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  1. #1
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    Default CBS: U.S. Bombing Al Qaeda In Somalia

    U.S. Air Force gunship has conducted a strike against suspected members of al Qaeda in Somalia, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports exclusively.

    The targets included the senior al Qaeda leader in East Africa and an al Qaeda operative wanted for his involvement in the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa, Martin reports. Those terror attacks killed more than 200 people.

    The AC-130 gunship is capable of firing thousands of rounds per second, and sources say a lot of bodies were seen on the ground after the strike, but there is as yet, no confirmation of the identities.

    The gunship flew from its base in Dijibouti down to the southern tip of Somalia, Martin reports, where the al Qaeda operatives had fled after being chased out of the capital of Mogadishu by Ethiopian troops backed by the United States.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/...n2335451.shtml
    The AC-130 Gunships are big f**&ers. The US also today also brought out B-1 Bombers against al-Qaeda training camps in Western Iraq.

  2. #2
    Rargh! Alex's Avatar
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    the Ac-130 gunship is so big and powerful it makes me want to have sex with guns.
    ...
    But the thing that surprised me in the story....
    "The gunship flew from its base in Dijibouti down to the southern tip of Somalia, Martin reports, where the al Qaeda operatives had fled after being chased out of the capital of Mogadishu by Ethiopian troops backed by the United States."
    Um....did they ever tell us american troops were stationed in Ethiopia and working with the ethiopian military to get terrorists? Not that it's a bad thing, but i'd just assumed america had little presense in Africa anymore.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    the Ac-130 gunship is so big and powerful it makes me want to have sex with guns.
    ...
    But the thing that surprised me in the story....
    "The gunship flew from its base in Dijibouti down to the southern tip of Somalia, Martin reports, where the al Qaeda operatives had fled after being chased out of the capital of Mogadishu by Ethiopian troops backed by the United States."
    Um....did they ever tell us american troops were stationed in Ethiopia and working with the ethiopian military to get terrorists? Not that it's a bad thing, but i'd just assumed america had little presense in Africa anymore.
    Not to be all conspiracy theory and shit, it's just that the action in Mogadishu started the day we hanged Saddam.

    Ain't that interesting?

    And ain't it interesting nobody knew what we were up to there?
    one of the highest principles of America is that we're a nation of people from different backgrounds living in equal dignity and mutual loyalty - Eboo Patel.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    the Ac-130 gunship is so big and powerful it makes me want to have sex with guns.
    ...
    But the thing that surprised me in the story....
    "The gunship flew from its base in Dijibouti down to the southern tip of Somalia, Martin reports, where the al Qaeda operatives had fled after being chased out of the capital of Mogadishu by Ethiopian troops backed by the United States."
    Um....did they ever tell us american troops were stationed in Ethiopia and working with the ethiopian military to get terrorists? Not that it's a bad thing, but i'd just assumed america had little presense in Africa anymore.
    Basically, Ethiopia is now the US' proxy in the horn of Africa the way the Shah's Iran (and later Saddam's Iraq) was in the Persian Gulf region.

    The US arms and trains their military, they fight the common enemies and the US looks the other way when their government rigs elections and tortures dissidents.

    Let's hope this policy turns out better this time than previously.

    So far I'm not hopeful - Ethiopia has long-running quarrels with its neighbours which have less to do with the presence of Al Qaida than with, for example, about 30% of Ethiopia being ethnically and historically Somali territory that they conquered in the last couple of hundred years. The last President of Somalia, Siad Barre, tried to exploit the famine and civil war in Ethiopia in the 1980's by invading the Ogaden - the area I just mentioned. He failed and the Somalis took massive casualties. This defeat contributed to the collapse of the Somali state.

    Ever since the Ethiopians and Somalis have been at each others throats.

    There seem to have been soem Al Qaida cadres in Somalia but I suspect the Ethiopians greatly exaggerated the threat to get US support.
    Last edited by Iangould; 01-08-2007 at 05:30 PM.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Drew Van T.'s Avatar
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    There have been 200 American troops stationed in Djibouti since 911. Common knowledge.

    There are many people fleeing the violence, lots of confusion and uncertainty on the ground I imagine. Maybe it really was Al Qaeda, but they'd better not have murdered a group of refugees that may (or even may not) have had Islamists among them.

  6. #6
    Bite...and bite... Tages's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iangould View Post
    Basically, Ethiopia is now the US' proxy in the horn of Africa the way the Shah's Iran (and later Saddam's Iraq) was in the Persian Gulf region.

    The US arms and trains their military, they fight the common enemies and the US looks the other way when their government rigs elections and tortures dissidents.

    Let's hope this policyturns out better this time than previously.

    So far I'm not hopeful - Ethiopia has long-running quarrels with its neighbours which have less to do with the presence of Al Qaida than with, for example, about 30% of Ethiopia being ethnically and historically Somali territory that they conquered in the last couple of hundred years. The last President of Somalia, Siad Barre, tried to exploit the famine and civil war in Ethiopia in the 1980's by invading the Ogaden - the area I just mentioned. He failed and the Somalis took massive casualties. This defeat contributed to the collapse of the Somali state.

    Ever since the Ethiopians and Somalis have been at each others throats.

