Tuesday, 18 November 2008


Somalia, a failed state. With all the hoopla over the latest string of pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia it is easy to forget that Somalia is the embarrassment of international diplomacy. After the civil war of the early nineties and the infamous failure of the UN Peacekeeping mission, Somalia was abandoned by the civilised world and the Somalis left to fend for themselves in a country without the rule of law.

Now we see what that means... piracy upon ships in the area, murder and injustice on land, and constant never ending instability. We have women being publicly executed for being raped. Sorry... when I say executed I mean being buried up to her neck and then stoned in front of a large crowd. When some tried to rescue her a boy in the crowd was shot. Somalia sounds more like something out of the ancient world than a 21st Century nation.

Somalia is the type of country which needs our help and the intervention of the world. But sadly, thanks to the Coalition of the Willing, events in Iraq have rendered the possibility of such intervention to be a distant dream. Another positive outcome of unilateral action! George W. Bush and Tony Blair deserve our scorn for the world they have bequeathed us.

Our thoughts should not just be with those held hostage by the Somali pirates, but also with those held hostage in the country of their birth unable to escape the nightmare. A country where fear and violence rule and the weak are unprotected. There is, sadly, little hope for them unlike the foreign crewmen being held.

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