Sunday, December 24, 2006

Call For Nominations For Persons and Scoundrels Of The Year

Having not been impressed with Time magazine's selections, I've decided to name my own Person-of-the-Year, and will add, on other days at the end of this week, a scoundrel-of-the-year (there may be two of these). There also will be categories of journalist-of-the-year and mistaken-journalist-of-the-year, for those who got it most right and most wrong.

This is a call for suggestions, nominations or what-have-you. I will certainly give due consideration to the urgings of others, if there are any. You can enter these as comments to this blog or other messages.

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The War on Terror continues to spread today with Ethiopian air attacks against Somali Islamic fascists and their foreign supporters. While the Ethiopian government says it could wipe out the Islamists in Mogadishu in a week or two, the actual prospect is for bitter and lasting fighting.

So far, there has been no good article about the strength of Ethiopian forces, and particularly the Ethiopian air force.

However, it is clear that the U.S. is implicated. Just recently, the U.S. Middle East commander, Gen. John Abizaid, was reported to have flown to Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, to confer with members of the government, and there can be little doubt that the U.S. will tacitly back the Ethiopians, even while seeking to prevent a spread of war to Kenya and other countries.

Another question is whether the U.S. and other Western navies should impose a naval blockade on the Somali coast to prevent reinforcement from such countries as Pakistan. A dispatch on the wire this morning says 250 Pakistanis have already been casualties of fighting near Baidoa, a stronghold of the so-called Somali government (non-Islamist).

Islamic fascists, backed both by Iran and al-Qaeda have steadily become more active in the Sudan, where their struggle is against black African Muslims, and Somalia, where an Islamic takeover in Mogadishu has been followed by reports of executions of people for the high crime of watching international soccer on television. The Islamists have been moving outward, grabbing more Somali territory and threatening Ethiopia. Eritrea, with its enmity to Ethiopia, is also believed backing the Somalis.

What is happening is that Islamists are trying to move into vacuums, where the West has not been active. The same is true in northern Pakistan, where the Musharraf government has retreated and al-Qaeda has established a base to wage war against American and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

While some in Washington look for a way out of the Middle Eastern and African conflicts, it becomes clearer and clearer that there is no real way out. Where we retreat, unsavory Islamic fundamentalists will advance.

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