Monday, December 18, 2006

Distracted in Iraq

Of the many rotating rationalizations that BushCo. has given for the invasion of Iraq, "fighting them [terrorists, al Qaeda, etc] there so we don't have to fight them here" has been one of the most touted in right-wing circles. And one of the most ridiculous. There were no terrorists in Iraq until after we destroyed Hussein's capability to keep them out and did nothing to replace it.

Even so, the rationalization may not have gone completely unheeded.

While our attention and military have been bogged down in Iraq and unable to finish what should have been its primary mission in Afghanistan, al Qaeda has been busy. Not just helping to reestablish the Taliban in Afghanistan, but elsewhere as well:

Six months ago, the Bush administration launched a new policy in war-torn Somalia, putting the State Department in charge after secret CIA efforts failed to prevent Islamic fundamentalists from seizing power in Mogadishu. It hoped that diplomacy would draw the Islamists into partnership with more palatable, U.S.-backed Somali leaders.

Today, that goal seems more distant than ever. Since coming to power in June, the Islamists have expanded their hold on the south. A largely powerless, U.S.-backed rump government remains divided and isolated in the southern town of Baidoa. U.S.-sponsored talks, and a separate Arab League effort, seem to be going nowhere.

Al-Qaeda, long hovering in the shadows, has established itself as a presence in the Somali capital, say U.S. officials, who see a growing risk that Somalia will become a new haven for terrorists to launch attacks beyond its borders.
So not only have we mostly ignored the famine that is gripping much of Sub-Saharan Africa, but that ignorance has allowed our real enemy in the world to establish a potential haven there.

BushCo. continues to be the most horrific failure in our history.

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