Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Somalia, again

Recent events in Somalia are reminding people of how the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan during the fighting that took place following the withdrawal of Soviet forces. The Taliban, of course, was sheltering Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda at the time of the September 11 terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center. In response, the U.S. invaded with the goal of wiping out al Qaeda and liberating Afghanistan from Taliban rule.

Now, there is strong suspicion that al Qaeda is operating in Somalia, and concern that Somalia will become a base for Islamist terrorists. This situation demands close attention by the State Department and the President. Will the United States have to invade Somalia to wipe out the terrorists there?

We've been in Somalia before, when disgraced ex-President Clinton cut and ran after terrorists murdered American troops and dragged the corpses through the streets of Mogadishu. I am convinced that Clinton's complete and utter failure to bring retribution on these savages contributed to September 11.

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos of Fox News offers a more in depth perspective but makes a grave error in the first paragraph by referring to "a failed 1993 invasion" by the United States. While the United States did technically invade Somalia, the mission was to make sure food got to the Somali people. A famine was creating a humanitarian crisis that the U.S. wanted to end. While the "invasion" statement is factual, it is not truthful.

The United States should closely monitor the situation in Somalia and be prepared to strike at terrorists should they become a threat, but must only take action to protect our national security interests. The last thing this country needs to do with our military committed to fighting terrorism is to dilute our strength by following the Leftist pipe dream of turning the military into an international meals on wheels.