August 5, 2011
Thank you for the coverage of famine in Somalia . However, I think the gravity of the situation merits continual placement of stories above the fold on the front page. Americans are perceived as not caring about international matters, but I think a humanitarian crisis on such a large scale is an exception. The budget impasse was important, but its monopolizing the entire upper half of the front page for days was inappropriate. There are issues in the world right now other than America's economy — such as the needless...
November 2, 2009
ONE OF THE rhetorical questions frequently tossed out in the debate over Afghanistan concerns the brewing trouble in Somalia and Yemen, both of which are known to host al-Qaeda cadres and training camps. If it's necessary to pacify Afghanistan to protect U.S. security, goes the taunt, must we also intervene in Somalia and Yemen? The presumed answer is: "Of course not -- and therefore why bother with Afghanistan?" The more sensible response is: If something is not done soon about these lawless places, one or the other may well become the next...
April 15, 2009
Before the Obama administration considers new military strikes on al-Shabab fighters in Somalia, it should weigh the political costs of such an action ["Obama Team Mulls Aims of Somali Extremists," front page , April 13]. Under President George W. Bush, the U.S. government carried out at least four airstrikes in Somalia in 2007 and 2008. One killed a prominent al-Shabab commander. But the strikes, along with U.S. support for a heavy-handed Ethiopian counterinsurgency effort, fomented unprecedented levels of anti-American sentiment among ordinary...
April 14, 2009
SKILLFUL SHOOTING by U.S. snipers rescued an American ship captain from Somali pirates Sunday -- along with an Obama administration facing its first foreign emergency. Unfortunately, no silver bullets are available for the growing threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean or the toxic anarchy that has spawned it. President Obama said in a statement Sunday that "we must continue to work with our partners to prevent future attacks, be prepared to interdict acts of piracy and ensure that those who commit acts of piracy are held accountable for those crimes.
January 3, 2009 |
NAIROBI, Jan. 2 -- Ethiopian troops propping up Somalia's fragile transitional government began a partial withdrawal from the seaside capital of Mogadishu on Friday, a move that many Somalis and analysts say will probably touch off a vicious scramble for power among various Islamist factions and clan militias. The Ethiopian government had promised to withdraw its troops from the volatile Horn of Africa nation by the end of 2008, and on Friday, at least 18 military trucks piled with mattresses, cooking pots and soldiers rolled away from a key...
October 22, 2012 |
Walking through Mogadishu recently, I couldn't help but marvel. The streets teemed with people going about their daily lives. Construction boomed on virtually every block, fueled by investments from the Somali diaspora (and, perhaps, from pirates' ill-gotten gains). Police officers in crisp white shirts directed traffic — a phenomenon associated with a return to normality in many post-conflict areas — and workers repaired electrical lines. Spend an hour talking to Hassan Sheik Mohamud, the longtime...