic workers. 69 dead so far.

The article does not name whether a group has taken responsibility for the attack (edit: read update below).

First major attack I can think of on China in the Global South of this magnitude. They are going to increase in the next decade sadly. Meanwhile the Bush administration still keeps China at arms length and other even more hardliners in the administration want a war with them.

In relation to Somali itself, chaos is breaking in Mogadishu. Story here. Another instance of letting the forces come into urban terrain, losing the "war" and then swarming to kill the peace.

Update: The group behind the attack has been id'ed: The Ogaden National Liberation Front. They are Ethnic Somalis living in Ethiopia who (surprise, surprise) want an independent mini-state in the region.

tags technorati :
tags technorati :


At 3:22 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

Thanks for the info - this is indeed an important thing to note.

I think for me the scariest thing about China is all those young men they have, who far out number the young women, that they're going to have to figure out what to do with. A friend who has lived in China, taught there, and regularly visits, often says she think they'll have to go to war, because it's "the only way to take care of all those young men."

Sadly, those workers who were killed can be easily replaced by the scads of young, unattached Chinese men looking for employment.

At some point, we are all going to have to deal with China - US, Canada, all the countries who have been avoiding... There are serious issues around quality of life and impact on the environment, that are going to have to be dealt with. And things are going to get worse, far worse, before they get any better.

At 4:01 PM, Blogger CJ Smith said...


Thanks for the note.

I'm not as convinced by the young man have to go to war theory. At least in a globalized world. They will go, as you pointed out, to economic war.

i.e. They will import wives from poorer countries (Thais, Vietnamese, Cambodians). They will start going all over the world in even larger numbers than currently are.

China also is going to be I think the leader behind green technological revolutions. Not the US or I would say even Canada.

William McDonough is building green towns in China with the support of the government.

My main concern is that the West, particularly the US, has economic but not political-military ties to the region. Sounds like pre-WWI Europe scarily.

As a Christian this is a difficult issue for me because I am deeply sympathetic to those pressing for human rights in China. On the other my political realist tells me the US and China have to help create security regimes in a terrorist-laden world of the 21st century. They have the most to lose, therefore they have they most to invest in.

So on one hand I wonder if I'm pushing against Empire (locally) while at the same time supporting it (globally).

At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The complaints about China among politicians in America is really about their failure in serving the interest of interest groups and corporations and not to balancing the trade deficit.

If people really do some digging, they'll realize that China and the US have a deep economic relationship ... the question for the US is how deep of a relationship do they want to have with China.

I believe that the reason the US hasn't been more proacting in dealing with human rights issues and democrazation is that policy makers fear that China will replace the US as the leaders of the free world and become a greater power ... and it is indeed something to worry about. I think that US strategy for the past couple of years is to wait for China to implode and then aggressively buy their assets/debts so the US can have levarage over China.

That option is looking slimmer and slimmer.

China will have to officially drop the communism moniker in the near future .... not because of any major confrontation with the West but becuase it's just bad business. As China invests more heavily in other emerging markets, people of those countries will be hesitant to have a positive relationship with them.

The good news for China is that they are more a Confucian government than a Communist one. Singapore would provide an example for China in creating a liberal Confucian Meritocracy. If France is serious about liberalizing their economy, I suspect France and China are going to have a very close relationship in years to come. As the US closes the trade gap with China, the French provides a valuable market for China (Chinese manufacturing products in exchange for French technology ... airplanes, speedtrain, nuclear etc.) It's also a great opportunity for France to help China become more acceptable on the world stage by working with them on human rights issues, law reforms and capital market reform. Such a relationship wouldn't be threatening to China and France is more than willing accept China as being a greater power.


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