    There seem to have been soem Al Qaida cadres in Somalia but I suspect the Ethiopians greatly exaggerated the threat to get US support.
    My reaction to the Ethiopian armed forces invading Somalia to intervene against the ICU:

    "I'd say they're making the rubble bounce, but what rubble?"
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  7. #7
    Elder Member Shellhead's Avatar
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    That's so thoughtful of Bush to get Osama bin-Ladan an early birthday present. Maybe next year Bush will give him the full-blown war between Islam and Christianity that bin-Ladan wanted so badly in 2001.
    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
    Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

  8. #8
    Were You There? Michael P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul McEnery View Post
    Not to be all conspiracy theory and shit, it's just that the action in Mogadishu started the day we hanged Saddam.

    Ain't that interesting?

    And ain't it interesting nobody knew what we were up to there?
    Sure, not to be all conspiracy theory. Right.

    I actually saw a thing about the situation in Somalia on the McNeil (or is it Lehrer? I know one of them died) News Hour the day after Ford died. It said things were heating up, but I don't think it referred to any specific US presence. For that matter, I recall a couple of experts debating whether Al Quaeda was aiding the Somali Muslims who were agitating, with no clear answer on that either.
    "If you can't say anything good about someone, sit right here by me." - Alice Roosevelt Longworth, on manners

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  9. #9
    That one guy. Serik's Avatar
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    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...35555&q=ac-130

    Here is a vide of an AC-130 engaging insurgents in Afghanistan. I really appreciate how patient and precise the crew is with all that firepower. Talk about death from nowhere…
    "Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences." - Robert Louis Stevenson

  10. #10
    Senior Member Drew Van T.'s Avatar
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    Witnesses said at least four civilians were killed in the attack, including a small boy.

    "My four-year-old boy was killed in the strike," Mohamed Mahmud Burale said. "The plane was firing at other areas in Ras Kamboni. We could see smoke from the area. We also heard 14 massive explosions."
    Oh, nice going there.
    Last edited by Drew Van T.; 01-09-2007 at 04:16 AM. Reason: Edited out the swearing

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serik View Post
    I really appreciate how patient and precise the crew is with all that firepower.
    Pity they weren't in Somalia:

    The Somali Government says a US air strike aimed at killing suspected Al Qaeda operatives in the country's south has left 'many' people dead.

    But there is still no confirmation on whether the targeted militants were among those killed.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems...1/s1824089.htm
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  12. #12
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    This US-Ethiopia tie-up probably isn't very good news for Eritrea.
    The two most powerful warriors are patience and time - Leo Tolstoy

  13. #13

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    A whole bunch of thoughts about the current situation in Somalia.

    Having supported the Kosovo War, the gulf War and the invasion of Afghanitsan and criticised Clinton's withdrawal of US forces from Somalia, it'd be hypocritical of me to say a priori that there's no case for military intervention in somalia.

    The problem is there are two largely separate rationales for military action which are becoming confused.

    1. The presence of Al Qaida agents and people wanted in connection with the African embassy bombings. I have no problem at all with killing these guys. However I question whether a full-scale invasion of the country was necessary or justified to achieve this objective.

    2. The humanitarian rationale - to restore some order to the country and to remove the Islamic Courts Union from power and with them their draconian interpretation of Sharia law.

    Backing the Ethiopian invasion was arguably unnecessary to achieve the first objective.

    The big question is whether that support is going to lead to the second outcome.

    Unfortunately, there are several reasons to doubt that it will:

    1. The Somali "interim government" is made up of the warlords who created much of the mess in the first place and whose incompetence and corruption led many ordinary Somalis to back the ICU.

    2. The rapid collapse of the ICU is encouraging but worryingly reminiscent of the collapse of the Taliban and of the the Iraqi army. The question now is whether the Interim government will be able to hold power and whether the Ethiopian forces will be able to withdraw quickly. The past history of the interim government doesn't exactly make that look likely.

    3. The warlords are themselves mostly Islamic fundamentalists whose rule is unlikely to be much less brutal than that of the ICU. We may have effectively swapped Islamic extremists who were at least honest and minimally competent for equally brutal Islamic fundamentalists who are also crooked and incompetent.

    4. I'm deeply suspicious of the motives of the Ethiopian government and doubt that their withdrawal will be as prompt or as complete as they claim.

    5. The US and the African Union are looking for peacekeepers to replace the Ethiopian troops until the Somali government forces can take over. Given that the US, the UK, Australia and the major NATO countries are deployed (variously) to Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, most if not all of them will have to come from African countries - the same African countries whose troops have failed so miserably in Darfur

    In summation, I think backing the invasion of Somalia was a mistake because the alleged humanitarian objectives of the invasion are unlikely to be achieved.

    I really hope I'm proven wrong - and the speed of the collapse of the ICU is certainly an encouraging sign.
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  14. #14

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    The Somalis are now backing away from claims senior Al Qaida operatives have been killed

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/africa....ap/index.html

    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- None of the top three suspected terrorists in Somalia were killed in a U.S. airstrike this week, but Somalis with close ties to al Qaeda were killed, a senior U.S. official in the region said Thursday.

    A day earlier, a Somali official had said a U.S. intelligence report had referred to the death of Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, one of the three senior al Qaeda members believed responsible for bombing U.S. embassies in East Africa. But U.S. and Ethiopian troops in southern Somalia were still pursuing the three, the U.S. official said Thursday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record.
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