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Posts Tagged ‘barack obama

War on Terror shifts to Somalia

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The Obama administration’s foreign policy is about to be defined. Who would have thought that the War in Iraq and Afghanistan would end up dominating the Bush Years? Now Somalia, a lawless country in the Horn of Africa and not far from Barack Obama’s ancestral roots could end having a significant impact on his presidency.


America will be out of Iraq by 2011 but already new battlefields are looming. The dramatic sea rescue of Captain Richard Phillips who had been captured by Somalian pirates is going to change and shape United States foreign policy during the Obama tenure.


President Obama did not fool around as the situation unfolded and ordered US Special Forces to engage the pirates should the life of Capt Phillips be in imminent danger. It took three exceptional shots from a distance by the Navy Seal snipers, using night vision scopes to kill all thee pirates on the raft without endangering the life of the trussed up Capt Phillips.


Earlier another pirate, who had been wounded in the hand when crew took back the hijacked Maersk Alabama, had left the life raft to seek medical attention from the Americans for his wounds. He remains in US custody.


Ship owners have been quite happy to pay ransom money to pirates for the safe return of hijacked ships and unharmed sailors in the Gulf of Aden. However, French Special Forces stormed a hijacked French yacht and killed the pirates as well the owner of the yacht in the beginning of April. The assassination of the Somalian pirates by the US Navy has upped the stakes considerably.


The Somalians have not taken long to carry out their promise for revenge against the Americans for killing their countrymen. An attempt to kill United States congressman, Donald Payne was made in Mogadishu on Easter Monday when mortars where fired at his airplane.


Payne had told reporters he met with Somalia’s president and prime minister during his one-day visit to Mogadishu to discuss piracy, security and cooperation between Somalia and the United States


Responsibility for the attack has been claimed by al Shabaab, a hard line Islamic insurgent group. Al Shabaab has been fighting in an Iraq style civil war in Somalia since the Islamic Courts Union was thrown out of power by the opposition, backed by Ethiopia in December 2006.


By December 2008 al Shabaab has taken hold of south and central Somalia in a two-year insurgency against the government and its Ethiopian military allies.


The mortar attack on the US congressman, presumably on behalf of the pirates, is being used by Islamic fighters to entice the United States onto another battlefield.


The decision by Barack Obama to use force against the pirates will see retaliation against America, partly from the pirates themselves but also from insurgency forces who will rouse the masses by saying they are defending sovereign soil against the foreign invader.


This war will be a bit different to Iraq and Afghanistan as sea warfare will be involved on the Somalian front.


“Foreign powers want to divide the country (Somalia] and the pirates are protecting the coast against the enemies of Allah,” Abu Mansur, an al Shabaab spokesman said on Radio Garowe. .


Just how far Obama must go down the pirate fighting route is a difficult question. It may be in the interests of America to allow leadership of a multi national force to go the French and to take a bit of a back seat in the War on Piracy.


Should ground forces be used to attack pirate lairs along the Somalian coastline, Al Queda aligned fighters from Africa and abroad could flock to Somalia to engage the enemy on a new front.


George Bush did not think of the consequences when he invaded a backwater country like Afghanistan and now America finds itself bogged down in a brutal guerilla war that has no end in sight.


President Obama must not make the same mistake in Somalia. The only losers should hostilities escalate, will be the people of Somalia who have suffered enough already.


Obama has signaled his intention to continue with the new American foreign policy of constructive engagement by sending an envoy to Mogadishu to engage with the Somalian government. An attempt on the life of Donald Payne must not cloud the judgment now.


Diplomacy is the answer to the pirate problem along the east coast of Africa. Nobody can fault America or France for looking after their citizens. Somalia must not be allowed to become the next Iraq either.




The World had a history before G W Bush

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The latest terror attacks in India have just made the world a more complicated place…..for America.


Suddenly the Americans are confronted with a new front in the war on terror and luckily the world has Barack Obama and not George Bush as the man who must decide how the most powerful nation on earth must respond.


Early indications are that the attackers who killed at least 183 people and injured a further 300 come from Pakistan. However, nothing is always as it seems in the Middle East and some the attackers might have come from India, or at least had local support.


One of the terrorist’s told an Indian News channel that the attacks were revenge for the persecution of Muslims in India.


Muslims make up about 14 % of India’s population while Hindu’s make up around 80 %.

In 2002, Hindu nationalists went on the rampage and killed 2000 Muslims. Few of the attackers were ever caught and this has left a festering sore amongst the Muslim population in India


To understand the complexities involved in the Indian/Pakistani relationship one must go back to the days of the last great imperialist, Great Britain.


In 1857, the first war of independence was fought in India, against the British invaders. The British called the uprising the Sepoy mutiny and took revenge upon the Muslim community, who had ruled the sub-continent for 500 years, as part of the Mughal Empire. English was imposed as the official language and puppet rulers were installed. The parallels between India in 1857 and Iraq and Afghanistan 150 years later cannot be ignored.


The Muslim community in India collapsed as a result and has never recovered. Two grouping emerged in the aftermath of the British victory. One group believed that the collapse of the Mughal Empire was a result of a society that that moved too far away from the teachings of the Koran, whilst the other embraced the modern ways of their conqueror and sought Muslim advancement through Western sciences, law and culture.


The roots of the Islamic militants can be traced back 150 years as they seek, via the military option to regain power and re-instate Islamic states in the sub continent.


