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Violence breaks out in Mogadishu. Reuters reports:

A fourth day of fighting between rival militias in Mogadishu on Wednesday saw the death toll rise to at least 94, after gunmen broke a brief ceasefire to the worst street combat in the Somali capital in years.

The latest battle is the third between gunmen allied to Islamic courts and militia linked to the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism, a coalition of powerful warlords.

Analysts say the upsurge in street battles between the two sides suggests the failed Horn of Africa state is becoming a new proxy battleground for Islamist militants and the United States, which is widely believed to be funding the warlords.

According to Reuters, the warlords adopted their coalition's name "in what some say was an effort to win support from the United States." Agence France Presse has more on America's involvement:

While not providing arms, the United States has given money to warlords fighting Mogadishu's powerful Islamic courts, which are thought to be harboring extremists including some affiliated with Al-Qaeda, officials said….

"Basically we're paying militias to pick people off," [one U.S.] official said, giving an unusually blunt description of the program, which is coordinated by the US embassy in Kenya.

The embassy in Nairobi refused to comment but senior officials there acknowledged contacts with the warlords while stressing the US outreach was broad and not limited to just them.

NEXT: Say, boy, where ya comin' from? Where'd ya get that point of view?

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  1. Is this the current proxy for Cambodia?

    what would the Dead Kennedys song for this be, then?

    “Brunch in Mogadishu”?
    “Vacation on the Horn”?
    “Corn Syrup in Africa”?
    “Hey! I ordered a cheeseburger”?

    these proxy battlegrounds are breeding grounds for next generation’s terrorists, it seems. sigh.

  2. This is more what I worry Darfur would turn into, though Iraq is a close second because people don’t like being invaded and tend to resist.

  3. So in some parts of the world we are paying people to oppose jihadic Islamic courts, while in Afganistan and Iraq we are doing everything we can to encourage their formation under theocratic US endorsed governments?

    Interesting how we handle primarily Islamic nations who aren’t theocratic dictatorships compared to our enemies. Like Turkey and Pakistan.

    We are at war with radical Islamic Theocrats. We are supportive of our Radical Islamic Theocratic allies.

    Makes perfect sense.

  4. Johnny:

    Remember the biblical injunction

    “Do not let your right hand know what the left does”

    President Bush is great at following biblical injuncitons.

  5. Interesting how we handle primarily Islamic nations who aren’t theocratic dictatorships compared to our enemies. Like Turkey and Pakistan.

    We are at war with radical Islamic Theocrats. We are supportive of our Radical Islamic Theocratic allies.

    Makes perfect sense.

    It does, actually – we are at war with radical islamic theocrats who encourage and/or support people flying airplanes into American buildings, and we are supportive of our Islamic theocratic allies who do not encourage their people to attack Americans in the name of Islam. In the 20th century the litmus test was whether the theocrats were aligned with the Soviets. It’s called foreign policy, and most of the world practices some variant of it. It may be unseemly but it is the way the world gets along.

    Hit n’ Run seems to be behind the times – apparently there’s a ceasefire now:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4757093.stm

  6. Hit n’ Run seems to be behind the times – apparently there’s a ceasefire now

    The Reuters story I linked to says the ceasefire has been broken. So does the BBC piece you just cited.

  7. jesus. did we learn nothing from the cold war? are we going to start handing guns to every warlord who calls himself anti-terrorist, just like we propped up Mobutu in Zaire and the apartheid South African government because they were anti-communist?

  8. Hmmm.

    Absence of state – random, low level violence, but mostly peace and economic growth (look at the World Bank reports).

    If you want all-out chaos and mass violence, you need a state to get involved. I’m sure the Mogadishu residents are glad we did…

  9. Warlords doing the work that Americans don’t want to do. ;^)

  10. Thanks, rafuzo, for confirming that the whole “democratization,” “our interests and a values are now one” thing was a load of horseshit.

    I mean, I’ve know it was horseshit for years, but it’s good to see it confirmed by a true believer.

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