June 20, 2006


Somali peace force moves closer (BBC, 6/20/06)

The African Union and western diplomats have agreed to send a team to Somalia to assess the possibility of deploying peacekeepers there.

The assessment team will decide how many troops would be needed.

The Islamists, who control the capital Mogadishu, fiercely oppose the idea and last week held large protests. [...]

After a meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, AU Peace and Security Commissioner Said Djinnit told reporters that there was unanimity among the international community to support the interim government, which has requested peacekeepers. [...]

Intense diplomatic pressure is being applied by the international community to try to stop Somalia, which has had no effective government for 15 years, from spiralling further into civil war.

If the Islamists are willing to work with the international community there's a legitimate role for them--if not they have to accept the cosequences.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 20, 2006 8:54 AM

Somalia has had no government for 15 years. So, exactly who (or what) is being pressured?

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 20, 2006 9:48 AM

Are the Muslims more afraid of the Christians or the animists?

Posted by: ratbert at June 20, 2006 9:49 AM

Afraid? Of neither. Angered by chaotic amorality.

Posted by: oj at June 20, 2006 11:08 AM

I love that phrasing "from spiralling further into civil war." How much further into civil war could Somalia go?

Posted by: Brandon at June 20, 2006 11:33 AM


Chaotic amorality - could that include suicide bombings, bus bombings, car bombings, hotel bombings, nightclub bombings, pizza parlor bombings, rockets fired into neighborhoods, random lethal shooting(s), and even beheadings?

And exactly where have such been happening?

Posted by: ratbert at June 20, 2006 11:47 AM

Not where Islamists are in control.

Posted by: oj at June 20, 2006 11:51 AM

Where they want to be in control.

Posted by: Gideon at June 20, 2006 12:05 PM

Ha! A distinction without a difference.

Under the Taliban, there was random murder and beating, public spectacles of punishment for what even you must admit were primarily spurious charges, and yes, chaotic amorality (the drug trade, the weapons trade, and rampant pedophilia).

In Saudi Arabia, there is no chaos, but there is plenty of amorality and plenty of hidden violence, both private and state-sponsored. Hint: don't be a guest worker there.

In Iran, there is probably little chaos (would there were more), but there is plenty of state violence, both private and public.

Sudan is imposing chaotic amorality on half its population, no?

And surely you have read about life in Fallujah and Ramadi before Al-Qaeda was driven out? If that isn't amorality, then the word is meaningless.

Posted by: ratbert at June 20, 2006 12:10 PM

The state must have a monopoly on violence. Reforming the state is rather easier than establishing that monopoly.

Posted by: oj at June 20, 2006 12:12 PM

The notion that the state is to have a monoply of the means of force is a vicious, un-American heresy. Most fortunately, we live in a country where both individuals and civil society have reserved the right to self-defense and to effective self-defense.

Properly, understod, "violence" refers to illegitimate force. Self-defense is a matter of natural law. It cannot be denied, only frustrated.

By coincidence, I participated in an interesting discussion among Second Amendment activists last evening. Our topic was anti-gun prejudices in the MSM and in Academia. It was pointed out that the hard left considers the RKBA an instrument of white male domination precisely because it is a foil to domestic terror.

Because of private possession of the means of self-defense, domestic terror, as expressed in the leftist slogan, "No justice, no peace," is thwarted. A state monopoly of the means of force allows the state to utilize the "socially friendly elements"--the criminals--to terrorize the "bourgiosie"--you and me--into ceding all power to the "vanguard."

Private posession of the means of force permits the individual to answer the demand for, "Your money or your life," with, "None of the above."

This is true under circumstances far short of open civil war. At the least, private arms allow a consciousness of the potential of self-defense and the negation of the spiritual condition of helpless dependency.

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 20, 2006 1:29 PM

Yes, once the state has established its monopoly and physical security is in effect it can cede back certain limited rights to use force to others in extraordinary circumstances.

Posted by: oj at June 20, 2006 1:33 PM

Any real world examples of that? There are lots of counter examples (USSR, North Korea, China, Vietnam, …).

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at June 20, 2006 1:36 PM

England, America, Canada...

Every healthy nation.

Posted by: oj at June 20, 2006 1:39 PM

So, our rights aren't God-given? I had always thought that they were endowed by the Creator and that we (as a people) allowed the government to have certain rights. Now you say exactly the opposite, that all rights spring from the government.

Posted by: Bryan at June 20, 2006 1:51 PM

Obviously there is no God-given right to use force against others, just life and liberty.

Liberty means that as a society we can determine circumstances when all can use force, though, since it's not an inalienable right we needn't do so.

Posted by: oj at June 20, 2006 1:58 PM

You might want to drop England from that list - they have surrendered on this front, haven't they? The state will barely use force for a good purpose, and the citizenry is more or less cowed into victimhood by the police.

Posted by: ratbert at June 20, 2006 2:09 PM

I would say that you have a God-given right to defend yourself. Shoot, I would even go so far as to say it's your God-ordered duty.

By the way, I noticed you listed Canada and England as "healthy" nations. Aren't you also the guy continually yammering about the death of England and Canada? How can you be healthy and dying at the same time?

Posted by: Bryan at June 20, 2006 2:11 PM


Yes, they think the state monopoly suffices and it pretty much does.

Posted by: oj at June 20, 2006 2:18 PM


You're not morally obligated to let someone kill you. That doesn't convey a "right" to use force.

Posted by: oj at June 20, 2006 2:20 PM

So now this is tacit approval of pacifism?
You never answered the second question.

Posted by: Bryan at June 20, 2006 2:22 PM

No, I disapprove of pacifism. But you don't not have a right to be one.

You're healthy and dying, no?

Posted by: oj at June 20, 2006 2:28 PM

Mr. Judd;

For all of your examples, you might look at the time lapse from establishment of the polity until it had reformed. That sort of time scale does not support you contention of the ease of reform.

P.S. In fact, one could make a strong argument that in all of your cases, the reform came first, which then enabled the government the strength to establish its monopoly on force.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at June 21, 2006 12:09 AM

Yes, it takes a bit of time. Things needn't happen on your schedule.

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2006 12:32 AM

No doubt there's "chaotic amorality" in Somalia, but the Islamists seem to think it involves hairstyles, visible female ankles, and TV soccer, based on who they've been beating up recently. OJ seems to think that's a step forward, but I don't.

And what Islamists have ever been "willing to work with the international community"?

Posted by: PapayaSF at June 21, 2006 3:02 AM

All. It's Islamicists who haven't and there've only been a couple such regimes. No sense treating these guys like the Taliban unless they act like them.

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2006 7:33 AM

Are you now endorsing the vaunted Arab League, and all their work in the "international community"?

Posted by: ratbert at June 21, 2006 10:36 AM

Mr. Judd;

It's not my schedule, it's yours. If thing B generally takes much longer than thing A, that is a strong argument that B is harder than A. So if reforming government generally takes a long longer than establishing a force monopoly, that makes your claim about reform being easier than establishment untenable.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at June 21, 2006 10:42 AM

The Arab League can be useful to us.

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2006 11:46 AM

Sure, but A took tens of thousands of years. A takes a couple hundred. No big deal temporally.

Posted by: oj at June 21, 2006 11:49 AM