Following World War I, more lines were drawn on the map and Pakistan was born, to cater for the Muslim majority in that region. At the conclusion of a civil war in 1971, East Pakistan broke away to form Bangladesh.


The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 gave new impetus to Islamic militancy as thousands of refugees poured into Pakistan. Holy warriors or Muhajedin were trained to fight the Soviets, often funded by America. These fighters came from all over the globe and were united by their religion and believed they were fighting a jihad, a holy war.


Ridding Afghanistan of the infidels was the rallying call. Did anyone really believe that anything had changed 25 years later?


The situation in the region is complex. However, what has become evident is that the military invasion by the West has only caused more problems and not solutions. America’s reasons for invading Afghanistan and Iraq have turned out to be misleading at best and outright lies at worst. The result has been a surge in Islamic militancy and India is now bearing the brunt of that surge.


And without any political solutions many will believe that only religion will be able to unite and heal the wounds in the sub continent that were inflicted centuries ago.

Written by admin

November 30, 2008 at 4:16 pm

It is the right thing for America and Barack Obama to do

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How long will it take before Barack Obama is labeled as just another lying politician?


One meeting with the US Army Generals



What has been refreshing about president elect Obama, apart from being an African, is his commitment to get all American troops out of Iraq by 2010. This was a shift in foreign policy that could bring a chance for peace in the Middle East. Obama stated that “I have said throughout the campaign that this war was ill-conceived, that it was a strategic blunder and that it needs to come to an end,”


The Iraqi government has asked that all U.S. troops be pulled out of Iraqi cities by June 2009 and out of Iraq by 2012


The only problem with the American withdrawal from Iraq is that civil war almost seems imminent and has nothing to do with Al Qeada or anybody else. It’s simply a case of an internal power struggle between Sunni and Shia’s who both want the same thing: Political power in Iraq.


Saddam managed to keep control over the country, often brutally and was hung for his crimes. But his removal has left a power vacuum in Iraq that is not sorted out yet.


Some of the militia armies are simply not fighting at the moment. They could just be waiting for the Americans to leave before the civil war starts in earnest.


Obama has a struggle on a wider spectrum as well. The American invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have incensed the wider Islamic world, who has taken spiritual umbrage over the fact that infidels have invaded the promised lands and must be repelled at all cost. This becomes a jihad and a rallying call for militants from all over the world to join forces and fight the invader.


The result is that Obama might have to delay his time table to get all troops out of Iraq by 2010. And there is not much he can do about it. Should he decide to continue the war in Afghanistan, there is no doubt that it will become deadlier and with little chance of an American victory there either.


The opportunity Obama has to become a master statesman from the start of his term in office has to be taken. Instead of the military option, he must come in peace and with respect to solve the problems. It will not be easy but it is the right thing for America and Barack Obama to do.

Written by admin

November 8, 2008 at 9:29 am

At last…the world is free of George Bush….at last

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Barack Obama has won the American presidential election.  He has won 338 electoral votes by the time this post was written.  The winner needs 270 in total, which shows that Obama is likely to win with a significant majority.


George Bush will be in power until 20 January, when the new president will be sworn into office.


The world can only hope that Bush will not inflict more damage between now and the 20 January.


It is disturbing to note that American forces have attacked targets within Pakistan and Syria, with little regard for the sovereignty of these countries.  The Pakistani’s have been trying to tell the Americans that attacks like these will have an adverse effect on the War on Terror, to no avail.


Obama has some serious challenges facing him.  Bush has left him a financial crises that took eight years of bad decisions to create and a foreign policy that has caused America to become hated around the world at worst and with no respect at best.


The War on Terror was ill conceived from the start and played into the Islamic extremists hands all along.  A war being fought in Afghanistan has never been won by an imperial force, going back to the British invasion in the early 1900’s and the Russian invasion in the 1970’s. 


Iraq will erupt into a civil war once the Americans leave.  Obama has stated that he will withdraw American forces from Iraq.  What George Bush did not realize or failed to acknowledge was that Saddam Hussein was actually keeping an extremely splintered country intact, albeit with heavy handed tactics.


Saddam did not have the time or resources like weapons of mass destruction, to have been a threat to the West, despite the lies told by Bush and his cronies.  Right up until the American invasion of Iraq, Saddam genuinely believed that the attack would never happen.  After all, even the United Nations weapons inspectors had gone on record saying there was no evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.


The lack of preparedness of the Iraq army bears testament to this.  The indecent haste with which Saddam was executed was bizarre and could even be regarded as a war crime, but probably never will.  Did Saddam do anything worse that what Robert Mugabe has done in Zimbabwe?


Obama will have to stem the tide of militancy from the Islamic people, who rightfully regard America as being an imperial invader.  The only way out for Obama is to withdraw from the Middle East and try help with the reconstruction of the countries ruined by the Bush doctrine.


And that is the easy part of his job.  The financial crises which has been caused by poor fiscal policies by the Bush regime has affected the entire world and could prove to be even harder to fix than the damage caused by the War on Terror.


The world can breathe a collective sigh of relief that Obama has won the election and thank Americans for doing the right thing and voting for a president who will hopefully rectify the many mistakes that have been made by America over the past eight years.


It is time for America to rise up and become a force for good in the world. 


Written by admin

November 5, 2008 at 4:52 am