“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”
The Sunday Sermon
You may remember, more because of the movie than anything else probably, an incident in 1993 called ‘Black Hawk Down’ which caused American troops to leave Somalia.
At that time they had been stationed there as part of a United Nations ‘stabilization’ operation – whatever that is.
President Clinton abandoned that effort after the ‘Battle of Mogadishu’ in which nearly 20 American soldiers were killed and horrific images of their bodies being dragged through the streets by Somalia militiamen had been seen all over the world on television.
Since then American military and intelligence efforts have been in the form of funding the Somalia military and using remotely controlled drones to keep an eye on what is happening on the ground and perhaps more.
Or so we thought. After all, the last thing we want to do is get bogged down again on the ground in such an inhospitable place.
Cue the Obama administration and guess what? Yep, the US Army has once again secretly stationed a group of regular troops in Somalia. Since October last year a “military coordination cell” has been established in Somalia that, to quote the officer in charge, “is now fully operational”.
I’m not sure even Obama knows what they are there to do. There isn’t an American embassy to protect and they would hardly be there to draw unwanted attention to the people from charlie india alpha, would they?
Official sources say the army unit has been tasked with “advising and coordinating” operations by African troops against al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda-linked group that controls large parts of Somalia.
Okay, so let’s say US forces have been deployed in Africa as part of the war against terror.
So perhaps that establishes what US Foreign Policy strategy is, i.e. to fight the war against terror.
Let’s move a bit further north-east. To Syria in fact.
For the past while the US has been covertly backing the anti-Assad forces in the Syrian conflict. Seemed to make sense since Assad is friends with the likes of Iran and Russia. Except for the fact that the anti-Assad forces were in fact made up of the same type of al-Qaeda-linked groups that the US is against in Somalia.
Confused? You should be.
If there was any principle involved they would have been better not backing either side. But of course principle and politics rarely mix.
And just to add to the confusion it was confirmed last week that secret meetings have been held between ‘Western intelligence officials’ and senior members of the Syrian government, aimed at “combating radical Islamist groups” in Syria.
Maybe it IS all beginning to make sense. At least we can detect a consistent pattern emerging, and it seems to be this:
- ignore the long term dangers, and fund and supply terrorist groups just because they happen to be at odds with people you don’t like; and then when you realize what a mess you’ve made, send in American troops to correct the mistake, never mind that they are going to get killed and maimed by weapons paid for by America.
American foreign policy has been a shambles for decades. It doesn’t get better by repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
America has the strength and the military power to police the world, of that there is no doubt. But does that mean it really has to? Especially when the policy to direct such a strategy is made by incompetent politicians who clearly do not understand the world they are trying to police.
Confusion and failure has been and will be the result. That and the needless sacrifice of the brave souls whose job it is to clear up the mess.