Sunday, December 31, 2006

It's a Beautiful Wreath, Except for the Trout

A picture is worth a thousand words. And I had my camera with me. But, in this rare instance, I think it's better if you simply use your imagination.

We ate at a wonderful restaurant last night and they had a large wreath decorating the wall of the main dining room. The wreath was filled to overflowing with greenery and pine cones and berries. There was even a bird's nest, as you often see in "natural wreaths."

And then there were three large plastic trout. Not jumping through the wreath as you might imagine, but just included in the greenery around the wreath.

You have to wonder. Who looked at this gorgeous wreath and said, "I know just what this wreath needs!! Three large plastic trout!!!"

How and why did this happen? And exactly how did the restaurant owner decide on this particular wreath.

"Oh honey, let's buy the one with the trout."

Let's face it, a lot of people must have gone into the process that ultimately placed this trout laden wreath in the center of this restaurant.

Perhaps it was a committee decision. A compromise!! That's it.

"You can have a wreath decorating the restaurant, but only if you add a few trout!"

And, speaking of compromises, let's note that the United Nation's established and supported government of Somalia is now, finally, back in control of a sizable portion of that country.

The resurgence of the supposedly legitimate Somalian government wasn't due to any action of effort by the United Nations. Instead it was the neighboring army of Ethiopia that intervened and propelled the hapless U.N. backed government back to power.

The country had been largely controlled by the Council of Islamic Courts, which, frankly, seems to have a lot more popular support. The regions controlled by the Council of Islamic Courts were relatively peaceful. The return of the government seems to also mean a return to lawlessness. The legitimate government cannot control the "clans" or warlords.

There is an excellent audio report on National Public Radio

The Council of Islamic Courts, the umbrella group for the Islamic movement that ruled Mogadishu for six months, wanted to transform Somalia into a strict Islamic state. And they were rumored to have strong ties to al-Qaida and are supposedly harboring several known terrorists.

Secular and largely Christian Ethiopia feared a strict Islamic state on its borders. And Ethiopia has the largest, best trained and best equipped army in Africa.

The United Nations had condemned the Islamic revolutionaries for several reasons, including their use of child soldiers on the front lines of the fighting. Even now there are reports of forced conscription of twelve year old children to fight in the latest battles. Parents are fleeing with their children in hopes of protecting their lives.

But no one expects the 15 year civil war to end easily. From a report by the
Associated Press on MSNBC:

“Even if we are defeated we will start an insurgency,” said Sheik Ahmed Mohamed Islan, the head of the Islamic movement in the Kismayo region. “We will kill every Somali that supports the government and Ethiopians.”

It seems to me that the biggest problem is that the United Nation's established government in Somalia has the same identical problem as the United State's established government in Iraq.

Both are wreaths, well intended gifts to the people of the respective, but occupied countries. And both are seriously infested with trout.

They must have sounded good to the bureaucrats in New York and Washington, D.C., but they look funny and work badly in the countries who must mount them on their walls.





Malfrat said...

In my opinion, Somalia's first chances for peace, tranquility, pursuit of commerce were taken from her by Ethiopia's unprovoked invasion with the complicity of the U.N. and Western governments which see al Qaeda everytime they hear the word 'Sharia'.

January 01, 2007 10:33 AM  
the WIZARD, fkap said...

malfrat, I tend to agree with you.

There is a real question here about the relative important of the goals of "peace and security" versus "freedom and democracy."

The Islamic Council brought "peace" and "security" but denied both "freedom" and "democracy."

The failure of both the United Nations and the United States is that we create governments that are built upon both "democracy" and individual "freedom," but, in fact, leave the citizens terrorized by revolutionaries, insurgents, warlords and gangs of thugs. There is no security and no peace.

Somalia's President and his Ethiopian protectors have said they will not allow Somalia to become "another Iraq," but that is exactly what it is becoming under the Ethiopian occupation and U.N. established government.

Thanks for contributing.

the Wizard......

January 01, 2007 2:41 PM  
Vigilante said...

I agree, emphatically, with both of you. Malfrat saw it coming.

January 04, 2007 1:28 AM  

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