...best known for Black Hawk Down and Pirates.
How much do you know about Somalia? Two web sites are enlightening:
CIA Fact Book
Wiki (sponsored by pro-Somalians)
Here is an interesting example of "spin". The pro-Somalian Wiki site, under the category of "health" states "Somalia has one of the lowest HIV infection rates in all of Africa. This is attributed to the Muslim nature of Somali society and adherence of Somalis to Islamic morals." That all it says under Health.
The CIA site lists a variety of facts including "death rate" and "major infectious diseases". The death rate is 20th from the highest out of 224 nations. This probably results from the Islamic morals killing off the gay Somalians to keep the aids rate low.
"Black Hawk Down" is more specifically the Battle of Mogadishu (capitol and largest city with 2 million) in 1993. In short, the US had good intentions, but the whole sordid affair is appropriately filed under the heading "no good deed goes unpunished."
Several understated "lessons learned" include:
The Somalian folks are different from us in numerous ways
They have a different morality
They have a different form of government (tribal anarchy)
Their communication systems, while nearly stone age except for the requisite number of cell phones used for rallying the folks and blowing up things, achieves their animalistic objectives.
They gather and fight like wolf-packs.
And they are Muslim.
Piracy is their other claim to fame. It began during their civil war in the early 1990's and really came to world attention only within the past two years. And now with the first US-flagged ship to be pirated in 200 years - wait, here is breaking news from a press conference now taking place at the White House. I'll quote what I hear - the President is speaking...
"and, mmm, this is the tenth time in three days you folks have asked me about the pirates. Look. And this is all I will say. We are in discussion with our friends in Somalia. That's it. Back to the economy. As I was saying..."
Yes, a President sympathetic to Muslims, declining to confront an Islamic nation in the face of an ongoing atrocity. I hope I'm wrong, but I see another bailout about to occur. Billions to AIG - why not two million to Somali pirates?
Some current news suggests that the pirates might back down and simply agree with the release of the Captain of the Alabama and free passage of the group of four pirates without holding out for ransom. That would be nice, but would not end the ongoing national Somalian pastime. The reason I am not President of the US is shortly after all our folks have been safely retrieved, I would pound the tar out of every port and mother (f-----g) ship the Somalians were ever known to use. And if our folks are not immediately returned or are harmed, I would do the same thing and probably more.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration is still deliberating. They are wondering whether a preemptive strike is warranted. Officials say that U.S. intelligence has no evidence it is planning attacks outside Somalia. WHAT? Another intelligence failure? This "failure of intelligence" this time is of both types: Information gathering and common sense. On-going state-sponsored piracy in international waters isn't an attack outside Somalia?
Another twilight zone moment.