First, it appears that the more than 24 month-old effort of the West, led by the Bush administration, to stabilize Somalia as an anti-fundamentalist Islamic state is about to collapse. It was already in trouble as the Ethiopian troops that had propped up the Transitional Federal Government over the past two years returned north to the part of Somalia call the Ogaden - which Addis Ababa has coveted for some time. And while the UN has authorized the world’s navies to track down the pirates operating out of the various inlets an small harbors that dot the coastline, it will be too much of a stretch to interpret this authority as empowerment to sweep into Mogadishu again.
Second, if you missed Bill Moyers PBS program tonight, I strongly recommend you call it up and watch – before January 20, his discussion with historian Simon Schama.
I will resume my postings January 26. FCNL co-workers may post items next week about the Inauguration, so check back from time to time and add your impressions and experiences.