US Naval Units Deployed to Somali Waters
US deploys its Navy against, well, a beach. [Via Le Monde]
There are Islamists and there are Islamists, and the ones that were in Mogadishu seemed rather benign, allowing women the right to work outside the home as office assistants, doctors and teachers. The photo above shows a woman conducting a class in English. For the first time, under the "Islamists", people could go to the beach or to the local river for a swim or even leave their homes without being fired upon by the war lords.
Meanwhile, after ordering the populace to to surrender weapons, 18 shotguns have been turned over to the provisional government by the Abgal clan, loyal to provisional Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi.
The Le Monde story also includes this:
On Wednesday Kenya sealed its border with Somalia at the request of the provisional government, reinforced its patrols and turned by 700 Somali refugees. The Somali and Ethiopian armies, were able to demolish the defenses of the Islamic Courts, first in Baidoa, then in Mogadishu and Kismayo, have been hunting the Islamists down without success. Tuesday, four Ethiopian helicopters missed a convoy of all terrain vehicles monitored by US satellites which were probably were transporting Islamic leaders toward the Kenyan frontier, say Kenyan police. A Kenyan military helicopter patrolling the border was forced down Wednesday by small arm fire....no one was injured.This suggests that the Ethiopians are unwilling to do any dirty work.
The claim trumpeted that the Islamic Courts were run by al-Qaeda is disinformation, deployed by Washington and Addis Abeba. Look at this silly quote from the State Department: "We are afraid that the leaders of the Islamic Courts are linked to terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda, and will flee and leave Somalia" [so we want to kill them right here before they follow us back to Washington]
Apparently, the US has adopted a "no tolerance" policy for Islamic organizations of any stripe.