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In Other News, A New War Was Declared
The Islamic Courts Union declared war on Ethiopia.
While the Pope is busy upsetting Islam, Tony Blair continues to drag out his retirement, and Nancy Pelosi runs for cover on yet another leak designed to improve the Democrat's chances in November (which has since backfired), Somalia and the greater Horn of Africa continues its quiet slide into decay and ruin at the hands of radical Islamists.
"The incursion of Ethiopian troops into Somali territories is a declaration of war on Somalia," said UIC national security chairman Sheik Yusuf Indahaadde.
"We call on the international community to urge Ethiopia to withdraw its troops from Somalia. If that doesn't happen the consequences of insecurity created by Ethiopia will spread to neighboring countries and to East Africa as a whole."
While this should be troubling on an international scale, it continues to get no cover here at home for truly pathetic reasons. There's an election going on people, what do we care about foreign death and dying and wars with radical elements of Islam? It's all Bush's fault™ anyway, so let's focus on making him look bad, tearing down the will and resolve of the American people, and concentrate on how we can get Democrats elected to do absolutely nothing to help Darfurians, Sudanese, Somalians, Israelis, Iraqis, Afghans, or anyone else. That IS what this election cycle is all about, right?
In Somalia, back in June of this year, the ICU busied themselves with running the "internationally recognized" Transitional Federal Government (TFG) out of the capital Mogadishu, and began in earnest the infestation and spread of its disease. The hapless TFG was pushed back to Baidoa, where it now rules with a clay thumb, desperate for aid and assistance from the so-called United Nations and the rest of this mysterious group of countries that purportedly "officially recognize" them as the "official Somalian Government".
The basic tenets of the dispute over who is running the show in Somalia?
The TFG and the UIC have been in confrontation since June, when forces belonging to the Islamic group seized control of Mogadishu after defeating warlords who had controlled the city since 1991, following the collapse of the regime headed by the late president, Muhammad Siyad Barre.
The UIC has been extending its authority to other areas of southern Somalia, much to the chagrin of the TFG, a fledgling administration set up in 2004 following reconciliation talks in Kenya between Somalia's various clans and political factions.
In today's episode from the BBC we learn that the ICU has asked for help from the very same International Community that does NOT recognize them. It is quite a folly of ironies for these thugs to defy the will of the world, and then ask for help from them against this alleged "incursion" into "their" lands" by foreign soldiers. The TFG, meanwhile, insists there is no such presence of Ethiopians:
But Somali government spokesman Abduraman Dinari denied that any Ethiopia had crossed the border and said the reports were being fabricated by the Islamists to distract attention from their advance into Kismayo.
Eyewitnesses have reported that hundreds of troops wearing Ethiopian military uniforms have crossed the border and are in a military camp just outside Baidoa - the only town controlled by the internationally recognized government.
A security official in Baidoa told the BBC that his forces were on high alert and were ready to defend the town against any Islamist attack.
Oh, I almost forgot that OTHER pesky little story that got no play in the media. It seems the UIC has taken control of another town, Kismayo.
So far, the TFG has not commented on the Kismayo takeover but has previously said any UIC advance would violate a recent ceasefire agreement signed between them in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital.
Why did they take over Kismayo? Well, it's Ramadan of course!
At least one person was killed on Monday as forces belonging to the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) fired shots to disperse rowdy anti-Islamist demonstrators in Kismayo, 500 km south of the Somali capital of Mogadishu, hours after the UIC took control of the key port city.
The demonstration was organized by 'khat' traders after the UIC announced a ban on flights carrying the popular leafy narcotic at Kismayo airport. "They [the traders] were angry that the courts have banned a business they were making a living out of," an eyewitness in the city said. The UIC said the ban on the narcotic would be in effect over the month of Ramadan.
Earlier, thousands of Kismayo residents had poured on to the streets to welcome the UIC takeover of the city, which is located in the agriculturally rich and economically important region of Lower Juba. The move completes the UIC's control of all ports in southern and central Somalia and extends the group's control of south-central Somalia.
The UIC said it went to Kismayo at the invitation of the locals. "We did not use force. We went there at the invitation of the local people who requested reinforcement, to guard against the entry into the country of foreign forces," said Ibrahim Hassan Adow, the UIC's Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
The UIC forces have set up checkpoints in "all the main arteries of the city", Ali Abdulkadir, a resident, said. "Everybody is going about their business as if nothing has happened," he added. "Most people have welcomed the arrival of the Courts."
The prime minister has appealed for international help against "al-Qaeda" and "terrorist" expansion.
The UIC have repeatedly denied having any links to al-Qaeda and say they are restoring security and stability to Somalia, which has not had an effective national government for 15 years.
So it is, like with turning their backs on Israel over the kidnapped soldiers, so it is with turning their backs on the Darfurians and the Somalians, the UN continues to struggle for peace and prosperity for the legions of Hezbollah and Hamas, and people continue to die at the hands of a "cause" which allows none other to coexist.
And war continues to break out in the name of Islam.