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Idle questions

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 17 years ago, in 2007, on the World Wide Web.

While I was out of town, Ethiopia decided to launch a bombing campaign and a ground assault against Somalia. The putative purpose of the invasion is to run out the network of sharia courts that recently took over some of the major cities in Somalia, and then to install the transitional government into power. For those keeping track, that’s the gang of pretenders who have been holed up in the town of Baidoia for the past year, and exercising effective power over basically nowhere outside of their headquarters. (The Baidoia government was in fact governing from a secure location in Kenya for about two years before they even got up the gumption to relocate to somewhere actually in Somalia.)

So why do you suppose it is that virtually every American news report on Ethiopia’s war of conquest has insisted on referring to the Baidoia gang by the phrase Somalia’s internationally-backed government (2, 3, 4), or Somalia’s internationally-recognized government (6, 7), whenever they mention the purpose of the assault?

Do you suppose it’s because the only people who have really demonstrated any particular interest in the Baidoia gang’s pretensions to authority are foreign governments, rather than, well, Somalis?

Further reading:

2 replies to Idle questions Use a feed to Follow replies to this article

  1. Dain

    The situation over there is warped.

    So here’s an unexpected perspective. I was perusing the Booker Rising blog – a black moderate and conservative blog – and was dismayed by what I saw. Apparently there is the belief that Somalia has been taken over by Arab Muslims who wish to impose their way of life on the good people of Somalia, and Bush is doing the right thing by supporting Somalia’s secular neighbors in trying to establish women’s rights and democracy in the country.


— 2009 —

  1. Nick Manley

    Me thinks that sounds a bit warped…

    Well, I suppose you can nominally be for women’s rights and still be ok with slaughtering women in a foreign invasion…

    You know: like the Soviet Union ( :

    Women could serve in the Red Army! The Bolsheviks weren’t exactly complete patriarchs.

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