Intervention In Somalia
"Behold how the infidel
lays traps for you (Somalis) as you become less wary. The coins he dispenses
so freely now will prove your undoing."
- Sayiid Mohamed
Abdille Hassan (The Mad Mullah) 1920
the left is a picture of a boy taken just a few years ago in Somalia. He
is drinking water from his mother's hand at a shelter that fed thousands
of people every day. It was only a few years ago that many Americans had
not heard of Somalia, and even today few could place it on a map.
It took a momentous tragedy for
the world to become acquainted with the Somali people. This tragedy was
the famine and chaos that devastated the nation in the early 1990s. In
what appeared at the time to be purely a humanitarian gesture, the United
Nations sent a combat unit of 25,600 men and women to the war-torn country
to save the Somalis from themselves, confident then that they could not
only feed the Somalis but bring order and calm to the country. However,
things did not go quite according to the original plan. In less than a
year since the arrival of the first troops, the United States went from
welcomed rescuer to embattled occupier. How could this have happened? What
went drastically wrong? How did this mission of mercy that won almost universal
approval for its humanitarian intentions turn into yet another armed intervention
in a developing country? Did the United Nations and the U.S. have any ulterior
motives in the intervention? Were efforts made to dictate political outcomes
in the war-torn land?
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