January 23, 2007


Ethiopia rides the tiger (Immanuel Wallerstein, January 23, 2007, International Herald Tribune)

The prime minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, must have been studying the magnificent successes of the U.S. pre-emptive invasion of Iraq and Israel's recent foray into Lebanon. He has clearly decided to emulate them. His argument is exactly that which was given by George W. Bush and Ehud Olmert: We must attack our neighbor because we have to keep Islamic terrorists from pursuing their jihad and attacking us.

In each case, the invader was sure of his military superiority and of the fact that the majority of the population would hail the attackers as liberators. Zenawi asserts he is cooperating in the U.S. struggle against terrorism. And indeed, the United States has offered not only its intelligence support but has sent in both its air force and units of special troops to assist the Ethiopians.

Still, each situation is different. And it is worth reviewing the recent history of the Horn of Africa, where countries have switched geopolitical sides with ease in the last 40 years.

The difference is instructive, because it illustrates why our war is unloseable while theirs are unwinnable. In Iraq we toppled a minority secular regime and installed government by a popular majority. The Israelis and Ethiopians seek to thwart popular native majorities and install secular puppets. We went with the tide of democracy, they're fighting it.

N.B.: Note that the Left and neocons believe we lost in Iraq because they'd prefer a secular regime irrespective of the wishes of the Iraqi people.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 23, 2007 8:21 PM

That's because both previous "Islamic" republics (Iran, Afghanistan) have been supporters of terrorists.

Posted by: Brandon at January 24, 2007 10:18 AM

Our Republic supports terrorism, no one more than the neocons.

Posted by: oj at January 24, 2007 10:39 AM

Actually, I think the neocons are hoping for a regime of non-murderers.

Posted by: pj at January 24, 2007 2:26 PM

If they cared about murder they wouldn't back groups like the MEK.

Posted by: oj at January 24, 2007 5:08 PM