Saturday, March 29, 2008

The War on Terror: It's Not Just the Middle East

Just a reminder: The war on terror isn't limited to the Middle East. There's trouble all over. And, the situation is complicated. These are excerpts: headlines and the first two or three paragraphs from today's news.

"Somalia sinks into greater chaos as Islamist insurgents gain ground"
International Herald Tribune (March 28, 2008)

"MOGADISHU, Somalia: The trouble started when government soldiers went to the market and, at gunpoint, began helping themselves to sacks of grain.

"Islamist insurgents poured into the streets to defend the merchants. The government troops got hammered, taking heavy casualties and retreating all the way back to the presidential palace, supposedly the most secure place in the city. It, too, came under fire."
"For victims of Tibet riots, a complex fate"
International Herald Tribune (March 28, 2008)

"SHANGHAI: In life, the five young women who burned to death in a Chinese clothing store during rioting in Tibet on March 14 were not the types who would make headlines.

"One had received permission from her family to follow her fiancé to Lhasa; another sent home most of her wages to support 13 relatives; several sent text messages in the minutes before they died, warning loved ones to stay indoors as violence erupted.

"In death, though, the women are being treated as martyrs. The Chinese government has been using their deaths to support its version of what happened on "3/14," when Tibet experienced its worst day of violence in 20 years. In that version, broadcast by state-controlled media, ethnic Tibetans took to Lhasa's streets, unprovoked, burning and looting shops that were owned by Han Chinese."

(I think that China is going to be involved in the war on terror, if it isn't already. The Chinese government has much to gain by exploiting instability in its part of the world. I doubt that Chinese leaders will ignore the opportunity.)
"Hollywood stars help sustain Darfur aid flights-WFP"
Reuters (March 28, 2008)

"GENEVA, March 28 (Reuters) - Money from Europe and a charity co-founded by Hollywood actors George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle will help maintain humanitarian flights in Darfur through April, the United Nations said on Friday.

"The $6 million donated by Ireland, the European Union and the Clooney-backed Not On Our Watch will allow the U.N.'s World Food Programme (WFP) to hire helicopters and aircraft to ferry aid workers to Sudan's war-torn region for 30 days."

Darfur, Sudan's western region, is a mess. I wrote about it, back in November of 2007. It doesn't look like much has changed: except that some Hollywood celebrities collected enough money to fly food to people there for another month. Which does help.
As I said: the war on terror isn't just in the Middle East.

Last year, Sudan's Islamic leaders seemed more focused on a blasphemous teddy bear, than on the chronic disaster in Darfur.

Today, Somalia is still without anything that could be called a stable government. Or a "government," period. So, Somalis have a situation where "government" soldiers loot grain, and insurgents try to protect the merchants from the soldiers.

Meanwhile, China is trying to look as if it isn't the overlord of an unwilling Tibet. There aren't any Muslims involved: but I'm still inclined to see that situation as part of the current global conflict.

1 comment:

Brian H. Gill said...


I see you've got a template. For efficiency's sake, I'll follow suit.

Agreed. If you take the very best of one group, and the very worst from another, the first group will look nice, and the second won't.

I try not to do that.

Links to posts about religion, culture, and the war on terror: "Islam, Christianity, Religion, Culture and the War on Terror."

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.