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Another Scathing Rebuke: This Time of Somalia Policy

In expanding on the news context provided yesterday on Somalia (DailyBriefing: April 29, 2009), another scathing rebuke of current policy appears at The Tank on National Review Online. Titled "Somalia & September 12th: The New Groundhog Day," the existing context combined with our current policy with regard to Somalia has America on a collision course with "man-caused disaster," as Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano insists on calling terrorist attacks.

I hope readers will pay special attention to the excerpted context provided at The Tank on National Review Online and consider the resulting conclusion reproduced below.

Somalia is lost, and was lost because we lacked clarity and principle at the State Department. The Pentagon, for the record, objected to State's insistence that 'moderates' among the ICU be included in any new government and instead sought to directly aid the secular TFG government.

This is what you get. What we got. It would be ugly either way. It is Somalia, after all, that needs a generation to recover at best. The question is when that starts.

As it stands, Somalia is now al-Qaeda's eastern toehold on Africa (matching al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM] to the west) and growing in size, strength, and scope. Its al-Shabaab franchise, which Aweys founded and still in effect leads, controls more territory than the hapless government.

When we are attacked again -- and the day will come, for they desire it -- it will have deep al-Shabaab Somali roots.

Piracy is a popular topic these days. Once an American captain was taken hostage, anyway. Will anyone ask the president in his third prime-time presser what the course and direction is for our Somalia policy, and through which means and to what ends?

Maybe we should wait until a few shopping malls and train stations go boom to be curious enough to ask. Then it will be in vogue and all the rage, and sitemeters will burn right off of Web pages and magazines will fly right off racks for those who hop on board when it's too late to prevent tragedy, but not too late to share episodes of supposed pure genius.

I don't pretend to have all the answers tucked away inside a partitioned MENSA mass. But I know at least one thing when I see it . . .

Welcome to September 12th, the new Groundhog Day sans the comedy of Bill Murray.

There are no laughs to be had. We must remain in a constant and vigilant state of awareness and self-evaluation. Have we learned from the lessons made evident on September 11th, 2001? Or is September 12th now perpetually upon us as truly the new Groundhog Day, with September 10th in constant replay?

When we stop asking, the answer forms itself.

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