December 26, 2006


Islamists flee Ethiopian onslaught in Somalia (Mike Pflanz, 27/12/2006, Daily Telegraph)

Ethiopian troops routed Islamist forces in fighting and air strikes across Somalia yesterday, killing 1,000 and forcing survivors into a hurried retreat.

Fighters of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) were pushed out of several strategic towns close to the seat of Somalia's weak transitional government, which Addis Ababa has sent 4,000 troops to protect. Convoys of technicals – pick-ups fitted with anti-aircraft guns – were speeding south from the frontline towards their power base in Mogadishu, with the Ethiopians giving chase.

Militia members ride a truck mounted with anti-aircraft gun as they arrive at the former milk factory compound in Mogadishu
Abdikarin Farah, Somalia's ambassador to Ethiopia, said in Addis Ababa: "Ethiopian forces are on their way to Mogadishu. They are about 40 miles away and they could capture it in 48 hours."

The more organized Islamicists are the easier target they make.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 26, 2006 10:06 PM

But haven't you spent weeks telling us that the Somali Muslims were different?

Posted by: ratbert at December 26, 2006 11:20 PM

And the Ethliopians were defending the honor of Sally Struthers. With that kind of motivation, nothing could stop them. Not a fair fight.

Posted by: ghoscat at December 27, 2006 12:24 AM

They can win in Somolia but the US couldn't! We've been surpassed as the global superpower, not by the Chinese or Russians, but by the Etheopians! How sad.

Posted by: Ralph at December 27, 2006 2:39 AM

They're beating Islamicists, not warlords, and won't be able to stay either.

Posted by: oj at December 27, 2006 7:05 AM

Weren't the Islamic Courts suppose to be great because they were bring 'order' to the chaos in Somalia?

Posted by: tps at December 27, 2006 7:10 AM


It's obviously not a good thing for the Somalis that their best shot at a decent and stable state is slipping away. But it's a truism that Islamicist states and organizations won't be able to maintain themselves out in the open.

Posted by: oj at December 27, 2006 7:10 AM

The Taliban was until we intervened.

Posted by: Ralph at December 27, 2006 7:14 AM

Obviously Ethiopians don't want crazies on their borders, so instead of going to the UN and begging for help, they're taking direct action to rid themselves of undesirable neighbors. Good for them.

Posted by: erp at December 27, 2006 10:53 AM

This situation will not stay the same for long, the Somali’s don’t want the Ethiopians there so they will end up in the same “bass ackwards” situation that we are in Afghanistan right now. I am Christian and a former Marine and I believe a proponent of democracy. However, the choice here is either to support the warlords who I can’t even begin to list the atrocities they committed against the general population of Somalia or the Islamic Courts Union, who have provided at least a degree of stability to this nation.

The people of Somalia are predominately Muslim, so it really is their choice. The people of Somalia do not want the Ethiopians in their country and will fight, the more we push on the Ethiopian / Warlord side, the more the people will push back and the more innocent children, women and men who will die needlessly.

Fact is, if we support the ICU and the people of Somalia, show good will, help rebuild infrastructure, build schools, roads and hospitals with the words “A GIFT FROM THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES”, we have a better chance of having influence with that government and better chance of ever bringing true democracy to that country. We have to look long term, and in the long term, it would be best to support the ICU.

The media is hyping the “Taliban” stuff in order to mask our support of the warlords coalition and the US and UN’s overall failure in that part of the world.

Posted by: DJ Black Adam at December 27, 2006 1:34 PM

Here's a radical idea, let's leave the Ethiopians to their work and just cheer from the sidelines.

Posted by: erp at December 27, 2006 4:58 PM

Yes, the Islamicists should have had sense enough to just consolidate their rule at home, but they'll have little trouble driving the Ethiopians out.

Posted by: oj at December 27, 2006 10:20 PM


As should be abundantly clear by now, there is no Somalia. The Ethiopians are no more out of place in Mogadishu than the Islamists.

Posted by: Mike Earl at December 28, 2006 9:36 AM

Actually the Ethiopians won two out of three from the Italians with, granted, some help from the British on the third.

Posted by: Jim Miller at December 28, 2006 9:59 AM


There's no Somalia, either. The Ethiopians are no less at home in Mogadishu than the Islamists are.

Posted by: Mike Earl at December 28, 2006 10:53 AM

Wanna put some money on who controls the Mog two years from now?

Posted by: oj at December 28, 2006 11:40 AM

Presumably the same warlords as now and recently; I dunno whose policies they'll be paying lip service to then.

Of course, the Free State Project might decide to go their en massse...

Posted by: Mike Earl at December 28, 2006 12:46 PM